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Automatic tracking of Li-Fi links for wireless industrial ethernet

: Kirrbach, René; Faulwaßer, Michael; Schneider, Tobias; Ostermann, Robert; Noack, Alexander

Embedded world 2018 Exhibition and Conference. Proceedings :'s a smarter world; 27 February - 1 March 2018, Nuremberg, Germany
Haar: WEKA Fachmedien, 2018
ISBN: 978-3-645-50173-6
5 pp.
Embedded World Exhibition and Conference <2018, Nuremberg>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

The ongoing digitalization of our environment leads to continuously increasing data traffic. Especially in industrial environments, automation is an omnipresent trend. Autonomous systems incorporate a rising amount of sensors as well as continuous machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Wireless communications can simplify the data transmission and enable connectivity to dynamic parts like moving, vibrating or rotating components. Due to the open nature of the communication channel, engineers have to face a number of challenges, e.g. security issues, interferences and regulation of irradiated power. Radio frequency (RF) technologies are used in manifold applications, but in certain scenarios they are still cumbersome, because of signal interference and hard real-time requirements. The so-called Li-Fi technology is ideal for autonomous systems in Industry 4.0 since optical communications offer reliable and high data rate communication links with low-latency characteristics. However, the engineer typically has to face a trade-off between the link’s range, coverage and data rate. This contradiction can be overcome by forming a small, steerable spot. In this paper we present a compact Li-Fi tracking system based on a steerable optical wireless link, which enables real-time full-duplex bi-directional data communication with a data rate of 1.289 Gbit/s. This approach shows the feasibility and handling of an energy efficient wireless link, thanks to its 12-bit-precise beam alignment by using micro mirrors. We describe the optical setup and introduce a tracking algorithm which enables fully autonomous link establishment and thus simple installation. Data rate measurements underline the high performance of the wireless link whereas the system’s mobility is characterized by measurements of the settle time of the steered beam.