Millimeter-Wave UAV Coverage in Urban Environments

Seongjoon Kang, Marco Mezzavilla, Angel Lozano, Giovanni Geraci, William Xia, Sundeep Rangan, Vasilii Semkin, Giuseppe Loianno

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With growing interest in mmWave connectivity for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a basic question is whether networks intended for terrestrial service can provide sufficient aerial coverage as well. To assess this possibility in the context of urban environments, extensive system-level simulations are conducted using a generative channel model recently proposed by the authors. It is found that standard downtilted base stations at street level, deployed with typical microcellular densities, can indeed provide satisfactory UAV coverage. Interestingly, this coverage is made possible by a conjunction of antenna sidelobes and strong reflections. As the deployments become sparser, the coverage is only guaranteed at progressively higher UAV altitudes. The incorporation of base stations dedicated to UAV communication, rooftop-mounted and uptilted, would strengthen the coverage provided their density is comparable to that of the standard deployment, and would be instrumental for sparse deployments of the latter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings - IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2021 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Dec 7 2021Dec 11 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing


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