Sensor Technology Applied in Reconfigurable Systems

The objective of STARS is to develop within four years the necessary knowledge and technology that can be used as a baseline for the development of reconfigurable sensors and sensor networks applied in the context of the security domain. Nowadays there are several examples of the introduction of reconfigurable techniques. The latest antenna systems for wireless telecommunications and radar offer some degree of reconfigurability where the beam can be adjusted very quickly to the amount of information needed. In digital technology a trend can be recognized towards chips in which processor features can be changed after production and where during usage, functionality can be changed in fractions of seconds. Research in the Systems Engineering Section focuses (together with the Philosophy Section) on the ethical aspects of the STARS project, with a particular focus on privacy. The standard thinking about privacy and data-protection assumes simple and stable -and knowable as such- attributions of functions to artifacts and systems. This forms the basis of the principle of Informed Consent (by all legitimate stakeholders) with the use of this technology. Radical reconfigurability breaks with this assumption. If intelligent sensor environments that are highly crosslinked, could instantaneously be transformed into a different functionality (by whom? when? under what conditions? with which responsibilities?), then this has consequences for the degree of control individuals can be said to have and to exercise on information generated and recorded by the systems and applications.

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