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2020-02 11

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A Suggestion for the Harmonized Standard of Wireless Devices

In order to sell commercial wireless devices in Europe, the products must meet the guidelines of the Radio Equipment Directive (RED), established by the European Commission (EC). However, most of the guidelines are abstract and expansive, and, therefore, regulation was realistically difficult. To complement this, EC consulted European standards institutes to establish a harmonized standard that corresponds to the RED guideline. The new harmonized standard will be chosen by EC in April, and commercialized wireless products will be regulated in the European market accordingly. Thus, manufacturers will need to prove that their products meet the particular harmonized standard to sell them to the European market in the future. Professor Choi Seung-won (Department of Electronic Engineering), with his recent thesis, ‘Market Access for Radio Equipment Directive in Europe Enabled by the Radio Equipment Directive (RED): Status, Next Steps and Implications,’ suggested a thoroughly researched standard that is competent as a new harmonized standard. Professor Choi Seung-won (Department of Electronic Engineering) has proposed a harmonized standard for wireless devices. The Hanyang Mobile Communication research center has been engaged in the standardization action at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's (ETSI) Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) technical committee since 2009. Currently, the center is trying to pass its developed standard as the new harmonized standard of EC. Choi's thesis is a part of this ETSI standardization action, aiming to inform both domestic and foreign institutes about the center’s progressing standardization action and its importance. Choi stated that the center has developed a unique wireless device architecture and interface that makes it possible for software restructuring, and these patented architecture and interfaces were applied in the standard suggested by the center. “If our standard gets selected as the harmonized standard, wireless device manufacturers will have to follow our standard, meaning they will have to manufacture the products using our patented technologies,” said Choi. He added that this means manufacturers will have to pay royalty to the center and that is what makes the research of higher value. "Constant effort will be made in the future for our standard to be chosen as the harmonized standard, as well as to commercialize the RRS techniques," said Choi. Lim Ji-woo

2020-01 28

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Turning Waste into Fuel

Coal is an important energy source, providing for over a quarter of the world's primary energy and two-fifths of electricity. Nevertheless, the controversy over it causing air pollution is getting more intense each year. Professor Yang Hyun-ik (Department of Mechanical Engineering), in his recent research titled ‘Development and Demonstration of the Facility to create Green Pellet Using Waste Wood,’ has provided an eco-friendly way to burn coal and further showed the possibility to produce a competent renewable energy source, solely using wastes. The research aims to develop a facility that successfully converts waste wood and sewage sludge into pellets and burn them with coal. Pellets are a type of fuel that is burnt with coal in the process of generating electricity, made by condensing inflammable wood into a pellet shape. This addition is made almost mandatorily because it reduces the exhaust gas and fine dust caused by burning coal. However, Korea has very few facilities that are capable of producing pellets, and using inflammable-quality domestic wood is highly expensive, so currently, reliance on import is inevitable. Yang’s suggestion was to develop a domestic facility that could produce pellets out of waste wood from Korea as well as sewage sludge, thus making competent eco-friendly ‘green’ pellets. Professor Yang Hyun-ik (Department of Mechanical Engineering), in his recent research, designed a facility that successfully converts waste wood and sewage sludge into 'green' pellet. The green pellets are made using the hydrothermal carbonation technology. Much like the process of making charcoal, carbonation technology compresses carbon by heat. Hydrothermal carbonation is one kind of the technology that carries out the process underwater so that it creates no air pollution. Yang says the facility can convert not only specific wastes, like waste wood or sewage sludge, but all kinds of wastes, including food garbage and even human waste into fuel. The completed facility will be installed in the current cooperating company, Korea East-West Power Corporation. The first step is to succeed in a reduced scale production of one ton within two years, and the next three years will be devoted to producing a real-life scale of one-hundred-ton pellets. Once the technology proves successful, Yang anticipates spreading this technology globally. “Everyone says extracting renewable energy from wastes is important, but not many institutions are doing any practical research. In this sense, this technology is extremely important and necessary on a world-wide scale,” said Yang. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2020-01 21

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Finding the Key to Detailed Information of the Ecosystem

How can we tell a drop of pure honey from sugar-mixed honey? How do we tell which of the pesticide is responsible for the corrupted soil? Or the correct place of origin of beef? All of these are possible by analyzing the ‘stable isotope ratio’ of the compound. Recently, ERICA Campus’s Institute of Ocena and Atmospheric Sciences successfully developed the nitrogen stable isotope analyses technology. It is the first in Korea, and one of the very few world-wide. Professor Shin Kyung-hoon (Department of Marine Science and Convergence Engineering, ERICA Campus) of the laboratory explained that there is a wide possibility of how the technology can be employed in various fields. Professor Shin Kyung-hoon (Department of Marine Science and Convergence Engineering, ERICA Campus) successfully developed the nitrogen stable isotope analyses technology. An isotope of an element is an atom that has a different number of neutrons than the other normal atoms. For instance, almost all carbon has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, but about 1 percent of the carbon on Earth has 6 protons and 7 neutrons. Amongst them, stable isotope is a specific group of isotope that are not radioactive. The aforementioned 'stable isotope ratio' refers to the ratio of the atomic abundances of a specific stable isotopes within an element. So what is the significance of developing the technology that analyzes this stable isotope ratio? According to Shin, the ratio for each atom is generally constant throughout every elements in Earth's biosphere. However, they show slight, but notable, differences between the kinds, and a subtler difference between individual entity. “It is these subtle differences that carry the valuable information,” said Shin. “Take ecology, for example. Although each species has its basic internal isotope ratio, depending on the environment, the exact ratio differs slightly for each organism. In other words, by analyzing the stable isotopes ratio, we can figure out the environment it lived in, such as habitat, food, and trophic position. Ultimately, it gives us a correct and detailed information about the ecosystem,” said Shin. On the surface, what the technology can do is, it can also be applied in many other fields. In forensic science, it could be used to identify the used poison or the used weapon. It can also effectively place the place of origin of food products, and can even be used in archeology to find out what ancient people ate. “The stable isotope ratio analyses technique has endless possibilities of joint study, and a few of them are under way already. We have the machine set and are more than ready to cooperate. I hope more researchers of different fields come up with an interesting idea from their field, and use our machine to find out the answer,” said Shin. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-12 07

[Academics][Excellent R&D] A Step Closer to Curing Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the worst fears of the elderly and their families. There are more and more cases of early onset Alzheimer's disease affecting people as young as 27, and the number of patients is increasing at an alarming speed. By 2025, the number of patients will increase to one million, and by 2035, one out of four people will have Alzheimer's disease. Despite the urgent need for a cure, Alzheimer's is one of the diseases that does not have a medication for complete recovery. However, it was with great news that recently, Professor Kim Hee-jin (Department of Medicine) demonstrated the positive possibility of curing Alzheimer's disease using the medicine BAN2401. Professor Kim Hee-jin (Department of Medicine), in her recent medical test using the medicine BAN2401, saw possibilities in curing early Alzheimer's disease patients. Although the cause of Alzheimer's disease has not beem clearly identified, the most probable explanation is brain damage caused by the proteins called Amyloid Beta. The abnormal deposits of Amyloid Beta in the brain destroy the brain cells responsible for memory and cognitive functions. Developed by the pharmaceutical company, Eisai Co., Ltd. and the biotechnology company, Biogen Inc., BAN2401 is an experimental medicine currently under clinical trials to remove these deposits and cure this disease. It works as an antigen, clinging onto Amyloid Beta and removing them from the brain. Kim explained that up until now, the testing of BAN2401 was mainly done on patients who have already progressed far into the disease. The results were disappointing. Patients who had the Amyloid Beta successfully removed still died from Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, they were unable to recover from the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer's. In the recent test, Kim altered the test subjects. Patients at the initial stage of brain damage--who did not yet have Alzheimer but had a slight accumulation of Amyloid Beta and symptoms of short term memory loss--were tested instead. The test achieved a significant result. The patients who were given BAN2401 showed significant improvement in their cognitive ability. This result means an entirely new possibility of complete recovery and prevention for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, activating full-fledged research on BAN2401. Kim explained that the younger generations are not entirely safe from Alzheimer's disease and emphasized the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle according to age. “Alzheimer’s disease can even affect young students, so it is extremely important to keep a healthy lifestyle to prevent it,” explained Kim. "Until 40, sleeping at night is crucial to deposit the brain’s waste products (with recommended bedtime being 10pm). Also, watch your weight and muscle mass, and avoid drinking and smoking. After 50 years of age, keep a close eye on blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and blood sugar. After 65, it is important to stay occupied with favorable work and remain socially active." Kim expressed concern that students nowadays keep to a bad habit of staying up all night and are generally stressed and depressed. “I hope they take better care of themselves, both physically and mentally,” said Kim. “When I was their age, I too felt like I was too old already, becoming excessively concerned about the future and socially withdrawn. Now that I look back, I feel like if I were to be 26 again, I would be able to do anything. Remember, you are still very young. Stay happy, positive, and active.” Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-11 25

[Academics][Excellent R&D] The Institute for Knowledge Services Selected as a Pivotal Laboratory

Each year, the National Research Foundation of Korea selects the ‘pivotal’ university laboratories to support the research of national value. This year, the Institute for Knowledge Services (IKS) of ERICA Campus was given the honor of becoming a pivotal laboratory. They will receive governmental support of 200 million won annually for three years, up to six years. IKS has conducted many notable studies on services of knowledge, and their current research topic, the ‘IC-PBL Education Method for leading consultants of middle and small-sized companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ aims to strengthen one of the primary fields of knowledge services -- business consulting. Specifically, the aim is to design an education method to grow competent consultants, targeting Korea’s middle and small-sized companies in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The head of IKS is Professor Hwang Seung-june (Division of Business Administration, ERICA Campus). Professor Hwang Seung-june (Division of Business Administration, ERICA Campus) and his Institute for Knowledge Services of Hanyang's ERICA Campus was recently selected by the National Research Foundation of Korea as a ‘pivotal' university research laboratory. “One of the weaknesses of Korea is in the service of knowledge,” said Hwang. “A prime example of that weakness shows in the domain of business consultation.” Hwang pointed out that there are critical limitations in Korea’s current education of business administration. Most case studies are based on large foreign companies. Moreover, education is theory-based and outdated. In order to address this problem, Hwang suggested IC-PBL as the most suitable education model. “We are implementing IC-PBL as the main class model.” IC-PBL (Industry-Coupled Problem-Based Learning) is Hanyang’s own experimentative class method which focuses on practical problem-solving exercises using real-life issues. The class will be conducted through five steps: on the first week, a company’s personnel will explain the actual problem the company is currently experiencing. Then, students will first comprehend and analyze the situation, define the problem, name the root cause, provide a solution, and implement the solution. The results will receive feedback from the company’s personnel. His proposal of such a class model is significant, not only because it addresses the problem of current Korean service of knowledge, but also because, as Hwang emphasized, there is a need to grow powerful domestic business consultants and consulting knowledge that could be implemented on Korea’s small and medium-sized companies. Also, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new model of business consultation that handles big data and AI effectively is in demand. In order to achieve this, a practical analysis of on-site cases is necessary. The Institute for Knowledge Services has conducted many notable studies on services of knowledge. With their latest research, they aim to develop powerful Korean business consultants. Hwang said that starting next semester, this education model will be implemented on Management Consulting post graduate school. The fields of industries will vary each class and each semester, including food, automobile, and service companies. Students of each class will experiment with drawing their own solutions using big data or AI analysis, paving their way to becoming a competent business consultant. "Our ultimate goal is to come up with a new, practical Korean business consultant model for small and medium-sized companies, and disseminate that knowledge,” said Hwang. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-10 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Technique to Improve Display Technology

In the modern world, people look, read, communicate, and even travel through the few-inch square screen. Thus, developing a better display technique has always been an aspired aim. Professor Kim Jaekyun's (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics) recent proposition for a better display technology with a ‘Programmable Non-Contact Assembly-based 5000ppi Micro LED Display’ suggests a new and better technology for the future of displays. Kim Jaekyun (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics), in his recent study proposition, suggested a better Micro LED transfer technology for the future of displays. Micro LED is an emerging display technology, consisting of an array of microscopic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) forming the individual color pixels. This particular LED is quickly becoming the “next big thing” for it outperforms, in many ways, the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which is the current and dominant display technique used in most devices. Most importantly, Micro LED has much better energy efficiency. With the same amount of electricity, Micro LED emits light 1000 times brighter than OLED. This indicates that smaller, lesser, and more distantly arranged Micro LEDs will create the same smooth screen as the previous OLED. However, there is one big problem to solve before commercialization. For Micro LED, the Red-Green-Blue color pixels are manufactured separately, then directly transferred onto the display backplane. However, the current transfer technology, where each pixel is transferred one by one, is highly time-consuming and expensive. The result is an expensive product unfit for commercializing, such as Samsung’s new model of television, the Wall Professional, which costs up to 300 million won. A large Micro LED display in the Garosu-gil Apple store. Although the LEDs are arranged quite distantly in close view, the brighter light of Micro LED creates the illusion of a smooth surface from afar. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim proposed a technique that arranges the color pixels without any direct contact. First, the Micro LEDs dispersed in a solution will be spread on the backplane. As a result of the electric field from the sophisticatedly-designed backplane, the micro LEDs will automatically be arranged into correct position. The micro LED display made by this technique will be much cheaper, allowing a wide commercialization of the micro LED. Kim expects the technique to be implemented on all devices, including smartphones and TVs. He primarily expects its positive impact on the performance of AR glasses, which requires a small but bright display light as Micro LED. “The research will be difficult, but I have conviction that it will work,” said Kim. “When researching, one has to think less of ‘will it work?’ and more of ‘I need to make it work’; because in the end, somebody will. For the next three years, I’ll keep these words in mind and work my hardest to succeed in developing the new Micro LED technology.” Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-09 02

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Agent Manages Your House Energy

When a country's energy supply falls behind the households' energy consumption, a blackout occurs. Up until now, Korea attempted to regulate the energy consumption by giving a 30 percent margin to the energy supply, which required a lot of money and resources. A more efficient energy management would have been possible if the individual household could intelligently control their energy consumption. To address this problem, Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) has recently published a new design of the Energy Management Agent (EMA) framework, presenting a 'hierarchically distributed' EMA framework in his paper, ‘A Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework for Smart Homes, Grids, and Cities.’ Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) presented a hierarchically distributed energy management agent model. The suggested framework will share real-time information about the overall energy consumption of houses, towns, and countries, and intelligently manage the individual household energy consumption, which would ultimately improve Korea’s energy efficiency. Prior to Choi's research, it was impossible for individual users to access real-time information of the overall energy consumption. However, the EMA framework enables the AI agents in an individual household to access the information in real time, taking the job of regulating the energy consumption of each house. Every device and house would have an EMA, which shares informations on how much energy is spent and required with other agents, communicating through the energy internet. A diagram showing the Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework (Photo courtesy of Choi) Professor Choi has been working on the most efficient and user-friendly model of energy internet. Previously, there were two framework models: hierarchical and distributed. Choi’s hierarchical distributed framework combines the advantages of the two frameworks. First, Choi explained that the framework enables the agents to make smart autonomous decisions for the user by sharing energy information to each agent in real time. Agents that received the outside information through energy internet control the in-home energy usage accordingly. For instance, if the district’s overall energy usage is high, the agent could stop a certain household’s machines to temporarily save energy. Also, the agents learn each household’s specific requirements in order to control the supply with consideration. If there is a patient or a newborn who is vulnerable to heat, the agents will share such information and leave the household out from the control subject. Choi says that using the framework can decrease the amount of excess supply. "If the framework is implemented, a flexible control of energy consumption in households will be possible, and the country will not require such big margin in supply. Decreasing the current 30 percent margin to 10 or 20 will achieve a groundbreaking energy efficiency for Korea, whose efficiency assessment sits in the lowest within the OECD," said Choi. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-08 24

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Robot Brain with Robot Arms

AlphaGo presented one of the most famous breakthroughs in the field of AI. Nonetheless, even AlphaGo did not have hands. Professor Park Tae-joon (Department of Robotics, ERICA Campus) has started a new project to give arms to robot brains. The robot's first task will be to assemble a piece of furniture with the given paper assembly manual. It will be the first attempt in the world for AI to assemble furniture with the perfect concord of brain and body. Professor Park Tae-joon (Department of Robotics, ERICA Campus) highlighted the importance of the connection between the software and hardware of a robot, mainly, its brain and body. The robot will have two arms and four cameras for eyes. It will be given an assembly manual with the modules scattered on a worktable. Its task is to read the manual, understand the sequence, identify the modules, and assemble the modules with its hands, all by itself. Park explains that the past three Industrial Revolutions changed the physical and cyber worlds, and the fourth one will break down the wall between the two. For that reason, the organic linkage between cyber and reality (AI brain and body) is crucial. “The connection between the software and hardware departments has always been weak. Our aim is to take the first step in achieving a perfect convergence of the two,” said Park. The robot, with its two arms and four cameras, will read the assembly manual and assemble the scattered modules to finish a furniture. (Photo courtesy of Park) Park is expecting a satisfactory outcome by the end of next year. The team is making fast progress, with the voluntary participation of interested graduate students. “Robots working under this concept has never been tried before. There are many difficulties we need to overcome, but I see so many possibilities. We are paving a new way of AI,” said Park. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-07 31

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Smarter Production of Shale Gas Using AI

In the previous era of oil and gas, conventional natural resources like coal were hard to find and costly to attain. In the search for an easily obtainable energy source, shale gas entered the limelight and has become an increasingly important natural gas since the early 21st century. In his recent study "Smart Management of Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells," Professor Sung Won-mo (Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering) designed AI technology which manages a more efficient method of shale gas production. Professor Sung Won-mo (Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering)'s recent study aims to develop an AI management technology for the most efficient production of shale gas. Natural gas is extracted through wells that are drilled two to three kilometers deep from the ground. The conventional production of gas was an extremely uneconomical procedure, primarily because the source of gas is concentrated within a very small area, thus being difficult to find. For instance, while extracting marine gas a kilometer under the sea costs more than 100 billion won, its success rate hovers at three percent. Shale gas (natural gas extracted from shale, which is a fine-grained, laminated sedimentary rock consisting of silt and clay-sized particles), on the other hand, is an unconventional energy source that tends to be found over a wide area, hence is much easier to locate. For this reason, shale gas has become a very important energy source. “Gas consumption will reach its peak in 2050. Until the end of the 21st century, securing the gas supply will be very important, and shale gas is a highly productive and cost-efficient energy source,” said Sung. Left is an image of a gas well. A conventional well is used for extracting conventional natural gas, and an unconventional well is used for shale gas. Right shows the various information that is gathered from a well. AI management technology will analyze the data to ensure the most efficient production of gas. (Photo courtesy of Sung) Sung’s research focuses on developing AI management technology for the most efficient production of shale gas. Attaching an AI sensor onto the well allows it to collect and analyze related data to ensure the most precise and efficient production procedure. “The data we collect from the sensor is so vast that it is impossible to be analyzed by humans or with a regular computer. However, AI learns from the information and analyzes the new data with impressive speed and accuracy,” explained Sung. The model will help predict the type of rock, type of gas, and components of gas according to the depth. As the result, more accurate drilling and product predictions will be possible, ultimately lowering the unit cost of gas. Sung said he has been aware of the prospect of shale gas for a long time and hopes that in the future, the new technology will help secure this gas resource for Korea. “Korea does not possess many natural resources and relies heavily on imports,” added Sung. “I hope this new technology can be developed further so that it can be implemented in policies, helping to secure this gas resource in Korea.” Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-07 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Korea-Belgium Student Program for Semiconductors, 3D Printing, and Robotics

The Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology(KIAT) conducted the Innovation-Growth Global Talent Cultivation Enterprise this year. Hanyang University applied for the program and will receive support on conducting the Global Expert Education for Korea-Belgium Future Innovation. The enterprise enables a joint research project to develop semiconductor technology through the cooperation of Korea and Belgium. Professor Park Jin-goo (Department of Bionanotechnology) is the general manager, and Professor Kim Tae-gon (Division of Smart Convergence Engineering) is in charge of practical affairs. Recruitment announcement for Global Expert Education for Korea-Belgium Future Innovation. Six students will conduct research with IMEC on semiconductors (processor-in-memory), and seven students will join KU Leuven for research on 3D printing and robotics. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Through the enterprise, 13 master's and doctorate students of Hanyang will join Belgium's IMEC or KU Leuven for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months. They will conduct joint research in three fields: semiconductors (specifically, processor-in-memory) at IMEC, and 3D printing and robotics at KU Leuven. Students may apply and will be chosen through a selection process. The application period is currently open, and the recruited students will be sent this December. The next applicants will be recruited this October and sent in January of 2020. Professor Kim Tae-gon (Division of Smart Convergence Engineering) explained that the program aims to foster talented Hanyang students to demonstrate their acquired ability at the many small but strong companies of Korea. Kim said, "During my 10 years working at IMEC, I felt that the cultivation of young talented workers was more important than anything." Kim also explained that the aim of the program is to nurture outstanding individuals who can help small but influential businesses in Korea. "I hope students acquire a lot of experience through this program and use their ability in Korea's 'small giant' companies." For this, Kim prepared a special curriculum with Park Systems. One out of thirteen students who complete the program will automatically be offered jobs at Park Systems after graduation. Kim says they plan to increase the number of participating companies in the future. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-07 02

[Academics][Excellent R&D] 26 Graduate Students Conduct Joint Research Abroad

The Robot-Engineering Innovative Design Global Talent Cultivation Program is a project that sponsors prospective graduate students to conduct joint research with renowned institutions abroad and is organized by Korea’s Ministry of Commerce Industry and Energy. From April 2019 to December 2020, Hanyang University will conduct this project in the two fields of robotics and engineering. Professor Simon Song (Division of Mechanical Engineering) is the project's director. Hanyang University is conducting the Robot-Engineering Innovative Design Global Talent Cultivation Program, which aims to sponsor prospective graduate students to conduct joint research with renowned institutions abroad. (Photo courtesy of Song) Graduate students will be assigned to 26 laboratories around the world. Through the project, 26 Hanyang University graduate students (including 9 post-doctoral researchers, 10 PhD candidates, and 6 master’s students) will be assigned to 26 famous laboratories in 14 different institutions or universities including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard University. Based on the previous research that students have conducted at Hanyang, they are to cooperate with a team with similar assignments to share and develop their knowledge in the field. The research topics include various subjects in engineering and robotics, such as IoT sensor technologies, AI, big data engineering, soft robotics, and rehabilitation robotics. Professor Simon Song (Division of Mechanical Engineering) added that, "I want to thank the head of the Industry-University Research Cooperation Foundation, Lee Soo-jae, who sent enormous support for the project." Previously, sending students abroad was met with many obstacles such as admission evaluation and cost-coverage. The program offers our graduate students a valuable opportunity to conduct joint research, which Song believes students can benefit greatly from. “After studying abroad, not only does their research improve, but the students’ attitude and confidence show a great difference, too. By networking with fellow researchers and professors, they seem to realize that the competition is not only within Hanyang or Korea, but rather, they need to strive to contribute to research world-wide.” Song added that he hopes to see a similar change through the program towards the end of next year. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon Design by Lim Ji-woo

2019-06 25

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Conical Beam Enables a Wider Home Meter-Reading

In the past, inspecting the meters for electricity, gas, and water use in homes was done manually with workers going around visiting each house. However, as individual energy usage increased, Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) was introduced for a more efficient home meter examination. AMI allows a remote meter reading by sending the information directly to the faraway central meter reading system (called Gateway) via communication technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT). This automatic inspection enabled efficient management of energy as well as significantly decreased the complaints about inspection errors. Nonetheless, AMI has always had a problem commonly shared by wireless access technologies, which is that its wireless coverage was limited and thus a long-distance connection was difficult. Professor Lee Chan-kil (Division of Electrical Engineering, ERICA Campus) solved the coverage limitation problem in meter reading by substituting the previous apple-shaped beam network pattern with a cone-shaped beam pattern. Professor Lee Chan-kil (Division of Electrical Engineering, ERICA Campus)’s recent research solves this problem. Previously, the antenna beam pattern of the IoT network was apple-shaped, which had very limited coverage. Instead, Lee proposed a cone-shaped beam that would expand the covered area significantly. Compared to the previous 10 kilometer radius coverage, the conical beam covers up to 15 kilometers. This reduces the necessary number of gateways per district from 10-30 down to 3-10. Advantages in cost are also significant, as the establishment of the AMI platform is expected to cost 70 percent less than before. Furthermore, with wider coverage, the meter can be buried deeper underground, resulting in less damage and creating a cleaner city appearance. The six projects on IoT Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technologies that Lee and the Digital Communication Systems laboratory have conducted. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Lee and the Digital Communication Systems laboratory focused on various projects regarding IoT Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technologies over the past few years. They successfully conducted five RTLS research projects in the fields of sports, concerts, the livestock industry, traffic, and security and are currently working on the last project in the medical field. “IoT technology, especially Location Based Service (LBS) is continuously growing. By 2020, almost 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet,” said Lee. “Our DCS laboratory will continue to work on technological developments and manpower training to be more innovative in the IoT field.” Lim Ji-woo Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon