Optical Wireless LAN

Tsz Kin Mui, Askhat Gabdullin, Calvin Lee
supervised by Dr. Xavier Fernando , Chair of the IEEE Communications Society

In recent years, traditional lighting methods are slowing being replaced by light emitting diode (LED). This is due to the rapid advancement in technology while maintaining an environmental friendly ideal during product developments. Currently there are wide selections of LED available on the market, ranging from different color to a wide spectrum lumen rating. Also different applications are starting to implement LED into their current existing solutions, these applications includes street lamb, billboards, traffic sign, etc. One application that advanced the most was the research of using visible light to transfer data. This concept was once hard to achieve due to the limitation of available technology.

Wireless communications have been dominated by transmitting data using radio frequencies or other microwave frequencies. This was due to the technology available and the advancement in high sensitive receiver available on the consumer market. Recently with the technology advancement in LED developments, short range wireless communications with high data transfer speed methods using visible light communications starts to emerge. Even though this technology is still in its infant stage, a few applications ideas are already beginning to implement into everyday activities. For example, the Visible Light Communications Consortium, Japan and the Japan Traffic Management Technology Association began implementing visible light communications into the intelligent transport system, where transmitter (traffic lights) and receiver are placed at each intersection. This allows traffic controller to synchronize traffic lights during peak rush hours or change the signals for emergency reroute. Other applications concept that are currently being tested are the possibility of implementing visible light information spot light, information broadcast system using LED traffic light, and local positioning system using visible lights just to name a few.

Visible light communications (VLC) can provide a high bit rate, where Major Corporation Such As Siemens was able to achieve 500 Megabit per second data transfer rate using LED lighting. Also VLC systems are protected from radio frequency interference due to the data are not transferred using radio frequencies. VLC can also reduce wireless security risks, due to the receiver must be near the light source in order to obtain the data. With these key features, the potential growth of VLC seems limitless. Therefore VLC might become the future of wireless communications.

Project targeted applications: Traffic Management, Short range wireless communications, Visible Light Communications Consortium, Visible light information spot light, Local positioning system using visible lights