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Posted: January 17th, 2024

Developing Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks for Monitoring Coastal and Port Environments

Developing Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks for Monitoring Coastal and Port Environments

Underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs) are a promising technology for monitoring and exploring the marine environment, especially in coastal and port areas where human activities and natural phenomena pose significant challenges and risks. UASNs consist of sensor nodes that communicate with each other and with surface stations using acoustic waves, which are more suitable for underwater transmission than radio frequency waves. UASNs can collect, process, and relay various types of information, such as water quality, temperature, pressure, sound, and images, to support applications such as environmental protection, disaster prevention, navigation safety, resource management, and scientific research.

However, developing UASNs is not an easy task, as the underwater acoustic environment is complex and dynamic, and poses many constraints and challenges for network design and operation. Some of these challenges include limited bandwidth, high attenuation, variable propagation speed, multipath fading, Doppler effect, node mobility, energy consumption, and interference. Therefore, UASNs require novel and efficient solutions at different layers of the network protocol stack, such as physical layer, medium access control layer, routing layer, transport layer, and application layer. Moreover, UASNs need to consider cross-layer interactions and optimizations to achieve better performance and reliability.

In this paper, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art research on UASNs, focusing on the network architecture, the main challenges and solutions at each layer of the protocol stack, and the future directions and open issues. We also present some examples of real-world applications and experiments of UASNs for monitoring coastal and port environments. We hope that this paper will serve as a useful reference for researchers and practitioners who are interested in developing UASNs for various purposes.


[1] K. K. Gola et al., “Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks: Concepts, Applications and Research Challenges,” in Intelligent Systems Design and Applications. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems 717 (2023): 435-446.

[2] J. Yang et al., “Underwater Acoustic Sensor Network,” in Encyclopedia of Ocean Engineering (2020).

[3] S. Basagni et al., “Underwater acoustic networks,” IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering 25 (2000): 72-83.

[4] M. Ayaz et al., “Underwater Acoustic Sensor Network: Architecture, Challenges, Future Directions,” in 2017 International Conference on Communication Technologies (ComTech) (2017): 1-6.


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