Embedded systems for secure localization and communication

/ 25.2.2013

Fraunhofer IIS presents new system and sensor innovations at the "Embedded World 2013" trade show in Nuremberg.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS will showcase a selection of embedded localization and communication technologies designed for security and manufacturing applications at the "Embedded World 2013" trade show in Nuremberg from February 26 to 28 (Hall 4, Booth 128). Specifically, the solutions include intelligent embedded systems for emergency services operations, robust data transmission technologies and GPS-controlled robotic platforms - all technologies that help maintain an accurate overview of dangerous environments in emergency situations. For production systems that call for the secure exchange of data, Fraunhofer researchers will demonstrate auto-configurable communication platforms and special RFID technologies suitable for identifying counterfeit products or for inspecting materials used in wind turbines and other systems.

Cyber-physical systems for safe emergency response tactics

Every second counts in emergency situations. More precise reconnaissance by emergency services personnel means quicker and more targeted planning and assistance. By relying on embedded localization and communication technologies - such as those integrated into the clothing of firefighters for instance - intelligent systems from Fraunhofer IIS provide central command and control valuable information regarding the position, status and condition of the on-site response teams whenever it's needed. This allows additional teams to be quickly dispatched to the site or also pulled back in life-threatening situations such as the presence of heavy smoke. When responding to emergencies on large and complex outdoor areas where operations are too risky without having detailed knowledge of the situation and conditions, GPScontrolled robots support emergency services personnel with additional information.

To ensure robust data transmission between operations personnel and the sensors, researchers are working to link together interference-adaptive and fault tolerant wireless components within large-scale networks. The components are based on snet ® and commercially-available WLAN technology and evolved from the SENEKA project, part of the Fraunhofer Beyond Tomorrow research program. The response teams can be kept informed in these difficult environments via a special DECT voice conference system as well. Using information based on movement classification systems, operation commanders know whether team members are walking, standing or lying, thus allowing them to rapidly direct support to the site based on the situation at hand.

Home security through embedded sensor systems

Imagine if storm or heavy rain warnings have been issued and no one is home to check if the doors and windows have been shut. An innovative sensor system, installed in the window frame for instance, detects whether a window is open, closed or propped open and transmits this information over multiple wireless stations - so-called hops - to a base station. After leaving the house, occupants then see at a glance which windows are open. Since the system has remote inquiry capability, they can also check if the house is secure while they are on the move by using their smartphone. The technology is made possible by a manipulation-proof, all-in-one sensor developed by Fraunhofer IIS, which can also be used to protect homes against break-ins. The system is powered by innovative energy-harvesting technologies such as those that rely on solar or thermal power.

Safe, secure and flexible industrial environments

In manufacturing, RFIDs offer a level of safety and security when working with materials made from fiber components or metal. They serve not only to protect products against counterfeiting, but can also be used as monitoring or inspection sensors in wind turbines or aviation. In these environments RFIDs can quickly and effectively pinpoint fissures or material wear that could lead to malfunctions or damage, thus preventing potential accidents from occurring. In harsh environments such as production systems where various devices communicate via wireless technology, auto-configurable communication systems facilitate dynamic switching of transmit frequencies to ensure interference-free data exchange. Polarization sensors employed in material and tool quality assurance applications make it possible to detect tiny glass defects and fissures caused by stress-induced birefringence.

Energy-efficient embedded systems

Developments such as innovative battery management and energy harvesting help provide sensors and other low-power devices with the energy to operate. An intelligent power management system adapts the energy consumption to the operation of the device (such as in the E-Car communication manager), reducing power loss and increasing its service life. Power sensors and wake-up receivers help to improve the energy efficiency of systems at the sensor level.

Fraunhofer IIS will be at the "Embedded World 2013" trade show from February 26 to 28, 2013 (Hall 4, Booth 128).