Methods to Assign UAVs for K-Coverage and Recharging in IoT Networks

Publication Name

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing


This paper studies a coverage problem in Internet of things (IoT) networks using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) supported by solar-powered charging platforms. The problem at hand is to determine an assignment of UAVs to either a charging station or a monitoring point over a planning horizon. A key constraint is $K$-coverage, where given a set of $\mathcal {M}$ points, $K$ of these points must be monitored by a UAV in each time slot. In this respect, the paper aims to design UAVs assignment solutions that yield the longest $K$-coverage lifetime. We formulate a novel mixed integer linear program (MILP) to jointly optimize UAVs assignments over a given planning horizon. The problem is challenging as the energy level of charging platforms and UAVs are coupled across time slots. Moreover, the formulated MILP requires non-causal energy arrivals information at charging platforms. To this end, we outline a model predictive control (MPC) and a Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS) based solution that use non-causal energy arrivals information. The simulation results show that MPC and MCTS achieve approximately $81.04\%$ and $67.07\%$ of the optimal results computed by MILP.

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