Design of a Communication Module Based on ZigBee Mesh Topology for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
This report addresses the design of a communication module for a UAV based on Zig Bee mesh topology firstly using 3 routing nodes allowing for scalability if necessary. The work takes on an interdisciplinary approach to communication system design and uses a systematic process based in the IEEE standard ISO/IEC 15288. The module thus aims to address remote control beyond visual line of sight using a signal routing system while utilizing efficiently low power, as low as 2.5mW for transmitter/receiver hardware modules and 50mW for the routing system. (3.632Mb)
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Contemporary Unmanned Aerial Vehicles utilize wireless communication modules based on WIFI, Bluetooth, cellular networks, LoRa WAN, infrared, WiMAX and a few other flourishing protocols, yet there’s still an ever-growing appetite to remotely control these UAVs beyond visual line of sight with power efficiency, reliability and most of all scalability. As the UAV application industry is mature and full of opportunities to explore, the delivery of such characteristics is expected due to emerging technology enhancements, hence the design of a unique communication module based on mesh radio for ZigBee. The latest UAVs take on some sort of wireless protocol as a means of exchanging data between themselves and ground control stations. The earlier mentioned control schemes do a great job in addressing remote control beyond visual line of sight and further more allow for greater data rates and throughput hence transmission of not only telemetry data but also high resolution videos and images, however; this is mostly in the case of Wi Fi, WiMAX and use of cellular networks. On the downside, these are usually power intensive techniques and the greater range that the UAV takes on, transmit and receive power also keep increasing in that regard for example Wi Fi whose average power is about +10dB or cellular networks that usually use +4.77dBW for the same. Furthermore, these sometimes are also not scalable according to application demand not forgetting the continous expenses involved in setup. In cases where ZigBee has been used to control UAVs, it has been used either to ensure flight formation without collision or telemetry data collection or otherwise but all these use a one to one network.