Communication, Computing, Caching, and Sensing for Next Generation Aerial Delivery Networks

Gunes Kurt, Halim Yanikomeroglu

This paper describes the envisioned interactions between the information and communication technology and aerospace industries to serve autonomous devices for next generation aerial parcel delivery networks. The autonomous features of the fleet elements of the delivery network are enabled by increased throughput, improved coverage, and near-user computation capabilities of vertical heterogeneous networks (VHetNets). A high altitude platform station (HAPS), located around 20~km above ground level in a quasi-stationary manner, serves as the main enabler of the vision we present. In addition to the sensing potential of the HAPS nodes, the use of communication, computing, and caching capabilities demonstrate the attainability of the ambitious goal of serving a fully autonomous aerial fleet capable of addressing instantaneous user demands and enabling supply chain management interactions with delivery services in low-latency settings.

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