FLight: Toward Programmable Visible-Light-Band Wireless UAV Networking


Wireless unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networking has been unleashed to be a key technology to enable massive numbers of novel applications in future Internet of Things (IoTs) and 5G networks. However, scaling out of zillions of mobile devices, drones and objects in IoT will inevitably lead to the dreaded spectrum crunch problem. To alleviate the scarce radio spectrum problem, in this paper, we envision using visible light communication (VLC) for wireless UAV networks to unlock the capacity and propose FLight, a programmable visible-light-band wireless UAV networking system. Unlike RF communications, two main challenges in FLight are (i) limited network coverage because of significant pass loss, and (ii) intermittent visible light connections due to blockage-rich environments. In this paper, we discuss the key research components and open challenges in implementing FLight. By combining VLC and drone networking, FLight opens the way for a new class of applications that will benefit from ground-air and air-air communication.

Meeting Name

2020 Light Up the IoT, LIOT 2020, Part of MobiCom 2020


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

internet of things; unmanned aerial vehicles; visible light communication; wireless networking

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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Publication Date

21 Sep 2020