Skip to main content
Publications lead hero image abstract pattern


Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Drones have wide application prospects and will be one of the most important innovation areas in the future. At present, the main application is single machine operation within the visual range controlled by humans, and networking capability will be an important basis for accelerating the popularization of civilian drone applications and expanding new application fields. Whether as an innovative application of the drone itself or as an expansion of information terminal types, innovative application services, business models and application spaces are limitless. With the continuous rapid growth of the drone market and the sustained expansion of the application range, the limitations of short-distance flight and signal instability brought by the existing point-to-point communication solutions of drones have become increasingly prominent. At the same time, the frequent occurrence of unauthorized flight and safety accidents of drones also creates an urgent need for regulatory policies, and the development of drone networking interconnection is imperative.

Drone networking connected to the low altitude mobile communication network can realize the supervision of equipment, the standardization of flight routes and the improvement of efficiency, and promote the rational utilization of airspace, thereby greatly extending the application field of drones and generating great economic value. It is predicted that the number of consumer-grade drones will reach 16 million in 2020. Based on the new generation of cellular mobile communication networks, drone networking will be endowed with important capabilities of real-time ultra-high-definition image transmission, remote low-latency control and permanent online, and there will be an intelligent network of tens of millions of drones around the world, providing a variety of personal and industry services such as aerial photography, delivery and exploration 24 hours a day without interruption.

With the rapid development of the drone industry, the demand for communication of innovative applications of drones is not only limited to point-to-point communication between drones and remote controls, but also presents a trend of development that is closely integrated with cellular mobile communication technology and becomes drone networking. The new generation of mobile communication technology has the characteristics of ultra-high bandwidth, low latency, high reliability, wide coverage and large connection, which will bring four capabilities for UAV networking, including high-definition image transmission, remote control, status monitoring and hardcover positioning. Meanwhile, with the continuous maturing of long-range endurance and safety management and control technology of drones, it is bound to drive the accelerated development of civilian drones, promote the transformation of traditional industry collaboration models, and open a new space for the drone industry service market. The demand for new applications and the emergence of new technologies make the development of drone networking inevitable. At the same time, the large-scale commercial application of drone networking also faces many challenges, such as technology integration, industry supervision, air safety, cross-border cooperation and so on. It needs the multi-party participation and joint efforts of the industrial chain such as government departments, operators, drones and communication enterprises to jointly promote the vigorous development of the new ecology of low-altitude digital industry.

3GPP is standardizing UAV technologies, ranging from system architecture, security, and impact to radio access networks. IEEE/ASTM/IETF also has activities to provide relevant technologies in support of emerging UAV operations. For example, ASTM International has released the UAV "remote ID" tracking standard, which has functions similar to car license plates. The technology supported by the remote ID standard allows the general public and public safety officials to use assigned IDs to identify drones. It is necessary to clarify management requirements and steadily advance the pilot verification of networked drones. As soon as possible, the regulations for the flight management of unmanned aircraft will be improved, the main body of management responsibility will be clarified, the airspace application and approval process will be simplified, and the construction of flight management and service system will be carried out. We will also see the formulation of the top-level plan of networked unmanned aerial vehicles as soon as possible, organizing the implementation of relevant technical verification and standard formulation, and steadily promoting the opening of low-altitude airspace.

Motivated by these developments, we are organizing this special issue on Drone Networking to provide a platform for researchers to share their innovative work in the field of Drone Networking. For this Special Issue (SI) we are soliciting high quality papers that highlight up-to-date technology related to Drone Networking. The SI will serve as a forum for researchers all over the world to discuss their work and recent advances in this field. In particular, the SI is going to showcase the most recent achievements and developments in Drone Networking Standards exploration. Both theoretical studies and state-of-the-art practical applications are welcome for submission. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Drone networking standards
  • Drone networking systems and communications
  • High definition image transmission protocols in drone networking
  • Software defined drone networking
  • Remote control of drone networking
  • Flight status monitoring of drone networking
  • Precise positioning of drone networking
  • Security and privacy of drone networking
  • Optimization of coverage capability and transmission rate for drone networking
  • Optimization of low altitude network switching for drone networking
  • Optimization of mobility management strategy for drone networking
  • Long-range endurance and automatic charging of drone networking
  • Supervision solutions for drone networking
  • Drone networking for infrastructure inspection
  • Drone networking for agricultural plant protection
  • Drone networking for logistics express distribution
  • Drone networking for public safety monitoring
  • Application of drone networking in entertainment
  • Drone networking for post-disaster rescue

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should conform to the standard format as indicated in the Information for Authors section of the Paper Submission Guidelines.

All manuscripts to be considered for publication must be submitted by the deadline through Manuscript Central. Select the “September 2021/Drone Networking” topic from the drop-down menu of Topic/Series titles.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 31 January 2021 (Extended Deadline)
First review due: 31 March 2021
Revision Due: 30 April 2021
Acceptance Notification: 31 May 2021
Final Camera Ready Files Due: 1 July 2021
Publication Date: September 2021

Guest Editors

Zhihan Lv
Qingdao University, China

Houbing Song
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA.

Jaime Lloret
Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain.