The proposal address to the contribution of networked control systems, wireless sensor networks and industry 4.0 to the cooperation between autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs). The research lines should be related to: processing techniques that optimise power autonomy, event-based network control techniques, localization and mapping algorithms, visual-servoing and intelligent guiding systems.
NILM and smart meters imply a new approach to monitor elderlies by using one single sensor, enabling scalability and non-intrusiveness. The energy disaggregation and appliance identification are actually the foundations, where a deep learning approach can propose novel methods to identity, determine and analyse behaviours, patterns and routines in the daily activities of people living in the households under analysis. These methods can provide relatives and carers with a powerful tool to evaluate and/or infer a person’s situation with a null intrusiveness over time, not only in the short but also in the long term.
Energy efficiency in transportation systems is a widely studied field due to its big economic and environmental impact. One of the most important problems that the research community has focused on during the last decades is the reduction of the consumed energy in all aspects of our daily life. One of the most important factors of energy consumption is transportation. To this end, a great amount of work in the field of intelligent transportation systems focuses on improving energy efficiency. Our main line of research is the study of energy efficiency in road transportation, taking into account both driver’s behavior and truck’s characteristics by using big data analysis techniques. To achieve this, models are inferred from machine learning algorithms, which are designed and implemented inside a research scope. Afterwards these models are validated with real data provided by a logistics operator specialized in dangerous goods, mainly hydrocarbon materials (in liquid state), which has a high incidence in the Spanish economy, and at the same time, has high levels of security and regulation.
Energy management plays a vital role in maintaining sustainability and reliability of smart grids. It also helps to prevent blackouts. Energy management at consumer’s side is a complex task. It requires efficient scheduling of appliances with minimum delay to reduce peak to average ratio and energy consumption cost. Classification of appliances is based on their energy consumption pattern. Bio-inspired optimization algorithms can be used to efficiently schedule the energy management and help in the reduction on the energy consumption.
Power line communication (PLC) systems are becoming a mature field with an increasing scientific and industrial interest. PLC provides broadband connection by using the existing mains, easing the connection of different devices. The medium access techniques recommended in the standards of PLC are OFDM, with and without a window in the transmitter, and Wavelet OFDM, based on a cosine modulated filter bank. Indoor positioning systems (IPS) provide a position fix for devices inside different buildings. Their use and applications have increasing scopes ranging from context data assisting/forwarding in museums, object tracking, marketing, etc. A common approach for IPS, is to deploy radio-frequency beacons inside the building and have a tag that collects the signals from those beacons to obtain the position fix. For achieving our goals, specific communication channel models, machine learning, pattern recognition and signal processing techniques are necessary. Therefore, investigation effort is necessary to understand, propose and develop the relevant methods, algorithms and techniques that may impulse the envisioned scenario.
Smart Grid (SG) and Internet of Things (IoT) will mark one of the greatest technological changes of the first half of the 21st century. In both scenarios, the use of communication technologies must provide capacity, efficiency and reliability in the transmission of information. In addition, it is important to impose the cost of these technologies as a criterion of choice, since their deployment must not involve an economic effort that would lead to the delay or abandonment of their implementation. This research line focuses on power line communications applied to the abovementioned fields, analysing problems involved in broadband PLC for in-home and vehicular applications, as well as narrowband communications within the Smart Grid framework. For the previous medium access technologies, we are looking for candidates with experience in new techniques of time synchronization, channel estimation, time domain or frequency domain equalization, among other issues.
Next-generation RF/wireless applications will demand unprecedented capabilities in terms of DC-power-consumption reduction, RF frequency-agility, and multi-operability for their RF front-ends, for which there is not an adopted solution up to date. This research line investigates ground-breaking energy-efficient, ultra-reconfigurable, multi-functional, high-performance, smart RF/microwave subsystems and circuits as enabling hardware for these modern RF transceiver modules. The research projects under this research line may have a large impact in many daily RF/wireless applications given the upcoming need for energy-efficient, high-versatile, multi-standard, multi-service, and multi-function RF/wireless transceivers. Among them, mobile communications (e.g., 5G), space scenarios (e.g., satellite communications, radio-navigation systems, or radio telescopes), Internet of Things (e.g., intelligent-wireless-sensor networks, RF tags, or applications for home), and radar (e.g., biomedical, structural-health monitoring, or automotive) are examples to be highlighted.
This research line aims to establish a technology platform for the fabrication of a new generation of low-cost photovoltaic cells based on nanostructured III-nitride layers synthesized by radio frequency sputtering on silicon substrates. Currently, the photovoltaic market is dominated by single-junction crystalline Si modules because of their relatively low costs and their long-term reliability. Higher conversion efficiencies are obtained using GaAs multi-junction cells operating under concentration light. However, these cells present problems of toxicity. This research line aims to develop a major break-through in the solar domain with fully hybrid III-nitride-on-Si photovoltaic devices environmentally friendly, low production costly, and with moderate conversion efficiencies. This research line is within the line of the Spanish strategy for science, technology and innovation, and the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union: safe, clean and efficient energy.
Renewable resources such as wind, solar or hydraulic power are highly sensitive to climate fluctuations, both to the shorter year-to-year variations, that impose an undesired irregularity in their supply, as well as, most likely, to the longer term modifications related to global climate change. Our research is aimed at providing climatic diagnostics useful to the evaluation and planning of renewable resources at these time scales, with an emphasis on wind energy potential in the Iberian Peninsula . The analysis of their output is expected to contribute to our understanding of the processes affecting wind energy generation in both onshore and offshore locations in the Iberian area.
Increasing the sustainability of food chain by obtaining bioactive substances from agrofood industry residues
Food processing activities in Europe produce large amounts of byproducts and waste. The removal of these residues causes environmental problems that are heterogeneous due to the large variety of different waste materials produced by different sources. Such waste is only partially valorized at different levels (spread on land, animal feed, composting). However, the waste of these residues constitutes a loss of resources since they contain valuable substances. Vegetable and fruits processing byproducts and waste might provide value-added natural bioactive substances with a variety of activities having a high interest for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. The development of strategies enabling the revalorization and reusing of agrofood industry residues to obtain bioactive substances will contribute to the sustainability of the food chain and to the implementation of the so-called clean technologies or waste-free technologies.