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  1. Command and control (C2) data links over cellular networks is envisioned to be a reliable communications modality for various types of missions for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The planning of UAS traffic and the provision of cellular communication resources are cross-coupled decisions that should be analyzed together to understand the quality of service such a modality can provide that meets business needs. The key to effective planning is the accurate estimation of communication link quality and the resource usage for a given air traffic requirement. In this work, a simulation and modelling framework is developed that integrates two open-source simulation platforms, Repast Simphony and ns-3, to generate UAS missions over different geographical areas and simulates the provision of 4G/5G cellular network connectivity to support their C2 and mission data links. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first simulator that co-simulates air traffic and cellular network communications for UAS while leveraging standardized 3GPP propagation models and incorporating detailed management of communication channels (i.e., resource blocks) at the cellular base station level. Three experiments were executed to demonstrate how the integrated simulation platform can be used to provide guidelines in communication resource allocation, air traffic management, and mission safetymore »management in beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 5, 2023