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Proceedings Paper

An underwater optical wireless communication network
Author(s): Shlomi Arnon
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Paper Abstract

The growing need for underwater observation and sub-sea monitoring systems has stimulated considerable interest in advancing the enabling technologies of underwater wireless communication and underwater sensor networks. This communication technology is expected to play an important role in investigating climate change, in monitoring biological, bio-geochemical, evolutionary and ecological changes in the sea, ocean and lake environments and in helping to control and maintain oil production facilities and harbors using unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), submarines, ships, buoys, and divers. However, the present technology of underwater acoustic communication cannot provide the high data rate required to investigate and monitor these environments and facilities. Optical wireless communication has been proposed as the best alternative to meet this challenge. We present models of three kinds of optical wireless communication links a) a line-of-sight link, b) a modulating retro-reflector link and c) a reflective link, all of which can provide the required data rate. We analyze the link performance based on these models. From the analysis, it is clear that as the water absorption increases, the communication performance decreases dramatically for the three link types. However, by using the scattered lighted it was possible to mitigate this decrease in some cases. We conclude from the analysis that a high data rate underwater optical wireless network is a feasible solution for emerging applications such as UUV to UUV links and networks of sensors, and extended ranges in these applications could be achieved by applying a multi-hop concept.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7464, Free-Space Laser Communications IX, 746402 (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.831269
Show Author Affiliations
Shlomi Arnon, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev (Israel)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7464:
Free-Space Laser Communications IX
Arun K. Majumdar; Christopher C. Davis, Editor(s)

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