Steve Hranilovic: Optical Wireless Communications – wireless without radios


Due to the increasing scarcity of RF spectrum and growing interference due to multiple users, deploying next generation high-speed wireless networks is becoming increasingly difficult.  The use of unlicensed optical bands for wireless communications has been heralded as an exciting development for future broadband access for indoor, underwater and space communication links.

This talk presents a broad overview of the work of the Free-space Optical Communication Algorithms Laboratory (FOCAL) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada in developing novel optical wireless systems.  The main thrusts of the group will be highlighted by emphasizing several recent contributions.  Developments in the signalling design for visible light communication (VLC) systems will be presented along with several prototype VLC communication systems.    Several approaches to indoor positioning using illumination devices and simple smartphone-based receivers will be presented.  Some perspectives on our work in algorithms and experiments in long range free-space optical and space-based laser communications will also be highlighted.  Finally, a vision for optical wireless technologies will be presented along with our ongoing research directions.

Steve Hranilovic – Curriculum Vitae

Steve Hranilovic received the B.A.Sc. degree with honours in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1997 and M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) and currently serves as the Associate Dean (Academic) for the Faculty of Engineering.  During 2010-2011 he spent his research leave as Senior Member, Technical Staff in Advanced Technology for Research in Motion, Waterloo, Canada.   His research group at McMaster University develops information theory, signalling design and experimental prototypes for optical wireless systems operating in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet bands.

In 2016 the title of University Scholar was conferred upon him by McMaster University.  He currently serves as Chair of the Transmission, Access and Optical Systems technical committee of the IEEE Communications Society and has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Optical Communications and Networking and as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications in the area of Optical Wireless Communications.