Reliable and flexible emergency communication is a key challenge for search and rescue in the event of disasters, especially for the case when base stations are no longer functioning. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-assisted networking is emerging as a promising method to establish emergency networks. In this article, a unified framework for a UAV-assisted emergency network is established in disasters. First, the trajectory and scheduling of UAVs are jointly optimized to provide wireless service to ground devices with surviving BSs. Then the transceiver design of UAV and establishment of multihop ground device-to-device communication are studied to extend the wireless coverage of UAV. In addition, multihop UAV relaying is added to realize information exchange between the disaster areas and outside through optimizing the hovering positions of UAVs. Simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of these three schemes. Finally, open research issues and challenges are discussed.
IEEE Wireless Communications
School of Information Technology

Zhao, N. (Nan), Lu, W. (Weidang), Sheng, M. (Min), Chen, Y. (Yunfei), Tang, J. (Jie), Yu, F.R, & Wong, K.-K. (Kai-Kit). (2019). UAV-assisted emergency networks in disasters. IEEE Wireless Communications, 26(1), 45–51. doi:10.1109/MWC.2018.1800160