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Wireless communication’s crystal ball

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December 7, 2012 in Technology

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“Awair” displays when signals are being transmitted and on which frequencies. Credit: © Fraunhofer ESK

By now, wireless connections like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are just as commonplace in industry. Yet systems often interfere with one another as data is being exchanged. Now, “Awair” will not only detect available frequencies but will predict them, too.

Wireless communication technologies have become an indispensable part of industrial operations. Within the logistics sector, for instance, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are used not only to identify and track goods but also to control forklift trucks or high-rack storage systems. In this, the various wireless systems are obliged to share a single frequency band. To ensure that all runs smoothly, coexistence planners monitor both the wireless systems and potential intruders, since any interruption to the transmission of data could cripple production. In “Awair”, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK in Munich have developed a piece of software whereby coexistence planners will be able not only to detect available radio frequencies but to predict them, too.

“Awair” draws up a digital map of available wireless channels, displaying channel usage in the form of a 3-D image. As on a physical map, the visual representations form hills and troughs; bulges in the 3-D image signify that a frequency is in use, while unaltered areas indicate an available one. Using recorded data to construct time series, it is also possible to forecast which channels will be used when, and for how long. This gaze into the future is the product of neural networks. This refers to a series of technologies that approximate the way the human nervous system processes information. These technologies analyze time series data, allowing them to predict which frequencies are available with unerring accuracy, all correct to the nearest second.

Read more at: http://phys.org


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