TITLE: Data Transmission
using Visible Light Communication (VLC) for Undersea Platforms
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS 435,
Submarine Electromagnetic Systems Program Office
OBJECTIVE: Develop visible
light communications (VLC) system for undersea platforms.
DESCRIPTION: Development of a
secure, high-speed, energy- and cost-efficient VLC prototype device will assist
the Navy in reducing the increasingly larger burden of cable management with
respect to Ethernet connectivity. Submarine electronic warfare (EW) next
generation architecture will require a variety of different connectivity
solutions to enable its multi-layered architecture. Solutions range from
high-speed networks (10GbE, 40GbE, 100GbE, and beyond) to more conventional
speeds such as the well-known 1GbE which provides the vast majority of
connectivity in today’s systems. There is potential to replace much of the 1GbE
cabling if a secure, wireless system were implemented.
Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is the current method of sending digital/analog data
over a communication medium and has become a preferred method of data
transmission. At times, Wi-Fi can be very reliable but the Electromagnetic
Interference (EMI) it can cause and security vulnerabilities it can create
present a problem for the Navy. This SBIR topic seeks to increase reliability
of systems onboard undersea platforms through development of a VLC system.
With the concerns Wi-Fi presents, an alternate wireless network transport
solution is desirable. Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is a wireless networking system
that provides data transmission through light and would reduce/eliminate EMI
concerns, thus improving system performance/reliability. If additional signal
strength is required, Li-Fi attocells have no interference from, and add no
interference to, the radio frequency’s counterparts such as femtocell
networks. Li-Fi is still in its development state where there has been a
prototype designed, tested, and presented but not finalized. This technology
will need additional research and development (R&D) to prove and
demonstrate its effectiveness and reliability within/exceeding a 4-meter range.
The solutions within VLC technology (Li-Fi included) are preferred in making
use of existing incoherent Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for solid-state
lighting as both transmitters and receivers in developing a VLC network.
Compared to its competing technology Wi-Fi, Li-Fi provides an increase in
bandwidth (BW), elimination of EMI, and increased security. This form of
connection is highly reliant on line-of-sight (LoS), as the connection can be
disconnected from obstructing the light’s path. This might seem to be a
negative attribute but can lead to improved security; it would eliminate data
Li-Fi would appeal to not only the Navy but throughout commercial industries.
With the reliable security it provides, this technology can be applicable to
any application that is currently using Wi-Fi as its main source of data
transmission. The technology’s advantage over Wi-Fi of not creating EMI would
allow medical facilities, airplanes, or any location that would normally not
allow Wi-Fi to use it.
PHASE I: Develop a concept
for a Li-Fi system in a system with the capabilities of transmitting data using
light instead of radio frequency. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept
through either modeling or simulation in meeting the Navy needs and establish
that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the Navy. The
Phase I Option, if awarded, will address the initial design specification and
capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II. Develop a Phase II
PHASE II: Based on the result
of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), develop and deliver a
prototype of a system with the capability to transmit data from a light source
to an electronic device. Evaluate the prototype to determine its capability in
performance, either equivalent or exceeding that of Wi-Fi in terms of
transmission rate and throughput. In completion of Phase I, the company will
develop a prototype to be tested and validated against Phase I model or
simulations. Prepare a Phase III SOW to transition the technology developed
for Navy use.
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use.
Develop a system according to Phase III SOW for evaluation to determine
effectiveness in an operational relevant environment. Support the Navy for
test and validation to certify and qualify the system to be transitioned into
the AN/BLQ-10B (V) program.
Outside of the Navy, the system can be used as a general data transmission
system to alleviate the interference and clutter associated with current Wi-Fi
technology. This system would be an innovative technology when it comes to a
reduction in interference, increase in security, speed, and potentially be an
innovation that will receive support from many companies. Unlike Wi-Fi, which
presents a high potential for EMI, the proposed system will be permitted in
electromagnetically sensitive locations where radio waves are not, such as
around medical equipment in hospitals. An application that can be seen from a
system with the capability to transmit data through light is ideal, especially
when using it to establish a connection between the internet and a laptop or
mobile device (e.g., an individual using an LED lamp to study). In
non-technical language, this system will operate similar to Wi-Fi, but solving
the issues involving interference, security, and ultimately speed.
1. Singh, S., Kakamanshadi,
G. and Gupta, S. “Visible Light Communication-an emerging wireless
communication technology.” 2015 2nd International Conference on Recent Advances
in Engineering & Computational Sciences (RAECS), Chandigarh, 2015. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7453409&isnumber=7453273
2. Dimitrov, S., and Haas, H.
“Principles of LED Communications: Towards Network Li-Fi.” Cambridge Univ.
Press, Mar. 2015.
3. Haas, H., Yin, L., Wang,
Y. and Chen, C. "What is LiFi?", Journal of Lightwave Technology,
March 15, 2016, Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 1533-1544. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7360112&isnumber=7425116
KEYWORDS: Light Fidelity
(Li-Fi); Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi); Visible Light Communication (VLC); Data
Transmission; Electromagnetic Interference (EMI); Line of Sight (LoS)
** TOPIC NOTICE **
These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 29, 2017, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2018, and closes February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.
Between November 29, 2017 and January 7, 2018 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. During these dates, their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed starting January 8, 2018 when DoD begins accepting proposals for this BAA.
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