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SAN project aims at developing a 4G broadband mobile wireless communication system endowed with a wide range of ad-hoc and relaying/mesh routing capabilities. SAN will provide beyond state of the art solution based on innovative concept: rapidly deployable, self-configurable mobile wireless network without any need of fixed infrastructures, external control/management systems. Technology to be developed in the framework of the SAN project will underlie LTE radio interface meaning that each element of the SAN network can communicate also through the standard LTE network. SAN will provide robust and cost-efficient solution for rescue teams in different disaster scenarios when other wireless networks are unavailable. SAN will impact international standards, improve competitiveness of European industry vs Asian and American counterparts, and substantially improve support for some important application areas, such as rescue services.

The potential commercial application of the developed technology is foreseen just a few years after a successful project completion. By the time LTE (considered as pre-4G technology) is widely available and demand grows in the market for more advanced technologies, SAN technologies will already be ripe,competitive and able to augment pre-4G and 4G systems with their unique features of autonomous operation, dynamic topology support, etc. Thus, with SAN technologies available to them industrial partners will be in a very competitive position in the mobile communications market, which yields new revenues and new jobs both, for project partners and for respective national economies.

SAN partners are already positioned in the wireless mobile communications market. Consequently they have clear and strong interest in exploiting SAN results to retain or strengthen their position both, in terms of internationally relevant R&D and in terms of commercial deployments.

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Figure 1 : A self-organizing network on the move

 

  • Today, the telecommunication infrastructures are usually not properly protected against unexpected events/crisis situations. For example, in earthquakes several base stations may be lost, the remaining network is overloaded, and therefore in practical situations the network seems to stop working. Therefore it is very essential to invest into the R&D of solutions which enable people to communicate also in such situations. The project will especially focus into the development of survival ad hoc Network for 4G relying on the dynamic networking paradigms enabling people to communicate in a secure manner even if the fixed network infrastructure does not work at all.
  • SAN aims to resolve several fundamental shortcomings of modern wireless communication systems:
    • Inability of direct communication between UEs even when the link quality between them allows for transmission at high bitrates
    • Need in complex radio planning to guarantee proper system performance,
    • Need in cumbersome fixed infrastructure to connect CN and BSs, and thus inability of rapid deployment which is required in many deployment scenarios (disasters, military actions, etc.)
  • One of typical SAN use cases is visualized inFigure 1, called here as survivable ad hoc system on the move. The main challenges of the project are to enable mobile nodes to communicate directly or via other nodes acting as relays, self-management and self-healing of mobile nodes, rapid deployment, enlarged coverage, automatic establishment of the network and survivable operation in a secure manner without the need of fixed infrastructure also during the unexpected events such as earth quakes, etc.

Traditionally the public mobile architecture, has been a centralized hierarchical one, but there has been debate if it should evolve to a more flexible and self-reconfiguring architecture. The added flexibility provided by incorporation of ad-hoc self-reconfigurable features will potentiate a wide range of new possible applications (obvious ones are for disaster relief, but one can also envision its use at temporary events or combination with vehicular communications), and as in the traditional architectures Europe is facing fierce competition namely from East Asia, to be at the forefront of these new architecture paradigms is vital for Europe to maintain its competitiveness in the telecommunication industry.