Special Issue on intelligent unmanned and aerial systems in future generation communications

Published 28 October, 2021

Emerging unmanned and aerial systems have attracted much attention from both academia and industrial communities. In particular, their potential civil and military applications are drawing attention, including their use in combat and defence, reconnaissance, law enforcement and communications with drones and unmanned land transport vehicles. For example, unmanned drone swarms can be used for attacks in battlefield situations, and communication drones can set up aerial links for establishing communication channels in cases of emergency and disaster recovery. Unmanned and aerial systems, which usually consist of multiple intelligent and connected individual devices, aim to provide an autonomous, self-organised, anti-interference and robust multi-agent system paradigm for accomplishing collaborative operations at a relatively low cost. The concept of unmanned and aerial systems is an important component of future generation communication systems.

However, there are communications and networking issues that significantly affect system performance metrics. Components and devices within the system are required to collaborate to exchange and synchronise various types of information. Intelligence and autonomous designs for unmanned systems, especially for combat and tactical unmanned systems, are also required to prevent the unmanned system from being inefficient. Moreover, as interactions and resource allocations among different system components may exist in unmanned and aerial systems, e.g., energy and communication channel resources, competitions and robustness issues should also be considered. Recently, intelligent approaches toward 5G, 6G and beyond communications, along with networking technologies, have opened up great opportunities and innovative ideas for future unmanned and aerial systems, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, federated learning, digital twins and metaverse technologies.

Topics covered:

We are interested in receiving submissions for this special issue that consider unmanned and aerial systems from the perspective of:

  • Communication theories, protocols and architectures
  • Resource management and orchestration
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and explainable AI-enabled systems
  • Distributed intelligence and multi-agent modelling
  • Reliable, privacy-preserving and secured communications
  • VR/AR, digital twins and metaverse applications
  • Motion control and navigation in future communications
  • Green and sustainable communications
  • Tactical and military aspects in future communications
  • Human-in-the-loop studies
  • Simulations and testbeds in future communications
  • Use cases in future communications

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: 1 August 2022
  • First notification: 15 November 2022
  • Revised version deadline: 15 Dec 2022
  • Final notification: 1 February 2023
  • Publication date: April 2023

Guest editors:

  • Yang Zhang, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China
  • Jiangtian Nie, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Xianjun Deng, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
  • Laurence T. Yang, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada
  • Shibo He, Zhejiang University, China
  • Liang Zhao, Shenyang Aerospace University, China

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