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Research themes

The centre performs research on various leading edge technologies of communication systems and networks. The key areas of interest are high speed networking, wireless sensor networks, wireless, optical and multimedia communication, and digital image processing.

Minimising potential hazards of radiation from mobile towers

The issue of establishing the safe level of radiation at microwave frequencies is highly controversial. eg. from mobile phones and mobile communication towers. Mobile towers are typically placed in densely populated areas to maximise their population coverage. The purpose of this research is to design simple and practical microwave filters which can be integrated cost effectively into the fabric of the buildings. These filters will substantially attenuate signals at frequencies which are identified as having power flux above safe levels. For instance, in buildings that are less than 500 meters away from the mobile towers, these filters will reduce the power flux to what would normally be measured at distances of 2km and above from the tower.

For more information about this research area, please contact Professor Daryoush Habibi.

Network survivability

Survivability in Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) mesh networks is recognised as a crucial issue in backbone network design. When a failure occurs at a fibre link, the affected traffic has to be rerouted via alternate paths, referred to as backup paths. Such backup paths can be predetermined (offline provisioning), or determined after a failure has occurred (online provisioning). The success of online provisioning depends on the availability of network resources. Thus, although online provisioning does not require much spare capacity, it does not guarantee 100% restoration. The aim of this program is to devise novel survivability design techniques in which offline provisioning is employed to ensure 100% restoration whilst minimising the spare capacity reserved for backup paths.

For more information about this research area, please contact Professor Daryoush Habibi.

Wireless sensor networks

Wireless sensor networking has been a very popular technology over the last few years. It has tremendous potential for a wide variety of applications ranging from medical to bush fire monitoring. However, many open research problems are still required to be addressed before sensor networks can be used for real applications. Examples include power savings, reliability, routing, clustering, mobility, security and quality of service (QoS). Members of the proposed research centre are currently working on power efficiency, routing and mobility issues of sensor networks and plan to extend the scope to clustering, security and QoS in near future.

For more information about this research area, please contact Professor Daryoush Habibi.

QoS issues in wireless networking

Wireless communication has enjoyed increasing interest from the researchers over the last decade and the outcomes are various industry standards like IEEE 802.11, 802.11b, 802.11e, 802.15.4 and 802.16. The driving force behind these standards has been the speed and reliability of communication. The QoS issues of end applications have not been adequately addressed. The group is currently working on Media Access Control (MAC) protocols of wireless networks to improve the QoS of end applications. The proposed research centre aims to continue it efforts to devise new MAC protocols in collaboration with the relevant industries. A provisional patent has been lodged in this area, and the University is considering commercialisation of the outcomes of this research.

For more information about this research area, please contact Professor Daryoush Habibi.

Smart Energy Systems

Growing concern over carbon emission and rapid consumption of fossil fuels has led to a situation where every nation is focused on sustainable energy systems. A sustainable energy system, defined as a cost-effective, environmentally safe, controllable, socially viable, and as a whole, a reliable way of delivering power, has become a priority for almost all nations in the world, leading to the evolution of the traditional power management system into the smart grid. As a part of our commitment towards sustainable energy system, we have been conducting research to make the systems more efficient and sustainable.

For more information about this research area, please contact Professor Daryoush Habibi.

Multimedia communication

Multimedia communication, both in wireless and wired networks, has attracted great interest because of the tremendous growth of multimedia applications in recent years. Examples include voice communication, video conferencing, video on demand, telemedicine, distant learning, and so on. Many of these applications require high bandwidth and QoS guarantees, which is a challenging task given the resource constrains. Optimising the allocation of resources to achieve QoS objectives within the constraints of the network is the aim of this research.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr Iftekhar Ahmad.

Visual communications

This area focuses on research in the capture, analysis, processing, storage and transmission of visual information for visual communications, using advanced signal and image processing, pattern recognition and machine learning techniques. It aims to develop sensors and machines endowed with human like intelligence. It involves the design and development of a new generation of smart vision sensors with on-chip implementation of human-like vision algorithms for face detection and recognition. It also includes barcode image processing, image and video compression, and multimedia applications.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr Douglas Chai.

Optical Fibre Instrumentation and Sensing

Optical fibres are utilised extensively in long haul communications due to their intrinsic properties. A fundamental requirement of communications systems is to modulate a signal. Modulating the signal within an optical fibre means the optical fibre is sensitive to an external stimulus. This means that an optical fibre is can not only be used for carrying optical signals, but can also be used to measure external quantities as sensors. Research into optical fibre instrumentation and sensing is using optical components, specifically optical fibre Bragg gratings, to measure acoustic signals, strain, and temperature for optical fibre based Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Current research has also shown that in optical fibre sensors networks for SHM, the optical fibre links can not only be used for sensing and communications, but in the distribution of power optically, with the use of photovoltaic power converters. New work is investigating the use of optical fibre sensors for magnetic and strain signals for use in security systems.

For more information about this research area, please contact Associate Professor Steven Hinckley.

Biomedical Technology

Devices implanted within the human body have been used for decades. The most familiar of these is the cardiac pacemaker. Pacemakers are currently being used for neurological disorders such as Parkinson ’s disease. Pacemakers, as electronic devices, have a limited battery life, typically 5 years, when the device needs to be surgically removed, and replaced. Current work is investigating the ability to communicate wirelessly with these devices safely, using acoustic communications signals. The acoustic transmissions can also be used to recharge the device, in vivo.

Light is an important factor in biology. Plants and human require light is some from. The interaction of light with biological materials is then an important consideration. Low coherent light, which safely interacts with biological samples at relatively low powers, can be used to probe below the surface of the sample for imaging. High coherent light, from lasers, can have significant benefits on biological samples, specifically, for the germination and growth of plants and in medical applications for humans and animals. Current research is investigating the ability to develop novel optical technologies to make low coherent medical imaging, Optical Coherence Tomography, portable and more cost effective. We are also investigating the effect of laser light on seed germination, and on plant diseases.

For more information about this research area, please contact Associate Professor Steven Hinckley.

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