A Robust Approach to TDMA Synchronization in Aerial Networks

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be a powerful tool for live (interactive) remote inspection of large-scale structures or areas of interest. Instead of manual, local, and labor-intensive inspections, the authors envision human operators working together with networks of semi-autonomous UAVs. The current state-of-the-art for low-delay high-throughput inter-vehicle networking relies on Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA) techniques that require accurate synchronization among all network nodes. In this paper, the authors propose a delay-tolerant synchronization approach that converges to the correct order of the TDMA slots implemented over COTS WiFi in a fully-distributed way and without resorting to a global clock. This highly flexible solution allows building an ad-hoc aerial network based on a backbone of relaying UAVs. The authors show several alternatives to achieve this synchronization in a concrete aerial network and compare them in terms of slots’ overlap, throughput, and packet delivery. The results show that these alternatives lead to trade-offs in the referenced metrics. The results also provide insight into the delays caused by buffering in the protocol stack and especially in the WiFi interface.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01691524
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 28 2018 12:31PM