Technische Universität Wien
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On January 1, 2018, TU Wien, Brno University of Technology, and the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria started a joint applied research project InterOP, focused on solving interference issues of modern wireless communication systems. The goal is to strengthen the position of the industry in the partner regions of Upper and Lower Austria, Vienna, Vysočina, and South Moravia by providing a free set of tools for dealing with linear and nonlinear interference and providing knowhow of the three project partners. The research is carried out under the EFRE Interreg V-A Austria Czech Republic program.

Executive Summary

The project InterOP targets the concurrent use of the radio spectrum by multiple users without detrimental mutual interference. IoT (Internet of things) and Industry 4.0 applications with tight latency and security requirements are currently gaining momentum. In 2020 a total amount of 20-40 billion wireless devices is expected.

Devices are becoming increasingly networked, even a simple coffee machine often offers a WLAN connection nowadays. All these devices communicate wirelessly and use a natural resource, the electromagnetic spectrum, that needs to be shared. Typically, mobile communication networks (e.g. GSM, UMTS) or license-free systems (e.g. WLAN) are used for communication, with the increase in the license-free systems being most apparent. Unfortunately, this increasing density of wireless devices goes along with higher mutual influence.

Mobile communication networks solve this problem very elegantly by exclusively licensed frequencies and centrally coordinated transmission. Thus, collisions do not occur, the frequency spectrum is optimally utilized, and new standards can be deployed in a coordinated manner.

In the area of license-free frequency bands, however, the scenario is different: Frequencies are used uncoordinatedly by an unknown number of users, many different standardized, and proprietary transmission protocols. Collisions and the resulting transmission errors reduce the transfer capacity and reliability. Here, InterOP considers two dominant interference mechanisms: Linear interference (caused by simultaneous frequency use) and nonlinear interference (by closely placed transmitters).
Both linear and nonlinear interference types will be characterized and modelled to provide simulation and emulation tools for the industry for testing and improving the coexistence of their (future) systems with already deployed wireless systems. Results will be made available through InterOP’s webpage and public seminars for an interested audience.

In the area of linear interference, typical frequency utilization patterns of various environments (e.g. private areas, offices, sales areas, industry, road traffic) will be recorded, in order to derive models and to establish these as a test standard for future systems. To tackle the problem of mutual influence of nearby transmitters, nonlinear measurements are carried out on loosely coupled test-transmitters in order to develop novel models, which are examined in detail by means of simulation environments. This will pave the way for an increasing density of wireless transceivers in future.

The derived models will be verified and optimized by the academic partners on the example of the currently booming UHF RFID technology. Current developments (such as the expansion to 2.4 GHz or broadband localization methods) allow a comprehensive application and verifications of the developed models. In the final phase of the project, pilot studies are planned to optimize and verify the models and tools and to advertise them to the industry. The outcomes of the project will become available through public seminars, workshops, and the InterOP’s webpage.

The project results, a publicly available set of tools and models as well as a software defined radio (SDR) based interference emulator, will be presented by regional events to raise the awareness and to trigger cross-regional cooperation between industrial and academic players in the first place.

With the focus on license-free frequency bands, InterOP specifically addresses the fast-growing market of wirelessly connected systems. The publicly available research results will create opportunities for both start-ups and SMEs as regional suppliers and as potential future key players. The global character of ICT (information and communication technology) applications implies the need for the cooperation of smaller regions to develop their position of a globally recognized region in this area. By joining the complementary competences of three academic partners, by providing models and tools the interested companies and public authorities, and by establishing links with and between the companies, this InterOP fosters the competitiveness of companies in the regions of Upper and Lower Austria, Vienna, Vysočina, and South Moravia in an extremely competitive market.

Industry is highly encouraged to take part in InterOP by sharing their interference challenges and benefiting from open access project outcomes.
More information on joining InterOP

Please follow our news and have a look on the project's goals & activities for more details.