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T4: 3D Wireless Networks: Connecting the Dots between Ground, Air, and Space - VTC2022-Spring
This tutorial has moved to virtual only.

T4: 3D Wireless Networks: Connecting the Dots between Ground, Air, and Space

Co-Organizer: Giovanni Geraci, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Co-Organizer: Adrian Garcia-Rodriguez, Ericsson R&D, France

Abstract: Barely seen in action movies until a decade ago, the progressive blending of UAVs—uncrewed aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones—into our daily lives will enhance safety and greatly impact labor and leisure activities alike. Most stakeholders regard reliable connectivity as a must-have for the UAV ecosystem to thrive. As a result, cellular communications involving UAVs have witnessed a surge of interest, following two philosophies epitomized as what can UAVs do for networks and what can networks do for UAVs, respectively. Whether featuring UAVs as data beneficiaries or suppliers, the fly-and-connect dream faces technical showstoppers. Aware of these hurdles, the wireless research community has been rolling up its sleeves to drive a native and long-lasting support for UAVs in 5G NR and beyond.

Moving up, the prohibitive deployment cost and the lack of a unified standard have so far prevented satellite communications from unleashing their full potential on Earth. However, the recent introduction of more affordable insertions into the low orbit is luring new players to the space race, making a marriage between the satellite and cellular industries more likely than ever. Satellite cells could offer multi-connectivity to users—including UAVs—whose terrestrial connection is not as reliable as their use case might require. Altogether, the stars are aligning for a ground-air-space cellular network, but important challenges must be overcome to guarantee, more than mere coexistence, a full 3D wireless integration.

In this tutorial, we will navigate from 5G to 6G use cases and technical enablers involving aerial and spaceborne communications. Through our novel results, we will share the key lessons learnt and pose fundamental questions also acting as a catalyst for much-needed new research.


Giovanni Geraci

Bio: Giovanni Geraci is an Assistant Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, and the coordinator of the Telecommunications Engineering program. He was previously a Research Scientist with Nokia Bell Labs and holds a Ph.D. from UNSW Sydney. He also held research appointments at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the University of Texas at Austin, CentraleSupelec, and Alcatel-Lucent.

He is a Distinguished Lecturer of both the IEEE ComSoc and IEEE VTS, an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Communications Letters, and the IEEE ICC’22 Wireless Communications Symposium co-Chair. He is a frequent organizer of IEEE international workshops, has delivered around twenty IEEE ComSoc tutorials, industry seminars, and workshop keynotes, and co-edited the book “UAV Communications for 5G and Beyond” (Wiley – IEEE Press). He is also co-inventor of a dozen patents, has written for the IEEE ComSoc Technology News, and received international press coverage.

Giovanni was awarded two of the most competitive early-career fellowships in Spain: a “la Caixa” Junior Leader and a “Ramony Cajal” Fellowship. He was named an Exemplary Reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications in 2017 and 2018. He received the Nokia Bell Labs Ireland Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in 2017, the IEEE ComSoc EMEA Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 2018, and the IEEE PIMRC’19 Best Paper Award for his work on UAV-to-UAV Cellular Communications.


Adrian Garcia-Rodriguez

Bio: Adrian Garcia-Rodriguez is currently a Data Scientist in the AI Research & Systems Team of Ericsson R&D in France. Previously, he was a Senior Engineer at Huawei Mathematical and Algorithmic Sciences Lab in France [2020 – 2022] and a Research Scientist in Nokia Bell Labs in Ireland [2016 – 2020]. He joined Bell Labs after receiving the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College London (U.K.).

He is a co-inventor of 25+ filed patent families and the main inventor in 10 of those, for which he received the Nokia Bell Labs Ireland Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for co-authoring the highest number of filed patents in 2019 and the Top 10 inventor in Nokia Ireland for patent filings in 2018. More recently, he received the 2021 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher Award for EMEA. He was also the recipient of the Best Paper Award in PIMRC’19 for his work on “UAV-to-UAV cellular communications”, and was awarded the Most Attended Industry Program Award at IEEE GLOBECOM 2017 for delivering the industrial seminar “Drone Base Stations: Opportunities and Challenges Towards a Truly “Wireless” Wireless Network”. He was named an Exemplary Reviewer for IEEE Communications Letters in 2016, and both IEEE Trans. on Wireless Communications and IEEE Trans. on Communications in 2017.