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DISA Studies Light-Based Wireless Communication Tech

The Defense Information Systems Agency has begun to study a light-based wireless communication technology that uses light instead of radio waves to facilitate data transmissions.

A demonstration of the Li-Fi technology in a classified work environment showed that the platform can deliver secure networked communication in an enclosed space, DISA said.

The agency expects Li-Fi to provide 10 times faster point-to-point transmission rates than Wi-Fi technology.

“With Li-Fi, the entire visible and non-visible light spectrum is available for use — laying the groundwork for 10 gigabits per second transmission rates within the next calendar year,” said Bill Butler, head of DISA’s Li-Fi University Affiliated Research Center Project.

The military could potentially use Li-Fi to conduct battlefield communications that cannot be detected through existing direction-finding technology, DISA noted.

In the commercial sector, Li-Fi could support communication between vehicles that require integrated high-speed motion detection as well as address technology issues associated with the use of radio platforms in hospitals, airplanes and in construction sites.

Butler said DISA is currently working to acquire equipment and plan a demonstration of Li-Fi in a secure, networked environment.

He added that the agency will continue to partner with the academia on efforts to develop next-generation, non-radio frequency wireless communication technologies for the Defense Department.

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