[Excellent R&D] Conical Beam Enables a Wider Home Meter-Reading
Professor Lee Chan-kil (Division of Electrical Engineering, ERICA Campus)
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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)’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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon
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