In the not-too-distant future, the horizons of many household devices can be expected to broaden considerably: They are to be given an interface with the power grid by which they can detect the current supply of electricity at any particular moment. Your freezer, for instance, will be able to use times of abundant electricity to “store up cold” for later. It will thus form part of an intelligent electricity concept that balances out energy supply and demand.
That example describes a trend that we can expect to have a lasting effect on our future day-to-day lives. More and more devices are equipped with ever-more powerful sensors and making the data from those sensors available to other devices. This means that an increasing number of elements of the physical world can be connected to one another in cyberspace. Experts talk about cyber-physical systems. These are considered one of the key technologies of the 21st century – an assessment which TU Clausthal acknowledges through its research focus.
A central requirement for cyber-physical systems is that they be open. They should be easy to extend and also constructed in such a way that they can accommodate future requirements that we cannot yet foresee. Our scientists are investigating how these points can be made a reality. They are also researching what methods can be used to govern the overall behavior of such systems. This involves using computer simulations to make prognoses about how cyber-physical systems will respond to particular conditions.