IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
13–16 September 2021 // Virtual Conference // By 6G Flagship

WS12 – Workshop on Optical Wireless Technology for Enhanced Connectivity in 6G

Scope 

Future wireless networks (in particular the 6G networks) should ensure low latency, high reliability, scalability, as well as enhanced quality-of-service and quality-of-experience in sophisticated scenarios arising from emerging multimedia applications and exponential increase in the number of smart sensors and devices. The main challenges for such networks include dealing with massive Internet-of-things (IoT) applications, the requirement for precise localization, as well as improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprints.  

However, due to the limited available radio frequency spectrum, optical wireless communication (OWC) is seen as a serious complementary or alternative solution in certain application areas, in particular with limited mobility requirements. Thanks to the numerous operational and technical advantages offered by OWC, we have been witnessing increased research and development activities in the past two decades or so, covering visible-light communications (VLC) and free space communications (FSO) for indoor and outdoor (including underwater) applications. Nevertheless, there exist still several technical challenges that need addressing before a wide-spread deployment of OWC. 

The aim of this Workshop is to provide a forum for researchers from academia and industry to present their latest research and development findings as well as sharing their views on different aspects of OWC systems from fundamental to applied. This Workshop focusing on OWC covering ultraviolet, visible, and infrared bands will welcome submissions in areas of modeling, design, implementation, simulation, and standardization. 

The potential topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Indoor visible-light and infrared communications: High spectral efficiency signaling schemes; Multiple-access techniques; Multi-cell architectures; Upper-layer design for VLC networks; OWC for short-range IoT; All-organic VLC systems; Optical camera communications; Indoor positioning; System design and infield experiments; Hybrid VLC/IR and RF/VLC links; Novel techniques to improve physical security of OWC links; VLC/IR networks and protocols; RF over VLC/IR systems; Machine learning in VLC/IR systems; PLC and VLC/IR, etc. 
  • Outdoor and space communications: Free-space optics channel modeling and characterization; Advanced signaling schemes; Mitigating atmospheric effects; Pointing error modeling and mitigation; Diversity techniques and MIMO for FSO; Hybrid RF/FSO links; Radio-over-fiber and FSO; FSO for UAV; Deep-space laser communications; Intersatellite and satellite-ground FSO links; Hybrid very high throughput satellites with FSO feeder links; Efficient beam pointing, acquisition and tracking solutions, etc. 
  • Optical components and short-range links: Photonic devices and components for OWC; Optical interconnects; Novel optical components for OWC; Inter- and intra-chip OWC links; Device-to-device communications, etc. 
  • Applications of optical wireless communications: OWC for medical and industrial applications; Underwater wireless optical communications; FSO for airborne and drones; FSO links for high-speed platforms; OWC for next generation (5G and B5G) networks; Vehicular OWC and hybrid RF/OWC links; Machine learning for OWC; Cognitive OWC systems; Quantum communications and key distribution; Ultra-violet long-range communications; Simultaneous light and power transfer; OWC for agriculture and creative media, etc. 

 

Workshop chairs / organizers 

General Chair 

  • Dr. Ali KhalighiÉcole Centrale Marseille, Fresnel Institute, France, Ali.Khalighi@fresnel.fr 

Technical Program Committee Chairs 

  • Prof. Fary GhassemlooyNorthumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, z.ghassemlooy@northumbria.ac.uk 
  • Prof. Murat Uysal, Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey, murat.uysal@ozyegin.edu.tr 
  • Prof. Stanislav Zvanovec, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic,  xzvanove@fel.cvut.cz 

 

Program 

Invited Talks 

On the Potential of Airborne Base Stations with Laser-Powered UAVs
Prof. Mohamed -Slim Alouini, KAUST, Saudi Arabia 

Abstract:
Drone-mounted base-stations (DBSs) have a great potential to enhance wireless coverage and data rate of IoT networks, as well as other applications such as data dissemination and collection. However, one of the main challenges in such technology is the limited on-board battery. The limited energy resources lead to a drone flight time that typically does not exceed one hour. Hence, it is necessary to find innovative solutions that enable a longer drone flight time, in order to ensure a stable wireless coverage provided by the users. In this talk, we first discuss the general advantages and potential use cases of DBSs. Next, we introduce a novel technology that enables indefinite wireless joint power and information transfer for the DBSs using laser beams emitted from laser beam directors deployed on the ground. We then present our study on the performance of such kind laser-powered drones-assisted communication networks using tools from stochastic geometry. Finally, we offer a set of open research directions for these novel system architectures that require revisiting many well-established results in the literature of drone-assisted wireless networks analysis.

Biography:
Mohamed-Slim Alouini [S’94-M’98-SM’03-F’09] was born in Tunis, Tunisia. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA, in 1998. He served as a faculty member in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, then in the Texas A&M University at Qatar, Education City, Doha, Qatar before joining KAUST, Thuwal, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia as a Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2009. His current research interests include the modeling, design, and performance analysis of wireless communication systems.

 

VLC from the Industry Point of View
Dr. Geoff Archenhold, IST Ltd, UK 

Abstract:
VLC and LiFi is a fundamental baseline technology for the future of intelligent buildings and smart cities enabling high speed optical wireless and indoor positioning solutions that far exceed radio frequency capabilities. However, commercially available VLC/LiFi solutions have not seen successful market penetration even after a decade so academia and industry alike have to ask the question why?

The presentation will address many of the key barriers to VLC/LiFi adoption and will plot potential paths to industrial strategies that enable a future where ubiquitous optical wireless platforms can move beyond proof-of-concept projects to deliver routes for a sustainable, intelligent and carbon friendly future.

Biography:
Dr Geoff Archenhold is CEO of Integrated System Technologies Limited, an IOT solutions provider to the intelligent building sector. Geoff has over 25 years’ experience within the photonics, IT and defence sectors, specifically in the application of solid-state lighting and power electronics. Geoff previously held roles as industry advisor to the UK Government and developed the UK’s first photonics strategy launched with Lord Sainsbury in 2006. Further work for the European Commission, focussing on strategically important photonic technologies, barriers to exploitation and detailed supply chain analysis.
In 2006, Geoff became the youngest ever Chairman of a Primary Care Trust in the UK and was responsible for more than 4000 employees with an annual health budget of approximately £480 million. In 2012, Geoff was a founding shareholder in pureLifi focused on Li-fi technologies and briefly joined their board as a non-executive director from 2015-16. Geoff received his masters and doctorate in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Leeds, UK.

Panel Discussion  

The Future of VLC Technology 

Animated by the most prominent researchers from Academia and industry, this panel session will discuss the future of the VLC technology, including standardization and industrializationas well as its current and future short-term application scenarios. In particular, the position of VLC in the future 6G networks will be discussed together with the relevant use cases related to diverse smart environments. 

Moderator 

Prof. Volker Jungnickel
Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin, Germany 

Panel Members 

Prof. George K. Karagiannidis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 

Dr. Nikola Serafimovski
Light Communications Alliance, PureLiFiEdinburgh, UK 

Prof. Marcos Katz
University of Oulu, Finland

Dr. Usman Raza
Toshiba Research Europe, Italy