A method for deploying the minimal number of UAV base stations in cellular networks

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we consider the scenario of using unmanned aerial vehicles base stations UAV-BSs to serve cellular users. In particular, we focus on finding the minimum number of UAV-BSs as well as their deployment. We propose an optimization model which minimizes the number of UAV-BSs and optimize their positions such that the user equipment UE covered ratio is no less than the expectation of network suppliers, the UEs receive acceptable downlink rates, and the UAV-BSs can work in a sustainable manner. We show the NP-hardness of this problem and then propose a method to address it. The method first estimates the range of the number of UAV-BSs and then converts the original problem to one which maximizes the UE served ratio, given the number of UAV-BSs within that range. We present a maximizing algorithm to solve it with the proof of convergence. Extensive simulations based on a realistic dataset have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8920200
Pages (from-to)559-567
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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