Abstract

Indoor visible light communication (VLC) systems with narrow beams can achieve practical few-meters-long wireless optical links. Such links can operate at low power levels and a high data rate for supporting point-to-point or multipoint communication. The narrow-beam VLC links can, however, benefit from beam steering to support mobility of user equipment and cater to multiple users. Simple beam-steering techniques with minimal changes to the existing optical hardware are required to enable widespread adoption of beam steering in VLC links. We study the performance of a simple transmitter-lens-decenter-based beam-steering scheme in a VLC link, utilizing a phosphor down-converted blue laser transmitter. The beam-steering angle, and hence the receiver coverage, depend on the transmitter lens decenter and the choice of the transmitter and receiver lens’s focal lengths. Optical ray tracing is used to quantify the collection efficiency achievable with beam steering, to choose a suitable receiver lens, and to understand the role of off-axis aberration in the system performance. In our experimental implementation, the transmitter lens decentering technique results in a maximum steering angle of 7.1°, which corresponds to a receiver coverage of 30 cm per cm of transmitter lens decenter for a fixed link length of 300 cm. The measured on-axis white light color coordinates of (0.286, 0.253) is found to shift toward warmer white colors with beam steering. The on-axis illuminance level of ${\sim}{19}\;{\rm lux}$ decreases slightly with beam steering and is found to be below the maximum permissible exposure limit for indoor illumination. We also quantify the data communication performance as a function of beam steering using on-off modulated data. Bit-error rates below the forward error correction limit are obtained for receiver coverage diameter of 75 cm and 60 cm for 1.25 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps data rates, respectively.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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