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Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have found a wide range of civilian and commercial applications, such as for traffic control, cargo delivery, precise agriculture, video streaming, rescue and search, and communication relaying. To practically realize the wide usage of UAVs, it is imperative to develop innovative wireless communication technologies not only for supporting the ultra-reliable and secure UAV remote command and control (C&C) to ensure their safe operations, but also for enabling the high-capacity mission-related data transmissions for rate-demanding applications. Integrating UAVs into 5G (and beyond) cellular systems is a promising technology to achieve such goals. On one hand, those UAVs with their own missions could be connected into cellular networks as special aerial users, which are referred to as cellular-connected UAVs. Thanks to the almost ubiquitous accessibility and advanced authentication mechanisms of today’s Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and the forthcoming 5G networks, cellular-connected UAVs are expected to achieve orders-of-magnitude performance improvement over the traditional direct ground-to-UAV communications (typically in the unlicensed band), in terms of reliability, security, operation range, and throughput. Therefore, 3GPP has recently approved the study item on enhanced support for aerial vehicles using LTE. On the other hand, dedicated UAVs (such as drones, helikite, balloons) could also be dispatched as aerial communication platforms, to further assist the terrestrial communications in 5G, which are referred to as UAV-assisted 5G communications. UAV-assisted 5G communications have numerous use cases, including base station (BS) offloading, swift service recovery after natural disasters, emergency response, rescue and search, information dissemination and data collection for Internet of Things (IoTs) and machine-type communications.

The integration of UAVs into 5G and beyond calls for a paradigm shift on the design of both cellular and UAV communications systems, due to the high altitude and mobility of UAVs, the unique channel characteristics of UAV-ground links, the asymmetric quality of service (QoS) requirements for downlink C&C and uplink mission-related data transmission, the stringent constraints imposed by the size, weight, and power (SWAP) limitations of UAVs, as well as the additional design degrees of freedom with joint UAV mobility control and communication resource allocation. Therefore, the proposed special issue aims to bring together researchers, industry practitioners, and individuals working on the related areas to share their new ideas, latest findings, and state-of-the-art results. Prospective authors are invited to submit articles on topics including, but not limited to:

  • New opportunities/challenges/use cases for integrating UAVs into 5G and beyond
  • Field measurement and prototype results for LTE-connected UAVs
  • Channel measurement and modeling for UAV-ground and UAV-UAV communications
  • New architecture and communication protocols with aerial users/platforms
  • Security and safety issues of UAV systems
  • Spectrum management and multiple access schemes for cellular-connected UAVs
  • Interference mitigation for cellular-connected UAVs
  • Cellular systems with coexisting aerial and terrestrial users
  • 3D beamforming for cellular-connected UAVs
  • MIMO/massive MIMO/millimeter wave technologies for UAV systems
  • 3D aerial BS placement
  • UAV trajectory optimization with QoS constraints
  • Joint UAV trajectory design and resource allocation
  • Spectrum sharing and coordination between aerial and ground BSs
  • Energy consumption model of UAVs
  • Energy-efficient UAV communications
  • Real-time video broadcasting from the UAV to 5G network
  • UAVs with caching/edge computing/wireless power

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 “February 2019: Integrating UAVs into 5G and Beyond” topic from the drop-down menu of Topic/Series titles.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: May 20, 2017
Initial Decision Date: August 15, 2018
Revised Manuscript Due: September 6, 2018
Final Decision Date: September 26, 2018
Final Manuscript Due: October 10, 2018
Publication Date: February 2019

Guest Editors

Yong Zeng
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Mérouane Debbah
Huawei France R&D, Paris, France

David Gesbert

Ismail Guvenc
North Carolina State University, USA

Shi Jin
Southeast University, China

Jie Xu
Guangdong University of Technology, China