ROFCO – Robust Facility Communication
ICT Infrastructures for in-house communications
This COIN project entitled “ROFCO – Robust Facility Communication” addresses research & development for next generation in-building ICT (information and communication technologies) infrastructure. Today’s situation in this research area can be characterised by heterogeneous islands of information and standalone applications, which lack interoperability features and standard conformance. To overcome the shortages of existing solutions, the ROFCO consortium develops an innovative IP (Internet Protocol) based network as standardised, interoperable and robust infrastructure for future in-building communication. As IP is a generic standard, this allows for the integration of multiple devices. Furthermore, IP can be easily implemented also on small devices. And finally, the broad acceptance of IP guarantees that a plethora of existing IP based applications and services can be integrated.
The main technical issues in realising an IP solution are in migrating existing proprietary systems and in addressing safety and security aspects for mission critical applications. ROFCO addresses these e.g. by investigating options for soft migration of legacy systems via IP overlay networks. To support safety and security features, research will be conducted concerning methods like redundancy / overprovisioning, priority scheduling and anomaly detection.
By bringing IP technology to the new application domain of in-house communication, the participating companies benefit not only from existing know-how in IP technologies, but also from easy integration of 3rd party products and services. Thus, the openness and standard conformity of the ROFCO concept allows for innovative new solutions by combining the strengths of the participating companies as well as of other vendors (e.g. a heating control system with a user management for individual control). Finally it enables network redundancy and the measurement of end-to-end Quality-of-Service (QoS).