IEEE Tech Focus - April 2021

IEEE Future Networks Tech Focus
Issue 12, April 2021

In This Issue


Airborne Free-Space Optical Communications for Fronthaul/Backhaul Networks of 5G and Beyond

April 2021

Vuong V. Mai and Hoon Kim, School of Electrical Engineering, KAIST, Korea

ree-space optical communication (FSOC) provides high-capacity wireless connections, without exhausting scarce RF resources, between airborne platforms constituting aerial fronthaul/backhaul network for 5G and beyond. However, accurate pointing, acquisition, and tracking (PAT) of narrow-divergence optical beams between the transmitter and receiver has long been a major technical challenge of FSOC systems. We introduce an adaptive beam control technique to facilitate the PAT and improve the link availability.

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Rethinking of Optical Transport Network Design for 5G/6G Mobile Communication

April 2021

Chathurika Ranaweera, Deakin University, Australia
Ampalavanapillai Nirmalathas, Elaine Wong, Christina Lim, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Paolo Monti, Marija Furdek, Lena Wosinska, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Björn Skubic, Ericsson Research, Sweden
Carmen Mas Machuca, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Driven by the increasing use of emerging smart mobile applications, mobile technology is continuously and rapidly advancing towards the next generation communication systems such as 5G and 6G. However, the transport network, which needs to provide low latency and reliable connectivity between hundreds of thousands of cell sites and the network core, has not advanced at the same pace. This article provides insight into how we can solve the fundamental challenges of implementing cost-optimal transport and 5G and beyond mobile networks simultaneously while satisfying the network and user requirements irrespective of the radio access network's architecture.

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CSAI: Open-Source Cellular Radio Access Network Security Analysis Instrument

April 2021

Thomas Byrd and Vuk Marojevic, Mississippi State University
Roger Piqueras Jover*, Bloomberg LP

This paper presents our methodology and software toolbox that allows analyzing the radio access network security of laboratory and commercial 4G and future 5G cellular networks. We leverage a free open-source software suite that implements the LTE UE and eNB enabling real-time signaling using software radio peripherals. We modify the UE software processing stack to act as an LTE packet collection and examination tool. This is possible because of the openness of the 3GPP specifications. Hence, we are able to receive and decode LTE downlink messages for the purpose of analyzing potential security problems of the standard. This paper shows how to rapidly prototype LTE tools and build a software-defined radio access network (RAN) analysis instrument for research and education. Using the Cellular Security Analysis Instrument (CSAI), a researcher can analyze broadcast and paging messages of cellular networks. CSAI is also able to test networks to aid in the identification of vulnerabilities and verify functionality post-remediation. Additionally, we found that it can crash a software eNB which motivates equivalent analyses of commercial network equipment and its robustness against denial of service attacks.

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Connectivity for Air Mobility Transportation in Future Networks

April 2021

Saba Al-Rubaye and Antonios Tsourdos, School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, UK

To enhance safety and efficiency for commercial urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft operation, it is considered that a fully automated data management system will be beneficial to accelerate the widespread commercial deployment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Such operations need to be accommodated in the current national and international controlled airspace as well as in uncontrolled airspace that is currently rarely used for aircraft operations. However, the UAS aircraft demands for ultra-low latency connectivity and reliable operation, especially in city domains is expected to growth to meet the aviation business market. The potential use case presents in this article of six-generation (6G) technology powered by artificial intelligent techniques can contribution to safe and reliable integration of operation services. The new architecture design can facilitate any kind of routine mission in all types of airspace. This can be a roadmap to adopt new aerospace architecture to more sophisticated solutions which offer greater scalability and robust connectivity.

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IEEE Future Networks Tech Focus Editorial Board

Rod Waterhouse, Editor-in-Chief
Mithun Mukherjee, Managing Editor
Imran Shafique Ansari
Anwer Al-Dulaimi
Stefano Buzzi
Yunlong Cai
Zhi Ning Chen
Panagiotis Demestichas
Ashutosh Dutta
Yang Hao
Gerry Hayes
Chih-Lin I
James Irvine
Meng Lu
Amine Maaref
Thas Nirmalathas
Sen Wang
Shugong Xu
Haijun Zhang
Glaucio Haroldo Silva de Carvalho