The Sixth Workshop on
Optical Wireless Communications
December 6, 2015, San Diego, CA, USA

Workshop Background

In recent years, a growing interest has been witnessed in the research and development of OWC systems. This is mainly driven by a) tremendous advancements in optical sources from high power bulky solid state lasers to low power compact light emitting diodes (LEDs) in different optical spectra (such as infrared, visible, ultraviolet), and detectors from vacuum tube based to semiconductor avalanche photodetectors; b) RF spectrum crunching. Lighting LEDs have been considered as the next generation green lighting devices to replace incandescent and fluorescent lamps by the Department of Energy in USA. Besides the compelling advantages of the latest generation of LEDs for energy efficient lighting, these devices also offer tremendous opportunities for wireless communications. This comes at a time where the shortage of RF spectrum is a key issue, and where additional license free wireless transmission resources could provide significant spectrum relief - in particular when there already is an infrastructure in place.

The original IEEE 802.15.7 was approved in 2011 as the first visible light communication (VLC) standard, and the revision of this standard is still in progress. The IEEE 802.15 has formed a Task Group called IEEE 802.15.7r1 OWC TG to write a revision to IEEE 802.15.7-2011 that accommodates infrared and near ultraviolet wavelengths. In addition to visible light, it also adds options such as optical camera communications, LED-ID (which is wireless light identification system using LED), Li-Fi (which is high-speed, bidirectional, networked mobile wireless communication using light).

Free-space optical (FSO) communication was an old optical technology that existed before the introduction of optical fiber cable. FSO has been used for both medium-range terrestrial communication and long-range space communication. In recent years, FSO technology has found some renewed interest when the Connectivity Lab at Facebook announced to target FSO technology to distribute high capacity data streams over free space.

Currently, the area of OWC is included in different but isolated societies' programs, like SPIE, OSA, IEEE Communications, Signal Processing, Photonics, etc. Researchers in this field often find it difficult to identify a flagship conference or workshop on optical wireless communications. The goal of the Sixth OWC workshop is to build upon the very successful workshops held at Globecom 2010-2015 and foster an OWC community by presenting state-of-the-art research, development, and standardization results from academia and industry. The workshop not only covers traditional infrared communications (both indoor and outdoor), but also the emerging visible light and ultraviolet communication technologies. At this year's workshop we plan to have invited papers; in particular, we would like to reach a broader community of core communication theory, information theory, signal processing, and networking researchers. There are significant areas of overlapping interest that we hope to exploit to ensure that the OWC community to integrate fully within the IEEE Communications Society.

Important Dates

Submission due: July 15, 2015
Decision notification: September 1, 2015
Camera-ready and registration due: October 1, 2015