Infrared Transmission Media - Essay Assignment 2
Purpose of the Infrared Transmission Media
To start off, let us establish what infrared transmission is in the context of networking. Infrared transmission is merely an alternative means of wireless communication of electronic devices. The most common method of wireless transmission is radio waves, which is what your wireless router operates on. Infrared transmission is the same concept as your radio wave transmission but operates much differently. We use infrared transmission media every day of our lives without considering the fact that we are. This is because infrared technology is very commonly used in remote controls for garage doors and televisions due to its low cost and lack of licensing requirements. However, using infrared transmission is much less commonplace in the world of computer networking due to its unique disadvantages. The advantages and disadvantages of infrared technologies will be discussed later on and thus will enlighten us as to why it is so rare. Infrared transmission media can be used for great efficiency in specific situations where its weaknesses can be controlled as well as suppressed.
How Data Transmitted
Infrared transmission media and assorted infrared communication technologies work, as one may gather from the introduction, on the medium of non-visible light. Reasoning as to why infrared light is used as opposed to visible light is derived from the fact that visible light is much more susceptible to interference. Thus, we end up with the infrared light spectrum, which is the most reliable spectrum of light that can be used for unguided network communication. When multiple devices are setup to use a direct infrared connection, they communicate via their infrared devices emitting pulses of light towards each other. Most every day devices which rely on infrared transmission such as garage door openers and television remotes use these pulses or flashes in specific combinations to signify different commands. Computers, though, cannot use this method under normal circumstances due to the way binary code operates. This is due to the fact that if each pulse is a 1 then the absence of a pulse would be a 0, thus one can see where many problems can arise. To solve this, there is a protocol which infrared transmission operates known as IrDA (Infrared Data Association) which regulates how infrared devices communicate. The methods of connection which were just spoken of are referred to as direct connections, there is another way to connect infrared devices though. This alternative is known as diffuse technology where a special access point diffuses infrared light in such a way as to flood a room with it. “Diffused infrared can travel farther and is more difficult to block with a signal object. Diffused infrared wireless LAN systems do not require line of sight, but usable distance is limited to room distances. “ (Harwood, 2009) This is merely another method of connecting...