Wireless data transmission using visual codes

Thilo Fath, Falk Schubert, Harald Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, a new approach for wireless data transmission within an aircraft cabin is presented. The proposed application enables the transmission of data to a passenger’s user device. As wireless in-flight applications are subject to strict frequency and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulations, the data is transferred by optical wireless transmission, specifically by two-dimensional visual codes. To this end, black-and-white or colored visual code sequences are displayed on the in-flight entertainment screen. These visual codes are captured by the built-in camera of the passenger’s mobile device and are decoded to reconstruct the transmitted data. In order to compensate for frame losses caused by effects like occlusion and motion blur, a temporal forward error correction coding scheme is applied. Transmission experiments within an Airbus A330 cabin mock-up demonstrate the functionality of the implemented system under realistic conditions such as ambient illumination and geometric configuration. Representative user devices are used for evaluation; specifically, a low-cost and a high-end smartphone are employed as receivers. Performance evaluations show that the proposed transmission system achieves data rates of up to 120 kbit/s per individual passenger seat with these user devices. As the user device has no physical connection to the sensitive on-board system, the proposed transmission system provides an intrinsic safety feature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
JournalPhotonics Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2014


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