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Master student project group C.A.R.E (Collaborative Aerial Rescue Robots in Emergency Response) successfully completed

Members of the Project Group

20.12.2019 – As one of the final activities within the chair in 2019, the project group CARE (Collaborative Aerial Rescue Robots in Emergency Response) presented its final results to the members of CNI. The project group is part of the master course Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and challenges a group of students to solve a scientific task collaboratively. Within CARE, a group of 9 students realized a scaled system of ground and aerial robots which jointly executed emergency response several tasks, such as an exploration of an area affected by a natural desaster. But the highlight of the project group's presentation was surely, when two drones collaborated to synchronously transport an object within the given scenario to emulate a cleaning-up operation after a desaster. Despite the technical competencies, such as programming the control and communication of and between robots, the students also acquire practical knowledge regarding efficient project management and fruitful team work. A film about the final demonstration will soon be released on the video channel of our chair.


Dr.-Ing. Nils Dorsch receives dissertation award of the Rector of the TU Dortmund University

Representatives of TU Dortmund with the Commended

18.12.2019 – The CNI team congratulates Dr.-Ing. Nils Dorsch for receiving the award for the best dissertation in 2018/2019 within the faculty of electrical engineering and informatioon technology during the annual award ceremony of the university on December 16, 2019. Nils Dorsch's thesis is titled "Software-Defined Networking (SDN) for Real-Time Capable, Reliable and Cost-Efficient Smart Grid Communication Infrastructures" has proposed and investigated innovative concepts for communication networks suitable for the so-called Smart Grid. The work has been carried out within the interdisciplinary DFG-funded research group 1511 on "Control and protection systems for the future energy system". Dr.-Ing. Dorsch has proposed a dedicated SDN interface which enables energy system operators to control the underlying communication system through a so-called north-bound interface. The work of Nils Dorsch has attracted considerable attention: a first paper describing the overall system concept has been cited over 80 times since its publication in 2014 at the IEEE SmartGridComm conference. An analysis of the economic impact of SDN-based networks has been recently published as journal article in NETNOMICS (Springer) as well as another journal article on "Enabling Hard Service Guarantees in Software-Defined Smart Grid Infrastructures" in Computer Networks (Elsevier).


CNI strengthens its 5G research with two additional projects

5Gain Logo

02.12.2019 – The Communication Networks Institute (CNI) receives funding notification for two interdisciplinary projects focusing on the transformative character of 5G and its impact on Smart Grid and Smart City environments. Both projects are realized in close cooperation with the Institute of Energy Systems, Energy Efficiency and Energy Economics (ie3) and strengthen the joint research activities on interactions of future energy systems and modern communication technologies at TU Dortmund University.


LARUS project coordinated by CNI successfully tests unmanned aircraft system over the Baltic Sea to support maritime search and rescue

LARUS system during flight above the Baltic Sea

22.11.2019 – Three-year research project to improve communication and data exchange at sea brings important findings to practice.
Over the Baltic Sea, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS), together with nine partners, has successfully tested an unmanned aircraft system for use in an emergency at sea. At the end of the LARUS (Latin: Seagull) research project, which was started three years ago, there is now an automatic fixed-wing aircraft that has already safely travelled around 660 nautical miles (about 1,220 kilometres) across the sea. An enhanced version could improve communication and data exchange in the coordination of search and rescue operations by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Bremen of the DGzRS - and thus save human lives - even under difficult operating conditions. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research funded the project as part of the research program for civil security.


Workshop on Network Infrastructure for Cyber-Physical Systems (NI-CPS) at INFOCOM 2020 co-organized by CNI


20.11.2019 – Modern societies are witnessing the prevalence of a wide assortment of cyber-physical systems (CPS) built upon network infrastructure for mission-critical applications, such as industrial control systems (ICS), and society-enabling services, such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Such applications and services may demand various levels of performance of their CPS network infrastructure, from strict and deterministic to lenient or probabilistic ones, for system agility, safety, stability and resilience. The workshop which is co-chaired by Prof. Liang Cheng from Lehigh University and Prof. Christian Wietfeld from TU Dortmund addresses is an increasing interest in modeling and analyzing network infrastructure in CPS and advancing its design and application. Contributions are invited by January 15, 2020.


Competence Center 5G.NRW welcomes international experts on Software-Defined Radio (SDR) at TU Dortmund University

Prof. Christian Wietfeld Guiding through Lab Experiments

14.11.2019 – On the 13th and 14th of November, the Communication Networks Institute (CNI) and National Instruments jointly hosted a roundtable on "advanced wireless research" at TechnologieZentrum Dortmund/TU Dortmund University. Experts from across Europe came together to share their work on 5G and beyond technologies, such as massive MIMO and millimeter wave communications.


Kickoff for the Digital Week Dortmund (Digitale Woche Dortmund, diwodo) at the German Football Museum #diwodo19.

Mobile Lab

05.11.2019 – The Communication Networks Institute supported the kick-off event of the third season of the Digital Week Dortmund as representative of the Competence Center 5G.NRW. This year's opening event at the DFB Museum offered a dynamic mixture of accompanying exhibition, versatile conference contributions on the topic of digital transformation and networking opportunities. In addition to an associated information desk, CNI demonstrated the potential of local 5G networks for use at major sporting events. The mobile 5G laboratory platform was used to show interested visitors the performance of new Network Slicing functionalities compared to established technologies such as Wi-Fi or LTE.


Digital Summit of the Federal Government: 5G as an Essential Base for Digital Data Platforms

Group Photo during the Discussion in the Run-Up to the Digital Summit

29.10.2019 – At this year's Digital Summit of the Federal Government (Digitalgipfel der Bundesregierung), which took place this year in Dortmund on October 28/29, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Wietfeld, Head of the Communication Networks Institute, presented the Competence Centre on 5G of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (CC5G.NRW) to the Federal Minister Peter Altmaier and the State Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, in which the Institute is significantly involved. A unique feature of the competence centre is a mobile 5G laboratory located at the TU Dortmund University, which enables companies to implement 5G applications on-site in the shortest time.


Workshop Series on "Resource constraints in data science - Recent research results and future directions within the SFB 876"

Photo of the SFB Workshop on Resource Constraints in Data Science

10.10.2019 – The SFB 876 has kicked off a series of workshops with dedicated themes about recent advancements in data science, artificial intelligence and adjacent disciplines within the Collaborative Research Center.
The first workshop "Resource constraints - Recent research results and future directions within the SFB 876" addresses in two sessions methods and approaches for tackling resource constraints terms of energy consumption, memory, real-time capabilities, computation efficiency and radio communication.


Four publications addressing recent topics in automotive communication networks presented at IEEE VTC-Fall 2019


10.10.2019 – Key results of the vehicular research projects "SFB 876 (B4): Analysis and Communication for Dynamic Traffic Prognosis" and "Intelligente Verkehrsinfrastruktur für sicheres vernetztes Fahren in der Megacity" (InVerSiv) were presented by CNI researchers at the IEEE VTC-Fall 2019. The IEEE Vehicular Technonology Conference (VTC) is the flagship conference of the Vehicular Technology Society (VTS) of the IEEE and took place in Honolulu during the 22nd-25th september.

Two of our contributions focus on using machine learning methods to analyze and optimize cellular vehicular communication systems. In a comprehensive real world performance analysis, we analyzed online data rate prediction in different scenarios and networks of multiple operators. Based on the foundation of the obtained results, we demonstrated Data-driven Network Simulation (DDNS) as a novel approach for accurate and fast performance optimization of opportunistic vehicular transmission schemes. Hereby, a machine learning-based black box approach is applied for modeling the end-to-end behavior of a to be optimized network performance indicator. Futhermore, we made two open source contributions to recent topics in network simulation. Lightweight ICT-centric Mobility Simulation (LIMOSim) provides an integrated framework for the joint simulation of aerial- and ground-based communication systems and targets the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into vehicular traffic systems. In addition, we presented an open source simulation framework for the performance analysis of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Mode 4 communication which is a controversially discussed candidate system for enabling connected cars.


Successful Opening Event of Competence Center CC5G.NRW

Group Photo of Monika Gatzke, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Prof. Dr. Volker Stich, Nils Schwenzfeier and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Wietfeld (from left to right)

27.08.2019 – At the opening event of the Competence Center 5G.NRW, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart (minister for economics, innovation, digitalization and energy of the federal state of North Rhine–Westphalia [NRW]) informed himself on-site about the upcoming mobile network technology 5G and its innovation potential for industrial companies. The Competence Center 5G.NRW aims to support a smooth introduction of 5G and the development of NRW’s companies into a 5G lead market player.


Dissertation on the "Scalability, Reliability and Energy Efficiency in Ultra-Wideband Indoor Localization" successfully defended

Dr. Tiemann with the Traditional "Doktorhut"

17.07.2019 – The CNI team is happy to annouce its newest completed dissertation and congratulates Janis Tiemann to his execllent research results, which have created already a considerable impact in the research community.
Recent developments in wireless localization highlight the potential that comes with this new dimension in wireless communication. While outdoor environments are mostly covered by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), precise indoor localization is still a challenge. Both, research and industry have great interest in the added value that precise indoor location information can bring to future Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems. This dissertation analyzes the requirements for those applications and provides deep insight into the solution space of Ultra-Wideband (UWB) communication technology, by analyzing the accuracy, energy efficiency and, as a specific focus of this dissertation, the multi-user scalability of existing systems. The comparison with the state of the art shows the need for a new solution, providing both, scalable real-time capabilities and energy efficiency. Given these requirements, the dissertation of Janis Tiemann proposes the Augmented Terrestrial Localization for Autonomous Systems (ATLAS) solution approach specifically targeted to improve the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for control-grade Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS). The proposed channel access scheme providing scalable, real-time capable and reliable localization for heterogeneous applications is specified, implemented and validated. Furthermore, approaches for ultra-wideband specific signal quality assessment and sensor fusion to improve location accuracy are discussed, implemented and evaluated.


New Competence Center on 5G started

Presentation of Funding Certificates

25.06.2019 – The new mobile network technology 5G is expected to serve as basis for new innovations in many new areas, such as robotics, autonomous driving and health. The new research project „Competence Center 5G.NRW“ (CC5G.NRW) aims to establish North-Rhine Westfalia (NRW) as lead market for this new industry. the state NRW supports the projects with 3,3 Mio. Euro funding for 3 years, 1,2 MIo. Euro are dedicated to activities at TU Dortmund.

The main contribution of CNI is an innovative and very flexible 5G experimental platform, which can be used merely ad-hoc at locations throughout NRW. Thereby new 5G applications (e.g. based on 5G mmWave) can be explored in real-life deployment environments. The funding certifcates were presented to the project consortium on June 17, 2019, in Düsseldorf by Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, NRW's minister for economics, innovation, digitalization and energy (see photo, center position), Prof. Christian Wietfeld underlined that the specific focus of the project is placed on the exploration 5G network slicing to provide highly reliable and highly scalable communication links.


InVerSiV project successfully concluded in final demonstration

Part of the Road-Side Sensor and Communication Infrastructure

19.06.2019 – Sensors for environment recognition help to minimize dangers for road users in semi-automated and highly automated driving in complex environments, such as inner cities.


German 5G auction finalized - A closer look into the course of the auction

5G Auction Thumbnail

29.03.2019 – For all those who are interested in the 5G auction, CNI presents some statistical data derived from the auction results published by the BNetzA.

The statistics show first of all the progress of the bids and the sum of the frequency blocks associated to each bidding party. In addition to that the cost per frequency spectrum (in Euro/Hz) is calculated as well as the split of the frequency spectrum and its associated cost.

Based on the data, one can easily identify different phases of the auction (see below). After 3 months duration and almost 500 rounds the auction finally ended with a total of 6,550 Mio. Euro. The final outcome shows that the bidders associated with average bids of around 20 Euro/Hz more value to the 2 GHz-band compared to the 3,6 GHz-Band (with around 10 Euro/Hz average bid). This is due to the more favourable propagation characteristics of the lower frequency: the same coverage can be achieved with less base stations. 

The analysis has been originally prepared for the lectures "Mobile Radio Networks" and "Business Economics of Information & Communication Technologies". The discussion of the German 5G auction serves as a vivid and timely case study to demonstrate the close and complex interdependencies of technology and economics.


5G-Conference of VDE ITG committee with over 200 participants

Zukunft der Netze (ZdN) 2019 Thumbnail

21.03.2019 – The timing could not have been better: just one hour before the national auction of 5G frequency bands was started on March 19, 2019, in Mainz, the participants of the 5G-technology-related conference „Future of Networking / Zukunft der Netze 2019 “ were welcomed by the chairs of the VDE-ITG commitee on communication networks and systems, Joachim Sachs, Ericsson, and Prof. Christian Wietfeld, TU Dortmund. The 16th conference of the series was jointly organized with the NetSys conference at TU Munich. The well attended conference featured invited talks primarily from industry representatives: from public and potential private 5G network operators (Dt. Telekom, Vodafone and Bosch), 5G international academia and manufacturers (IMDEA Madrid, Ericsson, Nokia) as well as further 5G stakeholders (such as automation manufacturer Siemens) and representatives from 5G related projects. Many participants also used the opportunity to attend sessions and workshops of the NetSys conference discussing primarily recent results from academic research. Within the VDE-ITG committee KT2, industry and academia representatives jointly organize workshops on „hot topics“ and regular conferences related to communication networks, such as the „Future of Networking“ conference series. Prof. Christian Wietfeld, head of the CNI at TU Dortmund, has been a co-chair of the KT 2 committee for over 10 years.


First Prize, IEEE ComSoc Student Competition Winners, 2018, Supervisor: Fang-Jing Wu

IEEE ComSoc Student Competition Certificate

03.02.2019 – The outcome of our students’ project group has been awarded the First Prize by IEEE ComSoc Member and Global Activities Council for the IEEE ComSoc Student Competition 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The project group entitled “Passenger Flows: Crowd Mobility Analytics with Edge Computing in Public Transport” is supervised by Junior Professor Dr. Fang-Jing Wu at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Communication Networks Institute, TU Dortmund. The student team formed by Lucas Döring, Stephanie Althoff, Kai Bitterschulte, Keng Yip Chai, Damian Grabarczyk, Yunfeng Huang, and Lidong Mao, exploits Internet-of-Things techniques combined with machine learning algorithms to solve one of the important issues in public transport in smart cities. The goal of the developed system is to monitor passenger flows in an automated public transport system. To achieve this goal, lightweight embedded devices are integrated with multiple types of sensors for sensing wireless network activities and environmental conditions, and the onboard passenger estimation algorithms are designed for analyzing real-time data and further visualization. Therefore, the technical issues in wireless opportunistic communications, multi-modal sensing and data analytics, and visualization are addressed by the team. To conduct real-world experiments, the designed prototype was validated in the H-Bahn Dortmund that is an automated hanging train in the TU Dortmund’s campus.

The developed system was evaluated by an international committee with 45 experts nominated by the Competition Co-Chairs and by IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee, covering all areas. Two-round evaluation processes were performed by the committee from different aspects of social impact, technical content, originality, practical applicability and results, and quality of presentation. The developed system is characterized by giving insight into the uncertain wireless traffic and environmental conditions via an integration of sensing techniques, statistical learning algorithms, prototyping, and practical experiments in the real world, which makes the work particularly compelling and provide a physical gateway to a connected cyber world. Congratulations to the team at Communication Networks Institute, TU Dortmund.