1 September 2006 Optical wireless communications for micromachines
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Abstract
A key challenge for wireless sensor networks is minimizing the energy required for network nodes to communicate with each other, and this becomes acute for self-powered devices such as 'smart dust'. Optical communications is a potentially attractive solution for such devices. The University of Oxford is currently involved in a project to build optical wireless links to smart dust. Retro-reflectors combined with liquid crystal modulators can be integrated with the micro-machine to create a low power transceiver. When illuminated from a base station a modulated beam is returned, transmitting data. Data from the base station can be transmitted using modulation of the illuminating beam and a receiver at the micro-machine. In this paper we outline the energy consumption and link budget considerations in the design of such micro-machines, and report preliminary experimental results.
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Dominic C. O'Brien, Wei Wen Yuan, Jing Jing Liu, Grahame E. Faulkner, Steve J. Elston, Steve Collins, Lesley A. Parry-Jones, "Optical wireless communications for micromachines", Proc. SPIE 6304, Free-Space Laser Communications VI, 63041A (1 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680780; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.680780
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