Cell-free Massive MIMO for UAV Communications

Carmen D'Andrea, Adrian Garcia-Rodriguez, Giovanni Geraci, Lorenzo Galati Giordano, Stefano Buzzi

We study support for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications through a cell-free massive MIMO architecture. Under the general assumption that the propagation channel between the mobile stations, either UAVs or ground users, and the access points follows a Ricean distribution, we derive closed form spectral efficiency lower bounds for uplink and downlink with linear minimum mean square error (LMMSE) channel estimation. We also propose power allocation and user scheduling strategies for such a system. Our numerical results reveal that a cell-free massive MIMO architecture may provide better performance than a traditional multicell massive MIMO network deployment.

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