Achiel Colpaert, Evgenii Vinogradov, and Sofie Pollin
In future drone applications fast moving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will need to be connected via a high throughput ultra reliable wireless link. MmWave communication is assumed to be a promising technology for UAV communication, as the narrow beams cause little interference to and from the ground. A challenge for such networks is the beamforming requirement, and the fact that frequent handovers are required as the cells are small. In the UAV communication research community, mobility and especially handovers are often neglected, however when considering beamforming, antenna array sizes start to matter and the effect of azimuth and elevation should be studied, especially their impact on handover rate and outage capacity. This paper aims to fill some of this knowledge gap and to shed some light on the existing problems. This work will analyse the performance of 3D beamforming and handovers for UAV networks through a case study of a realistic 5G deployment using mmWave. We will look at the performance of a UAV flying over a city utilizing a beamformed mmWave link.