An Overview of Optical Wireless Communications [chapter]

Z. Ghassemlooy, M. Uysal, M. A. Khalighi, V. Ribeiro, F. Moll, S. Zvanovec, A. Belmonte
2016 Signals and Communication Technology  
Preface The proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology. Wireless devices and technologies have become pervasive much more rapidly than anyone could have imagined and they will continue to be a key element of modern society for the foreseeable future. Today, the term "wireless" is used almost synonymously with radio frequency (RF) technologies as a result of the wide-scale deployment and utilization of wireless RF
more » ... ces and systems. With the ever-growing popularity of data-heavy wireless communications, the demand for RF spectrum is outstripping supply and the time has come to seriously consider other viable options for wireless communication using the upper parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for applications where access to huge bandwidth is a requirement. Utilization of the optical band of the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless transmission opens doors of opportunity in areas as yet largely unexplored. Optical frequencies range from 300 GHz to 300 petahertz (PHz) and include infrared, visible and ultraviolet bands-a spectral range that dwarfs the 300 GHz that the RF band represents. Optical wireless communication (OWC) systems offer significant technical and operational advantages such as higher bandwidth capacity, robustness to electromagnetic interference, inherent security, low power requirements and unregulated spectrum. Variations of OWC can be employed in a diverse range of communication applications from very short-range (in the order of millimeters) optical interconnects within integrated circuits through outdoor inter-building links (on the order of kilometers) to satellite communications (larger than 10,000 kms). With its significant advantages and wide range of application areas, OWC is one of the most promising current opportunities for high-impact research in the information and communication technology area. However, in many respects, OWC technology is still in its infancy and calls for consolidated research efforts to harness the enormous potential of the optical spectrum for communication applications. With the aim to build a European scientific network on OWC, the COST IC1101 Action "Optical Wireless Communication-An Emerging Technology (OPTICWISE)" was launched in November 2011 for 4 years. COST (European v
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30201-0_1 fatcat:7pznxsmd2fflzlxfxghwyufauq