PHC Aurora with University of Tromso (Norway) (2023-2024) : Extrem Edge-Fog-Cloud continuum


This project is leaded by Laurent Lefevre and Issam Rais (UiT, Tromso, Norway).

The arctic tundra is one of the most sensitive eco-systems to climate change. It is a large area with presently too few large-scale observation sites. Scientific observatories for extreme climate environments (based on ICT facilities and sensors infrastructure) provide on-field data to researchers (e.g ecologists, biologists) in order to observe and model complex environments with rapidly changing conditions. Gathering, processing and reporting observations are often limited by the availability of sufficient energy. The reporting is also limited by the availability of a communication network with sufficient bandwidth and latency. The opportunities provided by the data are limited by the availability of the critical resources: energy and communication networks.

Collected data must be processed, transported, and stored on relevant ICT infrastructures. Such resources can be deployed in various geographic locations depending on the proximity of sensors and actuators. For extreme scientific observatories, we target ICT infrastructure based on a continuum of resources from sensors and actuators to fog nodes (with limited capabilities) and up to cloud infrastructures.

Extreme climate conditions imply highly heterogeneous systems. Two extremes are represented here: (i) Clouds, highly monitored and maintained, and (ii) edge devices in extreme conditions, needing high monitoring and maintenance but can’t have it (or in a very limited amount), as it would cost too much (e.g in human resources, devices, energy). In between, fog and edge devices can be in both situations, depending on their context. Such high heterogeneity creates hierarchies and cliques of nodes that have very different access to resources, monitoring and even availability.

The challenges that we want to address in this aurora project are how to (i) provide the needed mechanisms to reproduce the characteristics of extreme environments with an in-lab testbed (ii) provide an end-to-end energy monitoring of considered worst continuum infrastructure, (iii) discover the most impactful energy leverages to sustain observations and monitoring (iv) deploy a proof of concept (simulated and really implemented) that validates the abstraction, architecture, design and implementation choices.

Slices PP– Preparatory Phase

The digital infrastructures research community continues to face numerous new challenges towards the design of the Next Generation Internet. This is an extremely complex ecosystem encompassing communication, networking, data-management and data-intelligence issues, supported by established and emerging technologies such as IoT, 5/6G, cloud-to-edge computing. Coupled with the enormous amount of data generated and exchanged over the network, this calls for incremental as well as radically new design paradigms. Experimentally-driven research is becoming worldwide a de-facto standard, which has to be supported by large- scale research infrastructures to make results trusted, repeatable and accessible to the research communities.

SLICES-RI (Research Infrastructure), which was recently included in the 2021 ESFRI roadmap, aims to answer these problems by building a large infrastructure needed for the experimental research on various aspects of distributed computing, networking, IoT and 5/6G networks. It will provide the resources needed to continuously design, experiment, operate and automate the full lifecycle management of digital infrastructures, data, applications, and services.

Based on the two preceding projects within SLICES-RI, SLICES-DS (Design Study) and SLICES-SC (Starting Community), the SLICES-PP (Preparatory Phase) project will validate the requirements to engage into the implementation phase of the RI lifecycle. It will set the policies and decision processes for the governance of SLICES-RI: i.e., the legal and financial frameworks, the business model, the required human resource capacities and training programme. It will also settle the final technical architecture design for implementation. It will engage member states and stakeholders to secure commitment and funding needed for the platform to operate. It will position SLICES as an impactful instrument to support European advanced research, industrial competitiveness and societal impact in the digital era.

Project Information