ONR-Moving Cognitive Access Points

Rationale/ Motivation

The main rationale/ motivation of the project is the need for schemes that will enable a wireless system to efficiently handle various types of demanding situations. Such situations can be characterized by excessive traffic demands and difficult propagation conditions. These conditions can be changing with time in an unpredictable manner. Such situations can be especially relevant to a naval context (or, in general, to a military context). Moreover, they can occur in a commercial context. In all cases they should be handled in a cost-efficient manner. More specifically, a wireless network may face demanding contexts such as the following:

  • Moving hotspots, e.g., in fields in which teams move from one location to another;
  • Areas that have lost their infrastructure, e.g., after an emergency (such as an attack from a hostile force), or other types of causes of faults;
  • Areas with hard morphology that need to be covered, such as caves or forests, isolated areas at sea and/or within vessels.

These contexts include rather adverse wireless environments, in which the communication requirements (e.g., traffic, mobility) and characteristics (e.g., radio quality) may rapidly change. In such environments, it is of primary importance to handle also transient states (those that cannot be readily characterized by statistical stability). Moreover, such environments can be obstacle-rich areas with unexpected topology, where shadowing is rather hard to predict and handle. In such varying and stringent situations, legacy equipment and traditional radio planning approaches may be inefficient due to the resulting Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) and Operational Expenditures (OPEX), respectively.

In the light of the aspects above, technologies for the cost-efficient situation handling are required. Cost-efficiency can be coupled with CAPEX and OPEX reductions. CAPEX reductions can be obtained by avoiding the deployment of permanent infrastructures. OPEX reductions can derive through the utilization of cognition techniques, since they are associated with self-management features. QoS refers to the levels of service availability, performance and reliability (e.g., radio-service continuity) offered to the users.


Concept

The concept proposed by this project for the cost-efficient handling of demanding situations. This proposal contributes to the goal of cost-efficient application/service provision by developing and validating a concept that is based on "Moving Cognitive Access Points" (MCAPs). These would be either devices which are carried by humans or vehicles or moving robots. MCAPs are capable of autonomously moving and establishing a radio network in short time, with limited centralized management. The radio network provides wireless access to users, is based on ad-hoc networking connectivity, and has some elements acting as gateways to a wide-area infrastructure. The movement can rely on various approaches. For example, there can be a platform, or any other moving base (e.g., in case it is a car, the system can automatically generates instructions to the driver).

Based on this infrastructure, the concept of our proposal is to design, develop and validate strategies for deciding on the creation of networks of MCAP entities, which will have the ability to constantly move (based on a platform or on a moving base) and adjust their positions, provide appropriate QoS levels towards the users, form ad-hoc radio networks, and ensure linkage to a central (wide-area) service system (e.g., cellular network). Figure 1 depicts the concept developed by this proposal.



Figure 1: Concept of the proposed work: strategies for the creation of networks of MCAP entities in order to handle demanding situations.

Based on our approach there can be cost-efficiency deriving from the lack of the need to deploy permanent infrastructures for handling certain situations. Moreover, the autonomous behavior of the elements also contributes to cost-efficiency as it means reduced OPEX. Our work builds on the convergence and interaction of communication networks' mechanisms with systems, which can provide the movement of the APs, i.e., any platform that can offer the movement.



Objective

The main objective is the solution of an optimization problem: Given information and knowledge on the context encountered, the element/terminal capabilities, and the policies that have to be followed, find the optimal: (i) configuration of the radio network of the MCAPs; (ii) the final positions of each MCAP and the movement trajectories (that need to be followed for reaching these positions).


Figure 2: Indicative placement of MCAPs in places with challenging morphology.

In summary, the concept of the project is to design, develop and validate strategies for deciding on the creation of networks of MCAP entity, which will have the ability to constantly move (e.g. based on a moving base) and adjust their positions, provide appropriate QoS levels towards the users, form ad-hoc radio networks, and ensure linkage to a central (wide-area) service system (e.g., cellular network).