Unleashing the Potential of Networked Tethered Flying Platforms: Prospects, Challenges, and Applications

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22 Scopus citations


Networked Tethered Flying Platforms (NTFPs) have gained growing interest in recent years due to their versatility and cost-efficiency. These aerial platforms are linked to ground stations via tethers that supply them with continuous power and data. The main advantages of NTFPs include endurance, broad coverage, and robust backhaul capacity, allowing them to carry various types of applications. This survey provides a comprehensive overview of NTFPs from a general and wireless communication perspective. We start with a general overview of this solution by reviewing all the existing types of NTFPs, including their components, characteristics, applications, advantages, and regulations. We also describe several case studies in various fields. Then, we investigate the role of NTFPs in wireless communications and their integration in Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) alongside free-flying platforms and satellites in Sixth Generation (6G) cellular technology. We present NTFPs system models and emerging works on NTFPs performance. We show how 6G key technologies will be integrated into NTFPs and discuss how NTFPs will enable 6G use cases. The related channel models to NTFPs deployment are also covered. For completeness, we provide an economic analysis of the use of NTFPs. Finally, we discuss the challenges and open problems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Open Journal of Vehicular Technology
StatePublished - May 25 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-30
Acknowledgements: Figure 14 and Figure 16 were created by Heno Hwang, scientific illustrator at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors would like to thank associate editor and the reviewers for their thoughtful comments and efforts towards improving this paper.


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