Exploiting NOMA for UAV Communications in Large-Scale Cellular Networks

Tianwei Hou, Yuanwei Liu, Zhengyu Song, Xin Sun, Yue Chen

This paper advocates a pair of strategies in non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) communications, where multiple UAVs play as new aerial communications platforms for serving terrestrial NOMA users. A new multiple UAVs framework with invoking stochastic geometry technique is proposed, in which a pair of practical strategies are considered: 1) the UAV-centric strategy for offloading actions and 2) the user-centric strategy for providing emergency communications. In order to provide practical insights for the proposed NOMA assisted UAV framework, an imperfect successive interference cancelation (ipSIC) scenario is taken into account. For both UAV-centric strategy and user-centric strategy, we derive new exact expressions for the coverage probability. We also derive new analytical results for orthogonal multiple access (OMA) for providing a benchmark scheme. The derived analytical results in both user-centric strategy and UAV-centric strategy explicitly indicate that the ipSIC coefficient is a dominant component in terms of coverage probability. Numerical results are provided to confirm that i) for both user-centric strategy and UAV-centric strategy, NOMA assisted UAV cellular networks is capable of outperforming OMA by setting power allocation factors and targeted rate properly; and ii) the coverage probability of NOMA assisted UAV cellular framework is affected to a large extent by ipSIC coefficient, target rates and power allocations factors of paired NOMA users.

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