Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Barry E. Mullins, PhD


This thesis investigates the performance of three mobile ad hoc routing protocols in the context of a swarm of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is proposed that a wireless network of nodes having an average of 5.1774 log n neighbors, where n is the total number of nodes in the network, has a high probability of having no partitions. By decreasing transmission range while ensuring network connectivity, and implementing multi-hop routing between nodes, spatial multiplexing is exploited whereby multiple pairs of nodes simultaneously transmit on the same channel. The proposal is evaluated using the Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing (GPSR), Optimized Link State Routing (OLSR), and Ad hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV) routing protocols in the context of a swarm of UAVs using the OPNET network simulation tool. The first-known implementation of GPSR in OPNET is constructed, and routing performance is observed when routing protocol, number of nodes, transmission range, and traffic workload are varied. Performance is evaluated based on proportion of packets successfully delivered, average packet hop count, and average end-to-end delay of packets received. Results indicate that the routing protocol choice has a significant impact on routing performance. While GPSR successfully delivers 50% more packets than OLSR, and experiences a 53% smaller end-to-end delay than AODV when routing packets in a swarm of UAVs, increasing transmission range and using direct transmission to destination nodes with no routing results in a level of performance not achieved using any of the routing protocols evaluated.

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