It might soon become common for drones to transport goods and people, monitor disaster zones, and bring various forms of relief to areas that are difficult to access. Which communication infrastructure is best suited to facilitate this? Researchers at the University of Klagenfurt have explored potential challenges associated with the use of traditional cellular networks.
A transport system with passengers traveling between stations in periodically arriving cabins is considered. We propose and evaluate an access control algorithm that dynamically limits the number of passengers who are allowed to board the current cabin. Simulation of a ski lift using empirical passenger data suggests that such access control can balance out the average waiting times at different stations. The algorithm works well with estimated values of the arrival and de-boarding rates.
The introduction of wireless connectivity in industrial environments promises a rapid and cost-effective reconfiguration of machines and sensors. A key question in this context is: Which wireless technology is best suited for industrial settings? Many of the prevalent technologies, like WiFi and ZigBee, do not meet the requirements of certain industrial applications in terms of data rate, power consumption, and robustness. The lack of alternatives capable of achieving a good balance between these conflicting goals impedes progress. This is why researchers from the University of Klagenfurt, Airbus, and Lakeside Labs investigate the use of ultra-wideband (UWB) communications for wireless connectivity in industrial environments. Interestingly, UWB is commonly used for localization but is not yet an option for communications. Experiments with IEEE 802.15.4-2011 UWB devices were conducted in two industrial scenarios, namely a large-size aircraft assembly hangar and a medium-size production hall. These measurements are the first ones reported for off-the-shelf UWB devices in such setting and shed light on the potential of UWB to support emerging industrial applications. Jorge F. Schmidt, a senior researcher in …
A novel boarding solution for cabin-based transport systems — e.g., ski lifts, cable cars, subways — is being discussed in industry and has already been implemented in the Austrian skiing resort Bad Gastein: In order to avoid long queues at succeeding boarding stations, a display in the boarding area tells the guests how many of them are allowed to enter the next cabin. This form of access control guarantees spare seats for passengers waiting at the middle station to go to the top station. The overall objective is to install fair access conditions at all stations which would automatically improve waiting time and comfort of passengers. We expect some system intelligence to compute the number of passengers to enter at each station and adapt this number in real time according to the varying passenger load. Compared to extensions or modifications of tracks, cabins, or cabin vehicles, access control would be an inexpensive solution to optimize systems. Researchers at the University of Klagenfurt and Lakeside Labs are currently assessing as to whether such access control can …
A multidisciplinary team at the University of Klagenfurt is due to deliver initial insights on the efficient operation of a drone-based delivery network. Doctoral student Pasquale Grippa will present the results at the Robotics: Science and Systems event taking place at MIT this week.
We highlight research issues for wireless networking in aerial systems consisting of multiple small autonomous drones. Among these challenges are video streaming, synchronization, security and safety, and interference management.
Mobile robots in explorer missions need to charge their batteries from time to time. Different policies for coordinated recharging in teams of robots are evaluated.
In mobile communication systems, like UMTS or WLAN, the transmissions of different mobile devices interfere with each other. For example, when a mobile device transmits signals to its base station, other mobile devices transmitting on the same frequency band cause interference at that base station, which in turn may result in decoding errors in the intended signal. This form of interference becomes more and more relevant with the increasing number of wireless devices, and defines what is known as an interference-limited network. The number of incorrectly decoded bits per unit time is the bit error rate in the network.
Time synchronization is an essential building block in wireless sensor networks but is challenging due to low-precision oscillators and limited computational power of cheap devices. A novel synchronization solution for such scenarios is now proposed by Wasif Masood together with his advisors Christian Bettstetter and Jorge F. Schmidt from the University of Klagenfurt.
Written by Evsen Yanmaz. Edited by Christian Bettstetter. Small drones become increasingly popular for civil applications, including production of movies and delivery of important goods. The wireless communications and networking of drones is an essential building block in such systems. Lakeside Labs researchers have been working in this domain for several years; now they wrote a comprehensive survey article on the characteristics and requirements of drone networks.