UAV-assisted Broadband Network for Emergency and Public Safety Communications

Danda B. Rawat • Robin Grodi

11:20 - 11:40 | Monday 14 December 2015 | Diamond


Communication during emergency situations is crucial to saving lives. Rescue workers at an emergency scene need to be able to coordinate and communicate effectively. Despite the vast improvements in personal communication networks, public safety communication has been lacking. A recent bill from Congress and the FCC has provided the groundwork for the creation of a nationwide broadband public safety communication network. This advancement in technology will allow rescue workers to receive critical information updates in all forms of media (e.g., video, text and voice). A problem arises when communication tower is destroyed; this network will no longer function for that area. A solution must be created to temporarily cover the partially or completely destroyed networks or towers' assigned area to restore their connectivity and to connect them to the global network. In this paper, we design an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) network that can be used to route broadband data similar to a communication tower for when the main network is unusable. Using global geolocation map, the optimal/sufficient number of UAVs can be sent out quickly to the geolocation of a destroyed tower and route traffic accordingly. UAVs also have the advantage of being airborne, allowing for better line of sight with ground users. Simulation results show that the proposed design has better performance in terms of channel capacity and throughput when signal strength is lower.