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Publication Date

First Quarter 2024

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

The sixth generation (6G) mobile networks aim to provide integrated sensing, communication, localization, and computing services with low latency, high capacity, and high reliability in a real-time communication environment. The emergence of novel technologies is required to achieve a sustainable capacity growth at a low cost and a low energy consumption while meeting diverse Quality-of-Service (QoS) requirements. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications in smart cities, intelligent transportation, and entertainment focused services, like augmented and virtual reality or holographic telepresence, are quickly emerging and accelerating the development of new technologies to meet the strict requirements of future mobile networks.  However, the wireless channel is an unavoidable factor and a primary hindrance in the performance. In addition to being uncontrolled, the wireless propagation channel has an unavoidable detrimental impact on the precision and adaptability of IoT networks. Such limitations motivate a need of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) to facilitate IoT application with low energy consumption, low cost, and low latency. 

Recently, a flexible air-to-ground communication using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been identified as an emerging technology due to agility of the UAVs, cost effectiveness, and flexibility in deployment. The UAV can occasionally establish a LoS link when flying at a high elevation. However, the UAVs are incapable of establishing such LoS links, especially when considering concurrent connections with massive number of ground IoT devices. In such scenario, RISs deployed on the UAVs can help to offer 360-degree full-angle reflection to the user or devices on the ground and add flexibility to improve coverage and network throughput. The flexible RIS-assisted UAVs is a promising direction enabling to improve an effectiveness of the mobile networks for communication of users and IoT devices.

This Special Issue (SI) will address the challenges related to flexible RIS-enabled UAV communications for IoT networks. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Machine learning-driven novel architectures for intelligent surfaces-assisted air-ground communications.
  • Emerging integrated technologies, such as integrated sensing, localization, computing, and communication for flexible RIS-enabled air-ground for IoT networks.
  • Privacy protocols and blockchain-based security for reconfigurable intelligent surfaces-enabled airground communication for IoT networks.
  • Channel estimation, channel modelling, and pilot decontamination for RIS-enabled air-to-ground IoT communications.
  • Aerial platforms with intelligent surfaces and massive MIMO for improved connectivity of IoT devices.
  • Prototypes and test beds for RIS-enabled air-to-ground based IoT networks.
  • Intelligence of swarm and localization in RIS-enabled air-to-ground IoT networks.
  • Flexible RIS-aided green and autonomous UAVs for IoTs.
  • Machine learning for RIS-enabled air-to-ground based IoT networks.
  • Joint optimization of phase shift for RIS and trajectory of aerial platforms.
  • Offloading of tasks to edge servers in RIS-enabled air-to-ground IoT networks.
  • Spectrum management for RIS in air-to-ground IoT networks.
  • Energy-efficient RIS-enabled air-to-ground communication for IoT.
  • IoT communication using a holographic MIMO-based RIS with air-to-ground framework.

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should conform to the IEEE Internet of Things Magazine standard format as indicated in the Information for Authors section of the Article Submission Guidelines. All manuscripts to be considered for publication must be submitted by the deadline through the magazine’s Manuscript Central site. Select “December 2023 / Flexible Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces for Integrated Air-to-Ground Internet of Things: Architecture, Recent Advances, and Future Applications” from the drop-down menu of Topic/Series titles.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 30 October 2023 (Extended Deadline)
Authors’ Revision Notification Date: 30 June 2023
Revised Manuscript Submission Deadline: 30 July 2023
Final Decision Notification Date: 1 September 2023
Publication Date: First Quarter 2024

Guest Editors

Ishtiaq Ahmad (Lead Guest Editor)
Gomal University, Pakistan

Zeeshan Kaleem
COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan

Jan Plachy
Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany

Hina Tabassum
York University, Canada

Zdenek Becvar
Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic

Walid Saad
Virginia Tech, USA