Daniele Ronzani

Computer Science and Innovation for Societal Challenges, XXXI series
Grant sponsor

Claudio Enrico Palazzi
Andrea Facoetti

Project: Data Gathering and Dissemination over Flying Ad-hoc Networks in Smart Environments
Full text of the dissertation book can be downloaded from: http://paduaresearch.cab.unipd.it/11587/

Abstract: The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has laid the foundations for new possibilities in our life. The ability to communicate with any electronic device has become a fascinating opportunity. Particularly interesting are UAVs (Unmanned Airborne Vehicles), autonomous or remotely controlled flying devices able to operate in many contexts thanks to their mobility, sensors, and communication capabilities. Recently, the use of UAVs has become an important asset in many critical and common scenarios; thereby, various research groups have started to consider UAVs’ potentiality applied on smart environments. UAVs can communicate with each other forming a Flying Ad-hoc Network (FANET), in order to provide complex services that requires the coordination of several UAVs; yet, this also generates challenging communication issues. This dissertation starts from this standpoint, firstly focusing on networking issues and potential solutions already present in the state-of-the-art. To this aim, the peculiar issues of routing in mobile, 3D shaped ad-hoc networks have been investigated through a set of simulations to compare different ad-hoc routing protocols and understand their limits. From this knowledge, our work takes into consideration the differences between classic MANETs and FANETs, highlighting the specific communication performance of UAVs and their specific mobility models. Based on these assumptions, we propose refinements and improvements of routing protocols, as well as their linkage with actual UAV-based applications to support smart services. Particular consideration is devoted to Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTNs), characterized by long packet delays and intermittent connectivity, a critical aspect when UAVs are involved. The goal is to leverage on context-aware strategies in order to design more efficient routing solutions. The outcome of this work includes the design and analysis of new routing protocols supporting efficient UAVs’ communication with heterogeneous smart objects in smart environments. Finally, we discuss about how the presence of UAV swarms may affect the perception of population, providing a critical analysis of how the consideration of these aspects could change a FANET communication infrastructure.