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Drone Small Cells in the Clouds: Design, Deployment and Performance Analysis

Abstract : The use of drone small cells (DSCs) which are aerial wireless base stations that can be mounted on flying devices such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), is emerging as an effective technique for providing wireless services to ground users in a variety of scenarios. The efficient deployment of such DSCs while optimizing the covered area is one of the key design challenges. In this paper, considering the low altitude platform (LAP), the downlink coverage performance of DSCs is investigated. The optimal DSC altitude which leads to a maximum ground coverage and minimum required transmit power for a single DSC is derived. Furthermore, the problem of providing a maximum coverage for a certain geographical area using two DSCs is investigated in two scenarios; interference free and full interference between DSCs. The impact of the distance between DSCs on the coverage area is studied and the optimal distance between DSCs resulting in maximum coverage is derived. Numerical results verify our analytical results on the existence of optimal DSCs altitude/separation distance and provide insights on the optimal deployment of DSCs to supplement wireless network coverage. I. INTRODUCTION Recently, using aerial base stations to support ground cellular networks has received significant attention. Particularly, drone small cells (DSCs) can act as aerial base stations to support cellular networks in high demand and overloaded situations, or for the purpose of public safety and disaster management [1]. The main advantage of using DSCs is that they do not need to have an actual pilot and hence they can be autonomously deployed in dangerous environments for the purpose of search, rescue and communication. Furthermore, since DSCs are essentially mobile base stations, they are more robust against environmental changes as compared to fixed ground base stations. For example, in disaster situations such as earthquakes or floods where some of ground base stations are damaged, or during big public events such as Olympic Games where a huge demand for communication is observed, the cellular network needs to be assisted to provide the needed capacity and coverage [1]. In these cases, deploying DSCs acting as base stations is extremely useful in providing an improved quality-of-service (QoS) for ground users. The deployment of DSCs faces many challenges such as power consumption, coverage optimization and interference management [2]. To address some of these challenges, the authors in [2] provided a general view of practical considerations for the integration of DSCs with cellular networks. The work in [3], considered the use of DSCs to compensate for the cell overload and outage in cellular networks. However, in this body of work there is no extensive discussion on the coverage performance of DSCs and deployment methods. Due to the special application
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 10:36:21 PM
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Mohammad Mozaffari, Walid Saad, Mehdi Bennis, Merouane Debbah. Drone Small Cells in the Clouds: Design, Deployment and Performance Analysis. IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), Dec 2015, San Diego, United States. ⟨10.1109/glocom.2015.7417609⟩. ⟨hal-01241726⟩

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