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SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 63, Issue 4: 140311(2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-019-2765-7

Network for hypersonic UCAV swarms

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  • ReceivedNov 6, 2019
  • AcceptedJan 10, 2020
  • PublishedMar 10, 2020

Abstract

Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) that swarm with both autonomous decision-making and cooperative attacking have beenregarded as revolutionary elements of modern warfare. In such aswarm, inter-group connectivity must be ensured in a networkto maintain a collective consensus. In recent years, academiaand industry have made many efforts to achieve common tacticaldata link systems and commercial drone networks. However, theexisting results have difficulty meeting the needs of cooperativeautonomous UCAV swarms with both hypersonic mobility and timesensitivity in severe confrontation scenarios. In this article, weconduct an in-depth investigation of the network used for thehypersonic UCAV swarms, which can be considered as a special formof mobile wireless network. Furthermore, faced with specificfunctional demands, we summarize the main challenges of designing this dedicated network. In addition, acomprehensive survey of potential solutions for the network designis presented. Lastly, we discuss the possible capabilities of the networkgiven the current forefront of technology, as well as remaining challenges and open issues.


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1636125, 6180011907, U1836201).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) A comparison of Granit, Tomahawk, JSOW, and LRASM in terms of their profiles and communication mechanisms.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Conceptual map of the terms related to “autonomy".

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Features of a fully developed autonomous multi-UCAV.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) A Venn diagram that illustrates the relationship between VANET, WSN, and hypersonic UCAV swarm-based networks.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) A relationship map between the proposed technologies and the desired features in the network for hypersonic UCAV swarms.

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) Important civilian signals and absorption lines on the spectrum between 3 MHz and 300 GHz

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) The processing diagram of a spread spectrum system in a noisy and jammed environment.

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) The illustration of FFHSS and SFHSS schemes under narrow-band constant interference.

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) The illustration and explanation of the hidden/exposed terminal problem.

  • Figure 10

    (Color online) The illustration and explanation of the deafness problem with directional MAC protocols.

  • Table 1   Comparison for the features of wireless sensor network (WSN), mobile ad hoc network (MANET), tactical data link (TDL), and the proposed UCAV network
    WSN MANET TDL UCAV network
    Energy-saving demands High Low Medium Low
    Minimization demands High Low Low High
    Node mobility Low Medium High Ultra-high
    Node count High Medium High Low
    Delay tolerance High Low Low Ultra-low
    Topological changing Rare Frequent Medium Frequent
    Network lifespan Days Minutes Minutes to hours Seconds
  • Table 2   A table of channel codes with some relative properties
    BCH TB-CC Turbo LDPC Polar
    Performance approaching Shannon's limits $\times$ $\times$ $\surd$ $\surd$ $\surd$
    Good performance for short lengths $\surd$ $\surd$ $\times$ $\times$ $\surd$
    Capability to correct burst error $\surd$ $\times$ $\times$ $\times$ $\times$
    Maximum likelihood soft-decision decode $\times$ $\surd$ $\surd$ $\times$ $\times$
    Decoding algorithms with low complexity $\surd$ $\times$ $\times$ $\surd$ $\times$
    Bit-level granularity of code length $\times$ $\surd$ $\surd$ $\surd$ $\surd$
    Floor-free $\surd$ $\surd$ $\times$ $\times$ $\surd$
  • Table 3   Advantages and disadvantages of routing protocols
    Type Protocol Advantage Disadvantage
    Reactive AODV tabincellc
    Adaptive to changing environments tabincellc
    Large delay after node or
    link failures
    RGR tabincellc
    Better delivery ratio and
    end-to-end delay tabincellc
    Packets lost if the geographic
    information become invalid under
    high mobility
    Proactive OLSR tabincellc
    Shortest hop forwarding path tabincellc
    Frequent interruption for rapid
    changing topology
    P-OLSR tabincellc
    Adaptive to highly dynamic networks tabincellc
    Difficult to recover after sudden
    disconnection
    Cluster See [124] tabincellc
    Avoidance of collisions tabincellc
    Heavy dependence on the
    connectivity of cluster head nodes
    Directional RARP tabincellc
    Using trajectory information
    to predict location information tabincellc
    Additional overhead to
    deliver movement vectors
    HSD-R tabincellc
    Reduced network load with
    reasonable short delay tabincellc
    Possible intra-sector collisions

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