Next Generation Mission Critical Communications

Mission critical systems are defined as those whose breakdown may result in the failure of vitally important elements of a process, affecting the core purpose of that system. Next generation mission critical communications systems are therefore designed to ensure that communications infrastructure are extremely reliable especially for ultra-low latency broadband traffic delivery. Such communication systems are expected to be relevant for many future applications such as industrial control, transportation, healthcare, disaster rescue, and general trade and commerce. Among many emerging applications, there is a strong demand for public safety in private networks.


To support the evolution of ASTRI’s technology endeavours, while leveraging its expertise in LTE small cells and terminals, the institute plans to develop next generation mission critical communications mobile cells and terminal reference design. These will integrate new system blocks with latest Baseband design and Protocol stack algorithms to support a set of new features. These features include:


  1. a) Mobile cell self-configuration, which enable the discovery of neighbouring mobile cells and runtime synchronisation to whatever sync sources with high reliability;
    b) LTE based B-TrunC BS (broadband trunking communication base station), where one-to-many low latency broadband communication is enabled in eNB (Evolved NodeB, i.e., base station), following CCSA B-TrunC specification.
    c) D2D (Device-to-Device) sidelink physical layer, where the LTE 3GPP Rel.13 D2D sidelink physical layer is designed and implemented to support device to device direct communications, which can avoid the latency through core network, saving bandwidth when two devices are nearby and allowing communications when there is no infrastructure support. This is of particular importance in times of disaster.
    d) Self-contained base station for public safety, where EPC (Evolved Packet Core, i.e., core network) and eNB are integrated on CRAN platform with OpenStack virtual machine control to support a One-Box standalone mobile access solution. Layered optimisation will be performed to achieve ultra-low end-to-end latency.

The project deliverables include L1 (Layer 1) link level simulation platform for LTE D2D sidelink, a commercial grade mobile cell reference design on commercially available SoC devices, and a complete test infrastructure to validate 3GPP and private network requirements.