News

ECE Professor João Hespanha part of project team given a five-year $4M NSF “Frontier” award

June 24th, 2014

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NSF announces the award given to Roseline project team that will tackle the challenge of timekeeping in cyber-physical systems (CPS) — often called the “Internet of Things” — in which objects and devices are equipped with embedded software and are able to communicate with and be controlled by wireless digital networks.

The research team, led by engineering faculty from UCLA and EE / CS faculty from UCSB, CMU and U. of Utah, will work to improve the accuracy, efficiency, robustness and security with which computers maintain their knowledge of physical time and synchronize it with these networked devices.

Timekeeping presents a particular challenge in this emerging field, which depends on precise knowledge of time in order to infer location, control communications and accurately coordinate activities in a broad and growing range of applications, from autonomous cars and aircraft autopilot systems to advanced robotic and medical devices, energy-efficient buildings and an array of other industrial initiatives.

“It is widely appreciated that constraints on energy storage and communication bandwidth typically limit the performance of cyber-physical systems, what we are now starting to discover is that the accuracy of clocks can also limit their performance,” commented João Hespanha, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara and co-PI for the project. “RoseLine will enable us to discover what these limitations may be and how to overcome them in practice.”

NSF Press Release (full release)

UCLA Newsroom Release (full release)

Prof. João Hespanha's website