The capacity of traditional wireless radio-frequency (RF) networks such as wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) is insufficient to meet ever-increasing demand for bandwidth stemming from growth in smart, connected devices. The omni-directional nature of RF signals does not allow easy solutions that involve adding more access points to support more devices and capacity because they start to interfere with each other. Optical wireless communications (OWC) have already extended the superb bandwidth capacity of wired optical datalinks to sites that cannot be connected by traditional optical fibers, such as satellites and disaster recovery areas. Development of OWC technologies for dense, multi-user environments promises to bring these advantages to the home, office and other end-user environments. Optical spectral bands (0.1-10 micrometers) are suitable for directional antennas amenable to high spatial reuse and offer promising complementary wireless channels to help solve the spectrum crunch we are facing. Visible Light Communication (VLC), operating in the visible spectrum (0.4-0.7 micrometers) as a special case of OWC, offers great potential to increase Wi-Fi throughput as it can reuse dual-purpose solid-state light bulbs to provide optical datalinks in addition to lighting. The limited field-of-view of the receiver and the high probability of the mobile user blocking the receiver's active detection area are two significant impediments to the availability and communication range of line-of-sight links in VLC networks. We design and prototype a diversity combining VLC receiver with a multi-detector array, multistage amplifier, and Intensity Modulation-Direct Detection decoder capable of achieving highspeed data rates for white phosphorous LED light. We also design and prototype a multi-element, multi-datastream VLC transmitter for providing mobile data connectivity in dense VLC networks, using imaging-based beam-steering to enable dense deployment. Finally, we investigate OWC receiver design and channel behavior in photon-starving environments such as water-to-air links.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Nabavi, Pooya, "Multi-Element Mobile Optical Wireless Communication Networks" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1056.