We want to design open communication systems that enable multiple services providers to share network resources as they compete to satisfy the demands of a diverse set of end users.
The Low Energy Network
Low Energy Networks covers a range of technologies that aim to make massive machine-type communication possible. This calls for the design, integration and evaluation of low-cost, low-power components and systems (sensors, actuators, radios, etc.) and the design of networks that can work within the constraints of low-power, operate at low OPEX, zero touch configuration/maintenance, and deploy scalable spectrum access solutions to support a massive numbers of devices. We want to develop ‘zero maintenance’ components, systems & networks.
The Shared Network
Shared networks cover the range of technologies that allow network resources to be accessed and owned in new ways. To support sharing, networks will embody sophisticated management and virtualisation capabilities that can coordinate the allocation of different resource types as needed, in support of dynamically changing or long-term requirements. In doing so, they will meet disparate and varying management objectives and will understand and exploit the trade-offs between the usage of different resource types at different network localities. We want to create the illusion of infinite resources in a sustainable, cost-effective manner.
The Dense Network
Dense networks cover the range of technologies that will enable large increases in available network capacity. Tackling network densification, improved spectral efficiency and opening up access to new frequency bands is key. This includes a focus on indoor and urban solutions. Small cell radio technologies and efficient hardware spectrum access techniques for mmWave bands are critical to unlocking this challenge. We want to deliver on the promise of 1000X capacity increases.
The Converged Network
Converged networks develop the concept of merging of optical, wireless and data centre networks to improve their overall performance. Converged networks are malleable and can allocate the optimal combination of wireless radio, optical network and location of data/storage processing to best suit individual service requirements. We want to make it impossible to think wireless without thinking optical and vice-versa.
The Moving Network
Moving networks capture the concept of network infrastructure on the move. Planes, trains, automobiles (including V2V), and UAVs become part of the network infrastructure. This moving infrastructure stresses the fronthaul, backhaul, and core network architectures and technologies, which today are built to be static with mobility on the user end. We want to enable bespoke networks wherever they are needed.
The Nano Network
This is an emerging area for CONNECT. Here we are interested in looking at networks of minute scale, within the fabric of materials, or at the molecular level within the body. Nano networks research seeks to understand properties of materials, or biological functions, which can be leveraged and controlled to act as nano networks.
Testbeds are an area of important strategic focus for CONNECT. They allow us to take ideas and make them real, engage with industry and agencies, and help us imagine the future.
Pervasive Nation is the CONNECT Centre’s national-scale Internet of Things research infrastructure based on a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technology. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland having won a Research Infrastructures Award in January 2016.
The objective of Pervasive Nation is to build an Internet of Things testbed of scale which will become a resource for industry, government and academia and act as a strong catalyst for Internet of Things research and innovation.
Software Defined Testbed
CONNECT at Trinity College Dublin uses a cognitive radio testbed based on a software-defined radio (SDR) system. The testbed is organized in experimentation units each consisting of three parts: a virtual computational platform, SDR software, and flexible radio frontend hardware.
The SDR system, known as IRIS, has been developed in-house over the past fifteen years and allows the construction of a broad range of radio systems. Each experimentation unit is designed to serve a range of needs: Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) provides a highly configurable computation platform, IRIS provides real-time radio re-configurability, and the radio frontend hardware (based on the National Instruments USRP platform) offers a broad range of wireless interfaces.
The Data Centre is located within TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology. The Data Centre has a total IT power load of 300Kw with some cabinets engineered to house 30kw of IT equipment. The Centre was designed with high-density, power efficiency and separation of services as its primary goals.
The energy–efficient Centre supports network-based research projects in the area of telecommunications networking and cloud computing.
CONNECT researchers currently lead several international research projects and collaborate with others on many more.
Led by CONNECT’s Francesco Pilla and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020, the iSCAPE project aims to advance the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives.
Led by CONNECT’s Luiz DaSilva and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 (ICT-2015), FUTEBOL is the Federated Union of Telecommunications Research Facilities for an EU-Brazil Open Laboratory.
Led by CONNECT’s Steven Davy and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 5G PPP programme, Cognet aims to build an intelligent system of insight and action for 5G network management.
The Cognet project focuses in particular on applying Machine Learning research to these domains to enable the level of Network Management technology required to fulfil the 5G vision.
Led by CONNECT’s Alan Davy, the CIRCLE (Coordination European Research on Molecular Communications) project aims to provide a structured research agenda in Molecular Communications across Europe.
Molecular Communications seeks to leverage biological phenomenon at the molecular level such as inter cell communication, usage of immune system, bacteria DNA transfer, neuronal signaling and calcium signaling to build a communications infrastructure for nano-scale devices that can be deployed and coordinate sophisticated operations within biological systems such as the human body.
Led by CONNECT’s Dirk Pesch, E2District aims to develop, deploy, and demonstrate a novel cloud enabled management framework for DHC systems, which will deliver compound energy cost savings of 30% through development of a District Simulation Platform to optimise.
AQUASMART’s enhances innovation capacity for the aquaculture sector by addressing the problem of global knowledge access and data exchanges between aquaculture companies and its related stakeholders.
AQUASMART will have a very positive impact on the environment by helping companies to better estimate daily biomass, optimize feeding rates and management practices.
CONNECT is involved in several large-scale and highly strategic initiatives which allow us to expand our vison for future communications networks.
ENABLE is a new Science Foundation Ireland Spoke on Smart Communities. It involves collaboration among three SFI research centres: CONNECT, Lero and Insight. Its tagline is “Connecting communities to smart urban environments through the Internet of Things”.
ENABLE’s goal is to address the challenges that currently limit the potential benefits of IoT for communities by enabling smarter buildings, more efficient transportation/mobility, better handling of environmental issues, better decision support, and enhanced cyber and infrastructure security and data privacy.
Agile Cloud is a collaborative project between CONNECT and IPIC (the SFI research centre for photonics), CIAN (Centre for Integrated Access Networks), and CSRI (Computer Science Research Institute) at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
The project focuses on the development of next generation optical data centre networks and their interconnection to converged access/metro networks to enable a seamless integration with the future 5G ecosystem.
The project is co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the National Science Foundation in the United States and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.
EDGE is Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action, led by Trinity College Dublin on behalf of a group of academic institutions from across Ireland. EDGE will offer 71 prestigious Fellowships for experienced researchers (post-doctoral or equivalent) relocating to Ireland over two calls for proposals. EDGE is also a training and development programme for scientific excellence, offering a unique combination of interdisciplinary research themes, career development opportunities and industry engagement to the community of Fellows we recruit.
EDGE leverages the strengths and assets of three Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centres: CONNECT, AMBER and ADAPT. These Centres together perform world-leading research on the three main pillars of ICT.
CONNECT integrates creative practices into its research and outreach activities.
Orthogonal Methods Group
The Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) looks at the creative interventions that can be made in bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds across CONNECT. In 2016, for instance, it focused on Internet Of Things and new forms of currency.
The group includes CONNECT’s Artist in Residence (Dennis McNulty), Writer in Residence (Jessica Foley), and Curator in Residence (Kate Strain). These individuals, their practices, and the practices of all of OMG, are increasingly an intrinsic part of CONNECT’s research processes.
In 2016 the first PhD thesis emerged from this group and focused on ‘inreach’. It looked at creative interventions that can be made in bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds across CONNECT.
Department of Ultimology
Co-founded by Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain, the Department is the first of its kind in the world. Ultimology is the study of that which is dead or dying in a series or process. When applied to academic disciplines, it becomes the study of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning.
When applied to CONNECT, it is also the study of what we need to give up and relinquish to refresh our perspectives and move forward.
Engineering Fictions (EF) is an experimental writing workshop devised by Dr Jessica Foley, CONNECT’s Writer in Residence at Trinity College Dublin. It is an instrument that can support and improve conceptual and verbal literacy within interdisciplinary contexts, seeking to “subtly interrupt everyday communication across academic, artistic and techno-scientific contexts.”
In particular, the platform supports conversations in relation or tension with technological research through various kinds of writing. Previous sessions have explored themes such as “Interrupting Things”, ‘A Wake A Wake’ and ‘Primate Vision’.