Rohde & Schwarz supplies the Industrial Radio Lab (IRL) in Dresden with high-performance network scanners to explore the reliability and robustness of wireless technologies for industrial applications. These test instruments are used to monitor radio spectrum and interference in real time.
To be used by applications meeting Industry 4.0 requirements, such as mobile robots or automatically guided vehicles, industrial wireless communication networks need to guarantee a very high level of availability and reliability, and present low latency in many situations. 5G NR technology, for which 3GPP version 16 recently improved certain specifications, enables ultra-reliable, low-latency communications (URLLC). This makes it ideally suited to the deployment of private campus networks. However, as with any wireless transmission system, communication can be disrupted by possible interference on the frequency bands used.
The Industrial Radio Lab (IRL) in Dresden is dedicated to the research and testing of radio systems for industrial applications. To this end, the lab cooperates with Rohde & Schwarz, a leading provider of 5G NR test solutions, offering portable, easy-to-use test equipment for evaluating network performance in the field. Rohde & Schwarz supplied high-performance network scanners to IRL Dresden for real-time monitoring of radio spectrum and interference. In this application, researchers collect important data to detect, locate and prevent interference, while keeping the local spectrum band free for reliable wireless communications.
IRL Dresden is one of four regional laboratories of Industrial Radio Lab Germany (IRLG), dedicated to research and development in the field of current and future generation wireless communication technologies for industry. The IRLG develops innovative solutions, supports companies and collaborates with economic and political players to ensure the transfer of knowledge promoting the digital transformation of industrial organizations. IRL Dresden focuses in particular on interference detection, localization and mitigation, as well as on improving network resilience through real-time measurements of channels evolving over time on a shared frequency spectrum.
Dr Norman Franchi, project manager at IRL Dresden, said: "Solutions to cope with predictable and unpredictable disturbances and provide appropriate self-optimization and self-healing mechanisms are still insufficient. It is increasingly important to have automatic and reliable processes, based on real-time measurements and analysis with artificial intelligence tools, to detect, locate and avoid unintentional self-interference as well as intentional interference by signal jamming techniques, for example. This is particularly true in dynamic industrial applications and communication processes. The aim of our cooperation is to analyze and evaluate the requirements for the measurement network and sensors, and determine what real-time performance can be achieved."
Anne Stephan, vice president of mobile network testing at Rohde & Schwarz, said: "Industrial campus networks, whether they exploit private radio spectrum or that of a public operator's network, generally have to be deployed in a demanding operating environment. By partnering with a leading research institute such as IRL Dresden, we not only support fundamental research, but gather essential information that we can exploit to perfectly adapt our advanced solutions to mobile network testing that meets the expectations of Industry 4.0 applications."