Research @ GEMS

The GEMS Group research interests are broadly focused on Wireless Systems and Technologies involving two main areas: Ad-Hoc, Mesh, and Heterogeneous Wireless Networks, and Embedded Networked Sensing Systems (a.k.a. Wireless Sensor Networks or WSNs). Within these areas, several projects have been developed, both at in internal level and with external funding.

In the Ad-Hoc, Mesh, and Heterogeneous Networking area, the group has been active in the development of distributed architectures, bridging, and gateway services, as well as mobility and services support. This ultimately lead to the development of self-organized service-oriented architectures, namely through the SAdhoc project and, later on, through the WIP sponsored WiNe-SD project. More recently, the Intelligent Home Networking project has applied these concepts in the small office and home environment, creating a new distributed and service-oriented middleware. Further research has also been carried out in the study of WiMAX based networks, namely through the WiMAX QoS and WiMAX Meter projects.

The WSN area, in turn, has been one of the most prolific in GEMS. Having started in 2005, this area has been object of a significant research effort, covering a wide gamut of areas, from hardware development to application specific technologies. Furthermore, a WSN test-bed has also been built within the Instituto Superior Técnico - Taguspark Campus, through the Tagus-SensorNet project, creating a powerful tool for demonstrating current projects in action, while also supporting the development of future protocols and systems. The following sub-areas have been explored to a further extent:

  • Indoor Localization - Research on localization algorithms and synchronization schemes has been carried out within GEMS. Two different approaches for determining the position of objects in indoor scenarios have been developed, through the Shopping Cart and LEMe Room Localization projects.
  • Structure Health Monitoring - Within the Sensopolitan project, a specialized system has been developed to characterize and monitor vibrations measured from large civil structures, such as bridges and tunnels. This allows civil engineers to not only predict and prevent catastrophic structural failures, but to also monitor the structure's natural aging process.
  • Transport Layer Issues - A modular approach to WSN transport layer functionality has been developed within the WMTP project. This protocol not only provides the most common features, namely congestion control, fairness, and reliability, but also provides some new ones, such as flow control, throttling, quality-of-service, and integration with service-discovery systems.
  • Hardware Systems - Several of our projects have involved developing custom hardware, including ultrasound boards for the LEMe Room Localization project and specialized accelerometer boards for the Sensopolitan project. A modular sensor hardware platform is also being developed within the MoteIST++ project.

Aside from the internal projects that are developed within GEMS group, there are also quite a few external projects in which GEMS has had an active participation, including the CRUISE, WIP, and NEWCOM++ European Projects. GEMS also regularly collaborates with GROW and has previously engaged on a joint research activity with the Lab. of Communications and Telematics (LCT) of the DIE, University of Coimbra, on WSN node's characterization and deployment strategies.