Cooperative Downlink Interference Transmission and Cancellation for Cellular-Connected UAV: A Divide-and-Conquer Approach

Weidong Mei, Rui Zhang

The line-of-sight dominant air-ground channels have posed critical interference issues in cellular-connected unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications. In this paper, we propose a new base station (BS) cooperative beamforming (CB) technique for the cellular downlink to mitigate the strong interference caused by the co-channel terrestrial transmissions to the UAV. Besides the conventional CB by cooperatively transmitting the UAV's message, the serving BSs of the UAVs exploit a novel interference transmission scheme to effectively suppress the terrestrial interference to the UAV. Specifically, the co-channel terrestrial users' messages are shared with the UAV's serving BSs and transmitted via CB to cancel their resultant interference at the UAV. To balance between the CB gains for UAV signal enhancement and interference cancellation, we aim to maximize the UAV's receive signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio by jointly optimizing the power allocations at all of its serving BSs for transmitting the UAV's and co-channel terrestrial users' messages. First, we derive the closed-form optimal solution to this problem in a special case and draw useful insights. Then, we propose an algorithm to solve the problem optimally in the general case. As the optimal solution requires centralized implementation with exorbitant message/channel information exchanges among the BSs, we further propose a distributed algorithm that is amenable to practical implementation, based on a new divide-and-conquer approach, whereby each co-channel BS divides its perceived interference to the UAV into multiple portions, each to be canceled by a different serving BS of the UAV with its best effort. Numerical results show that the proposed centralized and distributed CB schemes with interference transmission and cancellation (ITC) can both significantly outperform the conventional CB without applying ITC.

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