News

Mónica Barciela invited to give a lecture at the 18th IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON 2017)

Published on 21 June, 2017

Mónica Fdez Barciela, a member of the High Frequency Device Group (gDAF) of the AtlantTIC Research Center, has been invited to give a lecutre at the 18th IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON), held in Cocoa Beach, Florida, On April 24-25, 2017. In the framework of the session “Passive Devices” presented his lecture titled “Exploiting behavioral modeling for nonlinear analytical circuit design and improved frequency scalability”, in which he described methods to improve prediction in Frequency of behavior models of transistors, as well as to obtain analytical expressions useful in circuit design from this type of models. These techniques are being applied in the design of nonlinear microwave circuits, and in particular in the design of power amplifiers for communications with UAVs; In the framework of the project “Directional and double band RF front-end for light multicast UAVs“, financed with ERDF funds.

 

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Participation in the 2017 IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Published on 21 June, 2017

Rocío Moure, a predoctoral fellow of Xunta de Galicia and member of the High Frequency Device Group (gDAF) of the AtlantTIC Research Center, has taken part in the 2017 IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, from 4 to 9 of June. In the framework of the session “Novel Large-Signal Model Extraction Techniques” has presented his paper titled “Direct Extraction of an Admittance Domain Behavioral Model from Large-Signal Load-Pull Measurements”, in which she described a method that for the first time allows the direct extraction of behavioral models of admittances from high-load “Load-Pull” measurements, as well as its validation using gallium nitride (GaN) transistors and large signal calibrated measurement systems (NVNA, Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer). This extraction technique is being applied to a broadband admittance model for the design of nonlinear microwave circuits, and in particular, in the design of power amplifiers for communications with UAVs; In the framework of the project “Directional and double band RF front-end for light multicast UAVs“, financed with ERDF funds.

 

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AtlantTIC capabilities in the field of public places and airport security

Published on 16 June, 2017

As part of security and defense policies, one of the key research line is security in public places and especially airports. AtlantTIC works on different lines in this context.

  • Improved security scanner technology:

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has defined different standards to improve security scanner performance in airports. They specify that people must be able to be scanned without the need to remain static, as happens in current systems. In addition, with the aim of respect the privacy of the passengers, new systems must be able to identify several material in order to distinguish contraband or explosives from other harmless elements that the person can carry attached to the body, as for example medical devices and implants.

Milimeter wave scanners provide a solution to this tecnological demand, due its good compromise between resolution of the obtained image, ability to penetrate through tissues and other materials, use of non-ionizing radiation, and relatively low cost.

Radar and Remote Sensing area of AtlantTIC has developed a new system for the inspection of people through millimeter-wave scanners. Main features of this new design are the use of a multi-static configuration with fully electronic scanning for images of people on the move and the ability to identify different materials that people under inspection can carry attached to their body and hidden under clothing. An added advantage of this architecture is the ability to increase scanning speed (people / minute) compared to current scanners.

escaner_persona

 

  • Application of facial and object recognition technologies in airport environments

The experience of Multimedia Technologies area of AtlantTIC in facial recognition is highly constrasted both academic level and the level of technology transfer. Some of the developed technologies have direct application in airport environments such as the following:

  • Facial recognition applied to identification of specific individuals.
  • Automatic matching between the person and the passport photo.
  • People tracking inside an enclosure.
  • Locating abandoned objects.

escaner_facial

 

Sectors such as security in public places have become in an element of capital importance due to recent events. Technologies developed by AtlantTIC in a unique and combined way have drawn research lines fully aligned with the future needs of the sector.

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Researcher from AtlantTIC research center participates in one of the most prestigious schools in the 5G field

Published on 19 May, 2017

The Swedish town of Goteborg hosts from 29th may to 1st June the summer school on signal processing for 5G wireless access, 2017 JOINT IEEE SPS EURASIP SUMMER SCHOOL ON SIGNAL PROCESSING FOR 5G WIRELESS ACCESS.  The school is jointly organized by Chalmers University of Technology, la Linköping University, la University of Texas at Austin, Aalborg University and University of Vigo. University of Vigo is once again proving its cooperation capacity with top international institutions, in this case in the 5G field regarding scientific productions and patents.

The school features a unique program of conferences, assembled by leading experts in the field of signal processing for communications, including AtlantTIC researcher Nuria González Prelcic.González Prelcic, fotoNuria
coauthor of more than 20 papers about millimeter wave (mmWave) MIMO technologies published in international journals and conferences during the last 2 years. Currently, she is associated editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communicationss. Gonzalez-Prelcic has taught and given specialized seminars at international prestigious conferences: ICASSP 2017, Globecom 2016, WCNC 2017 and many others. Furthermore, she has co-organized with Prof. Robert Heath from University of Texas at Austin, two special sessions on mmWave communications at SPAWC 2015 y Asilomar 2016.

During the course of the summer school plenary conferences with companies as Huawei, Ericsson, Volvo or China Mobile will be provided as well, .

The registration for the summer school is closed for some time now. It is a good indicator of academic excellence.

Signal processing, 5G foundations

Conferences are organized around 4 basic pillars: (1) Massive MIMO, (2) mmWave communications, (3) positioning and (4) machine to machine communication (M2M).

IEEE_SPS_SUMMER_SCHOOL

The future of 5G and its applications

The future is the 5G mobile network, but we still have to wait a few years until the beginning of its implementation, because it is still in the standardization stage. A more flexible use of the spectrum is expected in 5G networks to ensure a better quality of service, scalability and integration between different kind of networks. Millimeter wave band has a crucial role, due to the great available spectrum, both for the communication between base stations and communication with terminals. The higher frequencies and very varied contexts of use are complex variables to manage and the research challenge is huge. Nevertheless, they are challenges in which Radio and Optical Communications area of AtlantTIC are involved successfully during the last years.

Implications of the use of these technologies will be higher speed and better signal quality. Industry is demonstrably committed with this technology. We can see some of the sectors and contexts of application in the next figure. Sectors as automotive industry (full automated driving, ingelligent navigation, cloud assisted driving…) or robotics in general (agriculture, security, surgery…), will spearhead practical implementation of millimeter wave technologies.

millimeter_wave_tech_examples

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Researchers of AtlantTIC lead a European consortium on photonic technology

Published on 9 May, 2017

The COM group of AtlantTIC research center has recently submitted a project to the ICT H2020 program, specifically in the photonic technology field (KET). The project is called Quantum-PIC (Photonic Integrated Circuit) and its main aim is to advance in chip integration technology (mm), improving manufacturing techniques and standardization in order to achieve better quality standards and thus be ready to take a new step toward commercialization. Technology used is CV quantum communication (continuous variable). Product will be tested in different environments: optic fiber and outer space.fran_diaz

As we have previously stated the Project is promoted and led by COM group of AtlanTIC research center, and brings together partners such as: Eindhoven University, HHI Franunhofer, OHB, Smart Photonics, Berenschot and, of course, University of Vigo. Professor Francisco Javier Díaz Otero has been one of the mayor player in this consortium.

Quantum communications are still a great unknown for most people but, in the near future, it will be a reality in common applications we are normally use and, furthermore, it will open a new range of possibilities never thought before. Thus, this kind of projects are essential in Europe in the world race of leading the next integrated photonic manufacturing technology. Some of the most interesting applications in this field are:

  • TELCO sector: Secure transmission of information. 100 % securization of a traditional communications channel by means of a “quantum channel”. Potential market is huge: banking and military sector.
  • Tomographic optical techniques: Early detection of tumors and other pathologies.
  • Biomarkers detection based on ultrasensitive photonic sensoring.
  • Pollution agent detection in air and water (food sector, service sector, security)
  • Detection of potential breakage in material (automotive and aircraft industry).

The research carried out in this area of AtlantTIC has a direct effect in Gallician strategy regarding the development of Key Enabling Technologies towards strategic sectors like automotive, aeronautics and health.

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Communication and Quantum Cryptography seminars

Published on 17 April, 2017

Next week it will take place at the center a number of seminars about communication and quantum cryptography in which researchers of two prestigious centers in the field, will tackle the issue. The seminar agenda is as folllows:

Wednesday 19 april from 13:00h to 14:30h. Salón de grados| Escuela Ingeniería Telecomunicación (Vigo),

Title: How quantum signals help to maintain privacy and speeds things up

Speaker: Prof. Norbert Lütkenhaus (University of  Waterloo | Institute for Quantum Computing)

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Thursday 20 april from 15:30h to 17:00h. Sala acristalada (A-010) | Escuela Ingeniería Telecomunicación (Vigo)

Title: Practical Quantum Key Distribution with Continuous Variables

Speaker: Luis Trigo Vidarte (Institut d’Optique Graduate School and Université Pierre et Marie Curie)

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Friday 21 april from 15:00h to 16:30h.T217 Room| Escuela Ingeniería Telecomunicación (Vigo)

Title: Quantum Cryptography: Why and How

Speaker: Prof. Norbert Lütkenhaus (University of Waterloo | Institute for Quantum Computing)
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Quantum communication represents one of the key resarch line in AtlantTIC and counts on recognized prestige researchers in the field.

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New corporate video of AtlantTIC

Published on 12 April, 2017

With the purpose of promoting the R&D visibility of the Galician Research Centers, Xunta de Galicia has supported the ellaboration of the video which displays some of the most relevant facts of the intense research activity developed by AtlantTIC in Telecommunication Technologies.

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Técnicas algorítmicas de búsqueda multimedia y multilingüe para localizar personas en contenidos audiovisuales

Published on 2 March, 2017

El proyecto, financiado por el Mineco, arrancó hace un año y cuenta con 70.000 euros de presupuesto

El Grupo de Tecnologías Multimedia trabaja en procesamento de habla y de imagen

El Grupo de Tecnologías Multimedia trabaja desde hay un año en el proyecto TraceThem, una investigación en técnicas algorítmicas de búsqueda multimedia y multilingüe para localizar personas en contenidos audiovisuales. Se trata de un proyecto financiado polo Programa Estatal de Fomento de la I+D+i de Excelencia con un presupuesto de 70.000 euros y en el que están involucrados los miembros de GTM Carmen García Mateo, José Luis Alba Castro, Antonio Cardenal, Eduardo Rodríguez Banga, Laura Docío, Carmen Magariños y Paula López, grupo que forma parte del centro de investigación AtlantTIC.

Equipo GTM

Equipo GTM

El proyecto, de tres años de duración, arrancó en enero de 2016 y tiene como objetivo desarrollar y mejorar técnicas para la búsqueda de información sobre personas que aparecen en grabaciones audiovisuales, por lo que las tecnologías básicas que emplean los investigadores son el procesamiento de habla y de imagen, como explica García Mateo, directora del GTM. La necesidad de avanzar en este campo responde a la multiplicación de contenidos audiovisuales y nuevos escenarios como MOOCs, videoblogs, tutoriales, etc. que se unen a los contenidos tradicionales como televisión, noticias o películas. Ante esta cantidad de información, la automatización del proceso de búsqueda para filtrar, acceder y seleccionar los contenidos se convierte en un aspecto clave. Así, TraceThem tiene como finalidad, destaca el profesor José Luis Alba, “desarrollar una tecnología que evite el indexado manual de los contenidos y permita buscar directamente lo que interesa a través del procesado de vídeo y audio”. Estos avances son de especial utilidad para la indexación de contenidos multimedia para grandes repositorios, como por ejemplo de medios de comunicación e instituciones educativas. El objetivo final es tener un motor de indexación que permita localizar contenidos o personas en esos vídeos y audios y “el techo de este tipo de investigación sería conseguir que motores de búsqueda de internet como Google encontrasen no sólo texto, sino audio y vídeo sin necesidad de que esos contenidos fuesen indexados manualmente, como se hace ahora”.

Búsqueda de personas y voces

La catedrática Carmen García Mateo explica que la información que se pretende extraer con estas tecnologías “está siempre dentro de un contexto comunicativo, es decir, son contenidos de alguien y para alguien, por lo que la caracterización de las personas involucradas en este contexto juega un papel central”. Se enfocan de este modo a encontrar información sobre las personas y su forma de interactuar: quiénes son, qué dicen, cómo se comunican, que están haciendo… es decir, el interés está en descubrir personas y contenido. La extracción de información relacionada con las personas se lleva a cabo a través de procesamiento de audio, procesamiento de vídeo y procesamiento combinado de audio y vídeo. Para esto, los investigadores trabajan en el análisis de contenido multimedia, biometría de voz y cara, segmentación de audio y diarización de hablantes, detección del estado emocional y detección de personas que interactúan.

Las competiciones como herramienta de I+D

La finalidad de este proyecto no es desarrollar aplicaciones comercializables, sino mejorar la tecnología, y uno de los instrumentos para testar y validar los avances son las competiciones internacionales en las que participan diferentes grupos de universidades y centros tecnológicos. Estos concursos establecen marcos experimentales comunes para mejorar la tecnología pero también para potenciar la colaboración con otros grupos, ayudando a descubrir las fortalezas y debilidades de los algoritmos y sistemas desarrollados. En 2016, las ingenieras viguesas participaron en dos competiciones: Mediaeval (Holanda) y Albayzin Evaluation (Portugal). En el primero, como explican Laura Docío y Paula López, trabajamos con un “conjunto grande de vídeos en el que tuvimos que descubrir la identidad de la persona que aparece en un extracto de unos segundos de duración empleando sólo información obtenida del texto, voz y vídeo”, mientras que Albayzin 2016 se centra en la búsqueda de voz. Los resultados respaldan el trabajo del grupo, ya que en Mediaeval consiguieron un 4º puesto y en Albayzin obtuvieron el 1º puesto en la búsqueda de palabras en grabaciones de voz y el 3º en diarización, es decir, en la identificación de los turnos de los distintos locutores de un audio.

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El desafío: sistemas fuertes que funcionen en condiciones adversas

Los investigadores de GTM llevan trabajando en este campo durante años y este no es el primero proyecto que desarrollan en este campo. Explican que algunas innovaciones ya se comercializan y funcionan razonablemente bien en entornos controlados, pero “cuando las condiciones no son las excelentes, como por ejemplo incorporando ruido, la presencia de distintos idiomas, las referencias cruzadas, etc. no trabajan tan bien. Por lo tanto, el desafío es hacer estos sistemas fuertes la condiciones acústicas adversas”. Además, el procesamiento de estos documentos multimedia implica la dificultad añadida de que los contenidos pueden aparecer en diferentes idiomas, lo que representa un mayor desafío tecnológico, ya que se necesitan herramientas adaptadas a las diferentes lenguas.

Otras líneas de investigación dentro del proyecto

Dentro del proyecto TraceThem, los investigadores desarrollan también otras dos líneas de trabajo paralelas. Una de ellas es la de identificación de locutor, que permite transformar una voz de forma que no se sepa cuál es el emisor de origen y que tiene especial importancia para mantener la privacidad en las bases de datos de voz. “No se trata de distorsionar”, explican, “queremos que suene igual de natural que el original, pero con otra voz”. Otra línea de trabajo es la adaptación de locutor cross-lingual, que se centra en desarrollar técnicas que permitan llevar la identidad de una voz a otra, entre un par de lenguas distintas, es decir, se trata de producir voz de un mismo locutor pero en otro idioma, algo que tendría una posible aplicación para los traductores automáticos, para que la voz del emisor suene en otro idioma igual que en el original.

 

Fuente: Duvi

 

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AtlantTIC gets 1.2 million euros for its research excellence

Published on 9 December, 2016

AtlantTIC se confirma como agrupación estratégica consolidada

Por su parte, Cinbio y Océano.-Ecimat logran la acreditación de centros de investigación singulares

La Universidad de Vigo ha conseguido más de 4,7 millones de euros en la convocatoria de ayudas para la acreditación, estructuración y avance de los centros de investigación singulares y agrupaciones estratégicas consolidadas del Sistema Universitario de Galicia. La resolución de la Consellería de Cultura, Educación y Ordenación Universitaria, resuelve la concesión de 1,2 millones de euros en el caso de AtlantTIC como agrupación estratégica consolidada; y de 1,7 millones de euros, respectivamente, para el Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Cinbio, y para Océano-Ecimat, en la modalidad de centros singulares de investigación.

Del los 13,2 millones de euros que la Xunta concede en esta convocatoria a centros y agrupaciones singulares de las tres universidades gallegas, la Universidad de Vigo ha obtenido algo más del 35% del total de las ayudas, que se prolongarán durante cuatro anualidades, desde 2016 a 2019. La convocatoria impulsada por la Consellería de Educación con el objetivo de reconocer la excelencia investigadora de centros y agrupaciones estratégicas está financiada en un 80% por el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER).

Un paso adelante para AtlantTIC
Desde AtlantTIC, el catedrático Carlos Mosquera aclara que llevan recibiendo este tipo de ayudas desde su creación. “La primera vez que la Xunta las sacó fue en el 2006 y, desde entonces, siempre nos hemos beneficiado de ellas, si bien AtlantTIC no se constituyó como tal hasta 2011″, subrayó el investigador, que resaltó también el “juego” que acercan las agrupaciones estratégicas para fomentar la labor investigadora en la Universidad. “En este caso, además, hablamos del desarrollo de sectores tan estratégicos para Vigo como son las ciencias de la vida, en el sentido más amplio, y las telecomunicacións”, apuntó Mosquera.

Respecto a la renovación de la ayuda, Mosquera considera que se trata de “seguir en la carrera, pero para nosotros no es suficiente, el importante es seguir trabajando y aspirando a más, pues el objetivo es ser un centro de investigación de referencia, no sólo a nivel gallego, y para lograrlo hay que trabajar mucho”, recalcó el investigador, que insistió en que “esta ayuda es la gasolina para seguir tirando, pero necesitamos mucho más”.

 

Encabezado_grande

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Fuente: Duvi

 

 

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Professor Ramón Hermida, fellow of the American Society of Hypertension

Published on 25 October, 2016

He is the first and only non-American member who becomes part of this prestigious group

With his team in the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory, they have developed pioneering research in the field of chronobiology of hypertension

 

Professor of Signal Theory and Communications in the University of Vigo and author of more than 275 research papers, Ramón C. Hermida has given 253 invited lectures and about 2200 papers at national and international conferences; this year he has become fellow member of the American Society of Hypertension, a distinction reserved only for the most prominent members as a recognition from the international community to professional achievements and research work.

This appointment, the first and only given to a non-American ASH member, comes after more than 30 years in applied research in the area of telecommunications, specifically in the field of biomedical engineering and chronobiology, areas of expertise of Hermida. Currently, he develops its research activity in the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory (LBC), within the Research Center AtlantTIC. As Hermida says, “it is an honour for me and for the group as it is a recognition to our experience and research lines we’re working in”.

Prof. Ramón Hermida

Prof. Ramón Hermida

Educated in Spain and United States, professor Hermida is at this moment president of the International Society for Chronobiology and of ‘Sociedad Española de Cronobiología Aplicada, Cronoterapia y Riesgo Vascular’. From Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory, he has directed/leaded more than 70 research projects and clinical trials in ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure and hypertension chronotherapy; in the field of gynecology and obstetrics, in early identification and prevention of preeclampsia; or in oncology, through ovarian and bladder cancer chronotherapy studies, the chronoepidemiology or prevention of breast cancer.

Hygia network

Results derived from Hygia Project have revolutionized vascular medicine globally, as it has been the first study in the world that has been able to confirm that cardiovascular risk of a patient can only be properly determined by measuring blood pressure during sleep. As Hermida explains “Hygia is the first study to confirm that the risk of a cardiovascular event is primarily associated with the progressive rise of blood pressure during rest and not during the hours of activity, as it has been diagnosed in recent decades; that’s why it is vital the prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)”.

Hygia was born within the University of Vigo as a research project parallel to the welfare work, paying special attention to continuing medical education.

After more than 9 years of study, Hygia has become a professional network fully integrated in Galician health system, in which 292 researchers are involved and more than 20,000 patients have been monitored to extend the use of ABPM in primary care for hypertension diagnosis.

The select FASH club

Becoming FASH (Fellow of American Society of Hypertension) is not a simple process. Every year, the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) proposes a list with the names of experts and researchers whose work is the most relevant worldwide and most deserving of becoming fellow, based on the recommendations other fellow members must provide.  This is a recognition of the work done, both clinical and research contribution in the field of hypertension and cardiovascular risk; as well as in the area of teaching and knowledge transfer.

In this case, the ASH has highlighted two merits achieved by Prof. Hermida and his team from Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory. On the one hand, ASH positions them like the fathers of chronobiology of hypertension worldwide because, in Hermida’s own words, “we have opened up an unknown area so far and, at present, the fact that hypertensive medication is more favourable at night is already in the most important clinical practice guidelines”. Thus, the conclusions of Hygia project are in the clinical practice guideline of the American Diabetes Association, the European Society of Cardiology or the Japanese Society of Hypertension, to name but a few.

Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force, a committee of experts for public health issues of the US government, has resolved for the first time in history that the diagnosis of hypertension in adults over the age of 18 must be always and necessarily done with ambulatory monitoring, endorsing the conclusions of Hygia Project. Those recommendations are based mainly on the findings of 5 research studies in the area of cardiovascular risk published in the last 25 years and considered by the panel of experts as the most relevant and reliable, one of them is a previous study of Prof. Hermida’s group.

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