UAV-enabled IoT networks: architecture, opportunities and challenges

Shahriar Abdullah Al-Ahmed, Tanveer Ahmed, Yingbo Zhu, Obabiolorunkosi Olaoluwapo Malaolu, Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer plenty of opportunities in the public, civilian and industrial sectors as it has the advantages of low cost, mobility, and above all, it can reach in places where human cannot. Internet of Things (IoT) applications are also utilising the advantages of UAVs either by transmitting data to the UAV or to a UAV networks, or integrating IoT devices in the UAV networks. Both scenarios can be considered under UAV-enabled IoT networks. Potential applications of the UAV-enabled IoT networks include, but not limited to, building smart cities, crowd surveillance, emergency disaster assistance, agricultural application, airborne sensing, etc. The ongoing development of wireless communications such as 4G/5G technologies has facilitated UAV-to-UAV or UAV to IoT communication more than ever before. Despite having many advantages of these UAV-enabled IoT networks, there are several challenges too. Selecting the appropriate communication system based on wireless channel conditions, optimal deployment of UAVs and IoT devices, security, privacy, and ensuring public safety can be cited as examples. In addition, UAVs with on-board IoT have limited battery supplies to transmit and receive information which leads to lower life span of these airborne sensing UAV-enabled IoT systems. Therefore, appropriate resource management and energy efficiency for both the UAVs and IoT devices have to be focused. In this chapter, we discuss the architecture of UAV-enabled IoT networks, their communication schemes, challenges and opportunities which provide a key guideline on the design of UAV assisted IoT infrastructure for future deployment
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWireless Networks and Industrial IoT
Subtitle of host publicationApplications, Challenges and Enablers
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages26
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2020


  • unmanned aerial vehicle
  • IoT
  • UAV networks
  • UAV-enabled IoT networks
  • airborne sensing


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