UAV communication

UAV satellite communication, navigation and surveillance
Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or unmanned aerial systems (UAS)are expected to be an important component of 5G/beyond 5G (B5G) communications. This includes their use within cellular architectures (5G UAVs), in which they can facilitate both wireless broadcast and point-to-point transmissions, usually using small UAS (sUAS). Allowing UAS to operate within airspace along with commercial, cargo, and other piloted aircraft will likely require dedicated and protected aviation spectrum-at least in the near term, while regulatory authorities adapt to their use. The command and control (C2), or control and non-payload communications (CNPC)link provides safety critical information for the control of the UAV both in terrestrial-based line of sight (LOS)conditions and in satellite communication links for so-called beyond LOS (BLOS)conditions. In this paper, we provide an overview of these CNPC links as they may be used in 5G and satellite systems by describing basic concepts and challenges. We review new entrant technologies that might be used for UAV C2 as well as for payload communication, such as millimeter wave (mmWave)systems, and also review navigation and surveillance challenges. A brief discussion of UAV-to-UAV communication and hardware issues are also provided.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION....................................................... 1
2. OPTIONS FOR FUTURE CNPC................................ 2
3. SATELLITE LINK CNPC......................................... 3
4. POTENTIAL 5G TECHNOLOGIES FOR UAV CNPC.......................................................................... 3
5. NAVIGATION AND SURVEILLANCE FOR 5G UAVS4
6. UAV-TO-UAV COMMUNICATION.......................... 6
7. FLIGHT HARDWARE ARCHITECTURE AND TRENDS ....................................................................... 7
8. CONCLUSION........................................................... 7
REFERENCES............................................................... 8
BIOGRAPHY ................................................................ 9
In this paper, we focus on the broader use of UAVs in the context of communications through ground infrastructure as well as satellite systems; see Figure 1. The disparate links (LOS and BLOS) mean different channel conditions and frequencies of operation, with different latency and range, and this increases challenges for the very high reliability required of CNPC links. In addition to existing cellular frequency bands (600 MHz to 6 GHz), the 5th generation (5G) cellular community is also considering the use of 2 spectrum in the millimeter wave (mmWave) bands (24–86 GHz). In these bands, large free-space and tropospheric attenuations limit the link range, thus if the mmWave link is the only LOS link, when beyond the LOS mmWave range, BLOS capability will be needed. Such BLOS links are also of course required when in remote areas, out of range of any ground station (GS). Although satellites are an obvious choice for BLOS communications, the choice of satellite orbit, i.e., low-earth orbiting (LEO) or geosynchronous earth orbiting (GEO), distinctly affects the latency, link budget parameters, Doppler, and handoffs/handovers. In order to maximize frequency re-use, satellite operators are also planning use of narrower beams, which will increase handovers, further stressing connection reliability. Simply because of the much larger link distances, for currently planned BLOS frequency bands (above 5 GHz), to close the link between a UAV and satellite will very likely require the use of directional antennas and adaptively focused beams, i.e., mechanical or electronically steered antenna beams. Similar issues pertain to 5G mmWave links, but with far smaller antenna gain requirements. These issues of adaptive antennas, handovers and others complicate the system software and hardware, increasing the size, weight and power of the communication system.

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