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UAS Networking


UAVs are no longer limited to hobbyists. NASA started researching ways of integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) in the national airspace in early 2015 and industry giants like Intel, AT&T and Qualcomm are conducting research involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The world is slowly moving towards UAV networks.

The first and the foremost requirement towards realization of UAV networks is a robust and integrated link – that combines the currently diversified telemetry, control and data link.  The models required to create a robust and integrated link are absent.

Fig. 1 — UAV network configuration

Fig. 2 – Software defined radio link (SDRL).

To that effect, we have undertaken a campaign to gather data through static hovering flight tests. We use two different platforms – ARGO (an AFSL developed octocopter) and 3DR Solo (commercial off the shelf quadrotor) to hover at predefined waypoints in space for a certain duration and collect RSSI and Packet Success Rate data by transmitting packets from an SDR mounted on a UAV to another SDR on the ground.


Fig. 3 — Platforms for static hovering flight tests (left: Argo, right: Solo)

Once we complete the static tests. We plan to graduate to flight tests involving fixed wing drones. The immediate aim is to provide researchers with an air-ground communication link RF database to facilitate the development of models that characterize the air-ground communication link.


Video – SDR-equipped UAV testbed developed by FuNLab and AFSL at UW.

UW UAV Channel Measurement Database