We are living in the era where we all are connected through internet to connect, share, and access knowledge. However, with the assumption that infrastructure is available to keep us connected. In a situation of a disaster (e.g. earthquake, flood, and hurricane) this assumption is not valid, and we will need alternative solutions to connect users (people, objects, and their combinations). These solutions, in general, must support high data rates to entertain large number of users and have low latency for mission critical or real-time tasks (e.g. remote surgery in a disaster).

The vision of new wireless technology, the 5G network (5GN), encapsulates many applications e.g. mobile broadband, connected health, and intelligent transportation. To entertain such a wide variety of applications, the 5GN is required to support high date rates, few Gbps, and latency to a fraction of a millisecond as expected by the research communities, telecom manufacturer, and standardization bodies. Due to support of the high data rates and the low latency, the 5GN is a suitable candidate to provide a reliable and secure connectivity platform in a disaster. However, how a 5GN or existing networks can be functional without infrastructure during a disaster leads to find new innovative solutions. Previously, consumer drones were used to monitor and record information by operators in applications like media coverage and site survey. The consumer drones are now getting much interest in research communities with the capability to offload network traffic in scenarios like shopping centre, festivals, concerts and sport stadiums. However, most of the research work is limited to the theoretical aspect and still required validation from the experimental domain to improve and design new and more practical systems, particularly to overcome challenges in the situation of a disaster.

This PhD work will investigate the air-to-ground (A2G) radio propagation channel among drone and users, particularly in the scenarios of a disaster. The focus will be to model the A2G radio propagation channel in the sub-6 GHz and the mmWave band (i.e. 5GN). The outcome of this project will be a step to provide an alternative telecommunication service in a disaster to connect users. The expected new models will be beneficial for both research and industrial communities to understand the A2G radio propagation channel and more importantly to develop a more robust and innovative telecommunication service in a disaster.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)


Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

Department for the Economy (DfE)

The scholarships will cover tuition fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance of not less than £14.553 per annum for three years. EU residents may also apply but, if successful, will receive fees only.

Other information


Deadline: 19th February, 2018

Detail and application process:

For more information, please contact Dr. Adnan Ahmad Cheema (