Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

CONQUEST: Carrier Aggregation and Spectrum Sharing in HetNets with Small Cells

on 16-04-2019

... Project CONQUEST addresses the optimization of the capacity trade-off in Small Cells for the 5G technology and investigates aspects of spectrum sharing in both terrestrial cellular scenarios and heterogeneous networks (HetNets) with drone small cells.

It is an exploratory research collaboration between Prof. Jon Peha team in Carnegie Mellon University (CMU - Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering / Engineering and Public Policy), and two main Portuguese research teams, one from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), led by Prof. Fernando Velez, from IT-UBI, and another from University of Coimbra (CISUC), led by Prof. Edmundo Monteiro. The CMU team will mainly contribute with knowledge on spectrum sharing and public policy in the management of spectrum. The contributions from the Portuguese teams will include optimizing the economic trade-off of HetNets by considering shared spectrum in carrier aggregation, business aspects, opportunistic spectrum access, simulation, security issues and hardware testing of real HetNets in the ORCIP infrastructure platform (

The Wireless Research Workshop, hosted by Jon Peha, in the Pittsburgh Campus of CMU, on January 28th, 2019, facilitated the research results outreach different audiences from CMU, not only in Pittsburgh, PA, but also in the Silicon Valley and Alaska Campus of CMU, via Bluejeans, as well as in other remote regions, like Poland.

Achievements of the CONQUEST exploratory project include not only aspects of Licensed Shared Access in HEtNets with Small Cells but also the investigation of the impact in the system capacity of considering the two-slope characteristic of the propagation (and the comparison of the promising millimeter wavebands, for the shortest coverage distances, in Small Cell deployments). Efforts also include the in depth research on the increase of efficiency in the use of spectrum and infrastructure for multi-network access, as well as answering to the challenges of spectrum management in 5G Drone Small Cells, the research conducted by Prof. Pedro Sebastião, from IT. A Workshop and Tutorial Day on “Communications, Public Safety and Innovative Applications with Aerial Drones” is being organized by the CONQUEST team, to be held in the Heaquarters of Ordem dos Engenheiros, in Lisbon, co-located with ConfTele 2019 (June 26th-28th).

Photo: Nandi Zhang, Ph.D. student from CMU, during his talk in the Wireless Research Workshop [Photo courtesy of Pedro Sebastião].

SmartHeart: Smarter Cardiac Sensing via Integrated Signal Processing

on 09-04-2019

... SmartHeart is an IT internal project that tackles the challenges of transforming how we address public health policies for cardiology. It builds upon original work developed by the team in the field of cardiac sensing and signal processing, having as main outputs: Novel machine learning methods for automated feature extraction and pre-screening of cardiac diseases from PCG & ECG data; An improved low-cost robust hardware and software for cloud-based cardiac signal acquisition and storage; Integration with a “Google Docs”-like online platform for collaborative multimodal cardiac data sharing and annotation; A prototype of a novel device to enable simultaneous PCG & ECG data acquisition in the form factor of a standard stethoscope with synchronized data acquisition.

Achieving these ambitious objectives was made possible by the unique opportunity created by SmartHeart to join three research groups of IT – the Computer graphics and interactive multimedia-Po, Network Architectures and Protocols-Cv, and Pattern and Image Analysis-Lx groups – which have independently created state-of-the-art technologies and accumulated knowledge in this field. Key to the success of the project was the technological maturity and success of previous projects such as DigiScope and BITalino, combined with the highly multi-disciplinary profile of the research team, ranging from signal processing (Miguel Coimbra, Nuno Garcia, Nuno Pombo, Hugo Silva, Mónica Martins), software engineering (Pedro Brandão, Hugo Silva, Nuno Garcia, Nuno Pombo), artificial intelligence (Nuno Pombo), hardware (Hugo Silva, Margarida Reis) and cardiopneumology (Cristina Oliveira). A collaboration with the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Ricardo Baptista, Miguel Rocha) has further enriched the project, with industrial and materials engineering.

In addition to the main outputs, the project has resulted in a patent-pending suite of technologies, which will start to be showcased to industry stakeholders. The team believes to have significantly contributed to the development of smarter cardiac sensing tools that integrate innovative hardware and signal processing methods.