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Deploying Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can reduce the cost of large rollouts and make it safer to deploy sensors in disaster areas. However, aerial deployment can lead to nodes with arbitrary orientations and, thus, to misaligned antennas. While this problem was observed during experiments, it has not been systematically studied so far. This paper considers an aerially deployed network that utilizes routing designed to minimize latency and improve reliability. A new antenna model is used to demonstrate the performance degradation caused by aerial deployment. By mitigating a large share of this degradation, cooperative relaying substantially reduces the energy consumption of the network.
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