3D Channel Characterization and Performance Analysis of UAV-Assisted Millimeter Wave Links

Mohammad Taghi Dabiri, Mohsen Rezaee, Vahid Yazdanian, Behrouz Maham, Walid Saad, Choong Seon Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the performance of UAV-based mmW links is investigated when UAVs are equipped with square array antennas. The 3GPP antenna propagation patterns are used to model the square array antenna. It is shown that the square array antenna is sensitive to both horizontal and vertical angular vibrations of UAVs. In order to explore the relationship between the vibrations of UAVs and their antenna pattern, the UAV-based mmW channels are characterized by considering the large scale path loss, small scale fading along with antenna patterns as well as the random effect of UAVs' angular vibrations. To enable effective performance analysis, tractable and closed-form statistical channel models are derived for aerial-to-aerial (A2A), ground-to-aerial (G2A), and aerial-to-ground (A2G) channels. The accuracy of analytical models is verified by employing Monte Carlo simulations. Analytical results are then used to study the effect of antenna pattern gain under different conditions for the UAVs' angular vibrations for establishing reliable UAV-assisted mmW links in terms of achieving minimum outage probability. Simulation results show that the performance of UAV-based mmW links with directional antennas is largely dependent on the random fluctuations of hovering UAVs. Moreover, UAVs with higher antenna directivity gains achieve better performance at larger link length. However, for UAVs with lower stability, lower antenna directivity gains result in a more reliable communication link. Finally, based on the geometrical properties of a given region, we investigate the optimal antenna pattern along with the optimal aerial position for UAV relay to attain minimum outage probability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9200666
Pages (from-to)110-125
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Antenna pattern
  • channel modeling
  • hovering fluctuations
  • mmW communication
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)


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