Drone-based antenna array for service time minimization in wireless networks
In this paper, the effective use of multiple drones as an aerial antenna array that provides wireless service to ground users is investigated. In particular, under the goal of minimizing the service time needed for servicing ground users, a novel framework for deploying a drone- based antenna array system whose elements are single-antenna drones is proposed. To this end, first, the antenna array gain is maximized by optimizing the drone spacing within the array. In this case, using perturbation techniques, the drone spacing optimization problem is addressed by solving successive, perturbed convex optimization problems. In the second step, the optimal locations of the drones around the array’s center are derived such that the service time for each ground user is minimized. Simulation results show that the proposed approach can significantly reduce the service time to ground users compared to a single drone that uses the same amount of power as the array. The results also show that the network’s spectral efficiency can be improved by 78% while leveraging the drone antenna array system.