Wireless-Enabled Asynchronous Federated Fourier Neural Network for Turbulence Prediction in Urban Air Mobility (UAM)

To meet the growing mobility needs in intra-city transportation, the concept of urban air mobility (UAM) has been proposed in which vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft are used to provide a ride-hailing service. In UAM, aircraft can operate in designated air spaces known as corridors, that link the aerodromes, thus avoiding the use of complex routing strategies such as those of modern-day helicopters and alleviating the burden on the ground transportation system. For safety, a UAM aircraft must use air-to-ground communications to report flight plan, off-nominal events, and real-time movement to ground base stations (GBSs). A reliable communication network between GBSs and aircraft enables UAM to adequately utilize the airspace and create a fast, efficient, and safe transportation system. In this paper, to characterize the wireless connectivity performance for UAM, a suitable spatial model is proposed. For the considered setup, assuming that any given aircraft communicates with the closest GBS, the distribution of the distance between an arbitrarily selected GBS and its associated aircraft and the Laplace transform of the interference experienced by the GBS are derived. Using these results, the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR)-based connectivity probability is determined to capture the connectivity performance of the UAM aircraft-to-ground communication network. Then, leveraging these connectivity results, a wireless-enabled asynchronous federated learning (AFL) framework that uses a Fourier neural network is proposed to tackle the challenging problem of turbulence prediction during UAM operations. For this AFL scheme, a staleness-aware global aggregation scheme is introduced to expedite the convergence to the optimal turbulence prediction model used by UAM aircraft. Simulation results validate the theoretical derivations for the UAM wireless connectivity. The results also demonstrate that the proposed AFL framework converges to the optimal turbulence prediction model faster than the synchronous federated learning baselines and a staleness-free AFL approach. Furthermore, the results characterize the performance of wireless connectivity and convergence of the aircraft’s turbulence model under different parameter settings, offering useful UAM design guidelines.