A research article published by researchers at The University of Aizu won the Best Paper Award at the 2022 IEEE 9th International Conference on Communications and Electronics (IEEE ICCE) (※)

The 9th IEEE ICCE 2022 is a prestigious event organized by three leading engineering institutions in Vietnam: Hanoi University of Science & Technology, HCMC University of Science & Technology, and Da Nang University of Science and Technology, for researchers, experts, and companies to exchange and share their state-of-the-art research results in the field of Communication and Electronic Engineering. The three-day conference in Nha Trang City on July 27-29, 2022, will feature inspiring keynote talks delivered by world-class researchers, technical sessions, tutorials, and workshops.

The award-winning paper, entitled "Aerial IRS-Aided Vertical Backhaul FSO Networks over Fisher-Snedecor F Turbulence Channels", addresses a critical concern in the Free-space optics (FSO)-based high-altitude platform (HAP)-assisted backhaul network, in which cloud coverage may block the FSO connections. The study explores a novel solution that uses multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with an intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) array. These UAVs are deployed to diverse the FSO link from HAP-to-ground base station (BS) to avoid cloud coverage. The solution could empower the application FSO in the 5G and future 6G mobile networks. The study is a part of the project funded by JSPS Kakenhi Grant number 21K11870 led by Prof. Anh T. Pham.

The first author, Dr. Hoang Le, received a B.E. degree in Electronics and Communications from Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST), Vietnam, in 2016, and the M.E and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Aizu (UoA), Japan, in 2018 and 2021, respectively. His current research interests include the cross-layer design for optical wireless networks, hybrid optics/radio frequency (RF) for satellite/vehicular networks, quantum cryptography, error-control protocol design, emerging intelligent reflecting surface (IRS), and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AIML). Besides this award, Dr. Hoang Le is a recipient of several awards, including the 2018 KICS/IEEE ICTC Best Paper Award, 2019 IEEE VTS Tokyo Chapter Young Researcher Encouragement Award, 2019 IEEE ComSoc Sendai Chapter Student Excellent Research Award, and Young Researcher to participate in the 9th Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2022. In addition, he received several research supports/travel grants from Japan Datacom Foundation, Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd., and Japan Telecommunication Advancement Foundation.

Comment from Hoang Le: "It is my great honor to receive the best paper award after one year of working hard as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Aizu. This is the second best paper award I received during my five years of studying and working at the University of Aizu. First, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Anh T. Pham, for his support and constant encouragement; without that, I could not have this achievement. Besides, I am grateful to co-author Dr. Thang V. Nguyen for his great contributions to the paper. Finally, my sincere thanks also go to the University of Aizu for providing me with research funds and a good environment so that I could focus on my research and have the opportunity to obtain this great accomplishment. I believe that the award will encourage and motivate me for my future career."

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(※) 2022 IEEE 9th International Conference on Communications and Electronics: https://ieee-icce.org