DenseVLC: A Cell-Free Massive MIMO System with Distributed LEDs
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LED luminaries are now deployed densely in indoor areas to provide uniform illumination. Visible Light Communication (VLC) can also benefit from this dense LED infrastructure. In this paper, we propose DenseVLC, a cell-free massive MIMO system enabled by densely distributed LEDs, that forms different beamspots to serve multiple receivers simultaneously. Given a power budget for communication, DenseVLC can optimize the system throughput by properly assigning the power budget among the distributed LEDs. We formulate an optimization problem to derive the optimal policy for the power allocation. Our insights from the optimal policies allow us to simplify DenseVLC’s system design and propose a heuristic algorithm that can reduce the complexity by 99.96%. Besides, we propose a novel synchronization method using nonline-of-sight VLC to synchronize all the transmitters that will form a beamspot to serve the same receiver. We implement DenseVLC with off-the-shelf devices, solve practical challenges in the system design, and evaluate it with extensive and realistic experiments in a system of 36 transmitters and 4 receivers in an area of 3 m × 3 m. Our results show that DenseVLC can improve the average system throughput by 45%, or improve the average power efficiency by 2.3 times, while maintaining the requirement for uniform illumination.