Motivation: a Flexible, Mobile, Reconfigurable and Large Aperture in the Sky

The goal of this effort is to develop a novel concept of a beamforming system on swarm flying drones. A large and flexible aperture can be implemented by the coherent combination of swarm drones. Spatial resolution, system SNR and gain are expected largely improved by a large number of swarm micro-UAVs. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 11.31.04

Experimental Verification:

We firstly experimentally demonstrate a coherent beamforming array on two flying drones with random drone element positions. As shown in the plot below, the system output SNR at the final receiver is larger than the individual drone elements without using beamforming. This prototype is expected to be extended to a beamforming array based on a large number of swarm drones for future wireless systems. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 11.04.48

System block diagram

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 11.33.53

Test setup

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Test Results with SNR improvement 

Time-Varying System on rotating flying drones:

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Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 7.28.53 PM.png

Interference mitigation using fast rotational flying drones (demonstrated by a mechanical rotational array antenna)


  1. J. Diao, M. Hedayati, Y, Huang, and Y. E. Wang, “Adaptive Beamforming Array on Swarm Aperture: A Localization Free Approach”. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., in preparation.

  2. J. Diao, M. Hedayati, R. U. Tok, and Y. E. Wang, “Mechanical Rotational Arrays for Low Sidelobe Levels and High Angular Resolution”. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., in preparation.

  3. J. Diao, Hedayati, M., & Wang, Y. E. (2019, January). Experimental Demonstration of Distributed Beamforming on Two Flying Mini-Drones. In 2019 United States National Committee of URSI National Radio Science Meeting (USNC-URSI NRSM) (pp. 1-2). IEEE.

  4. M. Hedayati, J. Diao, and Y. E. Wang. "Adaptive Communications with Swarm Aperture." 2019 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (RWS). IEEE, 2019.