Blockchain-Envisioned Softwarized Multi-Swarming UAVs to Tackle COVID-I9 Situations

Blockchain-Envisioned Softwarized Multi-Swarming UAVs to Tackle COVID-I9 Situations

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With the spread of novel coronavirus, global health concerns have increased as it has flattened the curve of mortality worldwide. To handle such containment of the disease, multi-swarm Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with 5G can be used to reduce human intervention with major benefits of high bandwidth, ultra-low-latency, and reliability. Multi-swarm UAVs send a huge amount of data to ground stations with a real-time connection density of 107/km2, which is a bottleneck on 5G networks; data security is another issue in sharing sensitive data. Motivated by these issues, in this article, we propose a blockchain-envisioned software multi-swarming UAV communication scheme based on a 6G network with intelligent connectivity, Terahertz (THz) frequency bands, and virtualization of link and physical-level protocols. Softwarization makes the communication infrastructure flexible, agile, and easily configurable, and the potential of blockchain supports data security. Results show that the proposed scheme performs better in terms of processing delay, packet loss reduction, and throughput compared to exiting 4G/5G-based systems.

  • IEEE Keywords

    • Security,
    • Monitoring,
    • Biomedical monitoring,
    • Medical services,
    • Communication channels,
    • Wireless communication,
    • Temperature measurement
    • blockchain-envisioned softwarized multi-swarming


COVID-19, often known as coronavirus, attacks the human respiratory system generally with an age older than 65 years or younger than 10 years and was initially identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It has infected approximately 7.01 million people with approximately 402.7K deaths worldwide as of June 7, 2020. It is a global pandemic and affects the daily lives of almost all people [1]. As per the report presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), the symptoms are fatigue, cough, fever, headaches, and diarrhea, and around 70 percent of the population (worldwide) needs to protect themselves against the COVID-19 pandemic by 2021. The virus affects exponentially from human to human through touch, cough, sneezing, and exhaling. Anyone can protect themselves from this pandemic by following the WHO guidelines which mention social distancing, regular handwashing, wearing masks, and boosting immunity. The governments of various countries have enforced full lockdown so that people cannot come in close contact with others, that is, stay home to stay safe.

Various departments such as healthcare, municipal, and police are working 24/7 to protect and guide people about COVID-19’s seriousness and consequences so that they can follow the WHO guidelines, which helps to break the COVID-19 chain. The healthcare department monitors the symptoms of coronavirus, the municipal department takes care of sanitization to disinfect the infected area, and the police department resists public movement and monitors social distancing. Initially, manual procedures were followed by all departments to ensure their duties, but many concerned people were infected due to direct contact with COVID-19-infected people. Then, the world started looking for an air medium, which helps the organizations to perform their duties with minimal risk. UAVs can be used as a potential solution to perform day-to-day COVID-19 tasks such as monitoring social distancing, inspecting symptoms, making announcements, and sanitizing the infected areas.

Many countries across the globe have initiated the use of UAVs in a new way with strict guide-lines such as maximum altitude and geographic location. The University of South Australia developed the pandemic drone to identify COVID-19 infectious people; Spain is using agricultural drones to sanitize the infected areas; Virginia’s companies Alphabet and Antwork are using UAVs to deliver food and medical samples; Spain is also using UAVs to enforce social distancing [2]. UAVs operate over the wireless communication channel and their efficiencies in terms of latency and throughput mainly depend upon the communication technology used, that is, 1G to 6G. Figure 1 shows the comparison of various wireless communication technologies used to operate UAVs. In this article, we considered the communication medium as 6G, which has a massive ultra-low latency (mURLLC, i.e., <100 ms), user experienced data rate of 1 GB/s, the peak data rate of 1 Tb/s, connection density of 107 devices/Km2, and mobility of 1000 Km/h.

This pandemic spreads all over the world and to keep track of all measures as mentioned above, a single UAV is not sufficient, so there is a need to use swarms of UAVs that can share information among themselves over a 6G communication channel. A single UAV swarming network can cover only one single geographic location. But to monitor multiple geographic locations simultaneously, there is a need for a multi-swarming UAV network. The network management of such a complex multi-swarming UAV network is tedious because of the complexity of the network infrastructure. To handle this, the softwarization technology called Software Defined Network (SDN) plays an important role. SDN aims to decouple the network control plane from the forwarding function (data plane) by using open interfaces such as OpenFlow and OpenDaylight. SDN-based UAV communication improves network flexibility and dynamism in UAV deployment for diverse applications. Despite the many benefits offered by SDN, a multi-swarming UAV network is vulnerable to various security threats, which is due to the open nature of communication channels, that is, 6G. The attacks would be spoofing, man-in-the-middle, data modification, denial-of-service, and distributed denial-of-service attacks. To overcome the issues mentioned above, blockchain (BC) is a prominent solution, which is a distributed and immutable ledger that stores transactions in the blocks. Smart contracts (SC) eliminate the need for trusted third-party systems to perpetuate trust among the participating members. In this article, we present BC-envisioned software multi-swarming UAVs to tackle COVID-19 pandemic situations and protection against various security threats.


In this article, we propose a BC-envisioned softwarized multi-swarming UAV( multi-swarming uav network ) scheme based on a 6G network to discuss the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. First, we highlight the challenges of COVID-19, such as social distancing, health monitoring, and sanitization of infected regions. To reduce human intervention, multi-swarm UAVs need to be deployed over a 6G-network. This enabled UAVs to communicate with each other through a directed short-range communication channel in the infected region and share real-time data of resident locations with high precision (i.e., geo-location coordinates). Then, SDN infrastructure makes communication net-work flexible, agile, and easily configurable, and the collected data is stored on a BC-based IPFS system with high security. The decentralized architecture of BC makes these real-time data accessible from anywhere at any time. Then, research challenges and open issues in the deployment of the proposed scheme are discussed. In the future, the scalability of the proposed scheme along with the contact tracing of potentially affected persons will be explored with immutability, trust, traceability of transactions without compromising the throughput of the system.

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FULL Paper PDF file:

Blockchain-Envisioned Softwarized Multi-Swarming UAVs to Tackle COVID-I9 Situations



R. Gupta, A. Kumari, S. Tanwar and N. Kumar,




Blockchain-Envisioned Softwarized Multi-Swarming UAVs to Tackle COVID-I9 Situations(blockchain-envisioned softwarized multi-swarming)

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.