Comparison of UAS-to-Ground Small-Scale Fading in Residential and Mountainous Desert Terrains

Richard M. Gutierrez, Hanguang Yu, Yu Rong, Daniel W. Bliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Small, consumer grade unmanned aerial systems (UAS) provide a cost-effective solution in many wireless communications applications where access to typical terrestrial based communications methods might not be feasible. In this work we characterize and model the small-scale wireless channel effects of the UAS-to-ground wireless channel in residential and mountainous desert terrains. In particular, we focus on constructing statistical models of the wireless channel for small rotary wing UAS flying at low altitudes (<130 meters). The results show that the mountainous desert terrain induces more fading than the residential terrain. Additionally, we provide Doppler spectrum models for the micro-Doppler effect caused by the UAS rotary wings. We validate the proposed channel models using filtered Gaussian noise techniques. The intent of the channel models presented here is to aide in the design of wireless communications systems that use consumer grade off-the-shelf UAS and radio hardware.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8815939
Pages (from-to)9348-9358
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
  • radio propagation
  • software defined radio (SDR)
  • wireless channel measurements
  • wireless channel modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


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