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Publication Date

First Quarter of 2024

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

With the rapid development of wireless communication networks and related technologies, the number of users and the demand for services are increasing. People have put forward higher requirements for communication network coverage, communication quality, and communication rate. The emergence of 6G to us outlining a virtual fit of the Internet world. In such a world, communication technology is closely integrated with cloud computing, edge computing, big data, artificial intelligence, etc. Humans can enjoy a seamlessly linked 6G network and roam in a world where the virtual and the real intertwine. With the vision of 6G space-air-ground integrated networks, a healthier, more collaborative, and more sustainable world will become a reality with powerful technologies, and a truly connected world will begin.

It is difficult to meet the performance requirements of users all over the world by relying solely on traditional terrestrial networks for communication, and it is also difficult to adapt to the new 6G environment with edge computing and cloud computing as the basic needs. People urgently need a practical new network to make up for the gap between traditional communication and diversified personalized customized new business needs. Aerial computing can well adapt to the above characteristics and will also become an important support technology for 6G space-air-ground integrated networks. It will occupy the technical high ground in the fields of High-Speed Internet Access, Digital Twins, Holographic Communication, and Intelligent Industry.

Aerial computing is not only a highlight of the 6G space-air-ground integrated networks but also an important foothold for achieving the vision of seamless global coverage. Future aerial computing will no longer pursue the complete replacement of terrestrial networks as in the late 20th century but pay more attention to how to complement the advantages of terrestrial networks and achieve close integration. Typical aerial computing consists of three parts of computing resources, including a space-based network composed of various satellites in orbit, an air-based network composed of aircraft, and a traditional ground-based network. Among them, the computing resources of the terrestrial network include cellular wireless networks, satellite ground stations, mobile satellite terminals, and ground data processing centers.

Compared with the existing single computing model, aerial computing has a broader application prospect. It fully integrates various aviation systems, so it has the characteristics of wide coverage, convenient mobile access, distributed computing, high flexibility, and scalability. This intelligent computing network has many potential advantages and additional benefits. For example, it helps to make full use of all spectrum resources to achieve full coverage of ground-to-air communications. At present, many related technologies with the latest development trends, such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), Deep Learning (DL), Intelligent Reflective Surface (IRS), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Federated Learning (FL), and Internet of Things(IoT), etc., can bring new development opportunities when deeply integrated with aerial computing. Although the research and construction of aerial computing are very promising in the future 6G communication system, the research on this concept is still in its infancy, and it is necessary to further explore and enhance the network science and engineering potential behind aerial computing. In addition to focusing on the huge advantages it will bring in 6G space-air-ground integrated networks, we should also pay attention to and actively respond to the challenges it brings, such as data security issues, the energy supply of airborne equipment, communication efficiency, etc.

In the field of aerial computing, we should also consider the design of air interface technology, power control, network architecture, and intelligent control in its 6G communication and computing system. When considering these problems, it is also necessary to take into account the heterogeneity of the aviation network, the high dynamics of the space nodes, the time-varying topology, the broadness of the space-time scale, the limitation of the space node resources and the security of the satellite routing. Therefore, while paying attention to the technical conditions and convenience brought by 6G space-air-ground integrated networks to aerial computing, we should also pay attention to how the above difficulties can be properly handled in aerial computing. In summary, under the advantages of 6G, aerial computing, the converged and collaborative network model, still has a long development process in the design of efficient network architecture, multi-network converged communication mode and inter-satellite routing protocols.

This Special Issue is intended to cause extensive discussion of aerial computing by professionals and will provide a platform to display and share the most advanced technical achievements in this field. Therefore, this Special Issue will focus on the latest applications of aviation computing in different scenarios and its latest progress in research points such as architecture design, load balancing, network slicing, and access control, to explore how this technology can provide more reliable computing, communication and caching services for global users.

In summary, aerial computing in the 6G space-air-ground integrated networks calls for new ideas, theories, designs, mechanisms, frameworks, technologies, and engineering practices to better support future edge computing and the 6G space-air-ground integrated networks. The increasing dominance of capturing and processing massive data across mainstream industries, which decides the potential in the field of aerial computing will be continuously tapped. We are at the beginning of aerial computing, and it is very exciting to participate in the creation and exploration of this technology. aerial computing's impact on traditional communication methods and network science may persist in the short term, but in the long time, it may promote the perfect integration between existing communication networks and future network science. All the above reasons motivate us to propose the feature topic of "Aerial Computing Networks in 6G ". By this chance, we seek to bring together researchers from both academia and industry to present their latest findings, advancements, and achievements in the field of aerial computing. At the same time, we would like to point out promising research opportunities for the readers.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Application of edge/fog/cloud computing in aerial computing
  • Network science and engineering practice in aerial computing
  • Resource scheduling and allocation scheme for aerial computing
  • Software-Defined Networking and virtualization technology in aerial computing
  • The emerging technology of aerial IoT and its application
  • Communication architecture for aerial computing
  • AI-Enabled aerial computing
  • Optimization methods of computing resources in aerial computing
  • standards and protocols in aerial computing networks for 6G
  • Design and Evaluation of Performance Metrics in aerial computing
  • Security and privacy issues in aerial computing
  • Blockchain and aerial chain for aerial computing applications
  • Federated Learning Based on aerial computing
  • Expansion scheme in aerial computing
  • Application of Distributed AI Model in aerial computing
  • High Dynamic in aerial computing
  • Routing technology in aerial computing

Submission Guidelines

Papers submitted to this special issue for possible publication must be original and must not be under consideration for publication in any other journal or conference.

All papers are to be submitted through the journal editorial submission system. At the beginning of the submission process in the submission system, authors need to select “Special Issue on Aerial Computing Networks in 6G” as the article type.

All manuscripts must be prepared according to the journal publication guidelines, which can also be found on the website provided above. Papers will be evaluated following the journal's standard review process.

All papers will be reviewed by at least three reviewers for their technical merit, scope, and relevance to the CFP.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 30 May 2023
First Review Round:  30 July 2023
Revised Manuscripts Due: 30 October 2023
Notification of Final Decision: 30 December 2023
Final Accepted Manuscript Due: 30 January 2024
Issue of Publication: First Quarter of 2024

Guest Editors

Yang Yang (Lead)
Terminus Group and Peng Cheng Laboratory, China

Chen Chen
Xidian University, China

Rose Hu
Utah State University, USA

Schahram Dustdar
TU Wien, Austria

Qingqi Pei
Key Laboratory of BlockChain of Shaanxi Province, China