Monday 15 January 2018

Autonomous Relaying Drones

Came across this post from Prof. David Gesbert about the project ERC PERFUME are involved in. The post says:

Autonomous Flying Cellular Relay Robots

The team of ERC Advanced PERFUME project ( at EURECOM under Prof. David Gesbert recently pioneered autonomous flying base station relays. The aerial robots  use machine learning to self-optimize their position based on suitable radio measurements and provide end-to-end enhanced connectivity to mobile users carrying off-the-shelf commercial terminals.  The communication layer builds on the OpenAirInterface developped at EURECOM's Communications Systems Department.

A first video was just unveiled here:

I have written about drones multiple times in the past (see here, here & here for example). Last week I looked at the relays (or Relay Nodes, RNs) as defined by 3GPP. We could safely assume that this autonomous relaying drone is Layer 3 Type 1a/1b RN.

I have heard multiple operators talking about this kind of approach where a person or group of people can get preferential services via drones in festivals and events. Of course it would make sense that these people are on some VIP package or emergency services workers.

Its an interesting concept but there will be many open questions. It would have to be tried for a long time to identify and iron out all the issues.

Do you agree / disagree?

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