#7 Episode – Internet of Space, paradigm shift in communication channels (2/2)


Guest: Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling, head of the Chair Robotics and Telematics at the University of Wuerzburg. Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Vice -chair and steering committee member of the IFAC TC on Aerospace. Internationally known expert in the field of telematics, robotics, astronautics, satellite technology and Internet of Space.

Getting along with the satellite research we witness a paradigm shift especially in the context of global telecommunication channels. Traditional big multifunctional satellites will become complemented by distributed networked small satellites which have capabilities to self-organize. These small satellites can thus cover a much larger area which leads to a better temporal and spatial resolution by a team of distributed satellites. Networks of satellites can provide communication everywhere. Small satellite will be appropriate in the context of telemedicine, Industry 4.0 or the monitoring of environmental pollution. The technology is highly interesting for places that are not connected to classical communication connections like desserts, mountains, on the see (oil platforms, offshore wind parks) or smaller villages in poor countries. These Satellite systems have potential to increase efficiency and reduce production costs. The terms of use are broad – from industrial plants to  medicine.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling is building these pico satellites in Wuerzburg, Germany from scratch. A spin-off company from his chair – S4 Smart Small Satellite Systems (http://www.s4-space.com) –provides satellite components and networks to commercial customers. Additionally, in the Center of Telematics, there is a huge multi-functional testing hall, which is unique in Europe. Here it is possible to test satellites as well as devices for cars and cameras sketching a surface feature so that one can simulate team behavior of robots.

Another interesting field of research is the topic of robotics. In a lot of manufacturing plants the issue of bringing humans and robots closer together in a co-working environment rises. In our aging society, if we want to keep our production level high and productive, we need to have support systems for elderly people, e.g. in lifting heavy objects. Security here is a very important aspect. Therefore, sensors can support and warn for dangerous situations.

E-Learning is also another huge topic. The chair of Prof. Dr. Schilling is participating at the virtual university of Bavaria since 2003. Here real hardware and robots can be connected remotely. There are virtual laboratories and access via internet on real hardware. It is a learning unit for students that there are different realities. This is a very good training process – In fact students will see that apart from nice coding, the transfer to reality is still a big step.

Check out #7 Episode of the “WUEconomics – outside the box – Podcast” for more details and insights.


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