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When UAV Meets IRS: Expanding Air-Ground Networks via Passive Reflection

Pang, X; Sheng, M; Zhao, N; Tang, J; Niyato, D; Wong, K-K; (2021) When UAV Meets IRS: Expanding Air-Ground Networks via Passive Reflection. IEEE Wireless Communications , 28 (5) pp. 164-170. 10.1109/MWC.010.2000528. Green open access

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Abstract

Thanks to their flexibility and mobility, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been widely applied in wireless networks. However, UAV communications may suffer from blockage and eavesdropping in practical scenarios due to the complex environment. Taking the recent advances in intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) to reconfigure the propagation environments, in this article, we employ IRS to enhance the performance of UAV-aided air-ground networks. First, we overview the combination of UAV and IRS, by introducing the diverse applications of IRS and the appealing advantages of UAV, and highlighting the benefits of combining them. Then, we investigate two case studies where the UAV trajectory, the transmit beamforming and the IRS passive beamforming are jointly optimized. In the first case study, by equipping the IRS on a UAV, the average achievable rate of the relaying network is maximized. In the second one, the IRS is deployed to assist the UAV-ground communication while combating the adversarial eavesdropper. Simulation results are provided to demonstrate the performance enhancement resulting from combining UAV and IRS in air-ground networks. Finally, we shed light on some challenging issues to be resolved for practical implementations in this direction.

Type: Article
Title: When UAV Meets IRS: Expanding Air-Ground Networks via Passive Reflection
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/MWC.010.2000528
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1109/MWC.010.2000528
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Unmanned aerial vehicles, Trajectory, Array signal processing, Quality of service, Eavesdropping, Wireless networks
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139768
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