Laser-Powered UAVs for Wireless Communication Coverage: A Large-Scale Deployment Strategy

Mohamed Amine Lahmeri*, Mustafa A. Kishk, Mohamed Slim Alouini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is strongly advocated for sixth-generation (6G) networks, as the 6G standard will not be limited to improving broadband services, but will also target the extension of the geographical cellular coverage. In this context, the deployment of UAVs is considered a key solution for seamless connectivity and reliable coverage. That being said, it is important to underline that although UAVs are characterized by their high mobility and their ability to establish line-of-sight (LOS) links, their use is still impeded by several factors such as weather conditions, their limited computing power, and, most importantly, their limited energy. In this work, we are aiming for the novel technology that enables indefinite wireless power transfer for UAVs using laser beams. We propose a novel UAV deployment strategy, based on which we analyze the overall performance of the system in terms of wireless coverage. To this end, we use tractable tools from stochastic geometry to model the complex communication system. We analyze the user's connectivity profile under different laser charging capabilities and in different type of environments. We show a decrease in the coverage probability by more than 12% in moderate-to-strong turbulence conditions compared to low turbulence conditions. We also show how the connection rate to the aerial network significantly decreases in favor of the terrestrial network for short laser charging ranges. We conclude that laser-powered drones are considered interesting alternatives when placed in LOS with users, in low-to-moderate optical turbulence, and at reasonable ranges from the charging stations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-533
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • 6G
  • coverage probability
  • laser-powered UAVs
  • Matern cluster process
  • Poisson point process
  • Stochastic geometry
  • wireless power transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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