Driven by the surging need for seamless connectivity, research in the wireless communication area has dramatically evolved over the years to meet the increasing demand for data rate and seamless coverage. Such evolvement concurs with a notable increase in data traffic and the widespread of data-hungry devices, thereby inflicting stringent requirements on terrestrial networks. Despite the tremendous advances achieved through the past generations of wireless systems, almost half of the world's population remains unconnected, leading to an accentuated digital divide problem. Therefore, this work invigorates a new connectivity solution that integrates aerial and terrestrial communications with a high-altitude platform station (HAPS) to promote a sustainable connectivity landscape. The connectivity solution adopted in this thesis specifically integrates terrestrial base stations with hot-air balloons under the framework of a cloud-enabled HAPS via a data-sharing fronthauling strategy. The aerial (hot-air balloons) and terrestrial base stations, grouped into disjoint clusters, coordinate their mutual transmission to serve aerial (i.e., drones) and terrestrial users. This work studies the downlink communication from the cloud-enabled HAPS to the aerial and terrestrial users under practical system considerations, namely the limited transmit power and the limited-capacity fronthaul link, per-base station. To this end, the first part of the thesis devises a specific optimization problem that maximizes the network sum-rate while accounting for system design constraints to determine the user association strategy, i.e., user to terrestrial clusters or user to air clusters, and the associated beamforming vectors. The second part of the thesis, then, designs a different resource allocations optimization problem that accounts for the fairness among the users, thus adopting a proportionally fair scheduling scheme to assign users on frequency tones to maximize the log of the long-term average rate. On this account, the work solves a handful of non-convex intricate optimization problems using techniques from optimization theory, namely, fractional programming and $\ell_0$-norm approximation. The work consequently outlines the gains realized by providing on-demand coverage in crowded and unserved areas. Moreover, the thesis illustrates the benefits of coordinating the operations of aerial and terrestrial base stations for interference management, load-balancing, and fairness measures.
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|KAUST Research Repository