Loughborough University
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Autonomous flying WiFi access point

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conference contribution
posted on 2019-05-16, 14:52 authored by Gareth J. Nunns, Yu-Jia Chen, Deng-Kai Chang, Kai-Min Liao, Fung Po TsoFung Po Tso, Lin Cui
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, are widely used civil and commercial applications. A promising one is to use the drones as relying nodes to extend the wireless coverage. However, existing solutions only focus on deploying them to predefined locations. After that, they either remain stationary or only move in predefined trajectories throughout the whole deployment. In the open outdoor scenarios such as search and rescue or large music events, etc., users can move and cluster dynamically. As a result, network demand will change constantly over time and hence will require the drones to adapt dynamically. In this paper, we present a proof of concept implementation of an UAV access point (AP) which can dynamically reposition itself depends on the users movement on the ground. Our solution is to continuously keeping track of the received signal strength from the user devices for estimating the distance between users devices and the drone, followed by trilateration to localise them. This process is challenging because our on-site measurements show that the heterogeneity of user devices means that change of their signal strengths reacts very differently to the change of distance to the drone AP. Our initial results demonstrate that our drone is able to effectively localise users and autonomously moving to a position closer to them.


This work has been partially supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants EP/P004407/2 and EP/P004024/1.



  • Science


  • Computer Science

Published in

IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC)


278 - 283


NUNNS, G.J. ... et al., 2019. Autonomous flying WiFi access point. Presented at the IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC), Barcelona, Spain, June 30th- July 3rd, pp.278-283.




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Barcelona, Spain

Event dates

29th June 2019 - 3rd July 2019