Optimizing Number, Placement, and Backhaul Connectivity of Multi-UAV Networks

by   Javad Sabzehali, et al.

Multi-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Networks is a promising solution to providing wireless coverage to ground users in challenging rural areas (such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices in farmlands), where the traditional cellular networks are sparse or unavailable. A key challenge in such networks is the 3D placement of all UAV base stations such that the formed Multi-UAV Network (i) utilizes a minimum number of UAVs while ensuring – (ii) backhaul connectivity directly (or via other UAVs) to the nearby terrestrial base station, and (iii) wireless coverage to all ground users in the area of operation. This joint Backhaul-and-coverage-aware Drone Deployment (BoaRD) problem is largely unaddressed in the literature, and, thus, is the focus of the paper. We first formulate the BoaRD problem as Integer Linear Programming (ILP). However, the problem is NP-hard, and therefore, we propose a low complexity algorithm with a provable performance guarantee to solve the problem efficiently. Our simulation study shows that the Proposed algorithm performs very close to that of the Optimal algorithm (solved using ILP solver) for smaller scenarios. For larger scenarios, the proposed algorithm greatly outperforms the baseline approaches – backhaul-aware greedy and random algorithm, respectively by up to 17 95 backhaul connectivity for all deployed UAVs across all considered simulation setting.


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