Driving innovation: funding recipients for power resilience initiatives

Power resilience is one of the key themes the Connectivity Innovation Network (CIN) has been exploring through its problem statement workshops over the last few years. Because without power, we have no connectivity.

Following a successful CIN Power Resilience Symposium and workshop held on 31 January 2023, it became evident the problem of power resilience is a challenge of significant scale and complexity for government, industry and communities.

Considering the information shared and problem statements discussed on the day, the CIN consulted and worked with state energy operators and NSW Telco Authority (NSWTA) to define a project scope that would have the most impact for people living in NSW.


Driven by unprecedented challenges posed by climate change to our power distribution systems and telecommunications infrastructure, particularly in rural and regional areas, the Power Resilience project aims to further enhance the resilience of NSWTA’s Public Safety Network (PSN)

The PSN is a radio network used by frontline emergency services, government agencies and essential services to communicate via handsets. Next to Australia’s triple zero emergency hotline, the PSN is the most important critical communications network in NSW, and one of the largest of its type in the world.

Through its Resilience Program, NSWTA strengthens PSN resilience by delivering a range of mobile assets and upgrades at sites. These measures augment or replace PSN coverage and/or support the safeguarding of commercial mobile networks to ensure communities stay connected.

The CIN’s Power Resilience project will further build on this program by establishing a unified data management platform which will facilitate an in-depth understanding of the PSN’s dependency on power supply. Additionally, the platform will provide real-time monitoring of power supply to individual sites, predictive analytics of imminent threats and also provide additional proactive measures to safeguard the network’s operation.

In October 2023, the CIN called for Expressions of Interest to all seven member universities to contribute work packages for this ambitious project. The CIN has committed $300,000 to this important initiative, which is led by the University of Technology Sydney. .

After a competitive selection process, we are delighted to announce the following successful applicants:

1.  Dr. Fenghui Ren and Associate Professor Jun Yan, University of Wollongong

Project Title: Enhancing the Power Resilience of the Public Safety Network

This ground-breaking project aims to address the challenges associated with improving the resilience of the telecommunication system during extreme weather events and natural disasters. Dr. Fenghui Ren, an ARC DECRA Fellow at the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Wollongong and Associate Professor Jun Yan from the School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wollongong, will lead the development of a smart and autonomous disaster-resilient telecommunication system.

Utilising cutting-edge technologies in AI, big data analytics and distributed control, the project will propose a multi-agent system (MAS) to model, simulate, and respond to challenges in resource scheduling during emergencies.

By developing layered multi-agent solutions, the project aims to innovate existing resource deployment schemes through autonomous and adaptive management.

2.  Dr. Vinh Bui, Professor Brendan Kelaher and Dr. Ali Reza Alaei, Southern Cross University

Project Title: A Data Sharing Platform for Power Network Situation Awareness using drone

In response to the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, Dr. Vinh Bui, Professor Brendan Kelaher and Dr. Ali Reza Alaei, propose to develop a data sharing platform that combines drone technology and machine learning for power network situation awareness. This project will leverage drones equipped with various sensors and machine learning algorithms to gather real-time and historical data for power network management.

By establishing a unified data platform, the project seeks to maximise management efficiency, improve predictive analysis of imminent threats and implement proactive measures to safeguard network operations, ultimately enhancing the reliability and resilience of the power network.

These projects exemplify the innovative spirit and dedication to advancing power resilience in the face of evolving challenges. We are confident the outcomes of these projects will significantly benefit our communities and industries.

We commend Dr. Fenghui Ren, Associate Professor Jun Yan, Dr. Vinh Bui, Professor Brendan Kelaher and Dr. Ali Reza Alaei for their well-deserved efforts.

For more information or enquiries about these projects, please contact admin@connectivityinnovationnetwork.com

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