Abstract

Communications inside an aircraft cockpit are currently based on wired connections especially for the audio headsets used by the pilots. A wireless headset would be an advantage in terms of comfort and flexibility but the use of classical radio frequencies is limited by interference and security issues. Optical wireless communication technology is an option for headset connectivity. Indeed, as optical beams are confined, this technology provides robustness against the risk of hacking, thus increasing security. In addition, the use of optical waves ensures the absence of radio-frequency disturbances. Using simulation, this article presents a thorough study of the optical wireless channel behavior inside the cockpit of an aircraft by considering a headset worn by a pilot possibly in motion and an access point at the ceiling. The impact of the characteristics of the environment model, such as the level of geometric description, the reflectivity of materials and for the first time, the ambient noise induced by the sun, is highlighted. System performance is evaluated in terms of optimal half-power angles and the necessary optical power of the light sources.

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