Connectivity in Electromagnetic Nano-networks and Realization of the IoNT
Primary Investigator: Dr. Najah Abu Ali
The advent of electromagnetic nanonetworks promises an elegant alternative to traditional technology such as wireless body area networks. Nanomachines can be deployed inside or on the human body, plants, or environment to reach otherwise unreachable organs, tissues, etc. One of the several applications of nanomachines is to deliver drug doses or provide real-time monitoring of human organs, such as the human heart, or plant’s parts, such as roots. Development and design of nanoscale components and executing simple tasks has become a reality through nanonetworks, which hold much greater communication and processing potential than standalone nanomachines by managing their cooperation as a single unit. Applications of nanonetworks are limitless, ranging from the industry, environment, urban development, military and with the most attractive and significant of applications being health care because of its non-invasive and unobtrusive feature. Real-world implementation of nanonetworks is still in early stages of research and development. This research collaboration with Queen Mary of London University and University of Glasgow brings us one step closer to making it a reality by investigating and implementing seamless connectivity between the nanonodes in one hand, and extend this connectivity to Internet by utilizing cellular networks, WiFi, or upcoming wireless technology Li-Fi creating what is known as the Internet of Nano-Things on the other hand. We need to design protocols that allow for nanonodes connectivity and dissemination of sensed data within the nanonetwork to enable the functionality of IoNT. This will also allow us to receive directions or orders from external networks such as caregivers’ network to the nanodevices thereby performing certain tasks such as drug delivery. In this research, we are investigating the challenges of networking and connectivity in IoNT. We are currently addressing the challenges of IoNT networking and connectivity bearing in mind the IoNT peculiar characteristics such as the very high data rates in the Terahertz (THz) band, limited transmission range, constraint energy, storage and processing power, and very dense network deployment. The IoNT characteristics raise legitimate concerns on the effectiveness of MAC protocols for error detection, correction and routing protocols dynamicity, and processing overhead for data forwarding. The major advantage of IoNT is the sheer potential for its comprehensive real-life applications. This research will serve to further the field of the IoNT and ultimately allow for the improvement of connectivity within the network itself.
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