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RESEARCH: Wireless Communications


The Network Planning and Mobile Communications Laboratory puts a great effort on wireless technologies. Based on the intense research activities within this topic, the Group has gathered a deep knowledge on them. As a consequence of this, the Group has a relevant participation, not only within the design and specification tasks, but also within the development in the different projects it is part of. In this sense, the Group has even led some implementation tasks on different projects it has been part of.

Amongst the different wireless technologies, it is possible to highlight, over the rest, the family of the standard for wireless local area networks (IEEE 802.11) within the Group research activities, especially at the latest 90s, when, thanks to the participation on the WINE European project, in which a so-called middleware entity was developed to adapt the IP protocol stack to the radio channel characteristics, the Group started to gather a deep knowledge about this technology.

The middleware entity concept evolved, and has been adapted to the necessities of the different projects; in this sense, its functionality was extended to support multi-hop topologies, as it happened for the PACWOMAN projects, which furthermore, established the basis for what today we refer to as personal networking paradigm.

Upon the great advances on heterogeneous wireless networks, aspect which has attracted a large interest from the research community, the Group migrated and adapted the previously developments so that to provide a conceptual framework (with a pragmatic characteristic) in which heterogeneous devices may cooperate on a transparent way (as it happens, e.g. with the Ambient Networks, MAGNET and m-City projects).

Similarly, the Group is also fostering one of the fields in which a more relevant increase is expected in the near term, the wireless sensor networks (WSN), with the participation on the GOLLUM project and on the CRUISE network of excellence.

As it was previously said, and although there have been some simulation-based activities, the Group has traditionally fostered the implementation activities over real platforms, usually taking part of the demonstration activities of almost all the projects in which it collaborates, being the responsible partner in some occasions.

Last, but not least, and aligned with the continuous evolution which characterizes the wireless technology related fields, the Group is currently starting to open a new research line on what it is known as cognitive networks, more specifically on what concerns the design and implementation of middleware entities to support the cognitive shell learning and decision engines.

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