Context of intervention
Connecting terrestrial LPWANs (Low Power Wide Area Networks) directly to Internet of Things (IoT) service back end via satellite broadband is becoming a new business focus. Besides the new market opportunities, in the agriculture sector, among others, and the additional revenue that the backhaul of LPWANs can bring for satellite operators and IoT services providers, there is still lack of technical solutions that allow the smooth integration and interoperability of satellite and terrestrial segments. The LoRaSAT project, funded by FNR, under the CORE2019 call, aims at designing optimisation of the LoRaWAN medium access (MAC) protocol, combining unidirectional and bidirectional communication, simple Aloha channel access with resource scheduling techniques, according to IoT traffic pattern, and application requirements. The designed e2e system and the proposed optimisations aim to enable better data extraction, exchange and management with immediate impact on precision agriculture applications such as crop growth monitoring and disease prediction, productivity through enhanced yields, and reduced use of fuel and fertilisers.
The PhD Student carries out doctoral research in the framework of the FNR CORE2019 LoRaSAT project. His/her work is supervised by Dr. Maria Rita Palattella, Senior Research and Technology Associate at LIST, in the REMOTE group, holding the ADR rights from the University of Luxembourg. Thus, the PhD Student, hosted at LIST, is incorporated in the REMOTE RDI group, closely interact with the PhD supervisor that reports on his/her behalf to the group leader. The student is enrolled at the University of Luxembourg, which is the awarding Institution of the PhD diploma.
Main missions – PhD topic
The PhD Student’s main mission is to carry out doctoral research towards his/her thesis.
The topic of the PhD thesis is focused on designing scheduling techniques for LoRaWAN networks, with LEO-satellite backhaul. The student has to address several technical challenges: first of all synchronization of a large number of LoRa end devices with a mobile gateway (installed on the LEO satellite). Simple Aloha, slotted-Aloha, and reservation based scheduling schemes for Class A and Class B devices should be compared. Their performance when supporting uplink, and/or downlink traffic, with and without ACK, are to be analysed. Bulk data transmission of IoT data during the limited visibility time of the LEO satellite (and thus of the gateway with the end devices) should be explored. The evaluation/validation of the designed scheduling techniques is to be conducted first using simulation and emulation tools, second in the form of a Prof of Concept (PoC) with a small-scale field test. The outcomes of the thesis are valorised through different streams, namely scientific publications and patents. He/she produces new scientific knowledge aligned with the strategy of the department/unit/group.
- Follow and advance a research plan (according to the LoRaSAT DoW) in agreement with his/her supervisor
- Know the state of the art on IoT, LPWAN, LoRa/LoRaWAN, integrated satellite-IoT networks
- Manage the daily research work allowing to deepen the topic he/she’s working on
- Take care of IP issues related to her/his research work (investigate first patentability of the result, before publishing, etc.)
- Contribute to the preparation of progress reports for the funding agency (FNR)
- Organise and participate in weekly progress meetings with the supervisor
- Organise and participate in progress meetings with the Advisory Board (two per year)
- Actively collaborate with other members of the LoRaSAT team
- Actively participate in group meetings, meetings with academic and non-academic collaborators, interested in the PhD work outcomes
Dissemination, Valorisation and Transfer
- Contribute to the drafting and submitting of papers to peer reviewed journals (IEEE Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Communications, International Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking) and conference proceedings (Advanced Satellite Multimedia Systems Conference, the Signal Processing for Space Communications Workshop (ASMS/SPSC), IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE ICC, IFIP NETWORKING, etc.)
- Contribute to the creation of intellectual property rights (patents, licences, etc.)
- Prepare posters for conferences (WCNC, PIMRC, AdHocNow, etc.)
- Present his/her work at local (ICT Spring), national and international meetings with guidance and prior internal review
- Present his/her work at the LoRaSAT Advisory Board
- Get involve into standardisation activities at IETF (in particular in LPWAN WG)
- Defend his/her thesis in a reasonable time frame (3/4 years)
- Participate in conferences and workshops in his/her research field (Infocom, ICC, Globecom, PIMRC, etc.)
- Train himself/herself in specific MAC access schemes for integrated IoT-satellite networks
- Follow courses at the University of Luxembourg (e.g. Space Master), and other Institutions on IoT, LPWAN, LoRa/LoraWAN, 5G, satellite
- Follow summer schools in line with his/her thesis subject
- Master in Computer Science, Telecommunications, Electrical Engineering or related field.
- Knowledge of basic networking concepts for terrestrial (wireless) and/or satellite networks
- Knowledge of Internet of Thing (IoT) communication protocols
- Experience with MAC protocol design / optimisation
- Development skills (C/C++, Java, Python, scripting languages)
- Experience with network simulator (ns3, etc.)
- Hand-on skills with IoT embedded systems
- Basic knowledge of Linux based OS
- English is mandatory
- French or German will be considered as an asset