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Recent developments in solid-state light-emitting diode (LED) materials and devices is driving a resurgence into the use of free-space optics (FSO) for wireless broadband communication. This technology uses the visible spectrum provided by “white” LEDs that are becoming ubiquitous in lighting and has some desirable properties competitive with existing radio frequency (RF) communications. By leveraging the low-cost nature of LEDs and lighting units there are many opportunities to exploit this medium for widespread optical communication deployment. The optical medium, however, has particular characteristics, including directionality and susceptibility to noise sources in the visible spectrum that must be managed. In this paper we present a new indoor FSO system, also known as a visible light communication (VLC) system that addresses achieving satisfactory data rates through diffuse link while supporting mobility under line of sight (LOS) constraints. The system model is presented with theoretical performance analysis indicating a promising rate for indoor scenarios. The new VLC prototype that can deliver in excess of 1 Mbps while providing both illumination and communication at several meters is also introduced with technical details.
Date of Conference: 20-22 July 2011