Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Imad Jawhar

Second Advisor

Dr. Nader Mohamed

Third Advisor

Dr. Amjad Gawanmeh


A large number of recent advancements in the technology of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have enabled them to be very useful and effective in many applications in today’s society. They demonstrate a high degree of stability and agility in the air. A few years ago military applications were the main driving force behind the development of UAVs and UAV systems. Many of their applications included monitoring, surveillance, data transmission and communication. Recently, several opportunities have emerged and participated in driving the development of UAV technology further ahead. Such opportunities include integration of UAVs with smart cities, disaster recovery, military and commercial surveillance, environmental monitoring, and emergency response. In order for UAVs to perform their various tasks and responsibilities effectively, UAV communication becomes an important component. Furthermore, such communication must be done using trusted strategies and protocols so that the related missions and services are not attacked or compromised in intentional or un-intentional manners. On the other hand, Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) are a collection of autonomous nodes with a dynamic topology. They provide the potential for autonomous group organizations with extended communication capabilities in several operations. UAVs and MANETs share many common characteristics. Consequently, a group of flying UAVs can be considered a MANET where the individual UAVs are modeled as nodes. The main contributions provided in this thesis are the following: (1) characterization of different UAV-based networking architectures, (2) identification of the characteristics and issues in MANET protocols that lead to efficient UAV-based communication, (3) classification of different data traffic types and requirements for vii efficient UAV-based communication in various applications and environments, (4) classification of the different trust-based protocols and schemes that can be adopted by UAVs, (5) comparison of the communication requirements between military and commercial applications, (6) classification of trust protocols and schemes for various UAV applications, and (7) providing a case study on UAVs and their applications in Smart Cities. Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Mobile Ad hoc Networks, communic

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