UAV Assisted Public Safety Communications with LTE-Advanced HetNets and FeICIC

Abhaykumar Kumbhar, Simran Singh, Ismail Guvenc

Establishing a reliable communication infrastructure at an emergency site is a crucial task for mission-critical and real-time public safety communications (PSC). To this end, use of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has recently received extensive interest for PSC to establish reliable connectivity in a heterogeneous network (HetNet) environment. These UAVs can be deployed as unmanned aerial base stations (UABSs) as a part of HetNet infrastructure. In this article, we explore the role of agile UABSs in LTE-Advanced HetNets by applying 3GPP Release 11 further-enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (FeICIC) and cell range expansion (CRE) techniques. Through simulations, we compare the system-wide 5th percentile spectral efficiency (SE) when UABSs are deployed in a hexagonal grid and when their locations are optimized using a genetic algorithm, while also jointly optimizing the CRE and the FeICIC parameters. Our simulation results show that at optimized UABS locations, the 3GPP Release 11 FeICIC with reduced power subframes can provide considerably better 5th percentile SE than the 3GPP Release~10 with almost blank subframes.

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