An Experimental Analysis on Drone-Mounted Access Points for Improved Latency-Reliability

Igor Donevski*, Christian Raffelsberger, Micha Sende, Aymen Fakhreddine, Jimmy Jessen Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The anticipated densification of contemporary communications infrastructure expects the use of drone small cells (DSCs). Thus, we experimentally evaluate the capability of
providing local and personalized coverage with a drone mounted Wi-Fi access point that uses the nearby LTE infrastructure as a backhaul in areas with mixed line of sight
(LoS) and Non-LoS (NLoS) links to the local cellular infrastructure. To assess the potential of DSCs for reliable and low latency communication of outdoor users, we measure the channel quality and the total round trip latency of the system. For a drone following the ground user, the DSC-provided network extends the coverage for an extra 6.4% when compared to the classical LTE-direct link. Moreover, the DSC setup provides latencies that are consistently smaller than 50 ms for 95% of the experiment. Within the coverage of the LTE-direct connection, we observed a latency ceiling of 120 ms for 95% reliability of the LTE-direct connection. The highest latency observed for the DSC system was 1200 ms, while the LTE-direct link never exceeded 500 ms. As such, DSC setups are not only essential in NLoS situations, but consistently
improve the latency of users in outdoor scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Workshop on Micro Aerial Vehicle Networks, Systems, and Applications
Number of pages6
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date24 Jun 2021
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8599-2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021
EventMobiSys '21: The 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services - Virtuel, United States
Duration: 24 Jun 202124 Jun 2021


ConferenceMobiSys '21: The 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Drone small cells
  • Experimental
  • Latency-reliability
  • Measurements
  • UAV
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles


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  • Best paper award

    Donevski, Igor (Recipient), Nielsen, Jimmy Jessen (Recipient), Raffelsberger, C. (Recipient), Sende, M. (Recipient) & Fakhreddine, A. (Recipient), 24 Jun 2021

    Prize: Conference prizes


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