The System Design of a Global Communications System for Military and Commercial use Utilizing High Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Terrestrial Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) Sites


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Virginia Tech


This thesis proposes the design of the UAV-LMDS communication system for military and commercial use. The UAV-LMDS system is a digital, wireless communication system that provides service using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying at 60,000 ft. acting as communication hubs. This thesis provides background information on UAV-LMDS system elements, a financial analysis, theory, link budgets, system component design and implementation issues.

To begin the design, we develop link budgets that are used to characterize system parameters. We present detailed antenna designs for the antennas aboard the UAV. We also present communication equipment block diagrams. Included are technical details on military and commercial geostationary satellites used to link transmissions in the system.

Implementation issues in the military system are discussed. Mobility and the effects of vegetation in the propagation path are investigated and a co-channel interference study is done.

This thesis shows that by using UAVs and LMDS, a viable, broadband, wireless communications system can be created for military and commercial use.



Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Broadband Communication Services, Communication System Design, LMDS, Drone aircraft, Local Multipoint Distribution Service