Acoustic and Optical Communication for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks [Report]

NESL Technical Report #: 2010-9-3


Abstract: Underwater Sensor Networks (USN) have been of growing interest in recent years. USN are envisioned to monitor pollution and harmful algal blooms, provide an early warning for natural disasters, aid in surveillance applications for defense purposes, and assist in finding and recovering wrecked ships and aircrafts. Most USN require wireless communication and currently acoustics is the primary modality of choice even though it presents a difficult channel. To try and cope with the challenges of the channel many MAC protocols and PHY layer techniques have been proposed. In this thesis the author presents a research platform that al- lows developers to easily implement and compare their protocols in an underwater network and configure them at runtime. The platform was created using widely supported software that has been successfully used in terrestrial radio and net- work development. The flexibility of development tools such as software defined radio have provided the ability for rapid growth in the community. This platform adapts some of these tools to work well with the underwater environment while maintaining flexibility, ultimately providing an end-to-end networking approach for underwater acoustic development. The author has demonstrated how this platform can be used by developing a protocol for underwater dynamic channel assignment in USNs. In addition to developing a highly configurable acoustic modem, this thesis also introduces a card based design for optical communication. Optics is used for a low power, short distance alternative to the high power acoustics. Both platforms have been demonstrated in real world scenarios and can be controlled from an embedded Linux platform allowing for a single application to have access to both modalities simultaneously.

Publication Forum: MS Thesis, UCLA Electrical Engineering Department

Page (Count): 65

Date: 2010-09-01

Place: Los Angeles

Public Document?: Yes

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Report