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May 2022: Helikite Spectrum Measurements

Lead Experimenter

Ozgur Ozdemir, North Carolina State University

Link to Dataset

  • Power Spectrum Monitoring Dataset: The dataset includes power spectrum measurements and GPS logs that are collected at a helikite at different altitudes. SigMF format dataset including format conversion codes can be accessed here [Dryad].
  • Post Processing Code: Post-processing Matlab codes for the dataset to generate representative results can be accessed here [download].

Equipment and Software Used

LPN on Helikite, USRP B205mini on LPN, UHD1 Spectrum monitoring software


In this experiment, the AERPAW helikite flies up to 500 feet altitude, at increments of 10 meters, while waiting for 5 minutes in between altitude changes. The USRP B205mini continuously sweeps the spectrum up to 6 GHz while the helikite is at a fixed altitude, and power measurements at each frequency band are logged. The results are post-processed in Matlab to observe the spectrum occupancy at different bands and the effect of spectrum sensing altitude on the occupancy results.


  1. A. H. F. Raouf, S. J. Maeng, I. Guvenc, O. Ozdemir, and M. L. Sichitiu, "Spectrum Monitoring and Analysis in Urban and Rural Environments at Different Altitudes", in Proc. IEEE Veh. Technol. Conf. (VTC), Florence, Italy, June 2023.
  2. S. J. Maeng, O. Ozdemir, H. Nandakumar, I Guvenc, M. Sichitiu, R. Dutta, and M. J. Mushi, "Spectrum Activity Monitoring and Analysis for Sub-6 GHz Bands Using a Helikite", in Proc. IEEE Testbeds for Advanced Systems Implementation and Research (TASIR) Workshop, Bengaluru, India, Jan. 2023.

Representative Results

You can access representative results on spectrum occupancy measurements as a function of the helikite altitude here.

  • Pictures in the Experiment: a Helikite Floats Lake Wheeler Site
    Screenshot 2023-04-09 at 21 21 55
  • Result figures
    Screenshot 2023-04-09 at 21 22 03(Left) AERPAW helikite’s location in 3D over Google, (Center) Variation of the helikite’s altitude in meters as a function of time, and (Right) spectrum monitoring of LTE bands as a function of altitude.


Potential use cases for this dataset include:

  • Enhancing Spectrum Management
  • Environmental and Geographical Analysis of Spectrum
  • Spectrum Occupancy Modeling at all sub-6 GHz Bands