Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications System (AeroMACS) is based on the IEEE 802.16e mobile wireless standard commonly known as WiMAX. It is expected to be a main part of next-generation aviation communication system to support fixed and mobile services for manned and unmanned applications. AeroMACS will be an essential technology helping pave the way toward full integration of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) into the national airspace. A number of practical tests and analyses have been done so far for AeroMACS. The main contribution of this paper is to consider the theoretical concepts behind its features and discuss their suitability for UAVs’ applications. Mathematical analyses of AeroMACS physical layer framework is provided to show the theoretical trade-offs. We mainly focus on the analysis of AeroMACS OFDMA structure, which affects the speed limits, coverage cell, channel estimation requirements and inter-carrier interference.
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