ESR 10

Dayrene Frómeta

Project: Integration of VLC and mm-wave technologies

Host: IMDEA Networks (Spain)

PhD: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain)

Supervisor: Dr. D. Giustiniano

I was born in Havana, Cuba, where I had a very happy and calm childhood. As a child, I was always interested in creating things with my own hands, thus I learned to sew, crochet, origami, etc., which are my hobbies today. I also enjoy cooking, dancing, knowing new countries and cultures, making new friends, and spending time with my friends and family.

I decided to study telecommunications engineering motivated by its impact on all spheres of society, and I received my Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering degree from the Technological University of Havana José Antonio Echeverría in 2015. Once graduated, I stayed as a lecturer in the Department of Telematics at the same university, teaching Computer Networks and researching on Software Defined Networks (SDN). After two years as a lecturer, I went to the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) to pursue a Master’s Degree in Communication Systems, which I obtained in March of this year (2020). My master’s thesis was focused on improving the performance of the recently emerged Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) by applying Reinforcement Learning (RL) techniques. By doing this interesting and challenging research, I realize my passion for researching on state-of-the-art technologies in the field of wireless communications systems. Thus, by the end of my master’s program, I decided to continue my studies, and I started looking for open PhD positions in accordance with my profile and interests. That is how I found the IMDEA Networks Institute and the ENLIGHT’EM project.

I think the ENLIGHT’EM project will be a unique opportunity not only to improve my abilities as a researcher but also to acquire cutting-edge skills and the know-how to contribute to the development of VLC systems for the Internet of Things (IoT), preparing me for both research and industrial positions in that field.  My short-term goals are to obtain high-quality results from my research on the integration of the VLC and mm-wave technologies, and also to disseminate these results in international well-known conferences and journals. Also, I hope to be able to do cooperative research so that my results can complement the research work of other ESRs and vice-versa.

My project in ENLIGHT’EM will be focused on the integration of VLC access and mm-wave backhauling. It proposes the use of mm-wave radios as a backhaul solution for VLC, trying to solve the limitations of the wired technologies currently used to this end. In that regard, mm-wave will not only guarantee the network re-configurability and the high data rates required by backhaul links but also will allow very small antenna sizes, enabling the integration of both VLC and mm-wave technologies in a single light bulb.

The main objective of this project is to design and implement a customized prototype board that integrates VLC for the access network and mm-wave for backhauling. The designed board will be based on the OpenVLC platform, extending it with an mm-wave radio chipset for backhauling. Then, low-complexity algorithmic solutions to provide low end-to-end latency and high throughput communications will be designed, considering different scenarios where vertical and horizontal handovers could be required. Finally, the implemented prototype board, as well as the proposed low-complexity algorithms, will be experimentally validated under representative test scenarios.

Since limited research has been carried out in this area, it is envisioned that the implemented board will provide the research community with one of the first platforms for quick and flexible testing of new protocols and applications for networks that integrate VLC for access and mm-wave for backhauling.