Institute of Communications and Connected Systems


energy-autonomous Portable Access points for INfrastructure-LESS networks [PAINLESS]

Schematic of network, with rural use case shown

1 October 2018

Enabling wireless networks for emergency and remote scenarios with energy neutral access points.

Funder EU HORIZON 2020
Amount 3 700 000 GBP (total)

Project website https://ec.europa.eu

Research theme logos - Intelligent High Capacity Networks, Ubiquitous Connectivity, Infrastructures for Smart Services and Applications
Research topics PHY communications | Drones | Signal Processing 


The explosive growth of applications and industrial sectors that rely on broadband connectivity is set to stretch the demand for wireless networks beyond the reach of the power grid infrastructure.

Access points are being deployed on board of drones, while more than 84,000 hybrid-energy base stations are expected to be deployed annually in remote areas by 2020. Portable network nodes that are energy-autonomous and operate detached from the power grid will become indispensable in the coming applications of wireless networks.

Energy-autonomy presents immense challenges for the wireless network design and imposes a complete re-think of technological solutions.

PAINLESS has the visionary aim to establish a training and research platform to pioneer green, energy-autonomous portable network nodes which are self-subsistent and limitlessly-scalable, to satisfy future demands with minimal infrastructure. It promises a paradigm shift by integrating and jointly optimising wireless networks with renewable energy sources, radiated energy harvesting and airborne access points, as well as establishing disruptive performance benchmarks for the combined wireless power-and-information distribution.

Schematic with use cases examples shown

Our results will kick-start an innovation ecosystem for infrastructure and service providers of ICT to develop and commercialise a new generation of autonomous, sustainable and power-independent communication networks with self-organising functionality, to enable 100% coverage in urban environments in a power-efficient manner; provide network access to all types of emergency, disaster and special events areas; and connect remote / developing areas with problematic infrastructure.

PAINLESS relates to H2020-MSCA with a vision to produce the first generation of experts in a radically new wave of energy-autonomous networks that will revolutionise the wireless networking technology landscape and the plethora of associated vertical business sectors.


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