Volume 12, Number 3

Signaling Protocols for Local Area Networks of Drones


Prabhu Jyot Singh and Rohan de Silva, School of Engineering and Technology CQ University Sydney, Australia


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones have become extremely popular and are used in various commercial applications. When multiple UAVs communicate and work together, they form a UAV network. A private UAV network or Local Area Network of Drones (LoDs) is a special type of UAV network which has the minimum number of UAVs to carry out a certain task. All UAVs in a LoD use the wireless medium to send and receive the data as well as the control signals. An organization or a single owner will be more interested in this type of network, where they want multiple UAVs to scan an area, communicate with each other, and send all the images and live video streams to a single ground station. The currently available commercial UAVs Can send the video signals to and receive control signals only from their own ground station controllers. However, in an LoD network where UAVs are connected in tandem, the UAVs that are in the middle of the network have to carry the control and video signals of other UAVs. Given the limited processing power and dynamic memory capacity of UAVs, this would increase the queuing delays and performance.

In this paper, we study the frame formats of existing control, feedback, and data messages of commercial AR UAVs and propose a new approach to construct the payloads of control and feedback frames that are suitable for an LoDs. We compare the performance of our approach of single control and feedback frame for all UAVs in a LoD branch with that of separate control and feedback frames for each UAV. We calculate and compare the UAV node processing delay in both types of signaling mechanisms and show that the single control and feedback frame signaling has less delay on the average.


UAV communication, Private UAV Network, LANs of Drones, Signaling Frames, Control and feedback singling.