IoT, Embedded Systems and Remote Sensing
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a research theme started around the early 2000s, with the aim of extending network connectivity, normally used for communication between computers, to objects of daily use suitably equipped with the necessary technological solutions. In recent years, the possibility of creating IoT solutions has been realized thanks to the enormous progress achieved in various disciplines and technology segments key to the infrastructure operativity. These technological segments include: microelectronics, for the miniaturization of circuits and hardware in general, including sensors and communication devices; embedded systems, indispensable for inserting the necessary control logic into the objects to be connected, including control hardware and software; telecommunications, at the level of transmission technologies and communication protocols; cloud environments, necessary for data collection and algorithms for processing the collected data. A theme closely related to IoT is the Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), where small nodes equipped with sensors and communication devices, can collect data useful for a specific application.
The Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering is active in research on the different aspects necessary for the development of IoT platforms and embedded systems. Research groups active in these fields include microelectronics and electronic instrumentation, photonics, remote sensing, machine vision, microcomputers, robotics and embedded systems.
As for remote sensing, it is declined mainly in the sense of Earth Observation by satellite, in different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum; the Department’s competences cover the generation and transmission of data, and its processing and analysis in a geospatial context. Satellite data are processed by appropriate algorithms and ad hoc strategies, which also enter the domains of "bigdata" and Artificial Intelligence, in order to obtain precise and detailed information on the objects observed. Applications include monitoring of the urban environment and agricultural crops, and assessing the exposure and vulnerability to risk of the resources contained in those environments.
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