Internet of Things

Meik Kottkamp, technology manager in the Rohde & Schwarz Test & Measurement Division, looks at how companies can operate their own local 5G network and the challenges and requirements that need to be considered

of the connection, for example by measuring the achievable data rate in data links. In the Industry 4.0 environment, latency (delay) is an important parameter that is determined using one-way latency measurements. For machine control, a critical measurement is the absolute latency between a control unit that issues a command to the process or machine component that executes the command. Not only the attained absolute latency is important – in some cases, the required value is less than 1ms – but also the jitter, i.e. the variation in the attained average latency.

Device TeSTS befoRe iMpleMenTaTion Finally, the performance capacity of the terminal devices and base stations integrated into the communications system must be checked. This is usually done before implementation in the field by running a series of suitable test cases in a lab environment using dedicated test devices. In the cellular domain, a proven certification environment (organised and operated, for example, by GCF) ensures the performance capacity of the terminal devices. Here the principle is “Test once and use everywhere”. Rohde & Schwarz advocates the establishment of such certification mechanisms, especially for Industry 4.0 applications.

this requires gated trigger measurements. TDD networks separate the downlink (transmission from the base station to the terminal device) and the uplink (transmission from the terminal device to the base station) in the time domain. Using gated trigger measurements, the downlink is masked in the appropriate time window so that any low-level, but significant interference in the uplink is visible. It is also necessary to check the performance capacity

Mobile neTwoRK TeSTinG No matter which wireless or wired communications technology is used, it is extremely important to constantly monitor the communications networks to prevent external attacks. The continuous operation and security of communications solutions can only be assured if problems are detected promptly so that countermeasures can be taken immediately. Suitable monitoring solutions are available for this.

5G acia In addition to the various research projects, the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G ACIA) was established in April 2018 to promote 5G technology for industrial applications. This alliance brings together the operational technology (OT) players and the information and communication technology (ICT) players, i.e. potential users of 5G technology for industrial applications and companies that offer 5G communications technology. The goal is to optimally incorporate the interests of Industry 4.0 applications in the ongoing development of 5G technology. Rohde & Schwarz has been active in 5G ACIA since the autumn of 2018 and primarily participates in the Validation and Tests working group. The fact that there is a dedicated test group in 5G ACIA shows the importance of test and measurement for Industry 4.0. It is necessary to develop effective and efficient test metrics to meet the high requirements of communications technology with regard to reliability, latency and security.

Instrumentation Monthly November 2020

The biGGeST challenGeS foR RealiSaTion The biggest challenges for the realisation of a 5G communications network for Industry 4.0 applications are selection of the individual key use cases (AGV, machine control and logistics), good coverage planning for the specific environment, and careful implementation of the infrastructure components. In general, 5G technology should be integrated into an existing productive environment. Integration of 5G into an existing wireline network (Ethernet) or wireless network (WLAN) poses a special challenge. The interfaces in the existing networks must be defined individually. And communications reliability must be ensured in the transition from wireline to wireless communications technology. Efficient measurement and monitoring solutions are essential, both when setting up the network and during ongoing network operation. Suitable monitoring solutions enable early detection of potential disturbances/interference in the RF spectrum so that suitable counter measures can be taken.

available TeST SoluTionS Rohde & Schwarz has the necessary test solutions for 5G, LTE, WLAN and other communications technologies, and they are all in use today. Its mobile network testing solutions include measurement of coverage parameters such as power and signal-to-interference ratios as well as measurement of connection parameters such as data rates based on a 5G terminal device. Industry 4.0 applications set high requirements on communications technology, particularly with regard to latency, reliability and security. That is why Rohde & Schwarz continuously develops its test and measurement solutions for this specific use case. Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing can already determine one-way latency with a prototype QualiPoc device. Rohde & Schwarz subsidiaries ipoque and LANCOM Systems offer a variety of cybersecurity solutions. The R&S PACE 2 deep packet inspection (DPI) engine from ipoque can classify IP data and analyse communication endpoints. Rohde & Schwarz is already using this technology in its own factories to monitor communications. LANCOM Systems has equipped its R&S Unified Firewall products with this engine to protect communications networks against external attacks.

MoniToRinG aS a SeRvice For professional media services, Rohde & Schwarz developed R&S, a monitoring as a service solution. The company offers mobile network operators not only test and measurement equipment, but also services, including determination of the performance capacity of a mobile network. This solution is also available for setting up and operating local LTE and 5G networks in the Industry 4.0 environment.

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