Abstract

In this Letter, we propose and demonstrate a practical optical-spatial-summing-based non-orthogonal multiple access (OSS-NOMA) technique for visible light communication (VLC) systems. This technique is innovative in adopting OSS in that the transmitter of OSS-NOMA VLC can be built upon commercial illuminating light emitting diodes (LEDs), free of LEDs’ harmful nonlinearity. Unlike conventional NOMA VLC using analog components such as digital-to-analog converters and bias-T in the transmitter side, OSS-NOMA exploits only digital control signals to drive a LED array in forming optical power superposition for NOMA signals. We demonstrate that by simply switching different amounts of LED chips on or off, the proposed OSS-NOMA transmitter can deliver a fine-grained power allocation ratio ranging from 0.01 to one for two users. The implemented OSS-NOMA VLC prototype leveraging commercial components can achieve low bit error rates of $\,{\le} 3.1 \times {10^{- 3}}$ for two users at a data rate of 800 kbps, confirming the promising potential of this novel OSS-NOMA VLC for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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