TU Ilmenau to Build 5G Network for Cutting-Edge Research


The Technical University of Ilmenau is establishing a wireless network on its campus using the latest and high-performance 5G mobile communication standard. This large-scale research project, commencing on January 1, 2024, will enable the university to conduct cutting-edge research and provide top-level education in fields such as autonomous driving, medical technology, and automated production. With a total budget of 860,000 euros, the project is expected to span three years and receive 90% of its funding from the Thuringian Ministry of Economy, Science, and Digital Society through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

TU Ilmenau to Establish 5G Network for Campus-wide Coverage

The Technical University of Ilmenau is implementing a cutting-edge 5G mobile network on its campus, providing comprehensive coverage for research and experimentation purposes. Over the next three years, a high-performance outdoor and indoor network will be established, with nine cellular towers covering a significant portion of the campus. This advanced network will be accessible to all university researchers, enabling them to explore a wide range of applications and technologies in fields such as autonomous driving, medical technology, and automated production.

The implementation of the new technical infrastructure at TU Ilmenau’s campus, led by project manager Prof. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel, will revolutionize research capabilities. With the ability to achieve super-fast data rates of several gigabits per second and minimal latency of only one to five milliseconds, the technology will enable groundbreaking research in various fields such as autonomous driving, medical technology, and automated production.

The implementation of the latest 5G mobile network standard at the Technical University of Ilmenau enables reliable real-time data transmission, opening up exciting research opportunities in various fields. For instance, in the realm of autonomous driving, research projects can explore innovative ways to enhance road safety, effectively avoiding collisions between vehicles as well as accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.

The introduction of the 5G standard in the medical field opens up new possibilities for collaborative medical training operations, where low latency is crucial to ensure smooth cooperation in the virtual space. This enables the virtual testing of complex operations involving multiple users at different locations, providing new opportunities for collaboration, training, and medical education.

In the field of automated production, the implementation of 5G technology enables “Productive Teaming,” a groundbreaking concept that allows humans and intelligent machines to synchronize their actions empathetically, effectively organizing the entire production process as a cohesive team. For seamless collaboration between humans and machines, it is crucial for machines to respond and act without any delays in relation to human actions. Only through a 5G network can the data collected by sensors observing the teaming area be transmitted without any latency. Such sensors and sensor networks are being developed at TU Ilmenau.

The implementation of a 5G-Campus network at the Technical University of Ilmenau not only benefits research activities but also opens up new opportunities for teaching. With access to a state-of-the-art 5G mobile network, students can now go beyond theoretical knowledge and engage in practical experiments related to modern mobile communication systems. For instance, they can explore the effects of network configuration changes on network performance parameters, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

In the future, the new 5G network is planned to be provided as a supplement to the university’s WLAN network, benefiting both staff and students. This reliable real-time communication will enable them to utilize augmented reality applications and engage in collaborative music sessions from different locations.

The establishment of a 5G network by TU Ilmenau not only advances the application of the 5G mobile communication standard in Thuringia, but also prepares the high-tech industry of the state for the future of advanced mobile networks. The 5G project, led by Prof. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel and his research team, has been designed to be flexible and expandable to accommodate the future, more powerful 6G standard. This future upgrade will reduce latency to one-tenth and achieve transmission rates that are fifty times higher than 5G.

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