Research areas: Autonomous and self-adaptive systems; Cyber Physical Systems; Embedded systems; Real time languages and systems; Safety of autonomous and self-adaptive systems; Simulating complex systems; Wireless Sensor Networks and Internet of Things
Background: Reliable Real-Time Wireless Networking for Fractionated Autonomous Systems The increase in complexity of autonomous systems, as well as the need for cost and energy-efficient solutions, motivates the development of systems that are composed statically or dynamically by multiple wirelessly communicating modules. Examples of such systems include fractionated satellites, spacecraft, marine exploration vehicles and UAVs. A common feature to all of them is the need for timely and reliable wireless communication over a highly dynamic network (due to node movement, noisy channel, obstacles, etc.) Furthermore, communication traffic of different levels of criticality require network protocols to provide different levels of timing and reliability guarantees.
Specific topic for PhD research:
Mixed-criticality wireless communications over dynamic networks involves the adaptation of existing wireless communication standards to cope with the dynamic behaviour of the network. Current solutions such as WirelessHART and AirTight (developed in York within the MCCPS project) are based on IEEE 802.15.4 and are able to provide guarantees under specific fault models by exploiting redundancy on packet routes and transmission timeslots. Both of them rely on a fixed-topology network, and in most cases use a predefined slot table to coordinate media access among nodes. The work proposed here will have to relax the assumptions of such protocols to deal with dynamic networks, and will have to investigate protocol extensions that can manage distributed changes in slot tables of affected nodes in such a way that worst-case packet latency models can still be derived. Initial prototypes can be based on simulations or our network of IEEE 802.15.4 nodes. Advanced prototypes could capture more realistic network scenarios by integrating network nodes to UAVs or marine exploration vehicles.