Enabling Self-Organizing TDMA Scheduling for Aerial Swarms

Creative Commons License

Aydln E. E., Kara O., Cakir F., Cansiz B. S., Seçinti G., Canberk B.

8th Workshop on Micro Aerial Vehicle Networks, Systems, and Applications, DroNet 2022 - Part of MobiSys 2022, Oregon, United States Of America, 01 July 2022, pp.13-18 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1145/3539493.3539584
  • City: Oregon
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.13-18
  • Keywords: ad hoc networks, aerial swarms, contention, protocol design, self-organizing time division multiple access (STDMA)
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 ACM.With the proliferation of affordable VTOL drones, application domain of aerial swarms expands everyday, spanning from public drone art to offensive military operations. Orchestrating these systems towards a successful mission, especially in contested environments, requires strict synchronization and reliable communication among network entities. Although using a ground controller with a long range link provides a cost-effective solution, it is extremely vulnerable to single-point of failure and/or jamming attacks. Thus, in contested environments, adapting ad-hoc policies is one of the most promising approaches, mitigating these vulnerabilities. However, existing ad-hoc approaches fail to sustain multi-hop connections, suffering from frequent topology changes and intermittent links due to dynamic environment. In this paper, we propose self-organizing TDMA (STDMA) protocol for aerial swarms in order to ensure reliable communication through efficient network management. We also partially implement our protocol on a small-scale test-bed and show that how drones are able to self-configure upon joining the network without any prior information. Our proposed STDMA protocol improves the overall channel utilization up to 55 percent with less control traffic overhead compared to the existing studies.