The communication network is one of the major components in the competition. A generic communication network will be available for all teams to use during MBZIRC 2020. The generic network will allow participating teams to access the internet, and connect multiple personal computers and devices to the network during the preparations. This network, however, is not the same network that will be used by the teams during the competition runs.
A separate isolated network will be available for each arena. This network is accessible only by the team performing in that arena. These arena networks will not interfere with each other, and will operate on different frequency channels. Any attempts to illegally access these networks, or jam the frequencies will be detected, reported and intercepted/blocked.
The organizers will provide a standard control network across the arenas and the competitor areas. This network will be setup as follows:
It is the competitors' responsibility to source equipment and configure it appropriately to work on this network. Using unauthorized or unapproved frequencies may cause disqualification from MBZIRC 2020. The UAE TRA will actively monitor all RF frequencies in the arenas to ensure compliance and the use of only approved frequencies, as well as prevent interference between competitors.
02. OVERVIEW OF THE MBZIRC COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
MBZIRC will provide networks in 3 different locations; the main arenas, the practice arenas and the team areas. At the main arenas a dedicated network will be setup in each arena; this network will be used by each team to connect their control systems to UAV and UGV units during their competition run. This network will have no internet access and will have tight security systems in place allowing teams to only access it during their assigned time. These networks will be monitored and logs will be available to help with resolving any disputes that may arise. Built into these networks will be a set of IP cameras to record the activity in the control areas, again to help with resolving any disputes. In the practice area a similar dedicated network will be setup in each of the arenas but with reduced monitoring equipment. The networks will still be secured with no internet access. Within the team area a Wi-Fi network will be setup with password access. To also provide a more secure connection to the Internet a wired connection will be supplied to each team tent. A combination of firewalls and managed switches will be used to provide separate virtual networks to each team on the wired connection to further assure security.
Figure 1a illustrates the indoor practice facilities of MBZIRC (the practice arena) and the Individual Team Rooms and the two indoor practice arenas with netting. Figure 1b shows the network setup in the Team Rooms.
Figure 2 below illustrates the arena communication networks. Each arena will have a separate control room where teams will monitor and control their robots. Operation Control Rooms (OCRs) have isolated networks, with dedicated wired and wireless connections. To minimize wireless network interference, each wireless network will operate on a different channel.
2.1 FIELD COMPUTERS
The Field Computer is the computer that teams will use to monitor and control the robots during the Challenges.
2.1.1 POWER FOR COMPUTERS
Teams will have a power budget for computing. This budget is available inside the Operator Control Rooms (OCRs). In addition, MBZIRC will provide a separate circuit for charging the robots. Note that MBZIRC Organization will not support Power over Ethernet (PoE).
2.1.2 FIELD COMPUTER CONNECTORS
The Field Computer(s) maybe connected via CAT5 Twisted Pair Gigabit Ethernet using RJ45 connectors.
2.1.3 FIELD COMPUTER LOCATION AND ACCESS
During the execution of a challenge the Field Computers will be operated in a dedicated room supplied by MBZIRC organization (this will be remote from the team rooms).
The MAC addresses of all Field Computers/Embedded Computers/ Robot Computers that require WiFi access to the Challenges network will be registered onsite by the MBZIRC Communications Team. Only the registered Field Computers will be able communicate inside the 3 Arenas of the competition Communications Network.
03. WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS LINK TO A ROBOT
Robots will communicate with their computers in Operation Control Room bi-directionally and over WiFi wireless supplied by MBZIRC.
The wireless communication link will provide a relatively large and constant bandwidth. MBZIRC will not intentionally degrade the wireless link.
The communication link for telemetry will be allowed under the frequency 433 MHz
04. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ROBOT AND OPERATOR
4.1 IP VERSION, IP ADDRESSES, SUBNETS
MBZIRC requests teams to use the following convention for IP addresses:
Each team will be assigned an identification number, N, between 1 and 30. Team N is assigned 10.N.y.x as its subnets for the entire competition.
4.2 SEQUESTERED OPERATORS
Operators will be sequestered; that is they will be isolated from the rest of their team members. At no time will the operators receive information from anyone or anything viewing the robots. MBZIRC will have observers at the Finals to monitor compliance.
05. WIRED CONNECTORS
Teams are advised to also have the option of wired communication connections between robots and field computers, if required (e.g. troubleshooting in the unlikely event of problems with WiFi connections), when they are not competing in a trial.