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Areas of Focus

The Institute for Communication Networks focuses on the research and development as well as the quantitative analysis of novel communication services, net architecture and their protocols. 


“Highly dynamic networks“ Emergency Response Mgmt. / Wireless Robotics

High mobility of communication nodes as well as unpredictable configurations of network topologies - which change often or continually - require increasingly intelligent algorithms and protocols for a situative and application-oriented communication. Such highly dynamic networks are on the one hand, characterized by constantly diverging requirements of the service quality of a communication connection, such as data rate and delay - on the other hand, the framework conditions of highly dynamic networks such as - network coverage/ signal strength, relative speed of the communication body as well as capacity and availability of network access points - also vary.

Today, an important scope of highly dynamic networks can be found in the area of emergency information system as well as in the area of machine-to-machine communication (robotics). Current research topics in this field are:

  • Dynamic network planning and mobility shaping for autonomous Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  • Optimal coverage with the help of swarm-based team strategies for UAVs 
  • Net security and vertical Handover-procedures for spread security-critical emergency information systems
  • Fast Mobile IP to support vertical Handover on IPv6 based networks
  • Geo-based routing concepts and mobility strategies for highly mobile, embedded WIFI-Networks
  • Adaptive Quality of Service Algorithms as well as channel modeling for LTE and 5G-Networks
  • Next generation secure communication networks for authorities and organizations with security tasks
  • Service architecture and middleware development for SML-based IT federations
  • Novel efficient and secure federation technologies

"Highly reliable networks“ Wireless Automation and Navigation for Production Systems 

Through the rapid development of wireless and wired communication technologies new potential areas of application in the fields of industrial automatization show up. As a result, a highly reliable linkage is needed to guarantee a safe execution of the mostly time-critical and security-relevant processes. These networks are often characterized by a stationary Backbone and a share of resource constrained partly mobile nodes, that - exchange information on relevant sensor-measured values, transmit and receive control and switching commands, transfer billing-relevant data or carry out user interactions. To establish a highly reliable communication infrastructure especially requirements on signal strength, energy consumption, quantity of data, reliability, accessibility and latencies are in the focus of investigations. 

When hedging industrial processes, additional location information are central for evaluating information. Navigation solutions for indoor and outdoor areas are therefore of great importance for a successful performance. 
This group’s fields of research can therefore be distributed among the staff as follows: 

  • Evaluation and optimization of novel communication technologies and protocols for scalable industrial applications
  • Monitoring industrial processes and indoor localization with the aid of embedded ZigBee Networks
  • Optimizing energy consumption of autonomous sensor networks by the means of intelligent communication protocols 
  • Channel modeling and development of novel communication services for satellite networks
  • Deployment of Galileo services for disaster control
  • Traffic modeling for resource constraint communication networks


ICT for Energy Systems and Electric Mobility

Due to increased decentralization of energy resources and their volatility information and communication technologies (IKT) gain a key position in the course of the aspired energy turnaround.They are Enablers for an intelligent and efficient integration of novel energy resources in today’s network infrastructure, and enable the linkage to actors of the value chain. This results in new, especially interdisciplinary cases of application in the areas of Smart Grid as well as Smart Cities and Smart Traffic. Electro mobility is one example: in particular, electric vehicles can contribute greatly to energy stabilization especially against the background of the expansion of volatil renewable energy as controllable loads and at the same time decentralized energy storage in the distribution grid. By implication they also affect user’s mobility behavior. In such novel fields of application core application areas of IKT are: management, the seamless integration and extensive automatization or coordination of controllable loads and producers, network and resource monitoring as well as individual billing / payment of consumed or provided resources (e.p. through Smart Metering).

In the course of this research group we commit ourselves to the growing challenges for IKT in this future market in terms of:

  • Analysis and evaluation on the suitability of wireless or cellular access networks for Smart Grid applications, such as Smart Metering through domain-specific channel and traffic modeling and network planning.
  • Kommunikation über das Stromkabel: Communication through the power cord: Data transmission via narrowband and broadband Powerline Communication to Smart Grids and electro mobility
  • Coupling cross-domain simulation environments for energy and communication systems (hybrid simulation) e.p. for a realistic evaluation of time-critical communication processes between switchgear.
  • Accompanied technology evaluation for standardization of communication protocols in the Smart Grid environment (e.p. Vehicle-to-Grid communication interfaces & network automatization in LV/MV/HV networks).
  • Seamless vertical IKT integration of electric vehicles into energy networks as distributed energy resources on the basis of the Internet of Things technologies. 
  • Development of model-based protocol validation procedures and conformity and interoperability tests for communication protocols in Smart Grid, especially for the Vehicle-to-Grid communication interface.
  • Integration of electric vehicle pools in energy network system service portfolios by the means of intelligent fleet management concepts.  
  • E-Vehicle fleet optimization through motion and load profile analysis considering data security and data protection guidelines.

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