CoMP in the Sky: UAV Placement and Movement Optimization for Multi-User Communications

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145 Citations (Scopus)


Driven by the recent advancement in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, this paper proposes a new wireless network architecture of coordinate multipoint (CoMP) in the sky to harness both the benefits of interference mitigation via CoMP and high mobility of UAVs. Specifically, we consider uplink communications in a multi-UAV enabled multi-user system, where each UAV forwards its received signals from all ground users to a central processor (CP) for joint decoding. Moreover, we consider the case where the users may move on the ground, thus the UAVs need to adjust their locations in accordance with the user locations over time to maximize the network throughput. Utilizing random matrix theory, we first characterize, in closed form, a set of approximated upper and lower bounds of the user's achievable rate in each time epoch under the practical Rician fading channel model, which is shown to be very tight, both analytically and numerically. UAV placement and movement over different epochs are then optimized based on the derived bounds to maximize the minimum of user average achievable rates over all epochs for both cases of full information (of current and future epochs) and current information on the user's movement. Interestingly, it is shown that the optimized location of each UAV at any particular epoch is the weighted average of the ground user locations at the current epoch as well as its own location at the previous and/or next epoch. Finally, simulation results are provided to validate and compare the performance of the proposed UAV placement and movement designs under different practical application scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8675440
Pages (from-to)5645 - 5658
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


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