Survey of energy-autonomous solar cell receivers for satellite–air–ground–ocean optical wireless communication

Meiwei Kong, Chun Hong Kang, Omar Alkhazragi, Xiaobin Sun, Yujian Guo, Mohammed Sait, Jorge A. Holguin-Lerma, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi
<span title="">2020</span> <i title="Elsevier BV"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/x7qlmvshyzaapfeo5b6254k3ti" style="color: black;">Progress in Quantum Electronics</a> </i> &nbsp;
With the advent of the Internet of Things, energy-and bandwidth-related issues are becoming increasingly prominent in the context of supporting the massive connectivity of various smart devices. To this end, we propose that solar cells with the dual functions of energy harvesting and signal acquisition are critical for alleviating energy-related issues and enabling optical wireless communication (OWC) across the satellite-airground-ocean (SAGO) boundaries. Moreover, we present the first
more &raquo; ... nsive survey on solar cell-based OWC technology. First, the historical evolution of this technology is summarized, from its beginnings to recent advances, to provide the relative merits of a variety of solar cells for simultaneous energy harvesting and OWC in different application scenarios. Second, the performance metrics, circuit design, and architectural design for energy-autonomous solar cell receivers are provided to help understand the basic principles of this technology. Finally, with a view to its future application to SAGO communication networks, we note the challenges and future trends of research related to this technology in terms of channel characterization, light source development, photodetector development, modulation and multiplexing techniques, and network implementations. Underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) With the depletion of terrestrial resources and the development of marine technology, an increasing number of gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), remotely operated vehicles, and underwater sensor networks are being deployed in the ocean for marine exploration, resource exploitation, and environmental monitoring [11] . The amount of data that need to be collected or processed is increasing exponentially in the meanwhile. These problems impose a heavy burden on the energy budget in underwater environments because a large amount of energy is required to supply energy-intensive underwater equipment and signal processing units. Therefore, underwater acoustic communication, with the disadvantages of a small bandwidth, large latency, bulky antennas, and high power consumption, cannot meet the requirements of broadband applications in the long run [12] . By contrast, underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) is an important means of realizing real-time underwater communication with a large capacity and low power consumption, and has potential for use in short-distance communication [13] . However, the problem of alignment is a key technical bottleneck restricting its development because UWOC channels are dynamic, and light beams may be easily affected by various perturbations, such as waves, bubbles, turbulence, and random scattering [14] . Solar cells with large areas of detection and lens-free operation have been proven to be effective in alleviating link alignment In the era of the IoT, the development of solar cell-based OWC technology has shown significant potential in establishing robust, low-cost, and energy-efficient communication networks for massive smart devices. With advancements in materials and PV technology, most VLC, FSO, and UWOC systems based on various novel solar cells have shown encouraging performance in terms of data rates and transmission distances. This provides a solid foundation for the establishment of future SAGO communication networks. However, the technology is still in its infancy, and considerable effort is required to respond to various challenges related to improving date rates, extending transmission distances, complex transmission channels, novel light sources, novel PDs, hardware implementation, and network implementation.
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