Deterioration Causes Evaluation of Third Generation Cellular LTE Services for Moving Unmanned Terrestrial and Aerial Systems

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Well-deployed cellular networks offer a cheap wireless solution for the control channel deployment of Remote-Control Vehicles (RCV) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). However, a cellular data transfer service performance is affected by a different kind of User Equipment (UE) mobility. Operating conditions of UAV imply working at different altitudes, variable velocities with accelerations/decelerations and rapidly changed antennas angular position, which lead the wireless signal to be prone to negative effects. Available field measurement studies are not sufficient to provide excessive information on degradation problem causes for UEs moving along a complex trajectory. This paper presents an evaluation of the service quality of live operational 3G and LTE networks for both ground moving and flying UE. It has been found that antennas angular position variations in 3D (for example, during UAV manoeuvers) increase data transfer latency and jitter. Moreover, this effect in conjunction with higher interference at high altitudes may partially or fully block the data transfer service. This paper has been prepared to draw attention to the problem that makes the cellular data transfer service unusable for highly-manoeuvrable UAVs.

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Electrical, Control and Communication Engineering

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