International Collaborations

Professor Mauro Biagi, University of Roma Sapienza
We have been in collaboration with Prof. Biagi since March 2010 on topics in optical communications (Borogovac, Little). A major barrier to VLC through lighting is the low bandwidth and frequency distorting of LEDs. Recent literature has shown how the bandwidth can be extended by use of equalization at the receiver, but in a manner that incurs a significant signal strength penalty. We are exploring the use of advanced rake receiver processing to combat the frequency distortion without losing signal strength.

Professor Jean-Louis Meyzonnette, Ecole Suerieure dOptique – Institute d’Optique
Jordan Moser, Eric Belarbre –  MS students
Since the Fall 2010 we are collaborating with two MS students with expertise in optical and optoelectronic on the design of a VLC receiver that features diversity combining, large area, large FOV, high gain and high bandwidth, and integrates advanced non-imaging optics. In parallel, they are working on a matching VLC transmitter. The project is required by their institution to have a dual mission of engineering and entrepreneurship. They are studying the SL1 design.

Dr. Anna Maria Vegni, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
Optical communications, mobility, handover in VLC and in vehicular communications
Dr. Anna Maria Vegni was a visiting research student at Boston University during the summer and fall of 2009. During this period she addressed an associate project involving handover for mobile communications occurring in the context of V2X networking. Since 2009 she has actively collaborated with Prof. Little of BU and the ERC in handover problems in mobile computing under the VLC paradigm. She is actively expanding her research activity in this area as a postdoctoral associate in the Digital Signal Processing, Multimedia, and Optical Communications Laboratory at the University of Roma Tre and is now engaged in collaborations with her own students, and ERC students Rahaim and Prince of Boston University. Prof. Little visited the University of Roma Tre in March 2010.

Dr. Marcella Chiari and Dr. Marina Cretich, University of Milano
We have a strong collaboration with Dr. Marcella Chiari and Dr. Marina Cretich (CNR, Milan) on surface chemistry assay development. The performance of sensor platforms critically depends on the quality of the surface chemistry. Dr. Chiari provides expertise in polymeric surface coatings and assay development. Students and postdocs from BU group have worked in her laboratory under an NSF-funded International Research Experience for Students program. In 2010-2011, Alex Reddington, Margo Monroe, George Daaboul, and Carlos Lopez have visited CNR, Milan for research directly or closely related to the biosensor development under Smart Lighting ERC. Both Dr. Chiari and Dr. Cretich have visited our laboratory at BU. Our collaboration with CNR has resulted in several journal articles as well as conference papers.

We  are developing applications for the IRIS platfrom on quantified allergen-specific IgE detection and portable diagnostic tool development for resource-limited settings.  Global health related development is supported under an Ignition Award from BU Office of Technology Development on “Low Cost Cell Phone Camera & LED-Based Multi-Pathogen Immunoassay Diagnostic Platform.” Under this program, 3 students (Reddington, Vedula, and Daaboul) built a prototype system and traveled to India  (December 2010) to visit clinics to learn about the requirements of resource-limited settings. In a closely related project, we have an interdisciplinary senior design team with undergrads from ECE and BME and over the Spring Break (March 2011) together with Unlu they traveled to Nicaragua to visit clinics, hospitals and diagnostic laboratories. We expect to develop close working relations with both India and Nicaragua over the next year.

Professor Sam Keene, The Cooper Union, NYC, United States
Calvin Ball, Kevin Tien – students
We have been in collaboration with The Cooper Union since Fall of 2011 as part of the Software Defined Visible Light Communications (SDVLC) project. As part of their senior project, Calvin and Kevin are working on an implementation of the SDVLC system which will encompass baseband frequencies in order to implement baseband modulation schemes within gnuradio. With this addition to the SDVLC system, they plan to implement dimming control as defined by the IEEE 802.15.7 Visible Light Communication standards for variable pulse position modulation. Lastly, they are looking into implementation of a diversity receiver comprised of multiple photo-detectors and a best-selection circuit which could be added to the SDVLC system in order to improve the robustness and throughput of non-Line of Sight VLC links.