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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

Extension of a 3-cm Range of Transmission and


Reception of a Visible Light Communication System
through Varying Modulation Technique
Marloun P. Sejera*; Glenn O. Avendaño; Jose Norman J. Grecia, III; Laiza Paulene G. Neri;
Justine H. Sanz; Paul Julien V. Sison; Meo Vincent C. Caya
Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering
Mapúa Institute of Technology
Muralla St, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
Email: * mpsejera@gmail.com

Abstract— This paper presents the use of visible light as a data with a range of more than 3 cm while maintaining a constant
means of data communication, utilizing a Light Emitting Diode data rate through changing the modulation technique. The study
(LED) for data transmission, specifically the super bright LED (a) design a modulated digital signal generator circuit to produce
and utilizing a Laser diode (LD) module which has a more focused data inputs using Arduino software, (b) transmit and receive data
beam and further range. The study implemented a wireless visible inputs with varying modulation techniques such as Amplitude
light communication (VLC) system that can transmit and receive Shift Keying (ASK), Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) and Phase
data with a range of more than 3 cm; through varying modulation Shift Keying (PSK) and (c) measure the Bit Error Rate (BER) of
techniques, namely Phase Shift Keying (PSK), Frequency Shift the wireless communication system under varying distances and
Keying (FSK) and, Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK). The process
compare the data with our target BER of 0.1%.
includes using two Arduino modules, one for signal transmission
and another for signal reception. The transmitter module is In a recent study conducted by Ryoichi Yoneda, Kuniyoshi
connected to a computer with the Arduino software where data Okuda, and Wataru Uemura at Ryukoku University, involving a
will be inputted for transmission. The receiver consists of a road-to-vehicle visible light communication system which
photodiode which sends the intelligence to the Arduino and utilizes Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) and Pulse Width
projects data to the screen. In all of the said techniques, it is Modulation (PWM), emphasizes that using FSK is more
observed that the presence of Bit Error Rate (BER) increased as appropriate to use in a VLC system because the frequency of
the distance between the transmitter and receiver becomes
light is easier to alter. It is also indicated in the study that the
greater. The farthest distance that PSK can achieve for LED is 9.8
cm and 22.2 cm for laser. In FSK the limit is up until 9.4 cm for
lower the subcarrier frequency used, the longer the signal can
LED and 21.4 cm for laser. While in ASK, the BER is unacceptable travel and has higher signal to noise ratio. In their trials, it is
for all the distances in LED but in using the laser, it can reach as evident that the acceptable Bit Error Rate is at around 10-3[1]. In
long as 19.4 cm. In general, the researchers were able to extend the another study, Amal and Faruque made use of Amplitude Shift
transmission distance far greater than 3 cm. minimum distance Keying and Phase Shift Keying on a Visible Light System that
between the devices. utilizes a laser as a light source. In their study, the laser diverges
at around 12cm and that distance is their maximum transmission
Keywords: Light Emitting Diode, Laser Diode, Visible Light distance. They also claimed that different factors like rain, fog,
Communication, Phase Shift Keying, Frequency Shift Keying, atmospheric absorption, dispersion effects, scintillation, snow,
Amplitude Shift Keying, Arduino, Bit Error Rate. interference from other light sources, pointing stability in wind,
shadowing, pollution etc. plays their roles as the limiting factors
I. INTRODUCTION [2].
Radio Frequency (RF) signal is one of the main carriers for According to Shinichiro Haruyama, with white LEDs being
data and signal transmission and reception. From sending a text used for illumination purposes instead of fluorescent and
message to a phone call, RF signal is used as carrier to send and incandescent bulbs, it is a possibility to use these LEDs as a
receive data. Considering beyond radio frequency range, visible means for data communication with the LEDs being utilized as
spectrum or visible light can also be used for data the transmitter. By comparing VLC (Visible Light
communication using fiber optic media. In utilizing visible light Communication) with radio-wave wireless communication,
for communicating through fiber optic media, pulses of light Haruyama was able to identify some advantages and
pass through an optical fiber and forms a modulated disadvantages of using VLC. Basically, VLC is a “line-of-sight”
electromagnetic carrier wave that’s responsible for carrying the communication wherein the distance its able to handle is
information. In optic fiber media though, the fiber acts as the between 1 to 100 meters as well as the signal is easily disrupted
signals’ channel of transmission, but Radio Frequency (RF) when there is an obstruction between the transmitter and the
signals travel through free space as it carries the information. receiver. Another disadvantage of VLC is its low data rate which
The study implement a wireless Visible Light commonly is between kilobits per second to 10 megabits per
Communication (VLC) system that can transmit and receive second [3].

978-1-5090-1178-0/16 /$31.00 ©2016 IEEE 468


2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

Tuo J. et al., were able to achieve a bandwidth of 85 MHz


and a data rate of more than 250 Mbps by using a passive RC
post-equalizer alongside an On-Off Keying (OOK) modulation
with blue filtering for their study that focused on the visible light
communication that particularly utilize Phosphor-Based White
LED using on-off keying[4]. Other studies have been conducted
that focuses on the visible light communication [7] and a
comparison of different modulation techniques in optical
communications [8-10].
Three different modulation techniques was implemented and
compared for the study, namely ASK, FSK and PSK. Amplitude
Shift Keying is a signal modulation process that imparts two (2)
or more discreet amplitude levels to a certain sinusoid. The
number of amplitude levels will depend on the digital message;
for example, a binary message sequence may have two levels
wherein one is typically zero [5]. On the other hand, Frequency
Shift Keying is a signal modulation technique wherein the
frequency of the carrier is changed depending on the state of the
modulating or message signal. The amplitude of the carrier
signal does not change but the frequency of the signal is different
at a logic state “1” and logic state “0” [6], while in Phase Shift
Figure 2: Transmitter Schematic Diagram
Keying, the phase of a constant amplitude carrier signal is varied
between zero and 180 degrees based on the modulating signal The transmitter module in figure 2 consists of an Arduino
[6]. Along with these three different modulation techniques, the Uno unit, connected to amplifier circuit which controls the
study only used two types of light source, namely the Light
intensity of the light source. The microcontroller is connected
Emitting Diode (LED) and Laser diode.
to a computer with the Arduino software serving as the user
II. MATERIALS AND METHODS interface wherein the information that will be sent is inputted.
The flowchart from Figure 1 shows the process of the
wireless visible light communication system. First, you must set
the desired modulation technique at the Arduino interface, and
then adjust the desired distance at the receiver side. The same
modulation technique must also be set at the receiver so as to
avoid errors. To test for transmission, the user must input test
string at the Arduino interface to generate a modulated digital
signal. The light signal will be received by the photodiode
which will then be demodulated by another Arduino. Finally,
the output string will be displayed at the LCD screen. By
converting the string to ASCII code format, the BER will be
computed.

Figure 3: Receiver Schematic Diagram

Figure 1: System Flowchart


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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

The receiver in figure 3 consists of a photodiode which sends


the received intelligence to the Arduino ATMEGA2560 who
then translates the data to the LCD screen. The same Arduino Table 2: Average BER of PSK, FSK and ASK at every Distance
unit is also in charge of controlling the distance of the light for LASER
transmitter and the photodiode receiver, and switching from
LASER
three different types of modulation techniques.
BER (in %)
DISTANCE (in cm)
III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS PSK FSK ASK
5.8 0 0 1.9167
In table 1 and 2, it can be observed that ASK generated the
6.2 0 0 1.9167
most number of errors among the three modulation techniques.
This is due to the fact ASK is very susceptible to noise. Even 6.6 0 0 0.7917
though a cylindrical metal enclosure was placed to centralize 7 0 0 0
the light coming from the transmitter side, it was not enough to 7.4 0 0 0
fully eliminate the noise. It can also be observed that at a close 7.8 0 0 0
distance, the BER for ASK is high, and it decreases as the 8.2 0 0 0
distance increases, this is because the light source is too close 8.6 0.1172 0 0
to the receiver, making it hard for the comparator at the receiver 9 – 14.6 0 0 0
side to distinguish whether the signal is high or low. The same 15 0 0.0833 0
concept applies when the receiver is too far from the light 15.4 – 19.4 0 0 0
source. 19.8 0 0 0.125
20.2 0 0 0.625
BER was computed through manually counting the error
20.6 0 0 1
bits on the receiver side divided by the total data bits sent by the
21 0 0 1.125
transmitter, which is 256 bits for PSK and 240 bits for FSK and
21.4 0 0 1.25
ASK. The formula to compute for BER is given as follows:
21.8 0 0.3333 1.5833
22.2 0 0.6667 1.7083
. 22.6 0.0391 0.875 1.9583
= 100% (1)
. 23 0.1563 2.125 2.2917

It was also observed that almost the same results for


Table 1: A Ber Of Psk, Fsk And Ask At Every Distance For Led
the two modulation techniques namely PSK and FSK (refer to
LED
Tables 1 and 2). This result is expected since the two
modulation techniques are almost similar since the frequency
BER (in %) domain of the signal is the one that is being altered in these two
DISTANCE (in cm) modulation techniques. They got better results using these
PSK FSK ASK
modulation techniques because these techniques are evidently
5.8 0 0 1.5417
less susceptible to noise because there are fewer factors outside
6.2 0.1667 0 1.4583
the system that can alter the property of frequency in the signal.
6.6 0 0 0.5833
Although there are some random errors that appeared in some
7 0 0.1667 0.625
of the distances, this is accounted due to the fact that there is no
7.4 0 0 0.7917 perfect transmission system which is invulnerable to noise or
7.8 0 0 0.8333 errors so a random error is entirely possible. It is also evident
8.2 0 0 1 that there is a trend in the data gathered. It is observed that the
8.6 0 0 1.125 Bit Error Rate is directly proportional to the transmission
9 0 0 1.25 distance.
9.4 0 0 1.4583
9.8 0 0.4583 1.5417
10.2 0.25 0.9583 1.625 IV. CONCLUSION
10.6 – 23 100 100 100 In this study the transmission and receiving of data inputs
with varying modulation techniques such as ASK, PSK, and
FSK has been presented. The data transmitted wirelessly is
received through another Arduino microprocessor which
converts back the pulses of light into digital data and then
displayed through the LCD screen. In conclusion, the study

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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

were able to measure and analyse the Bit Error Rate (BER) of
the wireless system. BER was obtained by converting the
transmitted and received strings into binary and then compared
to see which bit/bits were altered in the transmission process.
BER was computed counting the error bits on the receiver side
divided by the total data bits sent by the transmitter, which is
256 bits was sent for PSK and 240 bits sent for FSK and ASK.
The Bit Error Rate is different in each modulation technique
(PSK, FSK, and ASK). Error is mostly present in Amplitude
Shift Keying because of the different factors present in the
environment which affects the communication system. In all of
the said techniques, it is noticed that the presence of BER grows
as the distance between the transmitter and receiver becomes
greater. The farthest distance that PSK can achieve for LED is
9.8 cm and 22.2 cm for laser. In FSK the limit is up until 9.4 cm
for LED and 21.4 cm for laser. While in ASK, the BER is
unacceptable for all the distances in LED but in using the laser,
it can reach as long as 19.4 cm. In general, the researchers were
able to extend the transmission distance far greater than 3 cm.
minimum distance between the devices.
V. REFERENCES
[1] Yoneda, R., Okuda, K., and Uemura, W. (2013). A Tight Curve
Warning System Using FSK Visible Light and Road-to-Vehicle
Communication, 2013 IEEE 3rd ICCE-Berlin.

[2] Alam, M. R., and Faruque, S. (2015). Comparison of Different


Modulation Techniques for Free Space Laser Communication, 2015
IEEE EIT.

[3] Haruyama, S. (2012). Advances in Visible Light Communication


Technologies, ECOC Technical Digest

[4] Tuo J., Shams, H. and Corbett, B., (2012). Visible Light
Communication by Using Commercial Phosphor based White
LEDs, NUI Maynooth, Tyndall National Institute, UCC.

[5] “Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) and Frequency Shift Keying


(FSK) Modulations”. Kharagpur, ECE IIT Version 2. Web. May 1,
2016.

[6] “Digital Modulation in Communications Systems — An


Introduction”. Agilent Technologies Application Note 1298. Web.
April 28, 2016.

[7] Yoneda, R., Okuda, K., and Uemura, W. (2013). A Tight Curved
Warning System Using FSK Visible Light and Road-to-Vehicle
Communication, 2013 IEEE 3rd ICCE-Berlin.

[8] Alam, M. R., and Faruque, S. (2015). Comparison of Different


Modulation Techniques for Free Space Laser Communication, 2015
IEEE EIT.

[9] Joseph M. Kahn, “Modulation and Detection Techniques for


Optical Communication Systems”, 2006, Stanford University,
Department of Electrical Engineering, 372 Packard Building, 350
Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-9515 USA.

[10] Infineon Technologies, “Bandwidth Reduction for ASK


Modulation (Signal Shaping) According to ETSI EN 300 220”, 2012,
AG 81726 Munich, Germany.

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