Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

Fall 12-31-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Abdallah Khreishah

Second Advisor

Nirwan Ansari

Third Advisor

Edwin Hou

Fourth Advisor

Roberto Rojas-Cessa

Fifth Advisor

Guiling Wang

Abstract

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is growing rapidly across many civilian application domains including real-time monitoring, search and rescue, and wireless coverage. UAVs can be used to provide wireless coverage during emergency cases where each UAV serves as an aerial wireless base station when the cellular network goes down. They can also be used to supplement the ground base station in order to provide better coverage and higher data rates for the users. During such situations, the UAVs need to return periodically to a charging station for recharging, due to their limited battery capacity. Given the recharging requirements, the problem of minimizing the number of UAVs required for a continuous coverage of a given area is first studied in this dissertation. Due to the intractability of the problem, partitioning the coverage graph into cycles that start at the charging station is proposed and the minimum number of UAVs to cover such a cycle is characterized based on the charging time, the traveling time and the number of subareas to be covered by a cycle. Based on this analysis, an efficient algorithm is proposed to solve the problem.

In the second part of this dissertation, the problem of optimal placement of a single UAV is studied, where the objective is to minimize the total transmit power required to provide wireless coverage for indoor users. Three cases of practical interest are considered and efficient solutions to the formulated problem under these cases are presented. Due to the limited transmit power of a UAV, the problem of minimizing the number of UAVs required to provide wireless coverage to indoor users is studied and an efficient algorithm is proposed to solve the problem.

In the third part of this dissertation, the problem of maximizing the indoor wireless coverage using UAVs equipped with directional antennas is studied. The case that the UAVs are using one channel is considered, thus in order to maximize the total indoor wireless coverage, the overlapping in their coverage volumes is avoided. Two methods are presented to place the UAVs; providing wireless coverage from one building side and from two building sides. The results show that the upside-down arrangements of UAVs can improve the total coverage by 100% compared to providing wireless coverage from one building side.

In the fourth part of this dissertation, the placement problem of UAVs is studied, where the objective is to determine the locations of a set of UAVs that maximize the lifetime of wireless devices. Due to the intractability of the problem, the number of UAVs is restricted to be one. Under this special case, the problem is formulated as a convex optimization problem under a restriction on the coverage angle of the ground users and a gradient projection based algorithm is proposed to find the optimal location of the UAV. Based on this, an efficient algorithm is proposed for the general case of multiple UAVs. The problem of minimizing the number of UAVs required to serve the ground users such that the time duration of uplink transmission of each wireless device is greater than or equal to a threshold value is also studied. Two efficient methods are proposed to determine the minimum number of UAVs required to serve the wireless devices.

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