An Efficient System Orchestrator and a Novel Internet of Things Platform for Unmanned Aerial Systems

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School of Electrical Engineering | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2018-03-23
Degree programme
81 + app. 71
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 18/2018
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used to provide diverse civilian, commercial, and governmental services. In addition to their original tasks, UAVs can also be used to offer numerous value-added internet of things services (VAIoTSs). Sharing UAV infrastructure to provide IoT services can lower both capital and operational expenses to create a novel ecosystem with new stakeholders. The deployment of UAV-based IoT platforms, along with mechanisms to provide VAIoTSs from the sky, comes with a number of challenges, and solving few of them is the objective of this dissertation. To enable VAIoTS delivery, this dissertation introduces an innovative UAV-based IoT platform and envisions a UAV-based communication architecture including a system orchestrator (SO). The SO manages the UAVs and their on board IoT devices and optimally carries out diverse IoT services in an energy-efficient manner, using reliable data communication. Furthermore, to ensure efficient delivery of VAIoTSs using UAVs, a UAV selection mechanism is proposed, which takes into account multiple metrics in the UAV selection process such as UAVs' onboard IoT devices, energy, geographical proximities, and the priority levels of the IoT events. In this light, the following three complementary solutions are proposed: energy-aware UAV selection (EAUS), which aims to reduce UAVs' energy consumption; delay-aware UAV selection (DAUS), which aims to reduce UAVs' operational time; and fair trade-off UAV selection (FTUS), which ensures a fair trade-off between UAV energy consumption and operation time. The results demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of the proposed schemes. In addition, to provide reliable communication for the UAVs, a connection steering mechanism between mobile networks and UAVs is presented. This mechanism selects the network with the strongest radio signal among available networks in order to ensure network coverage and increase transmission rates. The efficiency of this mechanism is examined using two different LTE-4G networks of two different network providers. The results prove the efficiency of the proposed mechanism in terms of an increase in data transmission rate and a reduction in UAV energy consumption. Furthermore, as an envisioned application of the UAV-based IoT platform, a crowd surveillance use case based on face recognition is proposed. To evaluate the use case, the offloading of video data processing to a mobile edge computing (MEC) node is compared to the local processing of video data on board a UAV. The results prove the efficiency of the MEC-based offloading approach in saving the energy of UAVs. In Conclusion, the research presented in this dissertation, through the presented UAV-based IoT platform, the system orchestrator, and the designed mechanisms enables the effective delivery of VAIoTSs from the sky.
Supervising professor
Taleb, Tarik, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Communications and Networking, Finland
Thesis advisor
Bagaa, Miloud, Dr., Aalto University, Department of Communications and Networking, Finland
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV, Unmanned Aerial System, UAS, Internet of Things, IoT, UAV Selection Mechanism, UAV Networks
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: N. H. Motlagh, T. Taleb, and O. Arouk, “Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-Based Internet of Things Services: Comprehensive Survey and Future Perspectives,” IEEE Internet of Things Journal, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 899-922, Dec 2016.
    DOI: 10.1109/JIOT.2016.2612119 View at publisher
  • [Publication 2]: N. H. Motlagh, M. Bagaa, and T. Taleb, “UAV Selection for a UAV-based Integrative IoT Platform,” In 2016 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), Washington, USA, pp. 1-6, Dec 2016.
    DOI: 10.1109/GLOCOM.2016.7842359 View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: N. H. Motlagh, M. Bagaa, and T. Taleb, “UAVs Task Assignment Mechanism for UAV-based IoT Platform,” submitted to IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology (TVT), 2018.
  • [Publication 4]: N. H. Motlagh, M. Bagaa, T. Taleb, and J. Song, “Connection Steering Mechanism between Mobile Networks for reliable UAVs IoT Platform,” In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), Paris, France, pp. 1-6, May 2017.
    DOI: 10.1109/ICC.2017.7996718 View at publisher
  • [Publication 5]: N. H. Motlagh, M. Bagaa, and T. Taleb, “UAV-Based IoT Platform: A Crowd Surveillance Use Case,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 128-134, Feb 2017.
    DOI: 10.1109/MCOM.2017.1600587CM View at publisher