A Cost-Benefit Analysis to Achieve Command and Control (C2) Link Connectivity for beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Operations

Chen Zhong, Ziyi Zhao, Chen Luo, M. Cenk Gursoy, Qinru Qiu, Carlos Caicedo, Franco Basti, Adrian Solomon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations are changing the way aviation and commerce are conducted today. Until recently, for civil aviation commercial operations, nearly all UAS operations are conducted within visual line of sight (VLOS). However, this severely limits the economic benefits that can be realized by the use of these unmanned, and someday, autonomous systems.Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations require much more capabilities for the operator to rely on and for the general public to condone and be comfortable with. BVLOS operations rely on ground and platform technologies all with varying states of maturity. In this paper, we focus on the interaction between the UAS operator / Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) to maintain a continuous Command Control (C2) link with its unmanned aircraft. There must be a reliable, robust, infrastructure in place to enable operators to fly beyond visual range. In areas with sparse communications network coverage, various communication technologies such as LTE and satellite are expected to be utilized in combination to provide C2 connectivity. However, resources for communication links can be saturated, depending on the available spectrum and activity within each network (LTE, Satellite).UAS Traffic Management (UTM) may ultimately be a pay-for-use service. UTM providers will certainly rely on commercial mobile networks for data communications services and guaranteeing quality of service. Use of communication services can be costly so they must consider implementing a cost- benefit analysis to determine service profitability based on number of service missions, mission type, distribution of missions over an area, and cost of use of each communication resource so that adequate price points can be set for its customers' service missions.Using a combination of cost modeling and agent- based simulation, one can define many UTM operation scenarios with different parameters such as LTE service coverage area distributions that can be analyzed to determine when LTE communication channels are lost in order to switch to a secondary satellite link to re-establish a C2 connectivity. In this paper, we develop a cost model based on these parameters and a simulation methodology that is envisaged to help UAV fleet operators to manage and price their services while ensuring that BVLOS operations maintain C2 connectivity via a combination of communication technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 Integrated Communications Navigation and Surveillance Conference, ICNS 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728172705
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Event2020 Integrated Communications Navigation and Surveillance Conference, ICNS 2020 - Herndon, United States
Duration: Sep 8 2020Sep 10 2020

Publication series

NameIntegrated Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Conference, ICNS
ISSN (Print)2155-4943
ISSN (Electronic)2155-4951


Conference2020 Integrated Communications Navigation and Surveillance Conference, ICNS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'A Cost-Benefit Analysis to Achieve Command and Control (C2) Link Connectivity for beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this