As we head towards a pervasive digital transformation aiming at more efficient, automated, and flexible processes, a growing number of tasks are being delegated to machines. Drones—a.k.a. UAVs—, the most mobile of them all, are the logical candidates to take over many such missions. What will it take for drones—and the whole associated ecosystem—to take off? Arguably, infallible command and control channels for safe and autonomous flying, and high-throughput links for multi-purpose live video streaming. Meeting these aspirations may entail a full cellular support, provided through 5G-and-beyond hardware and software upgrades by both operators and UAV manufacturers. Will current cellular networks suffice to meet the demanding UAV communication link requirements? Or should the operators, primarily catering to ground users, implement substantial upgrades? In this talk, well founded answers to such—and many other—key questions will unfold as we discuss:
Giovanni Geraci is an Assistant Professor at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He was previously a Research Scientist with Nokia Bell Labs and holds a Ph.D. from the UNSW Sydney. He serves as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Communications Letters, and has been a panelist, workshop keynote and co-chair, and industrial or tutorial speaker at IEEE ICC, IEEE Globecom, IEEE WCNC, IEEE PIMRC, and IEEE VTC. He is co-inventor of a dozen granted or pending patents on wireless communications and networking. He was the recipient of the IEEE PIMRC’19 Best Paper Award and of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher Award for Europe, Middle-East & Africa.
Recent advances in drone technologies are making it possible for drones to transport goods, monitor disaster areas, and bring various forms of relief, connectivity, and assistance to areas that are otherwise difficult to access. This talk will cover our recent work on developing autonomous, programmable, and optimized wireless networks of unmanned aerial vehicles in a number of different scenarios. We will discuss applications of drones to augment cellular connectivity while carrying software-defined base stations, or to stream live video in cellular networks. We will then cover applications of self-optimizing networks of drones in disaster and in tactical scenarios, and discuss open research challenges that need to be solved to enable true seamless and programmable connectivity for wireless networks of drones.
Tommaso Melodia is the William Lincoln Smith Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the Director of Research for the PAWR Project Office. He received his Laurea (integrated BS and MS) from the University of Rome - La Sapienza and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007. He is an IEEE Fellow and recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Prof. Melodia is serving as Editor in Chief for Computer Networks, and has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, among others. He was the Technical Program Committee Chair for IEEE Infocom 2018, and General Chair for ACM MobiHoc 2020, IEEE SECON 2019, ACM Nanocom 2019, and ACM WUWNet 2014. Prof. Melodia’s research on modeling, optimization, and experimental evaluation of Internet-of-Things and wireless networked systems has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, several industrial partners, the Air Force Research Laboratory the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and the Army Research Laboratory.