iTEAM hosts a scientific talk by Matteo Bernabè on improvements in cellular connectivity for UAVs through 5G networks

The Institute of Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications (iTEAM) hosted a talk by Matteo Bernabè, a PhD student at EURECOM and Huawei Technologies. Matteo Bernabè, a student member of IEEE, completed his Master’s in Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Bologna in 2021, and is currently engaged in research that could revolutionize cellular connectivity for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

During the seminar, Bernabè presented an innovative approach to improving cellular connectivity for UAVs on aerial highways using terrestrial 5G networks. UAVs, due to their ability to navigate in three-dimensional space, can achieve favorable channel gains of similar magnitude across multiple network cells. However, selecting the optimal cells to maximize each UAV’s capacity presents a significant challenge for network operators. Relying solely on conventional metrics such as RSRP could lead to the selection of high-power cells that are inefficient in multiplexing UAVs, resulting in decreased data rate performance.

To overcome this challenge, Bernabè proposes a new SSB beamforming planning solution designed to strategically manage UAV cell associations to maximize their capacity without affecting terrestrial users. The results of this research indicate that the proposed approach significantly improves the data rate performance of UAVs on aerial highways in various network scenarios and traffic conditions, without impacting terrestrial users. This advancement promises to optimize the integration of UAVs into current and future telecommunications networks, paving the way for more efficient and robust applications in areas such as logistics, surveillance, and goods delivery.

Matteo Bernabè’s talk at iTEAM highlighted not only the importance of innovation in UAV connectivity but also the potential of 5G networks to transform mobile and aerial communications.