Adaptive beamforming for optical wireless communication via fiber modal control
preprintposted on 2023-06-08, 13:04 authored by Chao Li, Yiwen Zhang, Xinda Yan, Yuzhe Wang, Xuebing Zhang, Jian Cui, Lei Zhu, Juhao Li, Zilun Li, Shaohua Yu, Zizheng Cao, A. M. J. Koonen, Chia Wei Hsu
High-speed optical wireless communication can address the exponential growth in data traffic. Adaptive beamforming customized for the target location is crucial, but existing solutions such as liquidcrystal spatial light modulators and microelectromechanical systems require costly micro/nano manufacturing, delicate alignment, and a high degree of mechanical stability. These challenges reflect the fragility of integrating a fiber network with micro/nano mechanical or photonic systems. Here, we realize low-cost, low-loss, and fiber-compatible beamforming and continuous beam steering through controlled bending of a multi-mode fiber that modifies its modal coupling, and use it to enable flexible optical wireless communication at 10 Gb/s. By using the fiber modal coupling as degrees of freedom rather than an impediment, this approach offers a promising solution for flexible and cost-effective optical wireless communication networks.