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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 952069, 14 pages
Research Article

Maintaining Connectivity of MANETs through Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

College of Computer, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan 410073, China

Received 8 June 2015; Revised 14 October 2015; Accepted 22 October 2015

Academic Editor: Gregory Chagnon

Copyright © 2015 Ming Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as relay platforms to maintain the connectivity of ground mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). However, when deploying UAVs, existing methods have not consider one situation that there are already some UAVs deployed in the field. In this paper, we study a problem jointing the motion control of existing UAVs and the deployment of new UAVs so that the number of new deployed UAVs to maintain the connectivity of ground MANETs can be minimized. We firstly formulate the problem as a Minimum Steiner Tree problem with Existing Mobile Steiner points under Edge Length Bound constraints (MST-EMSELB) and prove the NP completeness of this problem. Then we propose three Existing UAVs Aware (EUA) approximate algorithms for the MST-EMSELB problem: Deploy-Before-Movement (DBM), Move-Before-Deployment (MBD), and Deploy-Across-Movement (DAM) algorithms. Both DBM and MBD algorithm decouple the joint problem and solve the deployment and movement problem one after another, while DAM algorithm optimizes the deployment and motion control problem crosswise and solves these two problems simultaneously. Simulation results demonstrate that all EUA algorithms have better performance than non-EUA algorithm. The DAM algorithm has better performance in all scenarios than MBD and DBM ones. Compared with DBM algorithm, the DAM algorithm can reduce at most 70% of the new UAVs number.