Routing and video streaming in drone networks
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Drones can be used for several civil applications including search and rescue, coverage, and aerial imaging. Newer applications like construction and delivery of goods are also emerging. Performing tasks as a team of drones is often beneficial but requires coordination through communication. In this thesis, the communication requirements of video streaming drone applications based on existing works are studied. The existing communication technologies are then analyzed to understand if the communication requirements posed by these drone applications can be met by the available technologies. The shortcomings of existing technologies with respect to drone applications are identified and potential requirements for future technologies are suggested. The existing communication and routing protocols including ad-hoc on-demand distance vector (AODV), location-aided routing (LAR), and greedy perimeter stateless routing (GPSR) protocols are studied to identify their limitations in context to the drone networks. An application scenario where a team of drones covers multiple areas of interest is considered, where the drones follow known trajectories and transmit continuous streams of sensed traffic (images or video) to a ground station. A route switching (RS) algorithm is proposed that utilizes both the location and the trajectory information of the drones to schedule and update routes to overcome route discovery and route error overhead. Simulation results show that the RS scheme outperforms LAR and AODV by achieving higher network performance in terms of throughput and delay. Video streaming drone applications such as search and rescue, surveillance, and disaster management, benefit from multicast wireless video streaming to transmit identical data to multiple users. Video multicast streaming using IEEE 802.11 poses challenges of reliability, performance, and fairness under tight delay bounds. Because of the mobility of the video sources and the high data-rate of the videos, the transmission rate should be adapted based on receivers' link conditions. Rate-adaptive video multicast streaming in IEEE 802.11 requires wireless link estimation as well as frequent feedback from multiple receivers. A contribution to this thesis is an application-layer rate-adaptive video multicast streaming framework using an 802.11 ad-hoc network that is applicable when both the sender and the receiver nodes are mobile. The receiver nodes of a multicast group are assigned with roles dynamically based on their link conditions. An application layer video multicast gateway (ALVM-GW) adapts the transmission rate and the video encoding rate based on the received feedback. Role switching between multiple receiver nodes (designated nodes) cater for mobility and rate adaptation addresses the challenges of performance and fairness. The reliability challenge is addressed through re-transmission of lost packets while delays under given bounds are achieved through video encoding rate adaptation. Emulation and experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms legacy multicast in terms of packet loss and video quality.
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