Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - ICT - ORCA


ORCAFull Title: Orchestration and Reconfiguration Control Architecture
Partners: 8 partners:

  • imec VZW – Belgium (coordinator)
  • The Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars & the Other Members of Board of the College of the Holy & Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin – Ireland
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Belgium
  • Technische Universität Dresden - Germany
  • National Instruments Dresden GMBH - Germany
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - US
  • Martel GMBH - Switzerland
    Duration: 36 months
    Start: 1 January 2017

    ORCA offers experimentation facilities to promote wireless innovation in several market segments, including manufacturing, automotive industry, healthcare, ambient assistant living, public events, home automation, and utilities. Within the manufacturing market, for instance, application requirements vary from very low latency, up to real-time 3D video-driven interaction between collaborative robots and humans, to non-time critical downloads of large data volumes for updating the software of machines. Different applications and services often have to share the wireless infrastructure and the spectral bands, making it very challenging to meet the diverging QoS requirements simultaneously. The control mechanisms that are provided today in wireless technologies are not adequate to deal with extreme (ultra-low latency, ultra-high throughput, ultra- high reliability) and diverging (low AND high data rate, time-critical AND non-time critical) communication needs. Interesting evolutions are happening at different levels (spectrum, radio, network), enabling the creation of parallel on demand wireless network slices optimized for a specific set of requirements.
    The overall ORCA objective is to bridge those interesting evolutions at different levels, making them mature enough to enable end-to-end networking experiments going from Software-Defined Radio (SDR), with Software-Defined Networking (SDN) to Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). We will open novel frequency bands, by proposing SDR technology at mmWave frequencies, that is mature and fast enough to be included in end-to-end networking experiments. We will bridge SDR with SDN technology, enabling the creation of multiple virtual networks that operate on the same infrastructure but meet the most diverse and stringent application requirements. We will finally enable advanced reprogramming of the SDR infrastructure, needed for offering versatile testbed facilities, paving the way towards, ultimately, on demand wireless networking and experimentation.


  • ORCA will accelerate flexible end-to-end network experimentation by making open and modular software and hardware architectures available that smartly use novel versatile radio technology, more-specifically real-time Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms meeting the requirements in terms of runtime latencies, throughput, and fast reconfiguration and reprogramming.
  • ORCA will offer experimental facilities, with SDR devices incorporating relevant software and hardware building blocks that allow easy design, implementation and programming, while also achieving low runtime delay allowing end-to-end networking experimentation.
  • ORCA will offer Cognitive Radio as a Service (CRaaS) to the wireless research community and wireless innovation creators by giving easy access to a worldwide, open and ready-to-go test environment with real-time, reconfigurable and reprogrammable SDR devices.

    Role of Ghent University

    The IDLab core research group embedded at Ghent University is coordinator