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Data Muling for Broadband and Long Range Wireless Underwater Communications

By Nuno Francisco Monteiro de Barros Moreira


During the past years, there has been an increasing interest in the exploration of underwater wireless communications. This interest has been related mainly to the need for establishing a reliable way of transferring large amounts of data gathered on remote locations in the ocean. This data comes from environmental exploration, oil and gas industries, or marine data from Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). These activities require innovative solutions that can provide high bitrates at low costs. With this in mind, and given the current solutions - Optical, Acoustic, and Radio Frequency -, there is the need to create a solution that takes advantage of each technology and overcomes their limitations. In the case of optical communications, they can provide high bitrates, but requires line of sight, and depend significantly on water turbidity. Although acoustic solutions can provide a large range of operation, they have a low bandwidth due to the frequency of operation, and so they are not suitable for transferring high amounts of data. Finally, current radio frequency (RF) solutions allow high bit rates but are limited by the operation range due to the substantial attenuation of electromagnetic waves underwater. With this in mind, it is possible to say that currently, there is no solution for broadband long-range underwater communications. This dissertation aims to develop a solution that allows the increase of throughput and range of underwater wireless communications. To achieve this, a set of underwater data mules will be used. They will take advantage of the high bitrates of RF wireless communications and the long-range associated with acoustic solutions. With this dissertation, communication protocols designed for delay and disruption tolerant networks (DTNs) will be explored, and a protocol that will enable the scheduling of mules will be proposed and implemented, taking advantage of an out-of-band acoustic channel for controlling the mules, and the DTN for data transfer. The solution will be evaluated in a freshwater testbed

Topics: Engenharia electrotécnica, electrónica e informática, Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering, Ciências da engenharia e tecnologias::Engenharia electrotécnica, electrónica e informática, Engineering and technology::Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering
Year: 2019
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