Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Communications: Exploring the Possibilities of a Secure and Reliable Connection

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of applications, from military operations to commercial deliveries. As the technology advances, so too does the need for reliable and secure communication systems to control and monitor UAVs. In this article, we explore the different types of UAV communication systems, their advantages and disadvantages, and how they can be used to improve the safety and efficiency of UAV operations. UAV communication systems work by using one frequency to control the aerial vehicle from the ground by a remote pilot, while the other frequency is used to transmit data or transmit first-person video (FPV). The data link uses radio frequency (RF) transmission to transmit and receive information to and from the UAV.

These transmissions can include location, remaining flight time, distance and location to the target, distance to the pilot, location of the pilot, payload information, aerodynamic speed, altitude, and many other parameters. This data link can also transmit live video from the UAV to the ground control station (GCS) so that the pilot and ground personnel can see what the UAV camera sees. Many techniques can facilitate communication with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). For example, a pilot can use a satellite system to control a UAV; however, this method is expensive and impractical for small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles. Radio control is the most common method for communicating and controlling a UAV.

However, this method has its limitations in terms of distance and data transmission bandwidth. To overcome these limitations, many studies have proposed integrating UAVs into public wireless network infrastructures. This integration can improve the applicability of the UAV and improve the connection of external devices (EDs) to the Internet in a heterogeneous network environment. NTMobile IP mobility is an innovative technology that helps systems to carry out continuous communication in a secure way, even if one of the mobile terminals (MTs) changes IP addresses. In addition, no research has addressed the deployment of seamless IP technology for UAVs. In this study, a prototype UAV was transformed into an MT.

The authors also developed a secure communication system and continuous communication after integrating UAVs and EDs into NTMobile technology. The use of mobile cellular networks to control UAVs provides extended distance coverage and secure wireless communication, which can improve the control and safety associated with the use of the UAV in various missions. This data is needed to determine basic unmanned aerial vehicle (UTM) traffic management policies, which will accelerate the safe integration of unmanned aerial vehicles in unsegregated airspace. If there is no communication with ED within 2 minutes while the UAV is in stationary mode, the flight controller will send the UAV back to the launch point by executing the return-to-launch (RTL) command on the flight controller. This can be achieved by configuring and programming the signal board computer. When the IP of the UAV is changed, the communication is disconnected and the ED must know the new IP address to establish communication with the UAV. The authors followed a method to evaluate the integration of NTMobile into the communication control system of UAVs by forcing UAVs and EDs to change networks at specific reference points. The results indicate that interference when using cellular networks to control UAVs is a major factor that restricts cellular coverage of UAVs in downlink.

In addition, CAT129-EUROCONTROL specification for exchange of surveillance data “Multipurpose structured EUROCONTROL surveillance information exchange (ASTERIX), part 29, category 129” describes a message structure that authorizes transmission of identification of a UAV as well as its location and speed at a specific point and time. The packet flow graph and lists show reconnection of ED to UAV without need for real IP address of UAV. In prototype, flight controller can install ground control station application on board of UAV. In conclusion, integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into public wireless network infrastructures provides extended distance coverage and secure wireless communication which can improve safety associated with using these vehicles in various missions. NTMobile IP mobility technology helps systems carry out continuous communication in a secure way even if one of mobile terminals changes IP addresses. CAT129-EUROCONTROL specification authorizes transmission of identification of a UAV as well as its location and speed at specific point in time.

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