Energy Efficient D2D Communications using Multiple UAV Relays


In this paper, we propose a novel optimization model for multiple Unmanned Areal Vehicles (UAVs) working simultaneously as relays to help two set of ground users; namely relay users and device-to-device (D2D) users. The relay users are assumed out communication rages from each other and use the UAV link to for their data transmission. While the D2D users are assumed to be nearby users and use the UAV for managing the resources without being involved in the transmission. The goal of the paper is to operate the UAVs in an energy-efficient manner to support the different set of users by i) optimizing the available bandwidth and power allocations of the D2D links, and ii) acting as relays when needed to maintain the communication links between relay users. We formulate an optimization problem that maximizes the throughput-energy utility while respecting the resource availability including the UAVs’ energy consumption, UAV-user association, and trajectory constraints. Due to the non-convexity of the problem, we propose to solve it in three steps using Taylor series approximation. Firstly, we optimize the transmit power of the UAVs and users. Then, we optimize the bandwidth allocation for a given transmit power values. Finally, an efficient heuristic algorithm based on a recursive shrink-and-realign process is proposed to optimize the UAVs’ trajectories. The performance of the proposed method shows advantages in terms of average throughput compared to the fixed power and bandwidth solutions.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Keywords and Phrases

Bandwidth; Base Stations; Device-To-Device Communication; Relays; Resource Management; Throughput; Trajectory Optimization

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2021 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2021