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On the Relationship Between the Underwater Acoustic and Optical Channels

Wireless transmissions in water are mostly carried out via long-range (but low-rate) underwater acoustic communications, or short-range (but high-rate) underwater optical communications. In this paper, we are interested in finding out whether a statistical relationship exists between underwater acoustics and optics. Besides the theoretical interest of such a relationship, predicting the quality of the optical link through acoustics is also relevant in the context of a multimodal system with both acoustics and optics. Our study is based on a large data set acquired during the NATO ALOMEX 2015 expedition. During this experiment, we simultaneously measured several characteristics of the acoustic and optical links at multiple locations, reflecting a diversity of sea environments. Our results show a strong correlation between the properties of the acoustic link and the reliability of optical communications. This correlation makes it possible to predict the state of the underwater optical link at a certain depth and range. Due to the complexity of the acoustic and optical channels, we could not find the source of this correlation. This paper is, therefore, aimed to stimulate a theoretical study of the mutual properties of underwater acoustic and optical communication links. For reproducibility, we share the processed data from the experiment.

Authors:

Roee Diamant , Filippo Campagnaro, Michele de Filippo de Grazia, Paolo Casari , Alberto Testolin, Violeta Sanjuan Calzado, and Michele Zorzi

Published On:

IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications

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