5G!Drones aim is to trial several UAV use-cases covering eMBB, URLLC, and mMTC 5G services, and to validate 5G KPIs for supporting such challenging use-cases. The project will drive the UAV verticals and 5G networks to a win-win position, on one hand by showing that 5G is able to guarantee UAV vertical KPIs, and on the other hand by demonstrating that 5G can support challenging use-cases that put pressure on network resources, such as low-latency and reliable communication, massive number of connections and high bandwidth requirements, simultaneously. 5G!DRONES will build on top of the 5G facilities provided by the ICT-17 projects and a number of support sites, while identifying and developing the missing components to trial UAV use-cases.
The project will feature Network Slicing as the key component to simultaneously run the three types of UAV services on the same 5G infrastructure (including the RAN, back/fronthaul, Core), demonstrating that each UAV application runs independently and does not affect the performance of other UAV applications, while covering different 5G services. While considering verticals will be the main users of 5G!Drones, the project will build a software layer to automate the run of trials that exposes a high level API to request the execution of a trial according to the scenario defined by the vertical, while enforcing the trial’s scenario using the API exposed by the 5G facility, as well as the 5G!Drones enablers API deployed at the facility. Thus, 5G!Drones will enable abstracting all the low-level details to run the trials for a vertical and aims at validating 5G KPIs to support several UAV use-cases via trials using a 5G shared infrastructure, showing that 5G supports the performance requirements of UAVs with several simultaneous UAV applications with different characteristics (eMBB, uRLLC and mMTC). Using the obtained results, 5G!DRONES will allow the UAV association to make recommendations for further improvements on 5G.
The overall and ultimate objective of 5G!Drones is to design, implement and run trials of UAV use cases on top of a 5G infrastructure provided by ICT-17 and other complementary facilities, addressing contemporary 5G challenges.
The objectives related to the 5G!Drones concept and validation are mentioned below:
Objective 1: Analysis of the performance requirements of UAV verticals’ applications and business models in 5G.Description:
A deep analysis of the UAV use case requirements in terms of the needed network functionalities and the required application performance to validate. Business models will be also derived.
Objective 2: Design and implementation of the 5G!Drones software layer (or system) to execute UAV trials.Description:
Design and implement the 5G!Drones trial system, which will be in charge of running the UAV trials using the ICT-17 facility components and 5G!Drones enablers developed during the project. The envisioned 5G!Drones system abstracts the low-level details on the usage of 5G facilities resources, by providing a high-level API to describe, run and obtain results on the specific KPIs.
Objective 3: Design a high-level scenario descriptor language to run and analyse the results of the UAV trials.Description:
Design a high-level (or Northbound) API to allow a UAV vertical to configure a trial and run the test.
Objective 4: Design and implementation of 5G!Drones enablers for UAV trials and operations.Description:
5G!Drones will use the 5G facilities provided by i) EURECOM (5G EVE– Sophia Antipolis, France), ii) NCSR Demokritos and the Municipality of Egaleo (5GENESIS, Athens, Greece), in addition to iii) the 5GTN platform available at the University of Oulu, Finland and iv) the X-Network facility available at the Aalto University, Finland. Based on the analysis of the target UAV use cases, 5G features of these platforms will be used, and, when deemed appropriate, additional software will be developed by the project, and additional UAV-relevant hardware will be acquired. These new components represent the 5G!Drones enablers. Particularly, 5G!Drones will focus on improving Network Slicing functionalities, as UAVs require at least two running network slices; one for command and control (type uRLLC) and one for the data plane (type eMBB or mMTC). The security of each of these network slices will be also investigated and duly addressed. Moreover, a UAV traffic management service based on virtual reality allowing control and/or supervision of multiple UAVs operating in the same area will be studied.
Objective 5: Validate 5G KPIs that demonstrate execution of UAV use cases.Description:
According to the envisioned UAV use cases and scenarios, several 5G KPIs need to be demonstrated and tested to validate UAV application requirements. As per the ambitious requirements of 5G, the most critical ones are:
• End-to-end latency of < 1ms, (URLLC use cases)
• 1000 times higher mobile data volume per geographical area, (eMBB use cases)
• 10 to 100 times more connected devices (mMTC use cases)
Objective 6: Validate UAV KPIs using 5G.Description:
Many UAV applications, and particularly Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM), require very challenging KPIs such as low latency, security, coverage, high data rates, all of which are hard to attain in current networks. One advantage of 5G is its ability to ensure the aforementioned KPIs. Therefore, 5G!Drones will focus on validating the UAV use case application KPIs, carefully taking care of the UTM use case, as it is the main enabler of all other envisioned UAV use cases.
Objective 7: Advanced data analytics tools to visualise and deeply analyse the trial results, and provide feedback to the 5G and UAV ecosystem.Description:
By using data analytics tools, each use case scenario will be carefully studied in terms of performance, aiming at drawing conclusions and recommendations to the 5G and UAV ecosystems. The feedback can be used as input to standardisation bodies, such as 3GPP or ETSI MEC, in order to optimise or update 5G standards for UAV.
Objective 8: Dissemination, standardisation and exploitation of 5G!Drones.Description:
Dissemination, standardisation and exploitation of all concepts and technologies developed in the 5G!Drones project. A special focus is given to showcasing components of the project in UAV- and 5G-related events.