IEEE Latin-American Conference on Communications
17–19 November 2021 // Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Tutorial 1

Design Aspects for 6G Core Architectures – Understanding 5G Evolution Trends Shaping 6G Technologies

Thomas Magedanz and Marius Corici – TU Berlin / Fraunhofer FOKUS, Germany

Length: 1.5 hours.


As the sixth generation of mobile communications (6G) is targeted for global deployment in 2030 and research on 6G has just been globally kicked off in parallel to the ongoing 5G evolution, the definition of 6G is currently the subject of many national research programs around the globe. This tutorial will provide a holistic overview of what 6G will look like in the future based on the current technology drivers for the evolution of 5G, such as OpenRAN, Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs), campus and non-public networks (NPNs) and AI/ML-based network management, and new disruptive technologies, such as communications in THz frequencies and quantum communications. as well as the high potential of new 6G services and deployment vision. A major focal point will be on the design of a flexible organic 6G core architecture to glue together the different access and backhaul networking technologies for supporting the many divergent 6G application domains including the new mobile and nomadic deployments and global distributed local networks. The tutorial contents is based on the first results and experiences gained within the Fraunhofer 6G Flagship Project “6G Sentinel” (see sentinel.html) which started in the beginning of 2021, in which Fraunhofer FOKUS is responsible for designing and developing a “6G-ready” network control plane for a highly flexible and resilient core network for prototyping innovative 6G infrastructures, inspired by the current discussions on RAN- Core convergence and network function disaggregation motivated by Open RAN.

Tutorial 2

Towards UAV-Based Airborne Computing: Applications, Design, and Prototype

Junfei Xie (SDSU), Yan Wan (UT-Arlington), Shengli Fu (UNT)

Length: 4.5 hours.


In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have attracted significant attention from industry, federal agencies, and academia. To design and implement future UAV systems and applications, many researchers and engineers have been working on different UAV functions in various domains, such as control, communications, networking, etc. While all these UAV functions require advanced onboard computing capabilities, they are usually designed separately and there is a lack of a general framework to exploit airborne computing for all onboard UAV functions. In this tutorial, our objective is to address this timely and important issue by exploring a new and cross-disciplinary area: UAV-based airborne computing. To this end, we will first systematically analyze existing and emerging UAV applications and then use case studies to demonstrate how airborne computing can help to facilitate advanced UAV functions and UAV applications. Based on such analysis, we will discuss and summarize important design guidelines for future generations of UAV systems with airborne computing capabilities. We will then introduce our recent design of a general UAV-based airborne computing platform and the latest version of our UAV- based airborne computing prototype. Finally, using our prototype, we will explain and demonstrate a number of advanced UAV functions, including reinforcement-learning based antenna heading control, software defined networking, coding based distributed computing, image-processing based 3D mapping, and deep-learning-based object detection. Finally, we will discuss open issues and important future directions before concluding the tutorial.