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Ms Purnima Lala Mehta has successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "SELF ITINERANT INTELLIGENT AERIAL RADIO ARCHITECTURE (SIIARA) For coverage and capacity enhancement" on Monday, April 9, 2018,






In the past few years, the field of telecommunication has seen a massive growth in the number of mobile subscribers. People nowadays are having a constant reliance on their smartphones and other smart portable devices. This widespread adoption of mobile phones might have severe implications on the service and management ability of the Network Service Providers (NSPs) in the near future. A significant growth in mobile data has been observed at live events, where the subscribers use their phones more often than usual. Large user groups appearing at temporary events of carnivals, festivals, etc., demand high data rates for capturing photos and videos and uploading right away. Under such circumstances, the existing ground infrastructure and the state of the art technologies might fail to function in the devised way. Servicing a large number of crowds, particularly in motion can lead to poor coverage and connectivity to the users, posing a challenge to the NSPs, necessary to combat. Therefore, in this context, the mobility management of users and load balancing in the Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) needs to be engineered appropriately. The purpose of carrying this research work is to improve the condition of congested base stations during mass user accumulations/ movements and to fulfill the user satisfaction requirements in terms of coverage and capacity deliverables by the network.

In this thesis, firstly, the problem of Place Time Capacity (PTC), characterized by the network overloading occurring at the mass social events, is identified. Further, this Ph.D. research work addresses the PTC challenge through a novel solution based on incorporating intelligence and self-adaptive features into small drones. The study focusses on proposing and examining an alternate solution of utilizing small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in HetNets to offload the ground base stations, overloaded due to heavy user data emanating during the temporary events. Swarms of ad-hoc networks comprising of small aerial devices mounted with radio equipment can be effectively deployed above the ground to serve the capacity and coverage-hungry crowds. A suitable building block architecture of Hovering Ad-Hoc Network (HANET), a novel approach of utilizing aerial drones into the formation of Aerial-Heterogeneous Network (Aerial-HetNet) and, an extended holistic architecture of Self-Itinerant Intelligent Aerial Architecture (SIIARA), are proposed in this thesis work. The study also presents the need for deploying Aerial Radio Architectures (ARA) alongwith their features, advantages, and functionalities.

In this thesis, we have focused on the Radio Network Analysis and Backhaul Network Analysis, to validate the usage of the above mentioned aerial architectures. The examination of our proposed ARA has been performed on International Telecommunication Union - Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), Urban Macro scenarios. The integration of SIIARA with the ground infrastructure to serve the PTC-generating ground users has been investigated in this work, and the results show that such a deployment outperforms the existing proposed state-of-the-art solutions and yield enhancement in the cellular coverage and capacity of the network. This study proposes and evaluates an alternate platform of using commercially available drones in delivering ad-hoc cellular services and support the existing infrastructure in extending and improving the connectivity to the moving ground users. An added dimension of presenting business case scenarios in utilizing ARA have also been explored in this work.

Lastly, this research work concludes the complete research work and provides the directions for future research work that can be carried out in this field.

Assessment committee:
Prof. Albena Mihovska, Aarhus University, DENMARK, Chair
Prof. Walther Konhaeuser, the Technical University of Berlin, GERMANY
Prof. Vinod Kumar, ENST-Paris, FRANCE