Optical Wireless communication in industrial areas: Potential performance and actual demand

In industrial scenarios wireless communication becomes more and more widespread. Radio-frequency technologies are still predominant, but optical wireless communication (OWC) provides many advantages to fulfill the requirements of communication in industrial applications. A survey with industrial users consolidate a list with the most important demands for wireless communication within the field: The results reveal that the current heterogeneous requirements for wireless communication are valid, but highlight the need for license-free, robust and energy efficient wireless communication at rather moderate data rates. These requirements can be met by OWC, but its direct application in industrial environments is often hindered by the harsh conditions, with measurements inter alia indicating specific cross talk by light-emitting processes. In this article, these aspects are discussed one by one in order to obtain a clear perspective about the applicability, the main limitations and potential technologies for OWC and competing approaches in industrial areas. In summary, the application requirements of industrial communication are substantiated, whereas specific limitations and needs for advancement of current OWC systems are derived.

doi: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9471827