A Survey of Radio Propagation Channel Modelling for Low Altitude Flying Base Stations

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The increased utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the commercial market and military on account of their agility, nonpiloted and easy manoeuvering leads their applications in the telecommunication sector as well. It is expected that UAVs will play a vital role in 5G and Beyond 5G (B5G) networks as flying base stations (BSs) and/or relays. Recently, they are also proposed to assist the existing terrestrial communication infrastructure in forthcoming 5G/B5G to provide improved wireless network coverage particularly to the areas difficult to reach, the scenarios demanding high data rate and low latency on emergency needs, transceiving sensors data from field to the ground servers and providing wireless network coverage in a disaster where existing terrestrial communication infrastructure gets partially/severely damaged. However, it is of an utmost challenge to model the radio propagation channel from a UAV (low altitude platforms) to existing terrestrial BSs, the receiver on ground and with other flying UAVs in a network. This paper provides a survey of both measurement and simulation based radio propagation channel modelling investigations for a low altitude UAV enabled wireless network. Furthermore, the potential open research gaps and use cases are highlighted which will be key to define the role of UAVs in future wireless networks for various applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107122
JournalComputer Networks
Early online date14 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 22 Apr 2020


  • Air-to-ground
  • Disaster management
  • Flying base station
  • Low altitude platform (LAP)
  • Radio propagation channel (RPC)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)


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