Underwater wireless communications and networks: theory and application: Part 1 [Guest Editorial] Academic Article uri icon


  • © 1979-2012 IEEE. The Earth is a water planet, two-thirds of which is covered by water. With the rapid developments in technology, underwater communications has become a fast growing field, with broad applications in commercial and military water based systems. The need for underwater wireless communications exists in applications such as remote control in the off-shore oil industry, pollution monitoring in environmental systems, collection of scientific data from ocean-bottom stations, disaster detection and early warning, national security and defense (intrusion detection and underwater surveillance), as well as new resource discovery. Thus, the research of new underwater wireless communication techniques has played the most important role in the exploration of oceans and other aquatic environments. In contrast with terrestrial wireless radio communications, the communication channels in underwater wireless networks can be seriously affected by the marine environment, by noise, and by limited bandwidth and power resources, and by the harsh underwater ambient conditions. Hence, the underwater communication channel often exhibits severe attenuation, multipath effect, frequency dispersion, and constrained bandwidth and power resources, etc., which turn the underwater communication channel into one of the most complex and harsh wireless channels in nature. When facing these unique conditions in diverse underwater applications, many new challenges, which were not encountered in terrestrial wireless communications, are emerging in underwater acoustic, optical, and RF communications for future underwater wireless networks. Of these challenges, acoustic and optical are the most compelling, and somewhat complementary, owing to the potential for longer range and high bandwidth networked communications in sizeand power-constrained modems and unmanned systems.

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, X. i., Cui, J., Das, S., Gerla, M., & Chitre, M.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • November 2015