Ground-and-Air Dynamic sensors networkS a.k.a. GrADyS

There exist several situations where a geographic region of some size needs to be scanned or monitored through many sensors, but where it is either absolutely impossible or prohibitively expensive to deploy and maintain wireless communication infrastructure for the distributed sensors. Either because the region is hidden behind walls, not easily accessible, hard to get through, or because it is infected with some lethal bacteria or virus transmitter.  
In this case, the best is to scatter (disposable) sensors in the region and let they  transmit the collected sensor data by wireless means to a overflying UAV/drone, which then physically hauls the collected data from the monitored region to a central base station that functions as a gateway to the Internet.
In this solution, the bottleneck is the number of UAVs, since a single UAV may miss sensor data from the sensors spread in the region while it is carrying data back and forth.
Therefore, in situations where one needs a continuous environmental monitoring of a region with the smallest possible loss of data, it is mandatory to use a fleet of roaming UAVs that coordinate their fight trajectories and their data swap operations so as to minimize the intervals of time where sensors on the ground are left unattended.
This is the contribution of the flying network (of UAVs), but the WSAN on the ground can also optimize its data routing in order to reach faster any of the overflying UAVs. Hence, based on the WSAN node’s energy reserves and the current (or “soon-to-be”) position of any moving data sink (the UAV data collector) the sensor network’s routing protocol can try to minimize global energy expenditure and the fastest possible flush of the collected data.  With the goal of investigating the above mentioned problems, conceiving protocols and middleware services, as well as testing them through simulations and in real-world experiments.

This project is partially supported by US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

Sample flight


  1. ISCC 2023 – Collecting Sensor Data from WSNs on the Ground by UAVs: Assessing Mismatches from Real-World Experiments and Their Corresponding Simulations link DOI: 10.1109/ISCC58397.2023.10218042 pdf video

  2. Arxiv – Practical Challenges And Pitfalls Of Bluetooth Mesh Data Collection Experiments With Esp-32 Microcontrollers link

  3. Arxiv – Wireless Connectivity of a Ground-and-Air Sensor Network pdf

  4. MAVNETSIM – A tool to bind OMNET/INET++ with ArduPilot pdf Source code Online documentation video

  5. Ad Hoc Journal – Exploring data collection on Bluetooth Mesh networks link DOI: 10.1016/j.adhoc.2022.102809 pdf

  6. SBRC 2022 – GrADyS-SIM – A OMNET++/INET simulation framework for Internet of Flying things link Source code and online documentation pdf video

  7. GrADyS-GS – A ground station for managing field experiments with Autonomous Vehicles and Wireless Sensor Networks pdf Source code and online documentation video

  8. WINSYS 2021 – Opportunistic routing towards mobile sink nodes in Bluetooth Mesh networks ppt video DOI: 10.5220/0010557000670075 pdf

  9. Project Overview brief video

  10. Informal blog


Dr. rer nat habil Markus Endler as PI
D.Sc. Bruno Olivieri as Project manager
M.Sc. Marcelo Paulon as PhD student
M.Sc. Milena Cavalcanti as PhD student
M.Sc. Laércio Lucchesi as PhD student
M.Sc. Josef Kamysek as intern
Thiago Lamenza as M.Sc. candidate
Johan Marcos as undergraduate student


D.Sc. Vitor Andrezo as Posdoc
Breno Perricone as undergraduate student