Optimal Deployment and Operation of Robotic Aerial 6G Small Cells with Grasping End Effectors

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Although airborne base stations (ABSs) mounted on drones show a significant potential to enhance network capacity and coverage due to their flexible deployment, the system performance is severely limited by the endurance of the on-board battery. To overcome this key shortcoming, we are exploring robotic airborne base station (RABS) with energy neutral grasping end-effectors able to autonomously perch at tall urban landforms. This paper studies the optimal deployment (fly to another grasping location or remain in the same one) and operation (active or sleep at an epoch) of RABS based on the spatio-temporal characteristics of underlying traffic demand from end-users. Specifically, an integer linear programming (ILP) is formulated by exploiting the coupling between these two decisions, that is, the RABS only needs to visit the locations where it is active. A Lagrangian heuristic algorithm is then proposed by exploiting the totally unimodular structure of the ILP formulation. A wide set of numerical investigations reveal that thanks to its mobility, a single robotic aerial small cell is able to outperform five (5) fixed small cells in terms of served user generated traffic within a 16 to 41 hours period.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICC 2022 - IEEE International Conference on Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538683477
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2022 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 16 May 202220 May 2022

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2022 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2022
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • 6G
  • network optimization
  • robotic manipulators
  • small cell
  • UAVs
  • wireless communications


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