Ultra-reliable and low-latency communications in unmanned aerial vehicle communication systems

Changyang She, Chenxi Liu, Tony Q.S. Quek, Chenyang Yang, Yonghui Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we establish a framework for enabling ultra-reliable and low-latency communications in the control and non-payload communications (CNPC) links of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communication systems. We first derive the available range of the CNPC links between UAVs and a ground control station. The available range is defined as the maximal horizontal communication distance within which the round-Trip delay and the overall packet loss probability can be ensured with a required probability. To exploit the macro-diversity gain of the distributed multi-Antenna systems (DAS) and the array gain of the centralized multi-Antenna systems (CAS), we consider a modified DAS (M-DAS), where the ground control station is equipped with the distributed access points (APs), and each AP can have multiple antennas. We then show that the available range can be maximized by judiciously optimizing the altitude of UAVs, the duration of the uplink and downlink phases, and the antenna configuration. To solve the non-convex problem, we propose an algorithm that can converge to the optimal solution in DAS and CAS, and then extend it into more general M-DAS. The simulation and numerical results validate our analysis and show that the available range of M-DAS can be significantly larger than those of the DAS and CAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8630650
Pages (from-to)3768-3781
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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