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A Vision and Framework for the High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) Networks of the Future

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Document pages: 54 pages

Abstract: A High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) is a network node that operates inthe stratosphere at an of altitude around 20 km and is instrumental forproviding communication services. Precipitated by technological innovations inthe areas of autonomous avionics, array antennas, solar panel efficiencylevels, and battery energy densities, and fueled by flourishing industryecosystems, the HAPS has emerged as an indispensable component ofnext-generations of wireless networks. In this article, we provide a vision andframework for the HAPS networks of the future supported by a comprehensive andstate-of-the-art literature review. We highlight the unrealized potential ofHAPS systems and elaborate on their unique ability to serve metropolitan areas.The latest advancements and promising technologies in the HAPS energy andpayload systems are discussed. The integration of the emerging ReconfigurableSmart Surface (RSS) technology in the communications payload of HAPS systemsfor providing a cost-effective deployment is proposed. A detailed overview ofthe radio resource management in HAPS systems is presented along withsynergistic physical layer techniques, including Faster-Than-Nyquist (FTN)signaling. Numerous aspects of handoff management in HAPS systems aredescribed. The notable contributions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HAPS,including machine learning in the design, topology management, handoff, andresource allocation aspects are emphasized. The extensive overview of theliterature we provide is crucial for substantiating our vision that depicts theexpected deployment opportunities and challenges in the next 10 years(next-generation networks), as well as in the subsequent 10 years(next-next-generation networks).

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