The impact of solar irradiance on visible light communications

Islim, Mohamed Sufyan and Videv, Stefan and Safari, Majid and Xie, Enyuan and McKendry, Jonathan J. D. and Gu, Erdan and Dawson, Martin D. and Haas, Harald (2018) The impact of solar irradiance on visible light communications. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 36 (12). pp. 2376-2386. ISSN 0733-8724 (

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This paper aims to address the perception that visible light communication (VLC) systems cannot work under the presence of sunlight. A complete framework is presented to evaluate the performance of VLC systems in the presence of solar irradiance at any given location and time. The effect of solar irradiance is investigated in terms of degradations in signal to noise ratio, data rate, and bit error rate. Direct current (DC) optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing is used with adaptive bit and energy loading to mitigate DC wander interference and low-frequency ambient light noise. It was found that reliable communication can be achieved under the effect of solar irradiance at high-speed data rates. An optical bandpass blue filter is shown to compensate for half of the reduced data rate in the presence of sunlight. This work demonstrates data rates above 1 Gb/s of a VLC link under strong solar illuminance measured at 50350 lux in clear weather conditions.