IIoT network designed by Uni of Sydney

Monday, 21 November, 2016

IIoT network designed by Uni of Sydney

Specialists at the University of Sydney are designing a 5G cellular network that will be dedicated to supporting the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

There has been a considerable increase in the number of connected devices, as well as mobile traffic, meaning that new infrastructure is required. Further, it is essential that this ICT infrastructure possesses high standards of reliability, latency, security and interoperability.

The University of Sydney team will look at how to build the wireless network with almost zero latency.

“Latency describes the time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another within a computer network. And response times can affect efficiency,” said Professor Branka Vucetic, director of the Centre for Telecommunications Excellence, School of Electrical and Information Engineering.

“We will be investigating response times that are shorter than 1 millisecond. Improving the current response times will allow us to create the smart environments of our future and emerging technologies.”

The IIoT is currently in its infancy, but to date, Vucetic’s team has been involved with pilot projects and research test-beds for trialling new technologies, in multiple vertical applications. An example is the Smart Grid Smart City (SGSC) Australian project, which has demonstrated several smart-grid applications on a limited scale for 30,000 NSW households.

“In the New Year our researchers will be focused on developing the new framework and models, algorithms and technologies for the next generation of the wireless cellular 5G,” said Vucetic.

“We are also refining the requirements for the ultrahigh reliability needed for machine-to-machine communications, particularly within an industrial setting. Our ultimate goal is to ensure there is no data lost in the exchange of information from one interface to another.”

The university will be increasing the team to 50 researchers for the five-year project. The team will include postdoctoral and PhD researchers investigating the use of waveforms, signal processing and multiple antennas to improve spectral efficiency in 5G. They will also address the efficient use of the overall radio spectrum, defining software networking and network virtualisation.

“The technology associated with wireless communication has developed rapidly in the three decades. Mobile phones, mobile internet and Wi-Fi for example, which we now take for granted,” said Vucetic.

The bottleneck in upscaling the deployment of IIoT applications lies in the challenge of using radio-access networks for large-scale connectivity, while meeting the latency and reliability requirements of industrial applications, such as fault detection and isolation in smart grids, self-driving cars, wheelchairs for nursing homes and telerobotic surgery.

Image courtesy of University of Sydney.

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