Distributed beamforming in a swarm UAV network
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The use of wireless communication techniques and network centric topologies with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) within modern warfare concepts makes it possible to utilize new distributed beamforming applications. The objective of this research is to combine the concept of wireless beamforming in opportunistic random arrays with the concept of swarm UAVs. A considerable amount of research has already been done about the feasibility and advantages of opportunistic arrays for a single platform. Distributed beamforming techniques are widely applied by many researchers. The use of swarm UAV concepts for a widely dispersed wirelessly networked opportunistic array may anticipate many advantages over single platform-borne opportunistic arrays. Major challenges are synchronization and localization, which are caused by the mobile structure of the proposed network topology. Possible solutions to these problems are proposed. In this thesis the use of swarm UAVs for jamming is analyzed. Closed form expressions for jamming power versus the number of UAVs, ranges, degree of transmitter coherence, and quality of beamforming are derived. It was found that even for low quality beamforming (large phase errors, or poor synchronization) significant improvements in system performance is still achievable.
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