On the Downlink Performance of RSMA-Based UAV Communications

Wael Jaafar, Shimaa Naser, Sami Muhaidat, Paschalis C. Sofotasios, Halim Yanikomeroglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as base stations (BSs) is envisaged as a key enabler for the fifth generation (5G) and beyond-5G networks. Specifically, aerial base stations (UAV-BS) are expected to provide ubiquitous connectivity and high spectral efficiency. To this end, we present in this correspondence an in-depth look into the integration of rate-splitting multiple access (RSMA) with UAV-BSs and downlink transmissions. A non-convex problem of joint UAV placement, RSMA precoding, and rate splitting, aiming to maximize the weighted sum data rate of users is formulated. Due to its complexity, two sub-problems are investigated, namely the UAV placement and RSMA parameters optimization. The resulting solutions are then combined to propose a novel alternating optimization method. Simulation results illustrate the latter's efficiency compared to baseline approaches.

Original languageBritish English
Article number9258414
Pages (from-to)16258-16263
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • MIMO
  • rate-splitting multiple access
  • RSMA
  • unmanned aerial vehicle


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