Amazon, Uber Eats, and United Parcel Service (UPS) are gearing up to launch drone delivery services in the near future, not to miss Google’s recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for its Wing delivery platform – so their requirement for more cost-efficient and quicker (than conventional vehicles) drone logistics network is the need of the hour.
Research scientists Saeid Iranmanesh and Raad Raad associated with the School of IT and Engineering, Melbourne Institute of Technology, Sydney, Australia and Department of Engineering and Information Sciences, School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia might have just the solution. They propose a data delivery service by the drone network in addition to parcel delivery. According to the scientists the ideal solution is Heuristic Flight Path Planning (HFPP) that plans a drone’s flight path based on parcel delivery destination as well as data delivery destinations (waypoints). In fact the proposed solution extends to include drone charging stations for range extension.
Simulation studies conducted during the research show that the HFPP delivers more data packets compared with Encounter-Based Routing (EBR), Epidemic, and a similar path planning method. Also, HFPP reduces the data delivery delays and the overhead ratio is low.
In their research paper scientists state the objective-to exchange data packets during a contact such that the data delivery delay reduces and the delivery ratio increases. Drones also guarantee to drop off the packages before their deadline and return to the origin base such that the resulting flight path does not exceed the maximum length of the drones’ flight.
- Wireless charging stations are set up along the flight path to charge the drones for a short period in the case of meeting more nearby waypoints. This will result in the data network lasting longer with increased delivery ratio and reduced delay.
- The proposed HFPP assigns a weight to every data packet’s destination and planning to include wireless charging stations followed by most weighted destinations along the path to increase flight duration and deliver more data. The weight is based on the packet’s remaining time to live, priority, and size to get the chance to be fit along the drone’s flight path.
(HFPP) prioritises the data packets during a contact in order to select the best possible flight path. However, one of the parameters that influence the performance of such network is energy. Drones consume power for two reasons, (i) communications and (ii) flying. Hence, packets are prioritized; an important factor in weighting the packets is the amount of energy that is used for their transmission. The cost-efficiency of drones enables this scenario to be practical and commercialized.
The researchers compared the properties and effectiveness of HFPP against two well-known routing protocols namely Epidemic and EBR and a flight planning algorithm using a Java-based simulator called ONE. The results show that HFPP delivers up to 33% more data packets as compared to the existing methods. Also, HFPP reduces data delivery delays up to 85% while overhead ratio is low.
Citation: A Novel Data Forwarding Strategy for a Drone Delay Tolerant Network with Range Extension, Saeid Iranmanesh and Raad Raad, Electronics 2019, 8(6), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8060659 – https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9292/8/6/659/htm
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