MAESTRO-X: Distributed Orchestration of Rotary-Wing UAV-Relay Swarms

Bharath Keshavamurthy, Matthew A. Bliss, Nicolo Michelusi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This work details a scalable framework to orchestrate a swarm of rotary-wing UAVs serving as cellular relays to facilitate beyond line-of-sight connectivity and traffic offloading for ground users. First, a Multiscale Adaptive Energy-conscious Scheduling and TRajectory Optimization (MAESTRO) framework is developed for a single UAV. Aiming to minimize the time-averaged latency to serve user requests, subject to an average UAV power constraint, it is shown that the optimization problem can be cast as a semi-Markov decision process, and exhibits a multiscale structure: outer actions on radial wait velocities and terminal service positions minimize the long-term delay-power trade-off, optimized via value iteration; given these outer actions, inner actions on angular wait velocities and service trajectories minimize a short-term delay-energy cost; finally, rate adaptation is embedded along the trajectory to leverage air-to-ground channel propagation conditions. A novel hierarchical competitive swarm optimization scheme is developed in the inner optimization, to devise high-resolution trajectories via iterative pair-wise updates. Next, MAESTRO is eXtended to UAV swarms (MAESTRO-X) via scalable policy replication, enabled by a decentralized command-and-control network augmented with: (1) spread maximization to proactively position UAVs to serve future requests; (2) consensus-driven conflict resolution to orchestrate scheduling decisions based on delay-energy costs including queuing dynamics; (3) adaptive frequency reuse to improve spectrum utilization across the network; and (4) a piggybacking mechanism allowing UAVs to serve multiple ground users simultaneously. Numerical evaluations show that, for user requests of 10 Mbits, generated according to a Poisson arrival process with rate 0.2 req/min/UAV, single-agent MAESTRO offers $3.8\times $ faster service than a high-altitude platform and 29% faster than a static UAV deployment; moreover, for a swarm of 3 UAV-relays, MAESTRO-X delivers data payloads $4.7\times $ faster than a successive convex approximation scheme; and remarkably, a single UAV optimized via MAESTRO outclasses 3 UAVs optimized via a deep-Q network by 38%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-810
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • SMDPs
  • UAV-relays
  • hierarchical CSO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'MAESTRO-X: Distributed Orchestration of Rotary-Wing UAV-Relay Swarms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this