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This paper provides an initial analysis into the viability of implementing an optical wireless system for intravehicle communications. Based on the use of a simple linearly scalable infrared light-emitting-diode transmitter, the results for received power, bandwidth, and root-mean-square (RMS) delay spread are shown at more than 3000 locations within a sports utility vehicle. Several of these locations, including the rear passenger seats, backs of the driver and front passenger seats, and the dashboard, are highlighted as having advantageous channel characteristics for the deployment of mobile communications equipment, audio-visual (AV) displays, computer consoles, or human-vehicle interface devices such as air conditioning or window controllers. Within the vehicle, received powers of up to 49 μW with associated bandwidths ≥ 300 MHz and negligible RMS delay spread can be achieved at several locations. The analysis presented, as the first of its type, will provide the foundations for a larger investigation into intravehicular communications, including the optimization of transmitter-receiver configurations and the advancements of upper layer protocols that can exploit specific channel characteristics for high-end-user quality of service.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2012