Credit: Leena S. Parab (Research Gate)

The Mobile Ad Hoc networks (MANETs) have developed significantly in recent decades. The key characteristic of this type of network is its independence from a centralised infrastructure, such as a router or switch, which allows it to automatically adapt to a new topology and update its routing tables in the event that any of its devices is disconnected or damaged.

In order for them to collaborate effectively with wireless sensor networks (WSN) in the creation of Internet of things (IoT) applications, a number of other devices besides smartphones, tablets, and laptops have begun to be connected to the Internet thanks to the freedom offered by MANETs.

The initial stage towards the development of self-driving vehicles, or vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET), involves connecting these devices, such cars, other types of automobiles, and the roadway in which they are, i.e., utilising a MANET network to link them.

Since numerous routing protocols have been created or modified for this kind of network, they constitute a significant advancement in mobile network technology overall. One of the biggest obstacles to be addressed in this field is how to preserve the quality of service (QoS) regardless of the high speeds that the vehicles may travel at.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have gained popularity and decreased in price recently, leading to the emergence of flying ad hoc networks (FANETs), which are networks made entirely of aerial devices that are capable of communicating with other UAV-to-UAV and ground-based UAV-to-ground devices. UAVs may be split into high-altitude, long- and medium-range, small, and tiny drones, with the first two being used for military purposes. Only the topic of tiny and micro drones will be covered in this chapter.

As indicated in Figure 1, the FANETs can function independently by sending the traffic received from land-based devices to a distant server, or they can support other network types through satellite or cellular if they are overburdened or unavailable.

As a result, this technology might be crucial for the development of the next wave of cellular networks, supporting 5G networks in the future. 5G networks will be capable of very high speeds and low latency, but their range will be constrained compared to 4G due to their higher operating frequencies. As a result, FANETs offer themselves as a low-cost, scalable solution for maintaining and growing the Internet infrastructure globally. However, it is crucial to research, simulate, and confirm their utility in various applications while also taking into account the limitations of both UAVs and the network itself.


FANET networks still have limitations that, depending on the application, may be essential to their functioning despite recent improvements. The main one is the use of energy  because it restricts the drones’ flight times, connection speeds, and the range of the signal they can transmit. As a result, the challenges that must be overcome to realise FANET primarily revolve around finding solutions to these restrictions. However, other factors, such as the drones’ mobility and storage capabilities, can also have an impact on the network’s performance. We’ll talk about potential answers to these problems below.

  1. Directional antennas: The majority of router antennas are omnidirectional, which means that the signal they broadcast is delivered equally in all directions. However, when these same antennas are used in drones, the results may not be particularly effective in terms of the antenna’s quality and energy usage. So, new antennas with beamforming technology have been created; this modification enables the broadcast signal to be focused to a particular region adjacent to the UAV as seen in Figure 2.

    By doing this, the signal quality at the particular location is considerably improved, and the UAV uses less energy overall. It still need improved analysis and application because it is a relatively new technology.

2. Mobility: Depending on the UAV model, one of the major advantages of UAVs is their wide range of motion and speed variation, which enables them to visit difficult-to-reach locations and traverse vast distances quickly.

Therefore, regardless of whether a drone is fully autonomous or is controlled by a base station, it must be able to transmit essential data for the mobility of one or more drones to other drones in the system or to the base station, such as collision prevention alerts, GPS, flight duration, ecological and weather conditions, as well as the dissemination of drone drive commands if they are commanded by a base station (Figure 3).


The physical and architectural features of FANETs allow for a variety of applications. Several of them are brought up in various contexts. Here are a few:

Disaster surveillance
A person may come across barriers during some catastrophes that prohibit examination of the entire impacted region. FANETs can be used in this circumstance to fully examine the scenarios.

Agriculture-related area surveillance.
The use of FANETs in agriculture has a number of applications, including comprehensive crop assessment, plant wellness analysis, and mapping of potential planting expansion regions. (Figure 4)

Relief and search attempts
The FANETs can be utilised in rescue operations where damaged traditional mobile networks are present to look for hostages nearby in the affected area. Additionally, due to their size, UAVs may access areas that would be challenging for humans to reach.

Networked sensors
Sensor networks, which are primarily used for data collecting, can be employed with FANETs in a variety of circumstances. When assessing the circumstances in which they are implemented, the efficiency of the networks will increase since UAVs can easily visit any site without experiencing major challenges.

By using FANETs, it is possible to analyse structures, check on their progress and quality, and also assess beforehand the environmental conditions that will be employed for the job in order to avoid potential disasters.


As FANETs develop, a wider range of applications will be possible, enabling the network to be used with other Internet-connected devices like sensors, vehicles, and other machinery. FANETs will soon be necessary for the development of temporary air networks. The applications covered in this chapter, including those for smart grids, rescue and monitoring, and other uses, have shown how flexible these networks are. According to simulations, the difficulties faced by FANETs are restricted to issues with routing protocols and energy efficiency.

It can be challenging to guarantee efficiency in all circumstances due to the high mobility and flexibility of UAVs; simulations 1 and 2 have demonstrated that proactive procedures are more successful in situations that communicate with an onshore server, but this may not be the case in limited transmits or mobile servers, which may have greater delays due to regular updating of the routing tables and the higher mobility of the UAVs, which frequently cause loss of connection.

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