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Aerial Platforms with Reconfigurable Smart Surfaces for 5G and Beyond

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Document pages: 7 pages

Abstract: Aerial platforms are expected to deliver enhanced and seamless connectivityin the fifth generation (5G) wireless networks and beyond (B5G). This isgenerally achievable by supporting advanced onboard communication featuresembedded in heavy and energy-intensive equipment. Alternatively, reconfigurablesmart surfaces (RSS), which smartly exploit recycle signal reflections in theenvironment, are increasingly being recognized as a new wireless communicationparadigm to improve communication links. In fact, their reduced cost, low poweruse, light weight, and flexible deployment make them an attractive candidatefor integration with 5G B5G technologies. In this article, we discusscomprehensive approaches to the integration of RSS in aerial platforms. First,we present a review of RSS technology, its operations and types ofcommunication. Next, we describe how RSS can be used in aerial platforms, andwe propose a control architecture workflow. Then, several potential use casesare presented and discussed. Finally, associated research challenges areidentified.

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