OpenAIS project succesfully completed

Jul 11, 2018

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On July 10th 2018, the OpenAIS project has been succesfully completed by passing its final review in Brussels. The project's overall results and achievements are summarized in the Final Report.

OpenAIS researched user expectations, derived requirements and use cases and created a fully CoAP / IoT based lighting controls and communication architecture seamlessly working on all physical internet media. The architecture closes the identified gaps between the existing IoT frameworks and the domain specific requirements from the lighting industry. The architecture has been verified by a full-scale office lighting system, including presence, daylight and user control at a real office space, also including smartphone control through user Apps and an Integration in a standard BMS- System.

The most critical new architecture solutions  that OpenAIS designed and introduced to cover the requirements for professional indoor lighting, namely out-of-the-box operation, low latency secure large group control, local control resilience and peak bandwith control in multi-PHY IPv6 based systems, have been proven to work sufficiently well.

 The stakeholder and user research identified three main success elements for IP based lighting controls: “Easy life”, “increased building value” and “building wide ecosystem”. All three include life-cycle aspects that need technological and communication flexibility that allow the adaptation of the system over the deployment lifecycle.

  • The request for Easy life asks for open APIs that allows for various Application and User Interface generations, for simplicity in design, implementation and operation and for security measures one can rely on.
  • The request for increased building value asks for visible and sustained value of the investment, and for adjustable functionality and related operational expenses according to need during the life cycle. This includes all kind of future cloud-based mining and related preference interactions.
  • The request for a building wide ecosystem very much supports application neutral IP based communication systems, with open object models and API’s, that allow seamless profit from data-integration across today’s application silo’s, and that are open for multiple parties to provide adjusted support for specific needs.

 A key innovation of the OpenAIS Architecture achievement is the low latency group communication OGC (OpenAIS Group Communication), that allows to deliver lighting commands to many controlled light points in parallel. In addition to resolving the latency and scalability issues, OGC provides the base for an elaborated out-of-the-box operation that supports the electrical contractor best, and induces operational compatibility across different IoT frameworks and their (future) versions. Using OGC a low latency local “group agent” for User Interfaces and distant (e.g. cloud based) control is made available, that also provides the needed fast response and resilient operation of the lighting when the connection to cloud control is lost or slow.

 The full featured Lighting Controls Object Model supports the use of OGC to its best by providing bandwidth optimized status information transport together with a systematic support for complex controls requirements, e.g. when controlling a center luminaire of crossing aisles or by e.g. applying node based priority schemes for integrated emergency lighting features.

 The security and privacy design of OGC is designed to provide sufficient protection independently from firewalls, so the future principles of “deep defense” have been anticipated and already integrated.

These principles are applicable to support other building controls services in the future, and we expect they may be picked up once also the BMS services start moving towards an open CoAP / IP based architecture.

 For the application layer of the OpenAIS project, a dedicated Object Model was developed, as investigations showed that public models like IPSO were much too limited for advanced high quality lighting control and simple integration into BMS’s.

 The architecture showed its great potential by serving a full featured full-scale office lighting control system (400 luminaires with embedded sensors).  It was validated and demonstrated in a real-life pilot in an industrial heritage buiding, the “White Lady” building in Eindhoven. Despite the many technical challenges encountered in the realization phase, OpenAIS succeeded in deploying a fully operational multi-vendor lighting control system, based on IoT-standards and frameworks, with IP connection to the end node. This system combined wired and wireless devices from multiple vendors in a single system connected through a standard IT-network with commercial off-the-shelve IT components. The openness of the system was validated by the integration of several additional components, commissioning tooling and user applications, by parties outside the main lighting manufacturers from the consortium, that seamlessly worked together.

 Final Research on user satisfaction showed positive reaction of involved users. However, some technical attention points for future product development and system designs remain, especially the standby energy of the equipment and the IP interfaces of the nodes will need some more progress before the energy data of sophisticated heritage systems can be matched.

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