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ESE Seminar: “Towards a Seamless Integration of Drones in Smart Cities: Communications and Security”
January 17 at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, will be an integral component of emerging smart city applications ranging from delivery of goods to flying taxis. However, a seamless deployment of such drone-based applications requires addressing technical challenges across communications, security, autonomy, and control. In this talk, we focus on the wireless communications and security challenges of drone-based systems. From a communications perspective, UAVs can assume two roles: aerial base stations that enhance the coverage and capacity of wireless networks and flying users that require wireless cellular connectivity for enabling applications such as real-time streaming and item delivery. With this in mind, we introduce a foundational framework for designing three-dimensional (3D) wireless cellular networks that incorporate both drone base stations and cellular-connected drone users. For this novel 3D model, we study a number of key problems including drone deployment, network planning, and cell association. Then, we turn our attention to the cyber-physical security challenges brought forward by the deployment of drones. In this area, we present a holistic framework, with foundations in behavioral game theory, for addressing fundamental cyber-physical security problems pertaining to drone-based systems. In particular, we show how notions of risk, bounded rationality, and uncertainty can influence the security of drone-based systems and we develop new game-theoretic solutions that explicitly account for such factors in security analyses. We conclude by an overview on our ongoing research activities that cut across the areas of cyber-physical systems, wireless networks, game theory, machine learning, security, and control.
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech
Walid Saad (S’07, M’10, SM’15, F’19) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo in 2010. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network Science, Wireless, and Security laboratory. His research interests include cyber-physical systems, wireless networks, machine learning, game theory, security, unmanned aerial vehicles, and network science. Dr. Saad is a Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He is also the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, the AFOSR summer faculty fellowship in 2014, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the author/co-author of seven conference best paper awards at WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012, IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, EuCNC in 2017, and IEEE GLOBECOM in 2018. He is the recipient of the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, of the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award, and of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award. From 2015-2017, Dr. Saad was named the Stephen O. Lane Junior Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech and, in 2017, he was named College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. He currently serves as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.