Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access for UAV-Aided Heterogeneous Networks: A Stochastic Geometry Model

Cunzhuo Zhao, Yuanwei Liu, Yunlong Cai, Minjian Zhao, Zhiguo Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this work, we explore the potential benefits of deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as aerial base stations (ABSs) with sub-6GHz bands and small cells terrestrial base stations (TBSs) with millimeter wave (mmWave) bands in a hybrid heterogeneous networks (HetNets). A flexible non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) based user association policy is proposed. By using the tools from stochastic geometry, new analytical expressions for association probability, coverage probability and spectrum efficiency are derived for characterizing the performance of UAV-aided HetNets under an appropriate Air-to-Ground (A2G) channel model and the Ground-to-Ground (G2G) channels with a LoS ball blockage model. Finally, we provide insights on the proposed hybrid HetNets by numerical results. We confirm that i) the proposed NOMA enabled HetNets is capable of achieving superior performance compared with the OMA enabled ABSs by setting power allocation factors and targeted signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) threshold properly; ii) there is a tradeoff between the association probabilities and the spectrum efficiency in the NOMA enabled ABSs tier; iii) the coverage probability and spectrum efficiency of the NOMA enabled ABSs tier is largely affected by the imperfect successive interference cancellation (ipSIC) coefficient, power allocation factors and SINR threshold; iv) compared with only sub-6GHz ABSs, mmWave enabled TBSs are capable of enhancing the spectrum efficiency of the HetNets when the mmWave line-of-sight (LoS) link is available.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)940-956
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • HetNets
  • mmWave
  • NOMA
  • stochastic geometry
  • UAV


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