The Latest Advances in Wireless Communication in Aviation, Wind Turbines and Bridges
2. Wireless Communication and Protocols’ Characteristics
- Data integrity—transmission with relatively no errors,
- Speed—as close as possible to the speed of current wired networks,
- Protection—ensuring that data in the air is encoded and cannot be overheard by unwanted receivers,
- Compatibility—ensuring that many of the protocols that will certainly be created are compatible with the standard to enable interoperability,
- Environmental safety—electromagnetic radiation forces must be kept at normal levels.
2.1. Wireless Communication Protocols Overview
- Low Power Broadband Networks (LPWAN) provide long-distance communication on small, cheap batteries that are long-life. This technology has been specifically designed to support large-scale IoT networks spanning extensive campuses, both the industrial and commercial ones. LPWANs can combine all types of IoT sensors—making it easy to combine many types of applications such as facility management, building control, remote monitoring, smart measuring, and employee safety, to name but a few. However, due to the fact that LPWANs can only send small blocks of data at low speed, this makes them better suited for applications which are not time-sensitive and do not require high throughput.
- Mobile networks (3G, 4G, 5G) offering reliable broadband communications for various voice calls and video streaming applications. Unfortunately, their disadvantages are very high operating costs and power requirements.
- Zigbee and other “mesh” protocols are short-range, with a low power wireless standard (IEEE 802.15.4). It is widely used in grating topology to extend the range through passing sensor data through a number of sensor nodes. In comparison to LPWAN, Zigbee allows a higher data transfer rate, but simultaneously a significantly lower energy efficiency because of the grating configuration.
- Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1 v1-5) is a very popular short-range communication technology in today’s consumer market. Bluetooth Classic was initially designed to exchange point-to-point or point-to-multipoint data (up to seven sub-nodes) between consumer devices. In order to optimize the power consumption, in small consumer IoT applications, Bluetooth Low-Energy was later introduced.
- Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, WiMAX—IEEE 802.16) provides high data transfer rates not only in corporate but also home environments. However, when it comes to the IoT space, its coverage, scalability, and power consumption are limited, and this makes the technology much less common. Due to high energy requirements, Wi-Fi is not always a viable option for large battery IoT sensor networks, especially in industrial IoT and smart building scenarios. Instead, it is used to connect devices that are easy to connect to an electrical outlet, such as smart home gadgets and devices, digital signage, or security cameras.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID, ISO/IEC24791) uses radio waves to transmit small amounts of data from an RFID tag to a reader at very short distances. So far, technology has significantly revolutionized retail and logistics sectors. The attachment of an RFID tag to a variety of products and devices allows companies to track their inventory and resources in real time—this, in turn, enables better inventory, production planning, but also optimizing supply chain management.
2.2. Wireless Communication Security Aspects
- WPA2 + AES;
- WPA + AES;
- WPA + TKIP;
- Open Network (without security).
3. Base of the SHM System
4. WSN Systems in Different Applications: Aerospace, Bridge Structures, and Wind Turbines
4.1. WSN in Aerospace
4.1.1. Wireless Signal Propagation
4.1.2. AWSN Networks Structure
4.1.3. Selected Wireless Communication Protocols Used in Aviation
- AFDX® (IEEE 802.11e) makes use of a unique protocol in order to provide deterministic time management and redundancy, ensuring secure and reliable communication of critical and non-critical data. AFDX® communication protocols have been developed from commercial standards (Ethernet MAC addressing IEEE802.3, IP Internet Protocol, UDP user datagram) in order to obtain the required deterministic behavior for avionics applications. Virtual Linked Terminal Systems (or LRUs) communicate with traffic shaping through bandwidth allocation gaps (BAG). AFDX® data transmissions are used on the following aircraft: Airbus A380/A350/A400M, Boeing B787 Dreamliner (ARINC 664), ARJ21, and Super jet 100. AFDX®/ARINC 664P7 is used as the core for all systems, such as flight control systems, cockpit avionics, air conditioning, power equipment, fuel systems, landing gear, and more .
- The CAN bus is a 1 Mbps data bus that works in accordance with an event-triggered paradigm where messages are transmitted with the use of a priority-based access mechanism. CAN bus operates by using a producer/consumer communication scheme which is based on a unique identifier per message type. The CAN messages are broadcast on the bus; then, each CAN equipment will filter the consumed data based on the CAN identifier. The collisions on the bus are solved following a CSMA/CR protocol (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Resolution) by the bit arbitration method. The CAN frame comprises a payload of up to 8 bytes and an overhead of 6 bytes because of the different headers and bit stuffing mechanism .
- The ARINC 429 and MILSTD 1553B are communication standards used in both military and commercial aviation. The ARINC 429 connects LRUs onboard Boeing 737 and other civil aircraft with the use of distributed avionics architectures. The MIL-STD 1553B is applied in most military aircraft for critical flight control and various mission systems. Both of them are half-duplex communication standards. The ARINC 429 connects the LRU. The MIL-STD 1553B connects multiple devices via a common bus via a point-to-point wiring scheme. They are now used in manufacturing and space aircraft; however, certain shortcomings in modern aircraft performance have resulted in the adoption of extended and modified versions of these standards .
- ARINC 653 is a specification for an application executive used for integrating avionics systems on modern aircraft. This specification is aimed at enforcing fault containment, and preventing fault propagation from one partition to another, which eases the application’s life cycle verification, validation, as well as certification procedures. The main areas of use of the ARINC 653 specification are integrating different systems into a single environment (CPU environment), integrating different OS systems, standardization of safety-critical control systems and time and space partitioned systems .
- The IEEE 1451 standard describes the common functions, communication protocols, as well as transducer electronic data sheet formats. The purpose of the standard was to standardize plug and play technology, making it easy to connect a transmitter from any manufacturer to any control and measurement network so as to make the transmitter independent of the protocol used in a given network. This standard’s key element is to define the TEDS (Transducer electronic data sheet) format that stores relay identification, correction data, calibration, as well as manufacturer information .
- The WAIC system (Wireless Avionics Intra-Communication) is also based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Studies indicate that the best band for WAIC is 4.2–4.4 GHz, as it shares a similar band with a radio altimeter. Moreover, too strong electromagnetic waves from wireless devices inside an aircraft are exposed to high attenuation. As they penetrate various metal and composite objects, it is essential to choose the right frequency not to interfere with other components. WAIC is designed to integrate multiple devices in a single aircraft fully. The system itself is adapted to low range (<100 m) and low power consumption (10 mW for small transmitters and 50 mW for large transmitters). It should be emphasized that the standard does not provide a connection to the Internet. It only serves as an intermediary for, among others, data transmission methods, i.e., satellite network .
- 7 ECMA-368 (High Rate Ultra Wideband PHY and M.A.C. Standard) is a standard for high-data-rate networks within the airplane. There are solutions for optimal node placement, quality of service mechanisms, and loss-free mobility support. Ultra-wideband technology provides better indoor performance compared to traditional narrowband systems. The wide bandwidth allows resistance to channel effect in dense environments and allows very accurate satisfactory time-space resolutions for very precise positioning inside UWB nodes. The standard sets a low spectral density below ambient noise for a low probability of signal detection and consequently increases communication safety. The standard provides high periscosity data transmission over short distances (up to 100 Mbps at <10 m) .
4.1.4. Transmission Information System for Taxiing on the Aprons and Taxiways Using RFID Technology
- information (e.g., about the position on the taxiway, about other airplanes nearby) or
- commands (stop, continue taxiing).
- Possibility of transmitting additional information to the automatic taxi control system, such as: the position on the taxiway, about an upcoming intersection, about other nearby objects, and commands for the automated taxi system.
- It provides additional information to increase the crew’s situational awareness, such as: warnings about approaching a taxiway/runway intersection and information about geographic location.
- Possibility of replacing other, completely passive systems, based on graphic signs—so that the information transmitted to the aircraft may change, be programmed remotely, due to the current traffic situation, weather, and others;
- Easy for configuration infrastructure;
- Flexible system structure.
- This solution has also some weaknesses:
- The range between devices is limited to a maximum single tens meters
- Different frequencies engaged depending on the region of the World, so multi frequency devices are required to increase flexibility and portability of RFID based systems,
- Sensitivity to short contact time. The communication could not be established if visible time was too short because of capacitors’ performances and limitations.
4.1.5. Further limitations for Wireless SMH within Aerospace
4.2. WSN in Bridge Structures
- costs resulting from the installation of cables intended to provide power and communication for the sensors and protective pipelines,
- influence of ambient temperature on the distortion of sensor data,
- sensor—cabel and cabel—cabel connections which are the source of noises decreasing the quality of the signals.
4.3. WSN in Wind Turbines
4.3.1. Large Wind Turbines and Wind Turbine Farms
- farm overview and control;
- turbine overview and control;
- report generator.
- Master Unit—system heart under the operator’s control.
- Remote Unit—installed at a remote location, sends required data to the master unit.
- Communication Mode—transmitting signals/data between units by a cable, wireless media, satellite, etc.
4.3.2. Advantages of Wireless Communications for SCADA Systems
- Simple implementation. In the locations which do not have wire lines installed, the wireless connections are cheap to deploy, allow faster installation, and are simpler to operate. Building a new wire line is not competitive. Nowadays, cellular networks today cover up to 99 percent of the whole world population. Therefore, its availability is granted everywhere the customers wish to have. In many areas of the world, there are several cellular networks operating now. In order to deploy wireless equipment, the utilities have a choice and can select the best cellular network available at the particular location.
- Reduced costs of operation. Some SCADA operators own and maintain their private radio networks. Changing to cellular operators, they can eliminate maintenance problems. They can rely on mobile operators providing the network. Moreover, having many locations of wind turbines, it is possible to choose one supplier of the network for all locations. This may eliminate other connections, typically controlled by regional providers.
- Fully reliable technology. More than 20 years ago, a new wireless technology emerged and started to replace traditional wire line structure. Huge investments in the wireless infrastructure, constant monitoring and protecting against security threats pushed the development of these systems to a very high level. Nowadays, cellular networks seem to be more secure in comparison with privately operated infrastructure. Therefore, they are able to support critical infrastructure such as SCADA systems. It is estimated that SCADA applications are supported by one billion machines using cellular networks nowadays. Sensitive financial transactions and critical government communications are good examples proving the reliability of wireless systems using this technology. Now, up to 20 percent of all cellular communications worldwide concern data transfer (typically IP-based).
- Market perspective. Fast development of IT technologies and equipment causes the cost of cellular services to decline. Providers must compete more fiercely for utility customers. Thanks to this, the provided technology and services are considerably improved and less expensive.
4.3.3. Wireless Technology Options
4.3.4. Best Practices for Cellular SCADA Solution Design and Implementation
- Session persistence intelligence. The system ought to be focused on maintaining the connection in all conditions. Should a device be even knocked off the network, it should persistently seek the way to get back on the network. Watchdog timers and data retry algorithms should be employed by devices in order to assure stable presence on the network.
- Flexibility to operate with legacy equipment. Search for wireless devices that offer support for older machine protocols (e.g., Modbus, DNP3, TCIP, Bristol Babcock, etc.). Packet Assembly Disassembly (PAD) should be performed by wireless solutions. Possibility of receiving data in the form of a legacy protocol, and transmitting these over the cellular network. The same procedures should be available on the receiver end of the system.
- Effective security. Any wireless solution provides baseline security features. However, for SCADA communication applications, it is required to search for wireless products which exceed the present state of the art. Endpoints should support virtual private networks (VPNs) that can be managed with the same remote management tools. In addition, an embedded firewall should be incorporated in the ideal wireless gateway.
- Choose solutions of the highest reliability. For instance, cellular equipment housing ought to be solid aluminum, instead of folded sheet metal or plastic.
- Built-in wireless modules in used products. Such devices are characterized by far better ruggedness and tamperproofness in comparison to traditional equipment. Utilities with embedded wireless usually have better remote management functionality.
- Over-the-air upgradable solutions, via software patches. As it is, energy suppliers do not wish to have maintenance burdens every time they want to change the data collecting frequency or update firmware. IT managers need to be capable of downloading new features and patches over the air.
- Choose experienced vendors of wireless equipment to ensure a long lifetime of SCADA equipment. Energy suppliers need to be sure that wireless vendors are capable of supporting the wireless technology for longer than a few years. Search for wireless vendors who have certified devices in multiple markets worldwide, for power transmission and systems distribution.
4.3.5. SCADA versus IoT (Internet of Things)
4.3.6. Small and Micro Wind Turbine Market
- necessary reliability and integrity of transmitted data;
- the distance on which transmission takes place;
- the expected amount of data which is to be transmitted;
- the acceptable delay time of data delivery;
- the necessity of the data transmission in two directions, to control the turbine performance, to stop the turbine, or to modify the generator loading algorithm.
- LTE, 4G;
- Radio link of short-range with FSK (Frequency Shift Keying) modulation;
- Wi-Fi connection.
- Network architecture: the replacement of current avionics connections by wireless connections raises many questions about the clustering and topology of terminal systems and the mechanisms in place to avoid interference.
- MAC protocol: The choice of the MAC protocol will have a direct impact on the timeliness and predictability of communications, which are paramount for secure avionics systems. Therefore, the MAC protocol ought to be well defined in order to meet this requirement.
- Reliability mechanisms: In the case of critical avionics networks, the probability of failure should not exceed 10−9 per flight hour. Therefore, this requirement should be met by every wireless system. The question that arises relates to the feasibility of a fully wireless avionics network or the necessity of backup. Moreover, avionics communication is mostly multi-media, which requires the integration of an improved confirmation and retransmission mechanism in order to reduce the communication load. Reliability mechanisms ought to be selected accordingly in order to meet these requirements.
- Security mechanisms: Security is a critical criterion to be met for security-critical avionics applications. This is why the WAN must provide not only authentication, but also data encryption, and integration in order to avoid man-in-the-middle or DoS attacks.
- Schedule analysis: In case of applications which are embedded in avionics, the communication network must meet the certification requirements, e.g., predictable behavior in harsh real-time conditions and time guarantees. However, wireless technologies can still increase communication delays because of transmission errors; therefore, it is necessary to verify real-time limitations in an error-prone environment.
- necessary reliability and integrity of transmitted data;
- the distance on which transmission takes place;
- the expected amount of data which is to be transmitted;
- the acceptable delay time of data delivery;
- the necessity of the data transmission in two directions influences the turbine performance, stops the turbine, or modifies the generator loading algorithm.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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(Closed Space—Open Space)
|WiFi [9,10]||IEEE 802.11b|
|ZigBee ||IEEE 802.15.4||250 Kb/s||784 MHz|
|Bluetooth ||IEEE 802.15.1 v1|
IEEE 802.15.1 v2
IEEE 802.15.1 v3
IEEE 802.15.1 v4
IEEE 802.15.1 v5
|2.4 GHz||100 m|
|RFID ||ISO/IEC24791||<1 Mb/s||125 KHz|
|LoRa ||IEEE 802.15.4||27–50 Kb/s||433 MHz|
|up to 13 km||No|
|SigFox ||IEEE 802.15.4||100 b/s||433 MHz|
|up to 40 km||No|
|NB-IOT ||IEEE 802.15.4||240 Kb/s||800 MHz|
and LTE bands
|up to 10 km||Yes|
|WirelessHART ||IEEE 802.15.4||250 Kb/s||2.4 GHz||up to 225 m||No|
|ISA100.11a ||IEEE 802.15.4||250 Kb/s||2.4 GHz||up to 150 m||No|
|WiMAX ||IEEE 802.16|
IEEE 802.16 m
|2–11 Ghz||<10 km||No|
|Ultra-wideband (UWB) [18,19]||ETSI EN 302 065|
|50–100 Mb/s||3.1–10.6 GHz||10–150 m||No|
|WAIC ||IEEE 802.15.4|
IEEE C band
|250 Kb/s–200 Mb/s||4.2–4.5 GHz||<100 m||No|
|Purpose of security||Need to secure the sent signals in open space||The creation of new versions of wireless protocols forced the creation of a new type of security||Insufficient security in WPA.|
|Data encryption type||Rivest Cipher 4 (RC4)||TKIP—Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (using RC4)||C.C.M.P.—A.E.S. based encryption protocol|
|Authentication (types)||WEP-Open |
|Data integrity||CRC-32||Provided by Message Integrity Code||Provided by CBC-MAC (cipher block chaining message authentication code)|
|Technology weaknesses||Very vulnerable to DoS attacks. Now, this security is broken.||Vulnerable to DoS attacks and key reinstallation attack (KRACK.)||Vulnerable to DoS attacks and key reinstallation attack (KRACK.)|
|Ease of technology implementation||Very easy to set up||WPA-Enterprise requires an authentication server configuration||WPA2-Enterprise requires an authentication server configuration|
|Protection against attacks based on the replay method||No security||Packet sequence counter is implemented||The new 48-bit vector IV acts as a frame counter|
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Śliwa, R.E.; Dymora, P.; Mazurek, M.; Kowal, B.; Jurek, M.; Kordos, D.; Rogalski, T.; Flaszynski, P.; Doerffer, P.; Doerffer, K.; et al. The Latest Advances in Wireless Communication in Aviation, Wind Turbines and Bridges. Inventions 2022, 7, 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions7010018
Śliwa RE, Dymora P, Mazurek M, Kowal B, Jurek M, Kordos D, Rogalski T, Flaszynski P, Doerffer P, Doerffer K, et al. The Latest Advances in Wireless Communication in Aviation, Wind Turbines and Bridges. Inventions. 2022; 7(1):18. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions7010018Chicago/Turabian Style
Śliwa, Romana Ewa, Paweł Dymora, Mirosław Mazurek, Bartosz Kowal, Michał Jurek, Damian Kordos, Tomasz Rogalski, Pawel Flaszynski, Piotr Doerffer, Krzysztof Doerffer, and et al. 2022. "The Latest Advances in Wireless Communication in Aviation, Wind Turbines and Bridges" Inventions 7, no. 1: 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions7010018