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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092913

DroneTank: Planning UAVs’ Flights and Sensors’ Data Transmission under Energy Constraints

†,‡,* and
School of Computer Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China
Current Address: No. 2 SEU Road, Jiangning District, Nanjing 211189, China.
Both authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 2 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

We consider an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, also known as drone) as an aerial sink to travel along a natural landscape or rural industrial linear infrastructure to collect data from deployed sensors. We study a joint schedule problem that involves flight planning for the drone and transmission scheduling for sensors, such that the maximum amount of data can be collected with a limited individual energy budget for the UAV and the sensors, respectively. On one hand, the flight planning decides the flight speed and flight path based on sensor locations, energy budgets, and the transmission schedule. On the other hand, the transmission schedule decides for each sensor when to deliver data and what transmission power to use based on the energy budgets and flight plan. By observing three import optimality properties, we decouple the joint problem into two subproblems: drone flight planning and sensor transmission scheduling. For the first problem, we propose a dynamic programming algorithm to produce the optimal flight planning. For the second problem, with a flight plan as input, we introduce a novel technique (water-tank), which together with dynamic programming, is the key to achieve an optimal transmission schedule that maximizes data collection. Simulations show that the separately determined flight plan and transmission schedule are near-optimal for the original joint problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic Programming; water-tank method; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); flight planning; transmission scheduling dynamic Programming; water-tank method; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); flight planning; transmission scheduling
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Xiong, R.; Shan, F. DroneTank: Planning UAVs’ Flights and Sensors’ Data Transmission under Energy Constraints. Sensors 2018, 18, 2913.

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