The CEL is also involved in various research projects with national and European funding. See an overview of these projects below.
To this day, communications engineering has closely followed the seminal guidelines developed by Claude E. Shannon in 1948, which were mostly influenced by the telephone network of those days. The widespread use of mobile communications and the advent of machine-to-machine communications nowadays entail an exponential increase in data rates and the available models used during the system design are no longer sufficient to design power-efficient, low-latency, high-speed communication systems. The overarching aim of RENEW is to further increase the data rates of the global telecommunication network while, at the same time, addressing its non-negligible environmental impact. By fundamentally revisiting the transceiver processing algorithms of the core parts of the communication network, RENEW has the potential to overcome the limitations of current design methodologies and to significantly reduce the complexity and energy consumption of the network. Capitalising on cutting-edge results in the fields of machine learning, reinforcement learning, optimisation techniques and neuromorphic computing, RENEW will reinvent the design of communication transmitters and receivers by introducing sparsely connected blocks that realise highly parallelisable transceivers guaranteeing high throughputs with low energy consumption. RENEW will explore novel concepts for extremely energy efficient receivers based on spiking neural networks, promising efficiency gains by multiple orders of magnitude. The viability of the RENEW concepts will be demonstrated in applications of high relevance such as high-speed optical communication networks or low-power IoT applications. The RENEW concept has the potential to yield novel energy efficient communication systems.
This project receives funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 101001899).
Since the Malaysia-Airlines MH370 incident, research in novel “Search & Rescue” (SAR) techniques has been intensified in the aviation industry. The result of this effort is the planned introduction of the novel class of Distress Tracking Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT-DT). Additionally, a novel standard is introduced by COSPAS-SARSAT, which uses a digital Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique instead of a narrowband modulation.
This and future changes lead to the exchange of old emergency locator transmitters, in order to fully exploit the advantages of the new system. This entails however a larger investment. The KIT would like to research, develop and deliver a generic software-defined radio (SDR) platform to the project partner Becker Avionics. This platform serves as later basis for different ELT classes, which can be efficiently and rapidly adapted to current and future SAR standards to improve the survival chance in case of an incident. An open and flexible communication interface shall enable the integration into existing overall systems.
Additionally, KIT will carry out research on novel technologies that will further improve survival rates. Besides a reduction of the power consumption by improving the algorithms, enabling a longer transmit duration before the battery is completely used, KIT will investigate the use of the ELT as Cognitive Radio (CR). With a CR, emergency calls can be transmitted on additionally frequencies, e.g. via maritime distress radio in case of incidents over the ocean. Additionally, the possibility of an extra digital in-band data transmission within the current emergency frequencies (not impairing existing systems) will be investigated. In this case, besides audio and speech packets of short duration, data of sensors (e.g., of future life vests) can be transmitted to the approaching rescue teams. These will be able to adapt to the needs of the victims of the incident and increase their chances of being rescued.
This work receives funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) under grant agreement 20Q1964B.
At a time when information and communication technology are converging more than ever, intelligent network automation is an imperative to increase the scalability, security and reliability of communication networks. It is also the enabler for new digital services and applications, many of which we cannot even imagine today. Especially in times of limited mobility, it becomes clear that automation is indispensable to guarantee network operation, optimize resource consumption and flexibly configure services.
The aim of the project at KIT's CEL is to develop new algorithmic and technical methods for optical data transmission on the physical layer. Special emphasis is put on the use of AI-based methods in order to significantly improve the communication quality and implementation of conventional methods with special consideration of non-functional properties such as flexibility, reconfigurability and energy consumption, latency and throughput.
The focus of the project at CEL lies in particular on algorithm development, taking into account constraints that arise in various practical implementations, and the creation of evaluation and simulation tools for the optimization of flexible, high-performance transmitters and receivers. Special attention is given to flexible and fast adapting methods, which form the transmission basis for future flexible networks and ensure the adaptivity of these very networks. These novel transmission methods are evaluated and demonstrated in cooperation with the partners.
This project is carried out in the framework of the CELTIC-NEXT project AI-NET-ANTILLAS (C2019/3-3) and receives funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under grant agreement 16KIS1316.
Optical transmission systems form the backbone of the digitized world, in which almost every data packet on the Internet is transmitted via optical fibers. Driven by new technology applications such as 5G and 6G, data rates in optical networks will continue to increase exponentially in the future. The usable spectrum of single-mode fibers is practically exhausted. Space-division multiplexing (SDM) over independent fibers and multi-mode/multicore fibers offers another dimension for parallelization. The capacity increase of transceivers by means of SDM can be achieved by optically multiplexed superchannels, where several transmitter or receiver structures are integrated on a single chip. Such integrated and cooperating terminal subsystems are analyzed and implemented in STARFALL. These play a key role in the commercial implementation of high-performance and cost-efficient optical transmission systems.
The first goal of this subproject is the development of novel laser frequency combs that will act as optical power supplies for the terminal architecture developed in STARFALL. The IPQ at KIT focuses on two concepts: comb sources based on electro-optical modulators and comb sources based on microresonators. These two will be compared in an SDM experimental setup with multicore fiber and offline processing. A second goal of this project is the research and development of new cooperating DSP algorithms, especially for coded modulation, which will be carried out at CEL. They allow a terminal architecture with flexible data processing and cover a wide range of application scenarios with different coupling of spatial paths. KIT contributes its results to a joint, collaboratively planned, laboratory setup with a modular laser frequency comb, real-time signal processing and an SDM fiber. This setup will be used to demonstrate and validate the results of the project.
This project receives funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under grant agreement 16KIS1420.