High-speed Under-Water Optical Communication with Advanced Modulation and Signal Processing Technology (UWOC)

Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks (UWSN) that consists of many distributed nodes (such as seabed sensors, relay buoys, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), and etc.) are becoming increasingly important and widely used for offshore ocean exploration. Underwater wireless communication (UWC) technology is one of the key technologies enabling the realization of UWSN.

Traditionally, acoustics communication is the most dominant technique for underwater wireless links achieving a link distance up to tens of kilometres long. However, underwater acoustics is limited by low transmission data rate in the order of Kbps. Underwater optical communication (UWOC) provides an unprecedentedly high transmission data rate thanks to the large available bandwidth (THz). It also has advantages of high security, low power requirements, and low latency when compared to acoustic communication systems.

This project will develop high performance capability for an optical communication link that can transmit high bandwidth data, such as video recording, in real-time and with low latency over mid-range (tens to hundreds of meters). The link can then be used to support harvesting data from underwater sensor nodes from roaming AUVs, and/or to serve as a high bandwidth link between sections of Underwater Acoustic Sensor Network (UASN).

The project will further integrate the high-performance optical communication channel with the USMART and ORCA Hub-developed UASN, building a prototype of a sensor node integrating both acoustic and optical communication.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Xu Wang, Heriot-Watt University

Dr. Xu Wang

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For information about the UWOC project please contact Dr. Xu Wang.