A survey on position-based routing protocols for Flying Ad hoc Networks (FANETs)

Omar Sami Oubbati, Abderrahmane Lakas, Fen Zhou, Mesut Güneş, Mohamed Bachir Yagoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

242 Citations (Scopus)


The last decade has seen a growing interest in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for various applications and services. UAVs, or drones as referred to, have shown to be efficient in completing complex tasks when organized as ad hoc connected groups, thus forming a Flying Ad hoc Network (FANET). Although similar to Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) and Vehicular Ad hoc Network (VANET), FANETs have their own characteristics. One of the main difference is the fact that UAVs in general, but particularly when organized are FANETs, are mission-based, and their mobility models are often dictated by the purpose of their mission and the nature of the task they plan to accomplish. Therefore, routing protocols for FANETs should take into consideration the nature of the applications and services that the UAVs are deployed for, and factor in the mobility models. However, designing routing protocols for FANETs is not an easy task given the highly dynamic topology of FANETs and the flying constraints they are subjected to. Compared to topology-based routing, position-based routing demonstrated high efficiency and resilience to handle the high mobility of FANET nodes. To this end, in this paper, we propose a comprehensive survey of position-based routing protocols for FANETs with their various categories. We propose a classification and a taxonomy of these protocols, including a detailed description of the routing schemes used in each category. We propose a comparative study based on various criteria, and discuss the advantages and weaknesses of each protocol. Furthermore, new challenges for future research are presented, which introduce a new kind of coordination between UAVs and existing VANETs on the ground. The originality of this survey is that it complements the existing surveys on the same theme by providing more details on some aspects that have been addressed only ostensibly by other surveys in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-56
Number of pages28
JournalVehicular Communications
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Flying Ad hoc Networks (FANETs)
  • Geographical position
  • Routing protocols
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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