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TITLE: Free-space optical communication (FSO): past, now, future
SPEAKER: Julian Cheng
TIME:  10:00, 6/7/2015
LOCATION: Center meeting room of library

    Free-space optical communication (FSO) is an optical wireless system where optical and wireless technologies converge. FSO uses light propagating in free space to transmit high-speed data from one end to another. The birth of FSO technology was due to the invention of the laser in 1960s. From that time on, FSO communication systems have been continuously studied and deployed in both military and civilian applications. Lower costs, larger available bandwidths, better security, greater deployment flexibility, and a reduced time-to-market are all significant benefits of FSO systems. This technology has found numerous applications such as covet military communication, wireless backhaul, LAN-to-LAN connections on campuses, and ultra-fast high-frequency trading. The Connectivity Lab at Facebook is currently exploring the FSO technology to bring Internet to the third-world using drones. FSO technology, which was originally developed for NASA for inter-satellite application, continues to make new record in outer space communication when NASA recently reported to beam an image of Mona Lisa to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter roughly 240,000 miles away. We are living in an interesting time to witness the rebirth of FSO technology with many newly introduced applications. In this talk, we will provide an overview of the FSO communication technology with its past, present, and future.

    Julian Cheng received his PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. He is currently an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the School of Engineering at The University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC, Canada. His current research interests include digital communications over wireless channels, orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, statistical signal processing for wireless applications, optical wireless communications, and 5G wireless networks. Dr. Cheng co-chaired the 12th Canadian Workshop on Information Theory (CWIT 2011), which was held May 18-22, 2011 on UBC Okanagan campus. In 2012, he chaired the 2012 Wireless Communications, which was held July 3-5, 2012 in Banff, Canada. Currently, he serves as an Editor for IEEE Communications Letters, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Access, as well as a Guest Editor for a special issue of IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications on optical wireless communications. Dr. Cheng has served as a member of technical program committee for many IEEE conferences and workshops, and he is currently chairing the sixth IEEE Optical Wireless Communications Symposium at the 2015 IEEE Global Communications Conference.
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