A Two-Stage Strategy for UAV-enabled Wireless Power Transfer in Unknown Environments

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IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing


Due to the outstanding merits such as mobility, high maneuverability, and flexibility, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are viable mobile power transmitters that can be rapidly deployed in geographically constrained regions. They are good candidates for supplying power to energy-limited Sensor Nodes (SNs) with Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) technology. In this paper, we investigate a UAV-enabled WPT system that transmits power to a set of SNs at unknown positions. A key challenge is how to efficiently gather the locations of SNs and design a power transfer scheme. We formulate a multi-objective optimization problem to jointly optimize these objectives: maximization of UAV's search efficiency, maximization of total harvested energy, minimization of UAV's flight energy consumption and maximization of UAV's energy utilization efficiency. To tackle these issues, we present a two-stage strategy that includes a UAV Motion Control (UMC) algorithm for obtaining the coordinates of SNs and a Dynamic Genetic Clustering (DGC) algorithm for power transfer via grouping SNs into clusters. First, the UMC algorithm enables the UAV to autonomously control its own motion and conduct target search missions. The objective is to make the energy-restricted UAV find as many SNs as feasible without any apriori knowledge of their information. Second, the DGC algorithm is used to optimize the energy consumption of the UAV by combining a genetic clustering algorithm with a dynamic clustering strategy to maximize the amount of energy harvested by SNs and the energy utilization efficiency of the UAV. Finally, experimental results show that the proposed algorithms outperform their counterparts.

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Autonomous aerial vehicles, Clustering algorithms, Energy consumption, energy consumption optimization, Genetics, Heuristic algorithms, Mobile computing, sensor node (SN), target search, two-stage strategy, Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), wireless power transfer (WPT), Wireless sensor networks


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