Connecting Disjoint Nodes Through a UAV-Based Wireless Network for Bridging Communication Using IEEE 802.11 Protocols

Hanif Ullah, Mamun Abu-Tair, Sally I McClean, PA Nixon, Gerard Parr, Chunbo Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Cooperative aerial wireless networks composed of small unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs) are easy and fast to deploy and provide on the fly communication facilities in situations where part of the communication infrastructure is destroyed and the survivors need to be rescued on emergency basis. In this article, we worked on such a cooperative aerial UAV-based wireless network to connect the two participating stations. The proposed method provides on the fly communication facilities to connect the two ground stations through a wireless access point (AP) mounted on a UAV using the IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n. We conducted our experiments both indoor and outdoor to investigate the performance of IEEE 802.11 protocol stack including a/b/g/n. We envisioned two different cases: line of sight (LoS) and non-line of sight (NLoS). In LoS, we consider three different scenarios with respect to UAV altitude and performed the experiments at different altitudes to measure the performance and applicability of the proposed system in catastrophic situations and healthcare applications. Similarly, for NLoS, we performed a single set of experiments in an indoor environment. Based on our observations from the experiments, 802.11n at 2.4 GHz outperforms the other IEEE protocols in terms of data rate followed by 802.11n at 5 GHz band. We also concluded that 802.11n is the more suitable protocol that can be practiced in disastrous situations such as rescue operations and healthcare applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142
JournalEURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Ulster University for supporting this work through Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship (VCRS). The authors also would like to thank Invest NI and British Telecom (BT) for supporting this work through BT Ireland Innovation centre (BTIIC).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 2.4 and 5 GHz band
  • Bridging communication
  • Cooperative aerial wireless networks
  • Disaster management
  • Ground stations
  • IEEE 802.11 standards
  • UAV-based wireless network


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