UAS Reference Scenarios for MANET Development
Christmann, Hans Claus
Johnson, Eric N.
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After autonomous flight for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been accomplished, research was stipulated to look into application related challenges in connection with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). As one possible scenario, swarms of collaborating UAVs can be envisioned and allow for more complex missions and scenarios. One essential building block in simultaneously operating several UAVs is the UAS internal and external communication. Ground control station operators need to communicate guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) data, external beneficiaries of the UAS operation need to be provided with obtained sensor data and intelligence. All this requires sophisticated wireless communication networks and Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) step into the picture. However, evaluating the performance of different MANETs in a UAS environment is non-trivial: relevant metrics and evaluation procedures have to be established for a simulation based performance prediction during the design phase of a MANET. Unfortunately, published results on MANET performance are not necessarily comparable across different papers, due to differences in the underlying assumptions. Some findings might not even be applicable to a UAS environment. This paper proposes a set of reference scenarios in order to allow for comparable and applicable results in MANET simulations. The presented scenarios mimic realistic UAS missions, both, on the operational side of the participating network nodes, as well as on the network traffic side. The reference scenarios capture the essence of current UAVs and UAS missions in a civil, research, or military context, hence providing the means to simulate different MANET protocols in a UAS setting.