In areas with limited infrastructure, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can come in handy as relays for car-to-car communications. Since UAVs are able to fully explore a three-dimensional environment while flying, communications that involve them can be affected by the irregularity of the terrains, that in turn can cause path loss by acting as obstacles. Accounting for this phenomenon, we propose a UAV positioning technique that relies on optimization algorithms to improve the support for vehicular communications. Simulation results show that the best position of the UAV can be timely determined considering the dynamic movement of the cars. Our technique takes into account the current flight altitude, the position of the cars on the ground, and the existing flight restrictions.
Keywords: 3D placement; ITS; PSO; UAV; dynamic positioning; genetic algorithm; simulation; vehicular communications.