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R2C2 - Reconfigurable Real-time Communication for Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems

Project Description

Novel manufacturing systems and processes have to be more flexible and with a stronger vertical and horizontal integration within and across factories and value networks. Smart grids as critical infrastructures need to be highly resilient even in face of communication link breakdowns and use synchronization over wide-area networks to increase grid stability. However, existing communication solutions for such industrial cyber-physical systems of systems (CPSoS) especially with regard to real-time communication do not yet support the required levels of fast, automatized reconfigurations for flexibility and resilience. Additionally, the exchange of data and information between local automation networks and wide-area IT networks is based on many transitional layers and can be complex, slow and unreliable.

For these reasons one underlying key challenge that needs to be solved to realize the concepts and the scenarios envisioned for future manufacturing and energy systems is a highly flexible, resilient, secure and distributed communication and computation architecture ranging from lower-level real-time over cross-site/cross-domain communication up to higher-level cloud integration.

The main goals of R2C2 are:

  1. The application of software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to create run-time reconfigurable real-time communication networks for flexible and resilient CPS.
  2. The design and implementation of suitable mechanisms, interfaces, protocols for the transition between local real-time and (non-)real-time wide-area networks for simplified automation/IT integration and vertical and horizontal CPS integration across sites.
  3. Leveraging the rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence in recent years and demonstrating the compatibility of the developed communication solution with future AI-based networking approaches.
  4. Demonstrating the advantages of the targeted solution and evaluating its operational characteristics both for a manufacturing and a smart grid use case.

The results of this project will lay the groundwork for a highly innovative and advanced communication architecture for future flexible and connected manufacturing and energy systems. It will provide features to such cyber-physical systems of systems that go far beyond what is achievable using current solutions and technologies in terms of flexibility, resilience, range and manageability and help CPSoS adjust more quickly to dynamic system and environmental conditions as well as changing user demands.

This project has received funding from the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology under the funding programme, IKT der Zukunft, grant agreement no. 867543.


TTTech Computertechnik AG will develop the real-time Ethernet components and the edge node with its real-time operating system and real-time to (non-) real-time transition component.

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