6G for Connected Sky - 6G-SKY
Flying vehicles are becoming ubiquitous unprecedentedly due to the advancements in aviation and space industries. In addition to already deployed geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) satellites, low Earth orbits (LEO) satellites are being deployed in large numbers to provide connectivity to ground users. Furthermore, high altitude platforms (HAPs) stand as another connectivity option for the ground users. Besides, unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, and flying taxis are emerging as users in the sky, which require robust and reliable communication connectivity for their safe and secure operation. Although there are different connectivity solutions specific to certain limited domains, integrated connectivity solutions and a holistic network architecture are vital to unlock potentials of the recent advances and create new services for both ground and aerial users.
Purpose and goal
To this end, 6G for Connected Sky project aims at solutions to enable reliable and robust connectivity for aerial and ground users via flexible and adaptive network architecture adopting multiple technologies such as satellite and direct air to ground communication (DA2GC). In addition, this project focuses on novel wireless network design and management schemes in 3-dimensional (3D) space including different types of flying vehicles with their unique requirements. Another focus is to provide robust, low latency and/or high-capacity communications to ground users in the rural areas without any infrastructure via non terrestrial networks (NTNs), which are already initially introduced in 5G.
Expected outcomes of this project are as follows:
- Design of heterogeneous 3D adaptive network architecture supporting flexible topologies via safe and explainable artificial intelligence (AI),
- Cell-free 3D wireless network design enabling adaptive and user-centric formation of network coverage with multi-link and multi-technology,
- Design of sixth generation (6G) communication links by extending and combining 5G advanced radio technologies from below 6 GHz to THz frequencies and intelligent reflecting surfaces,
- AI-based mobility and interference management for aerial users with considerations of spectrum and air traffic management regulations.
- Design of mesh network considering Air-to-Air (A2A) and Air-to-Ground (A2G) communications.
- Demonstration and testing of 6G enabled direct air to ground link (based on Software-Defined-Radio, SDR) with a flying UE via mm-Wave/Terahertz communications, taking into account 3GPP discussions for 5G Advanced in the upcoming Release 18.
- Demonstration and testing of integrated multi-technology and mesh connectivity with reliability and delay performance measurements in different use cases such as autonomous transportation.
Planned approach and implementation
This project is a Celtic-Next project with 16 partners from 4 countries in total. The Swedish consortium is expected to be funded by Vinnova. The project at KTH is led by Mustafa Özger and Cicek Cavdar. Three PhD student and one postdoc are expected to be recruited to work on this project.
April 2022 -- March 2025 (36 months)