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Research Projects

The Living Habitat (2021 - 2024)

Mars Habitat

This project is financed by the Center for Materials and Processes (MAPEX) (link: https://www.uni-bremen.de/mapex) and runs from December 2021 to November 2024. It is a cooperation project with Prof. Verena Hagemann and Dr. Christiane Heinicke.

Living inside a habitat on Mars will be an unprecedented psychological challenge, imposed by the isolation from other human beings and the nearly uninterrupted confinement. The environment outside the habitat is lethal for humans, meaning that inhabitants must entrust their lives to the life support system (LSS) of the habitat. This trust will be influenced greatly by how well the human crew can understand and control the LSS.

The long-term vision of our idea, for which the proposed project will help lay the foundation, is to develop and investigate human-centered habitat technologies such that they, together with the human crew, form a union that will result in a safe and overall successful stay on Mars.

Our project aims to integrate an LSS component into the habitat. Our use case will be a photobioreactor (PBR) as the air revitalization component of an LSS, to be integrated into the MaMBA habitat laboratory at the ZARM. Our cyanobacterium-hosting PBR shall be able to respond quickly to changes in the human demand for oxygen. We plan to develop situationally aware and interactive sensor networks that will be instrumental for the crew in monitoring the PBR. Since both the PBR and the sensor network will actively respond to crew input, we consider them part of the “living habitat”. From a psychological perspective, we will investigate the living habitat and the crew as members of the same human-agent team.

ComNets’ contribution is to develop a general framework for a system of sensors that is situationally aware, interactive and can be adapted to various components of a LSS, specifically to (1) the PBR in MaMBA and (2) the greenhouse of Eden ISS. The sensing system must recognize high-level events in a responsive and real-time way, such as air quality, particular problems with the LSS, and health issues of the crew members.

mAInZaun (2021 - 2024)

The project mAInZaun (https://www.intelligenter-herdenschutz.de) is developing a new type of fences to protect farm animals like sheep and horses from predators like wolfs. In contrast to classical protection solution, the protection will not be implemented in building tall, strong and expensive classical fences. Instead, cameras, artificial intelligence and advanced deterring technologies are used to reduce the attacks on the farm animals ideally to zero.

The system basically consists of two parts: The sensing part uses cameras and additional sensors to detect an intruder. Artificial intelligence evaluates the data and calculates the risk of a possible attack. In case of an attack, the persons or institutions in charge are notified. Additionally, the second part of the system gets active: Special devices are build to deter the predators using several technologies and approaches. These technologies focus on the main senses of the predators, i.e. sound, light and tactile, to chase them away from the farm animals.

The challenges in the mAInZaun project are manifold. First of all, the system is focussed on mobile fences. Therefore, all components have to be light and easy to transport. They should also be as self-sustaining as possible with a long battery lifetime and not depend on an external power supply. This holds for both, i.e. the sensor and the actor elements.

The second challenge is the reliable detection of intruders and at the same time a low number of false alarms. On one hand, wolves should be detected at all possible light and weather conditions. On the other one, the repellent actions should not be triggered by a normal dog and its owner. Thirdly, the system has to communicate between the devices and also to a central point for status updates and alarm messages. Depending on the area, classical cellular connection cannot be guaranteed.

Our department of sustainable communication networks is responsible for developing, building and optimising the above mentioned devices. Together with the department of Animal Husbandry, Behaviour and Welfare from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen and the fence maker RoFlexs, the developed system is evaluated and tested.

mAInZaun is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

NAVEL (2020 - 2022)

ESA WHISKIES (2020 - 2023)

KENET (2020 - 2022)

MoleNet (2015 - open end)

MoleNet is an internally financed long-term project, which targets two main topics: (1) To develop a reliable and flexible underground sensing system for various environmental and agricultural monitoring scenarios; and (2) 

To train young researchers hands-on in Internet of Things techniques and methodologies. More information can be found under the dedicated website MoleNet. (link: MoleNet.org)


OMNeT++ Development

Our department is very active in developing and using OMNeT++ in various research projects and in teaching. We are also often involved in the organisation of the annual OMNeT++ Summit (https://summit.omnetpp.org). Here is a short overview of our current research involvement with OMNeT++ and network simulation in general:

- An overview of published papers on the topic of network simulation is available on research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Network-Simulation-and-Models

- We are actively developing the OPS framework for opportunistic networking: https://github.com/ComNets-Bremen/OPS

- Additionally to OPS, we also develop benchmarks for opportunistic networks and offer a simulation-as-a-service platform to run benchmarking scenarios: Simulation-as-a-Service to Benchmark Opportunistic Networks

- We teach network simulation and OMNeT++ in our classes and offer many student projects on this topic: https://www.uni-bremen.de/comnets/studies/topics-for-projects