Group Handover for Drone Base Stations

Aydın Y., Karabulut Kurt G. Z., Özdemir E., Yanikomeroglu H.

IEEE INTERNET OF THINGS JOURNAL, vol.8, no.18, pp.13876-13887, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 18
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/jiot.2021.3068297
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Compendex, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.13876-13887
  • Keywords: Handover, Authentication, 5G mobile communication, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Quality of service, Long Term Evolution, Base stations, Group authentication, group handover, radio access node onboard unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), terrestrial base station (BS), UAV
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The widespread use of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things and machine-type communication (MTC) forces an increase on the number of user equipments (UEs) and MTC devices that are connecting to mobile networks. Inherently, as the number of UEs inside a base station's (BSs) coverage area surges, the quality of service tends to decline. The use of drone-BS (UxNB) is a solution in places where UEs are densely populated, such as stadiums. UxNB emerges as a promising technology that can be used for capacity injection purposes in the future due to its fast deployment. However, this emerging technology introduces a new security issue. Mutual authentication, creating a communication channel between terrestrial BS and UxNB, and fast handover operations may cause security issues in the use of UxNB for capacity injection. This new protocol also suggests performing UE handover from terrestrial to UxNB as a group. To the best of our knowledge, there is no authentication solution between BSs according to LTE and 5G standards. The proposed scheme provides a solution for the authentication of UxNB by the terrestrial BS. Additionally, a credential sharing phase for each UE in handover is not required in the proposed method. The absence of a credential sharing step saves resources by reducing the number of communications between BSs. Moreover, many UE handover operations are completed in concise time within the proposed group handover method.