Hybrid VLC/IR-RF

Hybrid VLC/IR-RF Communication for Smart Space Based on Multi-Functional Thermal Image Sensor Module

The project will target the building block actors by developing a hybrid VLC/IR-RF (Visual Light Communication/InfraRed-RadioFrequency) system based on an innovative integrated multi-functional thermal image sensor module with highly sensitive, low cost, and low power consumption.

This module will be capable of multi-purpose sensing for the monitoring of the energy consumption and control the environment in houses, buildings, and offices, which could avoid the privacy issues with ultra-low resolution (80×80) micro-bolometer, including presence detection, motion detection, and non-contact temperature detection. Also, the module will be able to run an image processing algorithm based on artificial intelligence with low computation and energy requirements, enabling counting of persons or objects, tracking, and distinction of objects such animals. The goal is to develop an integrated multi-functional module with the smallest and smartest infrared design from a single compact sensor.

Furthermore, the proposed VLC/IR-RF system will be able to integrate existing sensors to detect the physical and chemical information at home, building, and office.

Financial contract Nr. 97 from 03/11/2017

Deposit code: PN-III-P3-3.5-EUK-2017-02-0020

The total value of the budget: 1.490.400 Lei

The total value of the contract: 2.186.000 Lei

The start date of the contract: 03/11/2017

The end date of the contract:  31/10/2020

Coordinator: BEIA Consult (Romania)


  • National Nanofab Center (Korea)
  • CREPAS Technologies (Korea)
  • GeneTel Systems, Inc. (Korea)

Project Director: Victor Suciu (victor.suciu [at] beia [dot] ro, Peroni 16, Bucharest, Romania, Tel: +40374103902, Fax: +40213323006)

Project financed by UEFISCDI through the European and International Cooperation Program

International project web site

Eureka project site

Project’s Phases and Activities

Phase  I – Current state of the knowledge analysis – finalized December 31st, 2017
Activity I.1 – Current state of knowledge regarding technical and scientific efforts

The purpose of this activity was to present in detail the efforts made over time, regarding the standardization and improvement of VLC technology. Also, for a better understanding of the operating principle specific to VLC systems, a general description of the main components that make it possible to establish communications through light from the visible spectrum has been made.

Activity I.2 – Market and user requirements analysis regarding the implementation of VLC/IR-RF technology

Within this activity, a list of user requirements regarding the capabilities that should be provided by most VLC systems was made, taking into account the challenges that may be encountered during the development and implementation of the new communication technology, with increased attention being paid and regulations specific to its use.


– State of the art
– Market research

Phase II – The VLC/IR-RF system definition – finalized June 30rd, 2018.
Activity II.1 – Use cases

The purpose of this activity was the in-depth study of the VLC optical communications systems developed over time, which resulted in the final selection and presentation of the most notable systems in terms of the degree of innovation and the offered performances. Also, within this activity was described the use case proposed by the company Beia Consult International, Romania, which aims to introduce a new type of hybrid communications system on the market.

Activity II.2 – The hybrid communication system design for small and medium enterprises

Within this activity, the functional VLC architecture of the hybrid system has been described, which is intended to be developed in order to provide a new communication solution capable of meeting the demands of a high degree of complexity, specific to the business environment. In order to achieve this objective, the first step was to develop a laboratory test bench to deepen the knowledge regarding the proper use of communications established through optical channels, also taking into account some of the disruptive effects that may occur in such situations. In this case, the attention was focused on the number of data packets lost during the optical transmission, in the case of using the error-free encoding.


– Scientific and technical report
– Functional architecture achievement:
a) Functional architecture of the optical communications system

Phase III – Development of the methods and techniques of the hybrid VLC/IR-RF system – finalized December 31st, 2018.
Activity III.1 – Context analysis for sensors involved in the architecture of the communication system

Within this activity, all the components used for the development of the laboratory VLC test bench (development plates, sensors, LED sources, photodiodes) were described in detail, following the actual technical description of the final test bench, as well as the presentation of the results. experimental, to be made available in Activity III.2. Also, in this chapter will also be presented the protocols that have been chosen for the establishment of optical communication channels.

Activity III.2 – Development of the communication solution for low power devices

As part of this activity, a detailed presentation of the functioning of the laboratory test bench was made, and the experimental results obtained from several configurations were also made available. Also, the performance of the entire hybrid communications system was monitored through the use of professional measuring instruments. From the point of view of the communication protocols used to establish the information flow, in this case, as previously mentioned, the VLC protocols were chosen.

Activity III.3 – Methods for data processing

Within this activity were described the modalities of exporting the data packages that may come from the VLC components of the laboratory test bench that was developed at the headquarters of Beia Consult International – Bucharest. Attention was drawn to the presentation of three scenarios that have a high degree of popularity, namely:
– MQTT Client – Grafana – Arduino;
– LabVIEW Client – Arduino;
– Arduino Client – Firebase – Android.


– Scientific and technical report
– Laboratory testbed specific components:
a) The VLC transmitter based on the Arduino UNO development board:

b) The VLC receiver based on the Arduino UNO development board

c) Laboratory test bench for the hybrid VLC communications system based on Arduino UNO development boards

Phase IV – Designing and testing the VLC / IR-RF communications solution (01/01/2019-30/06/2019)

Activity IV.1 Design of the hybrid VLC / IR-RF communications system 

Within this activity were presented the new components that will be integrated into the architecture of the hybrid VLC / IR-RF communications system, such as: Raspberry Pi 3B + development board, MCP 3208/3008 analog-digital converter, ADS 1115 converter, as well as PCF 8591. A set of general information on Raspberry communication interfaces and protocols – analog-to-digital converter and Raspbian operating system was also provided. the technical difficulties that were encountered and the means of remedying them were specified.

Activity IV.2 Realization and integration of hardware and software components specific to the communications system

Within this activity were presented the technical specifications characteristic of the new hybrid VLC / IR-RF communications system based on the ARM Cortex-A53 processor, the technical schemes for connecting the hardware devices, as well as the software component (source code) developed for each VLC component.  Also, the test of the functioning of the optical laboratory communications bank was necessary, for the subsequent evaluation of the system’s performances.

Activity IV.3 Testing the performance of the hybrid communications system under conditions of intense use

In this activity, the focus was on testing the performance of the entire VLC / IR-RF optical communications system developed. In order to obtain conclusive results, the performance of each photodevice within the system was performed. Also in this section was presented the testing of the MQTT communication, which made it possible to monitor the real-time data packets and their graphical interpretation. Considering the numerous tests carried out, it has been found that using conventional electronic devices can not simultaneously achieve a high performance in terms of transmission rate and distance. As mentioned in the activity, the transfer rate obtained from the implementation and configuration of the new test bench was significantly higher compared to the transfer rate obtained in STEP III – Elaboration of the techniques and methods for the VLC / IR-RF system. In addition, the high utility and adaptability of Python programming language was highlighted, through which the system interconnection with other communication protocols was successfully achieved.


– Technical specification
– Testing report
– Laboratory testbed specific components:
a) The VLC transmitter based on the Raspberry Pi Model 3B + development board

b) The VLC receiver based on the Raspberry Pi Model 3B + development board

c) Laboratory test bench for the hybrid VLC communications system based on Raspberry Pi Model 3B + development boards

Phase V – Designing and testing the VLC / IR-RF sensor solution (01/07/2019-31/12/2019)

Activity V.1 Implementation of VLC / IR-RF communication interfaces

In this activity, the focus was on improving the performance of the optical communications system, considering the replacement of the optical emission source with a source consisting of a cluster of LEDs, along with all the hardware changes and the use of a high sensitivity optical receiver.

Activity V.2 Development of the module for monitoring and analyzing data from sensors

In this activity, brief descriptions were included for the newly introduced or used components, both in terms of hardware and software. Also, the description of the most significant source code blocks specific to each module was presented. Data monitoring was performed through the transmission module, while their processing took place on both modules specific to the optical communication system.

Activity V.3 Development the notification module in case of alarm

Within this activity was described the operation of the notification module in case of alarm, which was developed through the usage of Android Studio, software tool specially designed for the development of Android applications. Also, the interface of the developed application, as well as the facilities provided by it, was presented in detail.

Activity V.4 Testing and evaluation of the integrated system in a small or medium-sized enterprise

Within this activity the system was used inside a small / medium sized company. The correct data transmission was validated using advanced methods that involve interconnecting the VLC system with existing M2M protocols (specifically MQTT and Grafana).


– Technical specification
– Testing report
– Android Monitoring and Control Application
– Laboratory testbed specific components:

  • The VLC transmitter based on the Raspberry Pi Model 3B + development board + LED Matrix

  • Laboratory test bench for the hybrid VLC communications system based on Raspberry Pi Model 3B + development boards

Phase VI – Hardware and software integration for the VLC / IR-RF system (01/01/2020-31/05/2020)

Activity VI.1 Realization and integration of the hardware components of the communication system

In this activity, the emphasis will be on describing how to make and integrate new hardware components specific to the VLC / IR-RF hybrid communications system. For a proper understanding of the changes that will be presented, there will be a brief description of the architecture of the communications system that was made in “STAGE V – Design and testing of the VLC / IR-RF communications solution”, which was submitted at the end last year.

Activity VI.2 Integration of interfaces for VLC / IR-RF sensors

During this stage, the new ways of implementing the communication interfaces will be described following the improvements that have been made to the VLC / IR-RF laboratory test bench from the hardware and software point of view, respectively.


  • SSR integration at prototype level

  • Test bench for the hybrid VLC communications system

  • Sensors configuration

  • Answer returned in VLC application

Phase VII – Testing and evaluating the integrated system (01/06/2020-31/10/2020)

Phase VIII –  Reporting of economic effects (01/11/2020-31/10/2021)

Phase IX –  Reporting of economic effects (31/10/2021-31/10/2022)

Phase X –  Reporting of economic effects (01/11/2022-31/10/2023)

  • 1st Workshop of EUREKA Project in Korea
    Romanian partners met the Korean partners 05-07 April 2018 for the first workshop in Daejon, NNFC offices, and then visited partners Crepas and GeneTel
  • Korean consortium meeting
    The Korean consortium meeting-25th of July
  • 2nd Workshop of EUREKA Project in Romania
    Korean partners NNFC, Crepas and GeneTel attended the 2nd Workshop of EUREKA Project in Romania at BEIA in Bucharest 11-15 September 2018 and visited ICPE-CA.
  • 3rd Workshop of EUREKA Project between Korea and Romania
    BEIA Consult hosted the 3rd Workshop of EUREKA Project (VLC/IR-RF ) between Korea and Romania on 8-10 May 2019 in Bucharest, Romania.

More details here.