A team of researchers at the Institute of Embedded Systems recently works in close cooperation with the Vienna company Oregano Systems GmbH. At the international conference ISPCS (IEEE International Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control and Communication) in September 2008 at the University of Michigan, USA, the world’s first fully integrated solution to synchronize clocks according to IEEE1588 over Ethernet Layer 2 was presented.
The team of the Department of Embedded Systems and Oregano Systems successfully participated 2008 at the „IEEE 1588 plug-fest“ which is an opportunity to test and demonstrate device and system interoperability and to resolve compatibility issues. Implementers and many well known international providers of network infrastructure were invited and encouraged to cooperate with others to demonstrate system-wide clock synchronization and operation of protocols across as wide a spectrum of devices as possible. The small footprint and integration of the solution into a single chip attracted considerable interest. Who knows?
Embedded Position Determination and Security in Wireless Fidelity Networks. A research project in cooperation with Austrian Academy of Sciences – Research Unit for Integrated Sensor Systems.
The goal of ε-WiFi is to detect the position of nodes in a wireless LAN network and thereby enhancing security and safety in WiFi networks. Typical applications for this are location-based access rights for office networks and wireless industrial applications. In the latter case, safety for the operation of industrial machines can only be guaranteed by the restriction that a machine may only be operated by wireless control if the command is issued from within a defined area (e.g., a crane may only be operated from a position with direct sight to the load rather than from outside the production building).
The overall vision of the proposed project is to accurately determine the position of a sender as a basis for new techniques for access control and system security. The ε-WiFi security architecture will offer services such as spatial access policies, VLANs or Internet connections defining precise spatial coverage.
The proposed solution foresees using one Access Point (AP) located at distinct positions within the area of interest. The actual position calculation will be done for the three-dimensional case by evaluating the received signals at the Access Points. High-accuracy clock synchronization needed to measure therefore delays, which will be reached by hardware time stamping. Although the techniques will be based on principles well known from Ethernet, significant adaptations have to be introduced to cope with the challenges of the wireless environment, in particular with multi-path transmissions. The particular technical challenges of the project are given by the fact that the required synchronization accuracy for the measurements has to be well below 50ns to ensure a reasonable spatial resolution of the position of a client node.
The project Flexible Wireless Automation in Real-Time Environments ( flexWARE ) aims to implement a novel platform, which will have a real-time communication based on different wireless technologies. This novel secure middleware between the physical communication and the application will be designed with special respect to security, flexibility and mobile, real-time enabled nodes that can roam between the Access Points of the system. This and the conjunction with localization services will enable the dynamically reconfigurable factory of the future, seizing new market opportunities with revolutionary new possibilities for applications.
The interfaces to the applications will be open, allowing third party development in a secure and predictable factory automation network. The outcome of the project will open possibilities for more efficient production processes and plants due to its flexibility and scalability. Moreover it is likely that this proposed project will influence science as well as the market due to the savings for (re-)cabling and maintenance as well as new opportunities as factory wide maps of goods.