Project Description

The holistic approach to a smarter, greener and more sustainable port ecosystem

PortForward Publications

Read all academic papers published by the PortForward team.

Constant advances in mobility, towards more efficient, sustainable and user-centered model, are pushing forward the concept of what we understand for transport and solving everyday issues through intelligence services and smart devices. This involves changes on all the value chain, but specially on transport centers.

Gabriel Manteca Muñoz, LEITAT Technological Center, Terrassa, Spain
Sergio Martínez Navas, LEITAT Technological Center, Terrassa, Spain

Published in:
Smart Systems Integration; 13th International Conference and Exhibition on Integration Issues of Miniaturized Systems

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PortForward: Creating the port of the future

Date of Conference:
April 10-11, 2019

Multiple Radio Access Technology (multi-RAT) communication with Low Power WideArea Networks (LPWAN) significantly increases the flexibility of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.Location-based services that build upon such a multimodal communication architecture are ableto switch to an optimal localization method depending on the constraints of the active wirelesstechnology. Furthermore, the resulting location estimate can aid location-based handover mechanismsto reduce the energy consumption of a multi-RAT IoT device. In this research, we present our designof a multimodal localization framework and illustrate the benefit of such a framework with twoIoT use case examples. For the first use case, valuable artwork is tracked during transportation toa museum. In the second use case, we monitor the usage and location of large construction tools.Finally, we propose how our localization framework can be improved to deal with implementationchallenges and to reduce location estimation errors.

Michiel Aernouts, Maarten Weyn, Rafael Berkvens – IDLab – Faculty of Applied Engineering, University of Antwerp – imec, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Filip Lemic, Jeroen Famaey – IDLab – Department of Computer Science, University of Antwerp – imec, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Jeroen Hoebeke, Bart Moons – IDLab—Department of Information Technology, University of Ghent – imec, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Published in:
Sensors — Open Access Journal, 17 August, 2020

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A Multimodal Localization Framework Design for IoT Applications

Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, when adequately integrated, cater for logistics optimisation and operations’ environmental impact monitoring, both key aspects for today’s EU ports management. This article presents Obelisk, a scalable and multi‐tenant cloud‐based IoT integration platform used in the EU H2020 PortForward project. The landscape of IoT protocols being particularly fragmented, the first role of Obelisk is to provide uniform access to data originating from a myriad of devices and protocols. Interoperability is achieved through adapters that provide flexibility and evolvability in protocol and format mapping. Additionally, due to ports operating in a hub model with various interacting actors, a second role of Obelisk is to secure access to data. This is achieved through encryption and isolation for data transport and processing, respectively, while user access control is ensured through authentication and authorisation standards. Finally, as ports IoTisation will further evolve, a third need for Obelisk is to scale with the data volumes it must ingest and process. Platform scalability is achieved by means of a reactive micro‐services based design. Those three essential characteristics are detailed in this article with a specific focus on how to achieve IoT data platform scalability. By means of an air quality monitoring use‐case deployed in the city of Antwerp, the scalability of the platform is evaluated. The evaluation shows that the proposed reactive micro‐service based design allows for horizontal scaling of the platform as well as for logarithmic time complexity of its service time.

Vincent Bracke, Merlijn Sebrechts, Bart Moons, Jeroen Hoebeke,
Filip De Turck, Bruno Volckaert

IDLAB, Department of Information Technology,
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Published in:
Software: Practice and Experience, 08 April 2021

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Design and evaluation of a scalable Internet of Things
backend for smart ports

The Port of the Future

Smart through ICT solutions, enhancing the exchange of information

Interconnected with the use of a combination of different modes of transport and the integration of different technologies

Green through the adoption of green technologies