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Publication Title | UAV Survey on Civil Apps

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A Survey on Civil
Applications and Key Research Challenges
Hazim Shakhatreh, Ahmad Sawalmeh, Ala Al-Fuqaha, Zuochao Dou, Eyad Almaita, Issa Khalil, Noor Shamsiah Othman, Abdallah Khreishah, Mohsen Guizani
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is growing rapidly across many civil application domains including real- time monitoring, providing wireless coverage, remote sensing, search and rescue, delivery of goods, security and surveillance, precision agriculture, and civil infrastructure inspection. Smart UAVs are the next big revolution in UAV technology promis- ing to provide new opportunities in different applications, especially in civil infrastructure in terms of reduced risks and lower cost. Civil infrastructure is expected to dominate the more that $45 Billion market value of UAV usage. In this survey, we present UAV civil applications and their challenges. We also discuss current research trends and provide future insights for potential UAV uses. Furthermore, we present the key challenges for UAV civil applications, including: charging challenges, collision avoidance and swarming challenges, and networking and security related challenges. Based on our review of the recent literature, we discuss open research chal- lenges and draw high-level insights on how these challenges might be approached.
Index Terms—UAVs, Wireless Coverage, Real-Time Monitor- ing, Remote Sensing, Search and Rescue, Delivery of goods, Secu- rity and Surveillance, Precision Agriculture, Civil Infrastructure Inspection.
UAVs can be used in many civil applications due to their ease of deployment, low maintenance cost, high-mobility and ability to hover [1]. Such vehicles are being utilized for real- time monitoring of road traffic, providing wireless coverage, remote sensing, search and rescue operations, delivery of goods, security and surveillance, precision agriculture, and civil infrastructure inspection. The recent research literature on UAVs focuses on vertical applications without considering
Hazim Shakhatreh, Zuochao Dou, and Abdallah Khreishah are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. (e-mail: {hms35,zd36,abdallah}
Ahmad Sawalmeh and Noor Shamsiah Othman are with the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Universiti Tenaga Nasional. (e-mail: {,})
Ala Al-Fuqaha is with the Department of Computer Science, West- ern Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008, USA. (e-mail: (
Eyad Almaita is with the Department of Power and Mechatronics Engi- neering, Tafila Technical University. (e-mail: (
Issa Khalil is with Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), HBKU, Doha, Qatar. (e-mail:
Mohsen Guizani is with the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844, USA. (e-mail:
the challenges facing UAVs within specific vertical domains and across application domains. Also, these studies do not discuss practical ways to overcome challenges that have the potential to contribute to multiple application domains.
The authors in [1] present the characteristics and require- ments of UAV networks for envisioned civil applications over the period 2000–2015 from a communications and networking viewpoint. They survey the quality of service requirements, network-relevant mission parameters, data requirements, and the minimum data to be transmitted over the network for civil applications. They also discuss general networking related re- quirements, such as connectivity, adaptability, safety, privacy, security, and scalability. Finally, they present experimental results from many projects and investigate the suitability of existing communications technologies to support reliable aerial networks.
In [2], the authors attempt to focus on research in the areas of routing, seamless handover and energy efficiency. First, they distinguish between infrastructure and ad-hoc UAV networks, application areas in which UAVs act as servers or as clients, star or mesh UAV networks and whether the deployment is hardened against delays and disruptions. Then, they focus on the main issues of routing, seamless handover and energy efficiency in UAV networks. The authors in [7] survey Flying Ad-Hoc Networks (FANETs) which are ad-hoc networks con- necting the UAVs. They first clarify the differences between FANETs, Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) and Vehicle Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs). Then, they introduce the main FANET design challenges and discuss open research issues. In [8], the authors provide an overview of UAV-aided wireless communications by introducing the basic networking architec- ture and main channel characteristics. They also highlight the key design considerations as well as the new opportunities to be explored.
The authors of [9] present an overview of legacy and emerg- ing public safety communications technologies along with the spectrum allocation for public safety usage across all the fre- quency bands in the United States. They conclude that the ap- plication of UAVs in support of public safety communications is shrouded by privacy concerns and lack of comprehensive policies, regulations, and governance for UAVs. In [10], the authors survey the applications implemented using cooperative swarms of UAVs that operate as distributed processing system. They classify the distributed processing applications into the following categories: 1) general purpose distributed processing applications, 2) object detection, 3) tracking, 4) surveillance, 5) data collection, 6) path planning, 7) navigation, 8) collision
arXiv:1805.00881v1 [cs.RO] 19 Apr 2018

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