Programa
UNICO5G
Proyectos innovadores en el despliegue de las tecnologías 5G avanzado y 6G

Dentro del Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia para proyectos de investigación e innovación en el despliegue de tecnologías 5G avanzado y 6G, enmarcado en el programa UNICO5G, i2CAT se ha adjudicado 20 proyectos de investigación por un importe total de unos 16,5 M€ que debe ejecutarse en 36 meses, a partir de enero de 2022.

Los proyectos se agrupan en 6 proyectos coordinados más una acción de apoyo a la captación de talento. Todos los proyectos están liderados por i2CAT, que ejecutará el 30% del presupuesto y subcontratará el 70% restante a grandes empresas, pymes y organismos de investigación mediante procedimientos de contratación pública

Uno de los objetivos de estas ayudas es incrementar el liderazgo de los grupos de investigación públicos en 5G, siendo referente en el desarrollo tecnológico del 5G avanzado y 6G. Por eso, una parte de las ayudas se dedicará a impulsar la promoción y la atracción de talento en el campo de los estudios de Ingeniería de Telecomunicación, con un énfasis particular en la igualdad de género y el ámbito internacional.

El Plan de Recuperación Transformación y Resiliencia sirve de marco para diferentes programas y actuaciones que facilitarán la universalización del acceso a la banda ancha ultrarrápida en todo el territorio y acelerarán el despliegue de 5G. Esta iniciativa se enmarca en el Programa UNICO-5G I+D.

6G Enablers

3 subproyectos
PI: Dr. Shuaib Siddiqui
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Ciberseguridad
  • Trust, Privacy and Security
  • Network automation
  • Marketplace: DLT
  • Holoportation

6GSatNet

3 subproyectos
PI: Dr. Sergi Figuerola
  • NTN
  • 5G+ Core
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Inter-Satellite Link
  • SDN over satellite
  • Cybersecurity

6GTWinRoad

4 subproyectos
PI: Dr. Jesús Alonso-Zarate
  • CCAM
  • V2X Communications
  • Network Slicing
  • Positioning
  • Digital Twins

Open6G

3 subproyectos
PI: Dr. Xavier Costa Pérez
  • Open RAN
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Network automation
  • Wireless Sensing
  • Intelligent Surfaces

6GSmart

4 subproyectos
PI: Dr. Daniel Camps Mur
  • Private 5G/6G
  • Time Sensitive Networks
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Continuum
  • Industry 4.0

6G-OpenVerso

2 subproyectos
PI: Dr. August Betzler
  • 5G/6G Testbeds
  • Intelligent Open Networks
  • Integrated Sensing and Communications
  • Cloud Continuum
  • (SaaS) Multi-party Holographic communications

Plan de atracción de talento

  •  
6G Enablers
Descripción

El objetivo principal de 6G Enablers es el diseño y prototipo de habilitadores para 6G basados en inteligencia artificial, tecnologías de registro distribuido y ciberseguridad.

Investigador principal
Shuaib Siddiqui 5g IoT Software Networks

Dr. Shuaib Siddiqui

6GENABLERS: SP1: AI for 6G: Ultra Automation and Optimisation

The new emerging applications such as Internet of senses, holographic communications or intelligent connected machines will not only require several magnitudes of enhancement to 5GB capabilities but will also need an intrinsic and innovative use of key enabler technologies, with AI playing one of the main roles at all network levels. 5GB makes use of AI and ML technologies to perform a separate (i.e., non-related or interconnected) automation and optimisation of diverse network management operations, thanks to the usage of data analytics, monitoring the resource usage and processing it. Given this separate or disconnected management, this approach will not only be inadequate but rather counterproductive in light of the demands of an intelligent Internet of Things and perceived by the Internet of Senses and the intelligent connected machines. Therefore, there is a need to design an architecture for 6G platforms that considers pervasive intelligence along with pervasive computing and connectivity as core technological pillars of the 6G system.

This project (TSI-063000-2021-10) will focus on the design of an initial prototyping of 6G network management systems taking as main pillar AI technologies and pipelines that will be natively embedded in the architecture. In particular, the research areas to pay particular attention will be: AIOps methods natively incorporated into the network processes for training and inference; (ii) Zero- touch network management ultra automation and resource optimisation based on AI/ML as an intrinsic part of the 6G systems; and (iii) high-precision smart telemetry for the efficient and zero-perceived-latency management of the network processes and service status.

The project will employ a two-pronged approach to validate its designed architecture and solution by defining the validation methodology based on technical KPIs, as well as vertical related KPIs. The technical approach will consider the KPIs focused on the three main research areas mentioned before embedded in the 6G platform, while for the vertical validation the project will adopt a pioneering real-time multi-party holo-portation (i.e., holographic tele-transportation) technology applied to immersive conferencing services. With this approach, the breakthroughs of the project will not only be validated per technical challenge, but also in the context of the requirements imposed by sensitive services such as the multi-party holo-portation communications, which is one of the most challenging and exciting vertical use cases of 6G. Besides this, the project will explore the possibility of network infrastructure support from national Mobile Network Operators, which could help the solution undergo preliminary tests in relevant environments.

6GENABLERS: SP2: DLT for 6G: Smart Marketplace

The new emerging applications such as Internet of senses, holographic communications or intelligent connected machines will not only require several magnitudes of enhancement to 5GB capabilities but will also need an intrinsic and innovative use of key enabler technologies including Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT).

The 6G systems are perceived to be heavily softwarised and therefore the collaboration among all stakeholders, such as network and cloud providers, operators, application developers, service providers and device and equipment vendors, will occur via software in a secured, distributed and automated manner. This could be envisioned with a brokerless and immutable marketplace anchored in DLT and featuring automated contract negotiation and fulfillment supporting governance, discovery, delivery, and billing operations. The DLT technology will allow the 6G ecosystem to be secure and scalable due to its intrinsic secured and distributed nature.

This project (TSI-063000-2021-12) will focus on the design and initial prototyping of 6G enabling systems based on key and disruptive technologies such as DLT. In particular, it will target a smart 6G marketplace among mobile operators and resource/service providers based on DLTs. Research efforts are oriented to explore the capabilities of DLT and smart contracts solutions as very well-suited technology enablers to ensure trust and privacy in dynamic multi-party environments suitable for pervasive 6G systems and (ii) investigate advanced analytical mechanisms for the automated discovery and selection of available resources as result of detecting SLA breaches.

The “DLT for 6G: Smart Marketplace” project will employ a two-pronged approach to validate its designed architecture and solution by defining the validation methodology based on technical KPIs, as well as vertical related KPIs. The technical approach will consider the KPIs focused on the three functional pillars (DLT, Smart Contracts & Smart Discovery) embedded in 6G. Whereas for the vertical validation, we will adopt a pioneering real-time multi-party holo-portation (i.e., holographic tele-transportation) technology applied to immersive conferencing services, which is one of the most challenging and exciting vertical use cases of 6G.

6GENABLERS: SP3: Trust, Privacy & Security for 6G

Emerging applications, such as Internet of senses (like holo-conferences, VR or XR), e-Health remote monitoring, autonomous vehicles or intelligent connected machines will not only require several magnitudes of enhancement to B5G capabilities but will also need an intrinsic and innovative use of key enabler technologies, including the application of security-related techniques to pursue guarantees like trust on the involved systems, privacy on the user communications and the reliability of the systems subject to security incidents.

The 6G systems are perceived to be heavily softwarised, integrating such new applications on top, enabled by key technologies to cover features like ultra flexible and heterogeneous networks, more integrated sensing into communications or intelligent communications that make use of edge AI, context awareness techniques, etc. The integration of different technologies, each with a different way of the operations to process data, establish or operate connections, among many others; introduces complexity and its threat surface, increasing the number of methods to exploit one of the pieces to compromise the whole platform.

This subproject (TSI-063000-2021-13) will focus on the assessment of the threats the system is exposed to; (ii) the research on the best means to detect, characterise and mitigate these; (iii) an iterative research of the state of the art of all considered techniques; (iv) design on the underlying trust models (considering generalised or specific e.g., per network segment or layer trust models, with emphasis on the heterogeneous substrate, data model or logic these can present), identity management and access control mechanisms; and (v) the initial prototyping of a Trust & Privacy Framework, Physical Layer Security Mechanisms, Pervasive Security Framework and Programmable Security Controls.

6GSatNet
Descripción

El resultado esperado de 6GSatNet es la contribución sobre 6G para el despliegue de redes satelitales en el paradigma de las redes no terrestres (NTN). Para este fin, el proyecto se apalanca en la construcción de un core 5G compatible con redes no terrestres, así como en desarrollo nuevos protocolos de enrutamiento y de acceso al medio.

Investigador principal
Sergi Figuerola Management Team

Dr. Sergi Figuerola

6GSatNET: SP1: Contributions to the ground segment (6GSatNet-GS)

The evolution of telecommunication technologies, the ever-increasing demand for new services, and the exponential growth of smart devices fuel the development of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) systems as an effective solution to complement terrestrial networks in providing services over uncovered or under-served geographical areas. The NTN system has been defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a system in which spaceborne and airborne vehicles work as a relay node or as a base station. This system is characterized by providing wide coverage areas and global visibility, which can contribute to the challenge of achieving a seamless connected network. These features are really interesting for current 5G use-cases and future 6G demands, such as the integration of the massive Internet of Things (IoT). 

Currently, NTN is based on a communication model in which, from an end-to-end perspective, satellites provide point-to-point forwarding support toward a complex ground infrastructure consisting of the interconnection of heterogeneous networks. In this model, satellites are flying in different orbits (and altitudes) and can be interconnected by Inter-Satellite Links. Traditionally, the integration of satellite systems in the overall telecommunication infrastructure has been conducted by proprietary and custom solutions. Moreover, these satellite systems have been considered completely independent of terrestrial networks. However, it is now well understood that future networks and systems will be able to provide access to all essential services everywhere, anytime, at any device only through a shift of paradigm in which heterogeneous networks are integrated into a single network of networks. Therefore, it is necessary to evolve toward a flexible, and yet scalable and cost-effective network architecture in which NTN are included. 

This integration process poses multiple technical challenges that must be addressed in research activities to include NTN in the future 6G ecosystem. The “Contribution on 6G for the deployment of Satellite Networks in the Non-Terrestrial Networks paradigm (6GSatNET)“ programme project aims at contributing to this integration. Therefore, the programme has been structured in three main projects: 

(1) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the ground segment: This project is focused on developing technologies that enhance current core networks with novel (and necessary) capabilities to interact with satellite networks. 

(2) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the space segment: This project is oriented on developing novel technologies to interconnect satellite systems from different stakeholder / operator, achieving an heterogeneous architecture. 

(3) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the service segment: This project is focused on developing novel technologies that enable to connect UEs with satellite systems, and deploy novel services from these in-orbit systems. 

This project is focused on the “6GSatNet – Contributions to the ground segment” (TSI-063000-2021-1) which aims at extending current core network capabilities to manage, operate and interact with satellite-based NTN. Among the different technological challenges that are still unsolved, the project addresses three ones to develop the following ground systems: 

(1) An enhanced 5G Core Network: from the definition of 3GPP’s 5G Core Network, the expansion of this core network with mechanisms that enable its interaction with satellites is a crucial aspect for the future of 6G. Specifically, satellite systems are characterized by having temporal and intermittent connections with terrestrial infrastructure, predictive trajectories, constrained resources, and controlled operations policies. 5G Core Network procedures are not currently adapted to these features, and require to be enhanced to manage disruptive communications, autonomous operations, and automatic interactions. 

(2) A unified service orchestrator: the development of an orchestrator that is able to deploy and manage services among non-terrestrial and terrestrial infrastructure is a relevant technology that enables satellite-agnostic network operators to control both infrastructures. This service orchestrator must interact with satellite-based NTN which are characterized by the features presented previously. As these features are differentiating elements with respect to terrestrial infrastructure, traditional technologies cannot be applied directly (e.g. MANO). Functional extensions must be developed, as well as evaluating security aspects due to its usage in a new context / scenario. 

(3) An Ai-based constellation planifier framework: the development of this framework is essential to achieve the necessary level of autonomy. Specifically, the satellite operations in a NTN must be executed automatically following specific business and system constraints to optimize the resources and maximize the service. In this optimization process, traditional mechanisms have been used in Earth Observation satellite missions. Nevertheless, their application in broadband telecommunications, and in particular in NTN architectures, is still under research. The availability of a framework that enables to perform this optimization using AI/ML techniques becomes a relevant technology that can be integrated in future core networks that must manage NTN architectures. 

6GSatNET: SP2: Contributions to the space segment (6GSatNet-SS)

The evolution of telecommunication technologies, the ever-increasing demand for new services, and the exponential growth of smart devices fuel the development of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) systems as an effective solution to complement terrestrial networks in providing services over uncovered or under-served geographical areas. The NTN system has been defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a system in which spaceborne and airborne vehicles work as a relay node or as a base station. This system is characterized by providing wide coverage areas and global visibility, which can contribute to the challenge of achieving a seamless connected network. These features are really interesting for current 5G use-cases and future 6G demands, such as the integration of the massive Internet of Things (IoT). 

Currently, NTN is based on a communication model in which, from an end-to-end perspective, satellites provide point-to-point forwarding support toward a complex ground infrastructure consisting of the interconnection of heterogeneous networks. In this model, satellites are flying in different orbits (and altitudes) and can be interconnected by Inter-Satellite Links. Traditionally, the integration of satellite systems in the overall telecommunication infrastructure has been conducted by proprietary and custom solutions. Moreover, these satellite systems have been considered completely independent of terrestrial networks. However, it is now well understood that future networks and systems will be able to provide access to all essential services everywhere, anytime, at any device only through a shift of paradigm in which heterogeneous networks are integrated into a single network of networks. Therefore, it is necessary to evolve toward a flexible, and yet scalable and cost-effective network architecture in which NTN are included. 

This integration process poses multiple technical challenges that must be addressed in research activities to include NTN in the future 6G ecosystem. The “Contribution on 6G for the deployment of Satellite Networks in the Non-Terrestrial Networks paradigm (6GSatNET)“ programme project aims at contributing to this integration. Therefore, the programme has been structured in three main projects: 

(1) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the ground segment: This project is focused on developing technologies that enhance current core networks with novel (and necessary) capabilities to interact with satellite networks. 

(2) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the space segment: This project is oriented on developing novel technologies to interconnect satellite systems from different stakeholder / operator, achieving an heterogeneous architecture. 

(3) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the service segment: This project is focused on developing novel technologies that enable to connect UEs with satellite systems, and deploy novel services from these in-orbit systems. 

This project is focused on the “6GSatNet – Contributions to the space segment” (TSI-063000-2021-5) which aims at contributing the deployment of heterogeneous satellite networks in the NTN architecture. Among the different technological challenges that are still unsolved, the project addresses following ones: 

(1) A multi-device Inter-Satellite Link with enhanced communications protocols: current satellite networks are impacted by network disruption, provokes the fragmentation of network parts and thus to not have high-connected architectures. The development of an Inter-Satellite Link device that is able to use multiple technologies (e.g. radio and optical) leverages from the benefit of each one. For instance, an optical device provides high data rate and long ranges, but requires accurate pointing, while a radio device can provide low data rate at long ranges, but more connectivity. The combination of both enables to achieve a more complete device. This project contributes to this goal by developing techniques to manage these multi-device ISL, and novel communications protocols. 

(2) An AI-based Inter-Satellite Link device: network disruption in satellite networks makes that satellite contacts are established sporadically and intermittently. This kind of connections can be sequenced to determine routes over time, using Delay/Disruption Tolerant Network protocols. This contact sequence is also known as contact graph. This graph is commonly defined on ground and in a centralized manner. The possibility that satellites are able to compute and define this contact graph over time provides autonomy to satellite networks. In this way, the definition of the contact graph is crucial. This project aims at contributing to an AI-based solution that is able to estimate satellite contacts over time, and thus construct this graph. To execute these AI algorithms, it is necessary that ISL devices are able to run them. Therefore, the development of a hardware system with this capability is mandatory. 

(3) Contributions to security mechanisms for Inter-Satellite Communications: a cooperative and heterogeneous NTN would entail a major challenge to assure authentication, authorization, integrity and privacy in the data transfer. Therefore, it is not enough to just provide end-to-end security at the application layer, internal protocols must include capabilities to assure a secure interface. The major challenge to address in this topic is again the intermittent connectivity between satellites and ground infrastructures. Therefore, the usage of traditional centralized approaches do not suit NTN architectures. This project contributes with a threat study of heterogeneous satellite networks and develops a solution based on distributed, decentralized and autonomous techniques to ensure this secure communication between satellites. 

6GSatNET: SP3: Contributions to the service segment (6GSatNet-SeS)

The evolution of telecommunication technologies, the ever-increasing demand for new services, and the exponential growth of smart devices fuel the development of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) systems as an effective solution to complement terrestrial networks in providing services over uncovered or under-served geographical areas. The NTN system has been defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a system in which spaceborne and airborne vehicles work as a relay node or as a base station. This system is characterized by providing wide coverage areas and global visibility, which can contribute to the challenge of achieving a seamless connected network. These features are really interesting for current 5G use-cases and future 6G demands, such as the integration of the massive Internet of Things (IoT). 

Currently, NTN is based on a communication model in which, from an end-to-end perspective, satellites provide point-to-point forwarding support toward a complex ground infrastructure consisting of the interconnection of heterogeneous networks. In this model, satellites are flying in different orbits (and altitudes) and can be interconnected by Inter-Satellite Links. Traditionally, the integration of satellite systems in the overall telecommunication infrastructure has been conducted by proprietary and custom solutions. Moreover, these satellite systems have been considered completely independent of terrestrial networks. However, it is now well understood that future networks and systems will be able to provide access to all essential services everywhere, anytime, at any device only through a shift of paradigm in which heterogeneous networks are integrated into a single network of networks. Therefore, it is necessary to evolve toward a flexible, and yet scalable and cost-effective network architecture in which NTN are included. 

This integration process poses multiple technical challenges that must be addressed in research activities to include NTN in the future 6G ecosystem. The “Contribution on 6G for the deployment of Satellite Networks in the Non-Terrestrial Networks paradigm (6GSatNET)“ programme project aims at contributing to this integration. Therefore, the programme has been structured in three main projects: 

(1) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the ground segment: This project is focused on developing technologies that enhance current core networks with novel (and necessary) capabilities to interact with satellite networks. 

(2) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the space segment: This project is oriented on developing novel technologies to interconnect satellite systems from different stakeholder / operator, achieving an heterogeneous architecture. 

(3) 6GSatNet – Contributions to the service segment: This project is focused on developing novel technologies that enable to connect UEs with satellite systems, and deploy novel services from these in-orbit systems. 

This project is focused on the “6GSatNet – Contributions to the service segment” (TSI-063000-2021-8) which aims at contributing to the development of new technologies that enable novel services from NTN architectures. Among the different technological challenges that are still unsolved, the project addresses following ones: 

(1) Development of a flexible payload: current satellites are designed and implemented with a single payload, which is a subsystem to achieve a specific mission. For instance, a satellite to observe the ice-coverage is equipped with a dedicated instrument. This limits a set of resources from satellites to cover a single mission. The possibility to develop a flexible payload that is able to target multiple objectives becomes relevant in the perspective of reconfigurable and recycling satellites. This feature in 6G is an important capability because using virtual payloads a satellite can simultaneously serve multiple users from the same spot with different services. This project contributes to this topic by investigating this flexible architecture. 

(2) Development of novel communications mechanisms to serve a large number of users: envisioned missions that aim at providing communications services over satellite systems must face the scenario of servicing a large number of ground users. A satellite system is characterized by covering wide ground areas, which can be populated by heterogeneous and large numbers of users. Traditional techniques from base stations may not be enough to satisfy all these users. Therefore, the development of novel techniques at link and physical layers is relevant to overcome this challenge. This project aims at contributing to this goal by developing novel medium access techniques, antenna systems, and radio resource management mechanisms. 

(3) Contribution to integrate in 6G Quantum Key Distribution services: the development of quantum technology will impact the future 6G by providing novel platforms. Among the different possibilities, the Quantum Key Distribution application has become a relevant service that can be covered from a satellite. This application leverages the global coverage of satellites to distribute private, random and robust keys generated by quantum technology. Satellites are thus relevant infrastructure to become a reference in the distribution of those keys. The integration of this feature in future 6G becomes a relevant topic to be investigated. This project contributes to this goal by exploring the possibilities to integrate this technology in current protocols and systems. 

6GTWinRoad
Descripción

En 6GTWinRoad se plantea el uso de Tecnologías 6G que permiten la creación de gemelos digitales para la movilidad conectada y autónoma (CAM) en las carreteras. Para este fin, se usarán plataformas de simulación para evaluar las características de la red móvil en entornos de movilidad urbana e interurbana; Mapas HD avanzados con información volumétrica, Algoritmos de visión artificial para estimar el estado del tráfico, entre otras tecnologías de punta.

Investigador principal

Dr. Jesus Alonso-Zarate

6GTWINROAD: SP1: AI/ML driven 6G public networks enabling future V2X services (6GTWINROAD-MNO)

The concept of Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) is key to enable the dual digital and green transition envisioned by the European Commision. An essential part of the CCAM concept is the communication aspect, where 5G and future 6G networks are called to play a key role enabling disruptive services such as remote driving, cooperative maneuvering, advanced safety applications, as well as vehicular digital twins. 

Despite its promise and potential, deployment of large scale V2X services, including digital twins, over public cellular networks is not yet a commercial reality. Among other reasons, an aspect hindering the deployment of large scale V2X services over public mobile networks is the challenge of providing a reliable service over large geographical areas, which demands innovation in the processes used to plan and operate these networks. The native integration of AI/ML mechanisms in the control plane of future 6G networks is a key design principle to enhance the performance of V2X services over public mobile networks while introducing automation that reduces operational costs. 

6GTWINROAD-MNO (TSI-063000-2021-29) will investigate how to design the control plane of future 6G V2X network slices powered by AI/ML functions. The proposed research will focus both on algorithmic and architectural aspects, while targeting a TRL5 demonstration of some of the developed mechanisms in a realistic vehicular test site that incorporates edge computing and 5G connectivity. To achieve its ambitious goals 6GTWINROAD-MNO will incorporate a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) providing large scale cellular network data to characterize vehicular traffic. In addition, an edge computing vendor and an infrastructure operator with vehicular testing facilities will provide the necessary means to validate the technologies developed in the project. 

6GTWINROAD: SP2: 6G Vehicular Enablers for Road Operators

6G Technologies will have a great impact on how traffic on the roads is managed and vehicles communicate among them and with the infrastructure. Computation borders will difuminate, creating a continuum where computing can be moved according to demand, from the vehicles to the network and vice versa. Together with Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM), this will create new needs and opportunities on roads and traffic operators. This project (TSI-063000-2021-30) will focus on developing 6G technology enablers that will allow road operators to support 6G advanced CCAM services over their road infrastructure, as well as to identify and create the required infrastructure to support the future AI/ML Traffic Management Systems (TMS). To do so, the evolution of the Traffic Management Center (TMC) will be analysed together with the envisioned evolution of 6G V2X technologies. 

In the project, potential use cases taking advantage of 6G networks features will be devised in WP2, in order to identify how the 6G-enabled TMC would be. This work will be extended in WP3, focusing on two aspects of the 6G communications: the TMC itself and the Road side units to be deployed on the road and network-related infrastructure to manage all the information from the vehicles to the TMC. In parallel, in WP4, the evolution of cellular and legacy IEEE 802.11 communication networks will be checked, towards the 6G capabilities to be included initially in the NR-V2X and 802.11bd standards. WP4 will also consider the higher part of the software stack for vehicular communication where the services are defined, focusing on cooperative services which are only possible for 5G+ and 6G communication capabilities. 

Finally, the project will test and evaluate the selected use cases and the performance improvements of 6G, considering Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as latency and bandwidth. 

6GTWINROAD: SP3: 6G vehicle sensing technologies

The coordinated project 6GTWINROAD (TSI-063000-2021-31) envisions 6G human-centric applications and services where both the digital and physical worlds converge. Real-time interaction in the , context is challenging, and new technologies are needed to make this a reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a key role in this challenging future. AI can be used both for the operation and automation of networks, thus enabling the concept of zero-touch management, and also for the execution of real-time services. These services can bring a lot of value in different vertical sectors, being the Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) a key one that boost the adoption of beyond 5G and 6G technologies and services. 

CAM can boost road safety, improve traffic efficiency while reducing emissions and disruptively improving passenger comfort. In this context, the objectives of coordinate project 6GTWINROAD are: 1) To explore and conduct research in 6G enabling technologies for real-time immersive technologies suitable for advanced CAM services. 2) To build a framework for simulation and field testing of a digital twin concept for road infrastructure. 3) To test and evaluate the proposed 6G enabling technologies in the digital twin and identify those assets which could eventually become part of 6G standards, 4) To pave the way for the design of future smart networks and services that can trigger innovation in the CAM arena, thus realizing the concept of Smart and Connected Mobility. 

In this context, this project “6GTWINROAD: 6G vehicle sensing technologies” will focus on developing advanced 6G sensing technologies that enable the creation of a Digital Twin of a road environment and future vehicular services. These technologies are: 1) Volumetric 3D road environment reconstruction, 2) Volumetric Video Compression and Transmission, 3) AI Based Volumetric Video Processing, 4) Real-time multi-object detection, 5) Real-time multi-target multi-camera tracking and 6) Target trajectory, dynamics, and geo-position. These technologies will be also integrated together and deployed in a test pilot that will also provide 5g connectivity and edge computing capabilities. 

6GTWINROAD: SP4: 6G Enabled Digital TWINS for vehicular environments

6G Enabled Digital TWINS for vehicular environments project (TSI-063000-2021-32) aims to generate a Digital Twin for an urban and interurban environment to evaluate Day 3+ use cases as described in the Car2Car Connectivity Consortium. These use cases require the maximum level of cooperativeness, which only can be achieved by using features present in 6G networks as they require to move high amounts of data with low latency and automotive-grade reliability among a high amount of autonomous vehicles. 

The project will be structured in the following phases: first, use case definition of 6G V2X use cases which are relevant to both the urban and interurban scenarios. Later on, the simulation state of the art will be reviewed in order to assess the current capabilities and possible improvements and integrations. 

Once the available technologies have been identified, both environments will be created, connecting with the sensors deployed in the field and gathering the information from the vehicles on the road. 

The digital twin will help providing better outcomes of simulations, specially with a large set of cooperative autonomous vehicles. 

Open6G
Descripción

Open6G se basará en los esfuerzos continuos de Open RAN para abordar los siguientes desafíos: 1) Explorar los límites de la automatización de redes impulsada por IA en futuros sistemas 6G; 2) diseñar soluciones conjuntas de detección y comunicaciones móviles rentables; 3) Integrar a la perfección superficies inteligentes en comunicaciones conjuntas automatizadas impulsadas por IA y sistemas de detección 6G; Diseño y desarrollo de una plataforma abierta de pruebas 6G para aplicaciones novedosas de redes y detección que comprenden superficies inteligentes.

Investigador principal

Dr. Xavier Costa Pérez

Open6G: SP1: AI-driven Open 6G Automation

The evolution towards Sixth Generation Open Radio Access Networks (6G Open RAN) will demand a transformation on network management and automation required to support the increased complexity of service heterogeneity, coordination of multi-connectivity technologies, network deployment and optimization, etc. 

At the same time, cellular networks are becoming ever more sophisticated and congested, suffering from network latencies, jitter, and throughput damage to end-to-end network flows in today’s internet. In recent years, network modelling has emerged as a critical component for building self-driving software-defined networks, particularly to find optimal operating schemes that meet desirable objectives set by network administrators. 

6G will also have a potential capability to provide native support for intelligence inclusion, enabling the access of AI services at any time and anywhere by anyone and, at the same time, bringing AI from the central cloud down to the mobile communication system. Thus, the computing will be splitted between end devices, edge nodes and cloud. Therefore, end-to-end AI orchestration and management is needed, integrated with network resource orchestration and management. This approach will provide deeply converged communication, computing and storage capacity, boosting self-awareness services, and optimizing the global resources of the ORAN-UE with minimal human intervention. 

This subproject (TSI-063000-2021-3) will explore the limits of AI-driven network automation in future Open RAN 6G systems evaluating its pros and cons. More precisely, the conducted research efforts are oriented to i) address the problem of joint scheduling and orchestration to manage the different network components in an intelligent manner from radio to core segment, leveraging on Multi-Objective Deep Reinforcement Learning approaches; ii) Design and application of AI-based tools for detecting, analyzing and acting against anomalous behaviours taking into account different anomalies potentially happening in different timescales; iii) System design supporting advanced dynamic services in real-time on-demand, with critical performance requirements and 6G KPIs based on AI and network programmability considering high mobility scenarios; and iv) design and development of an laboratory prototype of an open 6G network with the following components; 5G NR RU and DU together with a virtualized RAN featuring an O-RAN near-RT RIC; edge computing resources managed by an NFV orchestrator collocated with the RAN nodes where virtual core networks will be instantiated; and an open management plane that can be used to provision physical and virtual network functions, support APIs to enable automation loops, and provide infrastructure telemetry and logs in an open data-lake. 

Open6G: SP2: Joint Open 6G Communications and Sensing

The evolution towards Sixth Generation Open Radio Access Networks (6G Open RAN) will demand a transformation on network management and automation required to support the increased complexity of service heterogeneity, coordination of multi-connectivity technologies, network deployment and optimization, etc. 6G Networks should enable the Internet of Senses as the society evolves towards its full digitalization. Wireless-based Sensing will thus become a key technology to fulfil the Digital Twins vision across industries but the need of deploying dedicated equipment for this purpose and its corresponding intensive processing might jeopardize its implementation in practice. Furthermore, 6G Networks enable the possibility to integrate the function of sensing and communication together in one system that will share resources in frequency and time domains. 

This subproject (TSI-063000-2021-6) will focus on the design and evaluation of cost-efficient joint mobile communications and sensing solutions. More in detail, the conducted research efforts are oriented to i) First review the system requirements for the Open6G project objectives; ii) Focus on challenges, applications, performance requirements and research directions for ISAC system design in 6G; iii) Evaluate a practical ISAC system, investigating sensing and communication performance tradeoffs and channel models; and iv) to develop a laboratory prototype of an open 6G network, to validate solutions previously developed. 

Open6G: SP3: Smart Surfaces for Joint Communications and Sensing Systems

The evolution towards Sixth Generation Open Radio Access Networks (6G Open RAN) will demand a transformation on network management and automation required to support the increased complexity of service heterogeneity, coordination of multi-connectivity technologies, network deployment and optimization, etc. 

As Smart Surfaces get increasingly incorporated into 6G systems, a new complexity dimension will be added for Open RAN systems to be managed. The new degree of freedom for configuring them both for communication and sensing purposes will raise yet a new challenge in the AI-driven automation of networks to jointly meet all needs simultaneously in a single mobile system. 

The upcoming 6G communications systems are expected to open an unprecedented variety of applications in ISAC systems. AI and ML will be the center of 6G visions in order to bring intelligence in the future networks, proposing fast and efficient solutions. However, intelligent networks are not limited to these solutions. In fact, smart surfaces will bring new capabilities of the wireless channel, making their softwarization flexibility higher than conventional MIMO systems. For this reason, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) are considered the 3rd (future) generation of meta-surfaces, granting the chance of configuring their electromagnetic response fast enough to follow the fluctuations of wireless channels. Future Wireless communication 6G networks empowered by RISs enable an increased degree of freedom for system design, energy saving and wireless security. This represents a tremendous opportunity to dynamically optimize wireless networks to provide continuous coverage and high quality services in critical use cases, e.g., industrial 6G private networks. 

This subproject (TSI-063000-2021-7) will explore how to learn and orchestrate the control and data planes through data analytics, essential to make RIS- based networks an integrated platform for communications, sensing, localization, and computing. More specifically, the conducted research efforts are oriented to i) First review the system requirements for the Open6G project objectives; ii) Design and evaluate of specific modules for learning and orchestrating the control of RSI and data planes; iii) Monitor and learn through the sensing capabilities of the RISs, in order to make sure that it efficiently runs and that each RIS is properly configured; and iv) to develop a laboratory prototype of an open 6G network, to validate solutions previously developed. 

6GSmart
Descripción

6GSmart aprovecha el uso de la tecnología 6G para mejorar los sistemas ciberfísicos de producción inteligente. Estos sistemas se basan en redes privadas 5G/6G, redes sensibles al tiempo, técnicas de inteligencia artificial y entornos Cloud Continuum.

Investigador principal

Dr. Daniel Camps Mur

6GSMART: SP1: 6G for Smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems – Industrial Cloud Continuum (6GSMART-ICC)

Industry 4.0 embraces the convergence of OT and IT industries to transform manufacturing through the value of zero policies, i.e. zero emissions, zero waste, zero inventory, zero ramp-up time, zero-accidents, etc. To achieve this goal, the foundation of Industry 4.0 lies in unlocking operational information that is today trapped within proprietary manufacturing assets to create smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems (CPPSoS). At the core of these smart CPPSoS we encounter Digital Twins of entire manufacturing processes, which feed on real-time data and are aided by AI algorithms. 

5G has been identified as a key enabler for Industry 4.0. The surge of interest in adopting 5G for manufacturing has resulted in regulators opening 5G spectrum for private use, and a breadth of research in industry and academia about how to optimally integrate private and public 5G networks. However, adoption of 5G in manufacturing is still in its very early days and 5G technologies still fall short in fulfilling string manufacturing use cases. 

To close this gap 6GSMART-ICC (TSI-063000-2021-9) will gather a consortium led by i2CAT and two key industrial partners in the telco and cloud domains, which will design and demonstrate a cloud continuum orchestrator tailored to the industrial domain and will investigate on the design of new service delivery models between private and public networks thus contributing to the 6G concept of “network-of-networks”. 

6GSMART: SP2: 6G for Smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems – Advanced Manufacturing Services (6GSMART-S)

Industry 4.0 embraces the convergence of OT and IT industries to transform manufacturing through the value of zero policies, i.e. zero emissions, zero waste, zero inventory, zero ramp-up time, zero-accidents, etc. To achieve this goal, the foundation of Industry 4.0 lies in unlocking operational information that is today trapped within proprietary manufacturing assets to create smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems (CPPSoS). At the core of these smart CPPSoS we encounter Digital Twins of entire manufacturing processes, which feed on real-time data and are aided by AI algorithms. 

5G has been identified as a key enabler for Industry 4.0. The surge of interest in adopting 5G for manufacturing has resulted in regulators opening 5G spectrum for private use, and a breadth of research in industry and academia about how to optimally integrate private and public 5G networks. However, adoption of 5G in manufacturing is still in its very early days and 5G technologies still fall short in fulfilling string manufacturing use cases. 

To close this gap 6GSMART-S (TSI-063000-2021-14) will design and develop advanced manufacturing services, including holographic services for remote assistance, collaborative robotics and manufacturing digital twin. A consortium of key IT and OT Spanish players will contribute in the development of these services. 

6GSMART: SP3: 6G for Smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems – extreme KPIs and Zero Touch Automation (6GSMART-EZ)

Industry 4.0 embraces the convergence of OT and IT industries to transform manufacturing through the value of zero policies, i.e. zero emissions, zero waste, zero inventory, zero ramp-up time, zero-accidents, etc. To achieve this goal, the foundation of Industry 4.0 lies in unlocking operational information that is today trapped within proprietary manufacturing assets to create smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems (CPPSoS). At the core of these smart CPPSoS we encounter Digital Twins of entire manufacturing processes, which feed on real-time data and are aided by AI algorithms. 

5G has been identified as a key enabler for Industry 4.0. The surge of interest in adopting 5G for manufacturing has resulted in regulators opening 5G spectrum for private use, and a breadth of research in industry and academia about how to optimally integrate private and public 5G networks. However, adoption of 5G in manufacturing is still in its very early days and 5G technologies still fall short in fulfilling string manufacturing use cases. 

To close this gap and ensure the adoption of future 6G technologies in manufacturing environments, 6GSMART-EZ (TSI-063000-2021-15) will investigate two key aspects. First, research will be carried out to enhance the KPI performance delivered by today’s Release 16 URLLC, including additional KPIs such as localization accuracy. Second, research will be carried out to simplify the operation of private 5G/6G networks, through the adoption of AI/ML techniques. One innovative SME and one academic partner will collaborate with I2CAT to ensure a successful execution of the project. 

6GSMART: SP4: 6G for Smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems – Experimental Validations (6GSMART-EXP)

Industry 4.0 embraces the convergence of OT and IT industries to transform manufacturing through the value of zero policies, i.e. zero emissions, zero waste, zero inventory, zero ramp-up time, zero-accidents, etc. To achieve this goal, the foundation of Industry 4.0 lies in unlocking operational information that is today trapped within proprietary manufacturing assets to create smart Cyber Physical Production Systems of Systems (CPPSoS). At the core of these smart CPPSoS we encounter Digital Twins of entire manufacturing processes, which feed on real-time data and are aided by AI algorithms. 

5G has been identified as a key enabler for Industry 4.0. The surge of interest in adopting 5G for manufacturing has resulted in regulators opening 5G spectrum for private use, and a breadth of research in industry and academia about how to optimally integrate private and public 5G networks. However, adoption of 5G in manufacturing is still in its very early days and 5G technologies still fall short in fulfilling string manufacturing use cases. 

To foster the adoption of 6G technologies in manufacturing environment, 6GSMART-EXP (TSI-063000-2021-16) will work on the demonstration of three advanced manufacturing services over 6G networks. The validated services will include: i) holoportation services for remote working, ii) collaborative robotics, and iii) manufacturing digital twins. 

6G-OpenVerso
Descripción

6G OpenVerso persigue el diseño, implementación, evaluación y demostración de testbeds 5G/6G que permitan la experimentación científica de la próxima generación del Meta-Verso y de servicios futuros de realidad extendida en ecosistemas 6G abiertos.

Investigador principal
August Betzler 5g IoT MWI

Dr. August Betzler

6G-OPENVERSO: SP1: 6G networks supporting the validation of future Extended Reality (XR) services (6G-OPENVERSO-NET)

Extended Reality (XR) applications are among the key services envisioned in future 6G networks, with the Facebook Metaverse project (https://about.facebook.com/meta/) being the most representative early concept. While most of these services are still being defined it is already clear that 5G networks will need to be enhanced in a plurality of ways to address the stringent requirements set by XR applications.

6G-OPENVERSO-NET (TSI-063000-2021-2) will contribute to the vision of XR ready networks by working on three technical enablers, namely: i) design of an XR edge node, to offload compute functions from the XR devices, ii) design of XR bidirectional awareness, to enhance awareness between the application and the network, and iii) application of sub-THz/THz technologies, including integrated communication and sensing to support future XR services. A subset of developed technologies will be integrated in the i2CAT Openverso node, which will then be used to validate the Social XR service developed in the 6G-OPENVERSO-HOLO project. An academic partner with competences on sub-THz/THz technologies and a 5G vendor will support i2CAT in achieving the outcomes of the project.

6G-OPENVERSO: SP2: 6G-OPENVERSO-HOLO

6G-OpenVerso-Holo (TSI-063000-2021-4) is a key enabler for the next-generation Meta-Verse by providing highly realistic, low-latency and scalable holo-portation (i.e. holographic tele-transportation) services over open 6G-powered ecosystems. On the one hand, the project will contribute with outstanding real-time multi-sensor volumetric and free viewpoint video capturing sub-systems with edge-assisted computing capabilities. On the other hand, the project will contribute with a smart service-oriented cloud architecture able to dynamically orchestrate in-cloud resources, such as Multipoint Control Units and Remote Rendering components, both for volumetric media, based on the current demands and requirements. The technological contributions will be integrated into a modular platform and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) leveraging the edge – cloud continuum and the capabilities of programmatic networks to maximize the performance, adaptability and scalability of the holo-portation services, while minimizing costs. The project contributions will be assessed, validated and demonstrated in a variety of pilot actions under different conditions and over a variety of 5G and 6G scenarios, by leveraging own available network and processing infrastructure. In essence, the project is strongly and strategically aligned with the Smart Network and Services (SNS) Work Programme (WP), by providing a worldwide reference modular end-to-end platform, SaaS and testbed for one of the most challenging, yet promising, next-generation services in the years to come, with big potential in different verticals (e.g., education, corporate communications, culture, health…), bringing sustainability, societal and economic impact. 

Plan de atracción de talento
Descripción

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


MDI6G: Plan de atracción de talento

El objetivo del plan de atracción de talento (TSI-063000-2021-68) es el de potenciar la atracción de talento a todos los niveles, poniendo especial énfasis en reducir la brecha de género existente en los estudios STEM. Para ello hemos dividido este plan en tres pilares fundamentales. El primero de ellos se centra en la generación de talento a través de actuaciones en la enseñanza secundaria y en los grados universitarios. El segundo, se centra en la atracción de talento internacional a través de una mayor proyección internacional para atraer a investigadores al ecosistema nacional. El tercer y último de los pilares se centra en la difusión de las actividades realizadas bajo este programa para aumentar la repercusión del primer y segundo pilar. De forma transversal, estos tres pilares harán especial hincapié en fomentar la inclusión de las mujeres en este ámbito, donde tradicionalmente hay pocas vocaciones y promoverán la visibilidad de las investigadoras, y se mostrará el alto nivel científico y empresarial del país en el ámbito del 5G/6G, para captar talento internacional que venga a cursar estudios de doctorado o a desarrollar su carrera profesional postdoctoral. 

Contacto

    Jesús Alonso Zarate 📧

    Coordinador del programa

    Wilson Ramirez Almonte 📧

    Operational Programme Manager

    Flaminio Minerva 📧 Oficina de Contratación Pública José Miguel Sanjuan 📧 TBC