Research projects using RTI DDS
The DRONEXT project addresses the design of a multi-service communication framework for the protection, safety and defense applications of the secure societies of the future. Our solution uses an infrastructure of Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) to provide communications and service coverage in delimited geographical areas, in which there is no appropriate communications for the applications to be deployed (non-existent or unavailable due to a natural disaster for instance). Additionally, the framework under development uses larger tactical Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to communicate distant geographical areas, where MAVs coverage is supported, with a Ground Control Station (GCS), which provides connectivity towards control centers responsible for coordinating the execution of the operations that required the network deployment.
Our framework makes use of virtualization techniques, to support the fast and adaptable deployment and upgrade of any functions and services over the MAV infrastructure (e.g. VoIP services, routing, positioning algorithms, video recording and transmission, etc.). The use of virtualization, and the coordination of MAVs and larger tactical RPAS, provides the flexibility to address a wide variety of use cases related to protection, security and defense. An overview of the framework design, along with a subset of its use cases, is presented in Figure 1.
As connected autonomous vehicles are becoming a reality, it becomes paramount to introduce the fundamentals and the design concepts of such systems into engineering curriculum. From a different perspective such systems offer an exciting platform for enhancing student motivation and sense of mastery. During the spring semester of 2015, the intelligent automation systems graduate course at the department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Ben-Gurion University focused on autonomous mobile robot systems, with a specific emphasis on IOT connected autonomous vehicles. To facilitate student understanding of the theoretical and practical foundations along with the complexities of such systems the curriculum was designed around a collective bottom up construction of an autonomous driving system based on a team of EV3 Lego robots and a 3m squared road map (Fig 1). The course was divided into two sections: autonomous mobile robots and connected autonomous vehicles. As part of the course requirements, the students, divided into teams, constructed two mini projects implementing the theoretical concepts studied within each section. For the first project the teams were required to build a mobile robot capable of staying on the road and driving between junctions according to the shortest route (calculated offline). The robot was additionally required to stop before each junction and in case of identifying an obstacle (e.g., a car in front of the robot) not to get closer than a given distance from it.The theoretical concepts studied included robot design, path planning, and motion control (Fig. 2). For the second project the robot was additionally required to communicate with a central traffic control system before and during crossing of each junction. The theoretical concepts studied included team control, communication, and software design. RTI DDS was used for illustrating data-centered system design and programming and for communication quality-of-service design. One team additionally implemented an online visualization of traffic congestion using Excel DDS add-on. The ease of constructing applications using Lego EV3 and RTI Connext, along with adherence to a simplified environment (planar surface, right-angle turns, and color-based information) enabled hands-on appreciation of both low and high-level concepts including design, control, communication, and collaboration issues. During the final exam the students successfully discussed system safety features and ethical considerations and designed a data centered implementation of an IOT application for connected vehicles, e.g., using the autonomous car as a delivery option for online purchased goods, or an online pizza purchase to-go App (Fig 3).
More details about the Integrated Manufacturing Lab in which the course took place can be found in:http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/engn/iem/IMT/Pages/default.aspx
Figure 1: Three EV3 Lego robots on the road map
Figure 2- A: Two students presenting their path planning algorithm. B: A student closely monitoring his robot during project presentation
Figure 3: Suggested design for using the customer’s autonomous vehicle as a currier by the delivery company
This project explores various clinical scenarios on top of various middleware using a basic set of communication patterns. This project is composed of the following components.
- Simple Communication Patterns abstract low-level details of communication between medical devices and applications. All of the four patterns support properties to capture QoS requirements. The supported properties enable modular reasoning (via local control) about devices and applications. A prototype Java implementation of the patterns is available on top of RTI Connext and Vert.x via a common API/SPI and general mechanism to notify clients about the violation of QoS requirements.
- Clinical Scenarios demonstrate the use of both the native API of communication substrates (such as DDS) and simple communication patterns to realize various clinical scenarios involving communicating medical devices and applications. [Work in progress]
While the effort is being pursued in the space of communicating medical devices and applications, the patterns are applicable to other domains that involve heterogeneous communicating entities.
This effort is being pursued in the context of Medical Device Coordination Framework (MDCF), a project exploring techniques to enable Medical Application Platforms (MAP). MDCF provides a prototype implementation of Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE), an architecture to realize MAP.
In aircraft industry, after labour and fuel costs, maintenance costs are the third largest expense item for both regional and national carriers. By implementing IVHM technologies not only the maintenance costs can be reduced, also it can provide more specific scheduled maintenance, on-board diagnostics and prognostics services. Maintenance department can be notified about the fault in advance and can arrange for components while aircraft is in mid-air. IVHM technologies minimize the physical diagnostics costs and provide more realistic condition based maintenance (CBM). The aim of this project is to investigate, using simulation and optimization, how IVHM network architecture can be built and implemented in aircraft (or IVHM applications), to support interoperability between multiple vendors’ IVHM components and insertion of new IVHM capabilities. IVHM consists of subsystems, sensors, model based reasoning systems for subsystem and system level managers, diagnostic and prognostics software for subsystems. In IVHM systems, usually there is large amount of data (collected from sensors), which needs to be delivered to right places at the right time so communication paradigm is the first and very essential design consideration which impacts many key properties such as scalability, reliability, availability, timeliness and configuration of overall system. The OSA-CBM (Open System Architecture for Condition Based Maintenance) defines an open architecture for moving information in a condition-based maintenance system. Typically, companies developing condition-based maintenance systems must develop software and hardware components, in addition a framework for these components to integrate. OSA-CBM is a standard architecture and framework for implementing condition-based maintenance systems. It not only describes the six functional blocks of condition based maintenance systems but also the interfaces to establish communication.
The project focuses on acquisition, distribution, and storage of health and smart-home data. The university's Ambient Assisted Living lab is continuously running research and development projects that use RTI Connext. The projects are used in under graduate and graduate courses as well as research projects with focus on electronic patient records and distribution of health data.
The focus of the project is to model a wind farm and the data distributed therein. Siemens Wind Power in Denmark is loosely affiliated with the project. The project is used as basis for under graduate and graduate courses as well as research in distributed control systems, network communication, and optimization.
Present project focuses on implementing distributed systems based on IEC61499 components for control applications using DDS technology. More specifically, the design of IEC61499-based components using DDS communications. These automation components are able to map different traffic patterns using DDS entities exploiting the richness of QoS management mechanisms provided by the DDS specification.
The Evolvable Assembly systems project will adopt the methods of context-awareness, multi-agent swarm intelligence and self-adaptation. Context-awareness will provide each individual element with the understating of the surrounding environment; multi-agent swarm intelligence will support system self-organisation based on a community of autonomous and cooperative entities; and self-adaptation will allow the development of a goal driven collective behaviour leading to purposeful system evolution. The proposed programme is a radical departure from the current philosophy of reconfigurable manufacturing - it will create a framework for autonomous context-aware and adaptable assembly and manufacturing systems that can co-evolve with products, processes and business and social environment. This transformational approach presents theoretical, technical and social challenges that demand new fundamental multidisciplinary research.
The Cloud Manufacturing research project investigates how digital technologies can enable 'on demand' manufacturing. The research adopts the methods of cloud computing and crowdsourcing, hence bringing new models for open innovation within the manufacturing space to enable new organisations to arise without the need for a large capital investment. This approach proposes a radical departure from the current philosophy of manufacturing ICT and we are exploring the benefits of using Connext DDS as part of a multi-layered architecture where manufacturing entities participate and contribute with information, and support different services to the manufacturing life cycle, supply chain, consumers and users of the products.
Cloud Manufacturing: a proof of concept of Manufacturing-as-a-Service. G. Terrazas, D. Sanderson, E. Kelly, S. Ratchev. In 3rd EPSRC Manufacturing the Future Conference, 2014
CRIAQ AVIO-509 project is a research project on the design of modular avionics architectures and integrated commonly called IMA (Integrated and Modular Avionics). The main purpose of this research project aims to explore the design methodologies IMA systems and evaluate the impact of architectural decisions. A platform for experimentation will be developed to enable prototyping IMA systems. An application of synthetic vision increased (ESVS) will be implemented on this demonstrator IMA. CMC Electronics Inc. and CAE companies. are partners in this project and the École Polytechnique de Montreal. The project has a duration of three years (2011-2014).
Within this project, we are analysing the benefits of using Connext DDS for communications between different nodes of an avionic system.