Iotof: A long-reach fully passive low-rate upstream phy for iot over fiber

Camilo A.R. Díaz, Cátia Leitão, Carlos A. Marques, Nélia Alberto, M. Fátima Domingues, Tiago Ribeiro, Maria J. Pontes, Anselmo Frizera, Paulo F.C. Antunes, Paulo S. André, Moisés R.N. Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Internet of things (IoT) devices heavily rely on wireless connectivity. There are intrinsic overlooked limitations such as reach, availability, security and safety vulnerabilities closely associated with wireless solutions. Wired connectivity is the alternative to tackle those issues, and optical fibers directly connecting IoT devices could provide them unique features such as huge bandwidth, long reach, signal integrity and high security grade for the transmitted information. Nevertheless, it can be prohibitive for IoT devices which are power hungry and have costly electrical-to-optical conversions. In this paper, first, a niche is identified for IoT over fiber (IoToF) based on fully passive optical solutions for long reach upstream of low data rate optical connectivity over dark fibers. Then, we proposed, implemented and characterized a prototype physical connectivity (PHY) based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) low-cost acousto-optic modulation at IoT devices and respective optical edge-filtering as wavelength discriminator at the receiver. Finally, we performed an experimental demonstration of upstream data communication based on simple M-ary frequency-shift keying (FSK), with baud rate of 300 bps transmitted over 30 km range. In terms of data rate and reach for niche applications, IoToF can outperform traditional wireless technologies, such as Sigfox or LoRa. IoToF will enable monitoring urban areas with scarce and polluted spectrum, industrial areas requiring intrinsic safety, and upstreaming data from IoT devices in remote locations with unfavorable wireless propagation but with dark fibers available.

Original languageBritish English
Article number359
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Acousto-optic modulator
  • Fiber Bragg gratings
  • Frequency-shift keying
  • Internet of things


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