In the next wave of swarm-based applications, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) need to communicate with peer drones in any direction of a three-dimensional (3D) space. On a given drone and across drones, various antenna positions and orientations are possible. We know that, in free space, high levels of signal loss are expected if the transmitting and receiving antennas are cross polarized. However, increasing the reflective and scattering objects in the channel between a transmitter and receiver can cause the received polarization to become completely independent from the transmitted polarization, making the cross-polarization of antennas insignificant. Usually, these effects are studied in the context of cellular and terrestrial networks and have not been analyzed when those objects are the actual bodies of the communicating drones that can take different relative directions or move at various elevations. In this work, we show that the body of the drone can affect the received power across various antenna orientations and positions and act as a local scatterer that increases channel depolarization, reducing the cross-polarization discrimination (XPD). To investigate these effects, we perform experimentation that is staged in terms of complexity from a controlled environment of an anechoic chamber with and without drone bodies tomore »
Effect of Antenna Orientation on the Air-to-Air Channel in Arbitrary 3D Space
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) often lack the size, weight, and power to support large antenna arrays or a large number of radio chains. Despite such limitations, emerging applications that require the use of swarms, where UAVs form a pattern and coordinate towards a common goal, must have the capability to transmit in any direction in three-dimensional (3D) space from moment to moment. In this work, we design a measurement study to evaluate the role of antenna polarization diversity on UAV systems communicating in arbitrary 3D space. To do so, we construct flight patterns where one transmitting UAV is hovering at a high altitude (80 m) and a receiving UAV hovers at 114 different positions that span 3D space at a radial distance of approximately 20 m along equally-spaced elevation and azimuth angles. To understand the role of diverse antenna polarizations, both UAVs have a horizontally-mounted antenna and a vertically-mounted antenna-each attached to a dedicated radio chain-creating four wireless channels. With this measurement campaign, we seek to understand how to optimally select an antenna orientation and quantify the gains in such selections.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2021 IEEE 22nd International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 298 to 303
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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