Beam Alignment for High-Speed UAV via Angle Prediction and Adaptive Beam Coverage

Ha Lim Song, Young Chai Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications, continuing beamforming along with the movement of the UAV to mitigate the severe path loss is indispensable, which is called beam tracking. The conventional beam tracking studies focus on tracking the angle resulting from the movement of a target and obtaining the maximum beamforming gain with a narrow beam through phased array-based beamforming. However, the high mobility and perturbation of UAV impose a challenge on aligning narrow beams between the base node and the UAV node in the aerial network. In particular, the spatial angular velocity is significantly high in the field of view (FoV) of antenna array. In this article, we propose a scheme that predicts the spatial angle of the moving object in the next time unit1 and design a wide beam pattern based on the predicted value to reduce the beam misalignment issue. The proposed scheme can establish a robust communication link with the reduced packet loss, by mitigating the variations resulting from angle transition during a time unit, prediction errors, and the angle process noise. Especially, Gaussian process regression (GPR)-based spatial angle prediction method can predict spatial angle for the next time unit, with lower overhead than conventional methods. Considering the fact that UAVs typically travel at speeds from \boldsymbol 40 to \boldsymbol 160 [km/hr], we verify the simulation results in high-speed scenario such as from \boldsymbol 170 to \boldsymbol 200 [km/hr]. The simulation results show that the proposed scheme reduces the alignment error while maintaining sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) condition required for vehicular communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10185-10192
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1967-2012 IEEE.


  • Gaussian process regression
  • UAV communications
  • beam alignment
  • beam pattern optimization
  • beam tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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