Digital RIS (DRIS) : the future of digital beam management in RIS-assisted OWC systems

Ndjiongue, Alain R. and Ngatched, Telex M.N. and Dobre, Octavia A. and Haas, Harald (2022) Digital RIS (DRIS) : the future of digital beam management in RIS-assisted OWC systems. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 40 (16). pp. 5597-5604. ISSN 0733-8724 (

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Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) have been recently introduced to optical wireless communication (OWC) networks to resolve skip areas and improve the signal-to-noise ratio at the user's end. In OWC networks, RIS are based on mirrors or metasurfaces. Metasurfaces have evolved significantly over the last few years. As a result, coding, digital, programmable, and information metamaterials have been developed. The advantage of these materials is that they can enable digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. For the first time, this paper proposes the use of digital RIS (DRIS) in OWC systems. We discuss the concept of DRIS and the application of DSP methods to the physical material. In addition, we examine metamaterials for optical DRIS with liquid crystals serving as the front row material. Finally, we present a design example and discuss future research directions.