The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

A Virtual Conference - Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-07:00)

Free Space Optical Communication is Finally Real


Harald Haas, University of Strathclyde, UK; Scott Hamilton, MIT Lincoln Lab, USA; Michael Watts, Analog Photonics, USA


There are different FSO technologies addressing different use cases. These include outdoor point-to-point FSO systems for terrestrial and also space applications; visible light communications (VLC) which leverages existing lighting infrastructure indoors and outdoors for point-to-point communications; optical camera communications (OCC) which uses CMOS camera sensors (primarily in smartphones) to decode data from visible light communication sources; LiFi which describes bi-directional wireless access networks using visible light as well as infrared light to serve multiple mobile users – a technology which is therefore considered a 6G wireless access candidate technology. Common to all these classes of FSO technologies are metrics such as: data rate, energy efficiency, distance, security, size of modem and resilience to link blockages and other channel impairments. The fundamental technological challenges, however, differ which is reflected in the i) transmitters, e.g. lasers, arrays of lasers, LEDs; and ii) detectors, e.g., PIN, APD, SPAD and solar cells and data encoding techniques, e.g., intensity modulation/direct detection vs. coherent transmission. In this special session we have invited a group of four leading experts to highlight the respective technical challenges and to explore market opportunities for the different classes of FSO technologies.


Micheline Perrufel, Orange Labs, France
LiFi at the Heart of Future Intelligent Communications Networks

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