Positional Referencing for IoT at the Edge (PRIoTE)


PRIoTE investigates the scale and complexity of the positional referencing data used in industrial and business applications, with a focus on usage relevant to cyber-physical systems (CPS) that may form part of an IoT-enabled critical national infrastructure (CNI).

The deployment of IoT as geospatially distributed systems presents a challenge when the physical location of the IoT devices needs to be referenced.

Whilst the devices themselves may have a logical identifier, e.g. a MAC or IP address, this does not provide sufficient information to record the location of and subsequently locate the device. This is a significant issue for infrastructure-related cyber-physical systems (CPS) where the device may be located at an arbitrary point, for example within a field, or attached to pipelines or tunnels.

This information becomes particularly relevant when developing digital models of physical systems and networks, which are sometimes referred to as Digital Twins.

During the construction of our analysis framework in work previously funded by PETRAS, physical location was considered in terms of broad categories (e.g. internal, external, and plant or machinery). The analysis did not address how to represent or refer to the physical location of the IoT device, and therefore does not support geospatial modelling of the location of IoT devices.

This project proposes to extend the location categorisation in the analysis framework we published in 2018. The focus of this project will be to develop a set of criteria that may be used to select appropriate referencing approaches.

These criteria will be evaluated on selected scenarios with operational examples using CPS systems to compare and contrast how specific approaches would help the modelling of IoT device location.

This will enable us to advance our understanding of how positional referencing practices could be improved whilst balancing the safety and security of CPS infrastructure.