Drone Path Scheduling for Data Gathering in Disaster Effected Environments
Creative networks in a disaster effected area have been a concern for a long time. With the innovation of flying ad hoc networks the problem can be tackled from a more practical standpoint. The use of low altitude drones equipped with wireless transmission and receiving capability can be used under the circumstances to enable ad-hoc communication. Drone coordination and route planning is a critical consideration when determining how to gather data from ground nodes, since the drones are constrained by limited battery capacity. In this research, we set out to explore a wide range of policies for determining the trajectories of drones to collect data from ground nodes scattered over a post-disaster environment. Ultimately, we want to maximize the aggregated throughput over the area of interest while ensuring that every ground node is covered. To this end, we introduce a notion of 'expected data rate' at each ground node. This is the expected amount of data received by a drone over a given time duration if it visits another node. This in turn is used to maximize the throughput. The expected data rate is calculated based on the distance between the current node and each projected node, the data generation rate of the projected node and drone velocity. We propose a set of policies to determine which node is to be visited next based on this calculation.