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Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Nowadays, the deployment of drones is not just limited to military and defense establishments, but they are widely deployed in geo-dispersed applications (environmental monitoring, rescue operation monitoring, road and traffic surveillance, natural disaster monitoring, soil and crop analysis, and consumer product delivery). Likewise, multiple drones coordinate and collaborate with each other to form a web of flying computing resources which can sense, analyze, and transmit data to remote cloud servers and storage spaces. 5G-enabled flying automation empowers the astronomically large numbers of connected drones to communicate among themselves and thereafter decisively handle the progressively intricate traffic conditions.

It’s no point of bickering that if the drones are used for doorstep delivery of anything, the process will benefit in many ways. Still, the idea is not endorsed. The rationale for this demeanor is the lack of trust among people to let a strange device enter into secure premises. The resistance will remain until certitude is developed in the system. A mature authentication system for a chip-level authentication of drones may serve the purpose before letting them in the premises. Any such mechanism needs the storage of identity records, for which blockchain is the most suitable contender due to its competency in the distributed environments. Blockchain is expected to storm the world of information storage and retrieval, and it is interesting how the combination of the two is going to affect the entire technological ecosystem.

The application areas of drones are numerous, but the usage of drones in the area of security and surveillance differentiate it from other counterparts. Still, even with their many advantages, drones have a problem with their identity and operation management. Blockchain can be a viable solution to overcome such problems by registering each drone on the blockchain and then permitting it to operate. A spy drone, if used to track something, can pose a great threat to the privacy of individuals and should be dealt with carefully as any violation can lead to severe damages. Therefore, Blockchain Envisioned Drones can help to coordinate the access of drones in the controlled airspace and provide navigation services between locations, referred to as nodes using 5G-enabled flying automation.

This Special Issue (SI) aims at presenting different solutions, mechanisms and architectures to understand and investigate the potential benefits and challenges for Blockchain Envisioned Drones to realize 5G flying automation and beyond. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Data integrity and privacy preservation using Blockchain drones.
  • Blockchain scaling and interplay.
  • Big data and the blockchain.
  • Decentralized applications in 5G-enabled drone communications.
  • Blockchain for cloud/edge/fog analysis for big data evaluations.
  • Edge as a service platform for blockchain in local drone environments. 
  • Blockchain enabled energy harvesting in a 5G enabled drone ecosystem.
  • Blockchain solutions for software defined drone networks.
  • Low-power wide area setup-based 5G-drone networks.
  • Secure data delivery and collection using drones in smart communities.
  • Caching solutions for inter-drone communications using blockchain.
  • Secure content dissemination using drones as enablers in smart communities.
  • Lightweight blockchain solutions for 5G-enabled flying automation.
  • Secure IoT architectures and protocols for drone communication.
  • Secure and adaptive relaying and routing for 5G-enabled drone communication.

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 "January 2021/Blockchain-Envisioned Drones: Realizing 5G-enabled Flying Automation" from the drop-down menu of Topic/Series titles.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 15 March 2020
First Revisions/Reject Notification: 15 May 2020
Notification of Acceptance/Reject: 15 July 2020
Final Manuscript Due: 30 August 2020
Publication Date: January 2021

Guest Editors

Sahil Garg
École de technologie supérieure
Université du Québec
Montreal, Canada

Gagangeet Singh Aujla
Newcastle University
United Kingdom

Aiman Erbad
Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues
Federal University of Piauí
Brazil and Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal

Min Chen
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Wuhan, China

Xianbin Wang
Western University
Ontario, Canada