Can light illuminate the Internet of Things?

(05-07-2022) In his PhD, Sander Bastiaens investigates the application potential of location determination based on visible light.

'Location, Location, Location' is a slogan that increasingly applies to today's high-tech society. Countless software services all have either implicit or explicit need a location estimate. These location-based services (LBS) are often needed for applications in the context of the 'Internet of Things' and robotics.

Moreover, they are important building blocks for current trends, such as 'Smart Industry', 'Smart Architectures' and the like. The surging growth of location-based services, in turn, is recounted in a continued development of indoor positioning systems (IPS), which must meet increasingly stringent quality requirements. Unfortunately, with current IPS, several LBS are currently not (economically) viable.

"In my PhD, I am investigating whether Visible Light Positioning (VLP), positioning based on visible light, offers a solution," says Sander.

"This involves reusing existing LED lighting equipment. As a result, VLP should be able to provide centimeter-accurate positioning at a small cost," Sander continues.

"Specifically, my research reveals key challenges of VLP: the required calibration fit, non-Lambertian radiation patterns, obstacle reflections, compliance with illuminance requirements, and imperfect transmitter placement," Sander explains. 

"Among the solutions I propose, are a new positioning method, the concept of unmodulated VLP and a network planning tool. Through extensive measurements and demonstrators, I evaluate VLP’s potential, e.g. for tracing or navigating autonomous vehicles and for drone landing," Sander continued.

"With my research, several steps have been taken towards centimeter-accurate indoor localisation using RSS-based positioning with visible light," concludes Sander.

Read a more detailed summary or the entire PhD


PhD Title: Towards Centimetre-Order Indoor Localisation with RSS-Based Visible Light Positioning


ContactSander Bastiaens, Wout Joseph, David Plets

Sander Bastiaens

Sander Bastiaens (Ghent, 1994) received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ghent University, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Between 2017 and 2022, he has pursued the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering with the imec-WAVES research group, part of the Department of Information Technology (INTEC) of Ghent University, on the topic of indoor location tracking with visible light. This research culminated in the doctoral thesis, titled: Towards Centimetre-Order Indoor Localisation with RSS-Based Visible Light Positioning.

Sander Bastiaens's research work featured 11 times (and counting) in international scientific journals, 4 of which have him as the principle author, and was 11 times presented at relevant international conferences. His work has been showcased in various industry-oriented demonstrators.

Sander also reviewed for international journals, contributed as a technical program committee member and supervised student projects.


Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke