Communications

Communications systems are fundamental to our lives and underpin the internet which is becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

Research Aims

Our programme of research tackles both theoretical and fundamental communications problems as well as more practical issues of implementing and improving communications systems. Our work addresses a wide range of technologies including wireline, radio frequency and optical communications systems, as well as improving communications interfaces.

Research Challenges

The major research challenges that we are currently addressing include:

  • Researching the next generation of communications networks, including fifth generation (5G) wireless systems
  • Developing visible light communications systems and making it a practical and ubiquitous technology
  • Applying communications technology to an emerging range of application areas, including military, medical, smart cities and smart power grids
  • New concepts such as Embodied conversational agents using automated speech recognition and speech generation to interact with consumers
  • Working with collaborators and researchers worldwide to accelerate these developments

Research Impact

Our research will impact practically in the following ways:

  • Efficient and higher bandwidth communications technologies to tackle the rapidly increasing demand for internet traffic
  • Lower energy consumption technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of future communications networks
  • Seamless and secure communications technologies and interfaces to improve the quality of human life

Recent Research Advances

  • Developed a new "spatial modulation" technique for MIMO systems
  • Designed reduced complexity MIMO sphere decoders
  • Reduced the power consumption of cellular base stations for "green radio"
  • Demonstrated visible light communication at Gbit/s data rates from LED lighting with spin-out company PureVLC.
  • Enhanced telephone and internet services for customer banking
  • Host the HARP high capacity cellular and HIATUS efficient spectrum EU FP7 programmes

Research Partners

The following world leading Researchers and Academics are working in Partnership under the ERPE:

  • Institute for Digital Communications, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
    • Pei-Jung Chung
    • Harald Haas
    • Mervyn Jack
    • Dave Laurenson
    • Tharm Ratnarajah
    • Majid Safari
    • John Thompson
  • Heriot-Watt University
    • Steve McLaughlin
    • Mathini Sellathurai
    • Cheng-Xiang Wang

Industrial Partners

Conceptual image of earth with communication links interconnecting all people in all countries
Communications Engineering Research Concept