Providing connectivity in areas out of reach of the cellular infrastructure is a very active area of research. This connectivity is particularly needed in case of the deployment of machine type communication devices (MTCDs) for critical purposes such as homeland security. In such applications, MTCDs are deployed in areas that are hard to reach using regular communications infrastructure while the collected data is timely critical. Drone-supported communications constitute a new trend in complementing the reach of the terrestrial communication infrastructure. In this study, drones are used as base stations to provide real-time communication services to gather critical data out of a group of MTCDs that are sparsely deployed in a marine environment. Studying different communication technologies as LTE, WiFi, LPWAN and Free-Space Optical communication (FSOC) incorporated with the drone communications was important in the first phase of this research to identify the best candidate for addressing this need. We have determined the cellular technology, and particularly LTE, to be the most suitable candidate to support such applications. In this case, an LTE base station would be mounted on the drone which will help communicate with the different MTCDs to transmit their data to the network backhaul. We then formulate the problem model mathematically and devise the trajectory planning and scheduling algorithm that decides the drone path and the resulting scheduling. Based on this formulation, we decided to compare between an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) based technique that optimizes the drone movement among the sparsely-deployed MTCDs and a Genetic Algorithm (GA) based solution that achieves the same purpose. This optimization is based on minimizing the energy cost of the drone movement while ensuring the data transmission deadline missing is minimized. We present the results of several simulation experiments that validate the different performance aspects of the technique.


Electronics & Communications Engineering Department

Degree Name

MS in Electronics & Communication Engineering

Graduation Date

Fall 1-16-2019

Submission Date

January 2019

First Advisor

Yasser, Gadallah

Committee Member 1

Karim, Seddik

Committee Member 2

Amr, El Sherif


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


I acknowledge my Muhammed Allehedan Fellowship for its generous contribution, also my thesis advisor Dr. Yasser Gadallah for his great effort.