Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications (OWC’24) for 6G

In association with IEEE 99th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2024-Spring), Singapore

Optical wireless communications

Optical wireless communications (OWC) is a form of optical communication in which unguided visible, infrared (IR), or ultraviolet (UV) light is used to carry a signal.


OWC'24 workshop aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry working in emerging LiFi, visible light communications (VLC) and underwater optical communications as well as the traditional wireless infrared communications (IRC) to present, share and discuss their latest research results.

Workshop Scope

With the ever-growing demand for enhanced capacity and quality in wireless communication links, researchers have continually sought innovative design methodologies and concepts to develop wireless systems and networks toward the 6G era. OWC technologies have emerged as promising enablers for flexible, high-capacity communication systems, particularly for B5G/6G, aerospace, and internet of things (IoT) applications. In fact, the current radio frequency (RF) spectrum is no longer sufficient to meet the exponential increase of the physical devices connected to the internet as well as the high capacity backhaul connectivity required by B5G communications. Regarded as an attractive complement to RF-based communication, OWC uses an ultra-wide range of the unregulated spectrum that can provide significant spectrum relief, especially when an infrastructure is already in place. OWC technologies encompass several research derivatives, such as free-space optical (FSO) communications, visible light communications (VLC), ultraviolet (UV) communications, Light fidelity (LiFi) technology, optical camera communications (OCC), and underwater OWC (UOWC).

The surge in OWC-based systems owes much to advancements in optical sources, transitioning from high-power bulky solid-state laser diodes (LDs) to compact LEDs across different optical spectra (i.e., infrared, visible, ultraviolet). LEDs, renowned for energy-efficient lighting, concurrently present compelling opportunities for wireless communications. OCC leverage optical image sensors as receivers, making off-the-shelf smartphones, digital cameras, rear vehicle cameras, and surveillance cameras potential candidates for OWC receivers. Consequently, OCC has garnered interest in diverse applications such as IoT, indoor localization, motion capture, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). VLC networks, extending beyond traditional communication, now contribute to localization and positioning information, providing guidance or context-sensitive data. OWC systems in vehicular networks facilitate the transmission of collision avoidance information and traffic data to moving automobiles. UV OWC links operate covertly and license-free, requiring minimal orientation. LiFi has the potential to offer high-speed, secure, and energy-efficient connectivity with applications ranging from indoor internet access to smart lighting and the Internet of IoT. FSO systems emerge as wireless interconnecting technologies with high-capacity capabilities, promising data rates comparable to optical fiber systems but at a fraction of deployment costs.

In addition to terrestrial applications, UOWC has recently attracted interest in the field of wireless communication as an inexpensive broadband submarine technology. According to the current technological vision of NTT DOCOMO on 5G Evolution and 6G, UOWC are considered a potential candidate for B5G/6G networks. Taking advantage of the rapid advancement of blue-green LDs and LEDs and detectors, UOWC can provide higher data rate transmission at lower latency levels and significantly lower power consumption compared to RF and acoustic counterparts for short-range wireless links.

Empowered by the recent adoption of IEEE 802.11bb, various OWC products are gradually entering the market. In this workshop, we would like to stimulate discussion on several topics which could accelerate a mass deployment of OWC:

  • Trends and future directions in OWC: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the recent advances in the research on various OWC technologies.
  • Advancements in optical sources and detectors: Explore the latest advancements in optical sources, ranging from high-power solid-state LDs to compact LEDs, and detectors, transitioning from vacuum tube-based to semiconductor avalanche PDs.
  • Applications and use cases: Examine real-world applications and use cases of OWC, including its role in 5G/6G networks, aerospace, IoT applications, indoor localization, motion capture, ITS, vehicular networks, and underwater communication.
  • Integration with existing technologies: Explore strategies for integrating OWC with existing technologies, including its coexistence with RF-based communication to enhance overall communication network capabilities.
  • Networking and community building: Foster collaboration and networking among the researchers in the OWC field, facilitating knowledge exchange and future collaborations.

Topics of Interest

The workshop on OWC aims to bring together researchers and developers from both academia and industry to present, share, and discuss their latest work on OWC systems for terrestrial, space, or underwater applications. The workshop cordially invites high-quality contributions covering the following topics based on original research. The potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Transceiver design and optimization
  • OWC modulation, coding, and detection
  • Optics design (lenses, concentrators, diffusers, etc.)
  • Physical layer security for OWC
  • Beam steering and alignment techniques for OWC
  • Optical reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) aided communications
  • Fading mitigation in FSO links: spatial, temporal, polarization, coding, and adaptive approaches
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning for intelligent and adaptive networks
  • OWC for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication systems
  • OWC for satellite communication
  • OWC transceiver design and optimization
  • OWC link duplexing and multiple access techniques
  • OWC interconnect in the data center
  • Optical wireless sensor networks
  • OWC for B5G/6G networks
  • MIMO for OWC
  • New applications of OWC in AR/VR, AI, IoT, Industry 4.0
  • Software-defined optical wireless network with AI
  • OWC for positioning
  • Hybrid RF/THz/OWC links
  • Topology control and routing in RF/OWC X-haul networks

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