Mahmoud Badi, Dinesh Rajan, Joseph Camp
The next wave of drone applications is moving from repeatable, single-drone activities such as evaluating propagation environments to team-based, multi-drone objectives such as drone-based emergency services. In parallel, testbeds have sought to evaluate emerging concepts such as highly-directional and distributed wireless communications. However, there is a lack of intersection between the two works to characterize the impact of the drone body, antenna placement, swarm topologies, and multi-dimensional connectivity needs that require in-flight experimentation with a surrounding testbed infrastructure. In this work, we design a drone-flight-enabled isolation chamber to capture complex spatial wireless channel relationships that drone links experience as applications scale from single-drone to swarm-level networks within a shared three-dimensional space. Driven by the challenges of outdoor experimentation, we identify the need for a highly-controlled indoor environment where external factors can be mitigated. To do so, we first build an open-source drone platform to provide programmable control with visibility into the internal flight control system and sensors enabling specialized coordination and accurate repeatable positioning within the isolated environment. We then design a wireless data acquisition system and integrate distributed software defined radios (SDRs) in order to inspect multi-dimensional wireless behavior from the surrounding area. Finally, we achieve and demonstrate the value of measurement perspectives from diverse altitudes and spatial locations with the same notion of time.
Lyle Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Joseph Camp
Dr. Dinesh Rajan
Dr. Bruce Gnade
Number of Pages
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Wensowitch, John, "Design of a Drone-Flight-Enabled Wireless Isolation Chamber" (2020). Electrical Engineering Theses and Dissertations. 36.
Available for download on Thursday, May 06, 2021