New research suggests changes in underwater data communications

Oct 14, 2008

An NJIT professor, who has discovered new communication channels in underwater environments and invented a technique to communicate data through these channels, will be honored later this month by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame. His work will eventually allow multiple users and underwater vehicles and instruments to communicate information and data faster and more reliably in complex underwater environments. The National Science Foundation has supported this research.

Ali Abdi, PhD, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NJIT will receive on Oct. 23, 2008, the 2008 New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Innovators Award. The organization will also honor NJIT President Emeritus Saul F. Fenster, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering, as a founder of the group.

Underwater communication systems use acoustic pressure channels. Abdi's invention differs from existing systems because his uses acoustic particle velocity channels for data communication. These channels would be able to provide new and extra canals for data communication.

There are obvious advantages to increasing the number of canals. Not only would they increase the speed and reliability of data reception, but more importantly, by going to Abdi's system manufacturers could shrink the size of the receiver receiving the data.

"Today existing receivers rely upon separated pressure-only sensors that are spaced far apart," Abdi said. "Needless to say, array size can be a serious limitation in many situations, including the modern applications of small, autonomous and unmanned underwater vehicles. My new receiver would allow for a smaller, more nimble and easier- to-use product."

In the 15th century, the celebrated artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci conducted the first underwater communication trial. By hearing the sound of distant ships, Da Vinci discovered the possibility of long-range underwater sound propagation. The first practical implementation of an underwater wireless system was delayed until 1945, when a single sideband underwater telephone was developed. It is well known that water is a better medium for sound propagation than the air. With a nominal speed of 1500 meters per second, acoustic waves propagate faster in water, when compared to how they propagate 330 meters per second in air. In addition, acoustic waves can travel more than thousands of kilometers in oceans.

"This invention offers a new way to communicate data in underwater channels," said Abdi. "I see it making a major impact on the commercial and naval underwater acoustic communication systems." Potential users include meteorologists monitoring environmental changes in oceans, especially those linked to hurricanes; off-shore oil-drilling companies overseeing underwater work sites; fisheries who make their business from the water; underwater surveillance operators for homeland security and more.

Source: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Explore further: Students take clot-buster for a spin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change drowning Senegal, 'Venice of Africa'

May 26, 2013

Ameth Diagne was asleep when the first waves lapped at his back door, the lukewarm, salty water seeping into his bedroom an impassive portent of the final days of his 650-year-old fishing community.

Recommended for you

Students take clot-buster for a spin

2 hours ago

(Phys.org) —In the hands of some Rice University senior engineering students, a fishing rod is more than what it seems. For them, it's a way to help destroy blood clots that threaten lives.

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

Apr 18, 2014

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Students take clot-buster for a spin

(Phys.org) —In the hands of some Rice University senior engineering students, a fishing rod is more than what it seems. For them, it's a way to help destroy blood clots that threaten lives.

First steps towards "Experimental Literature 2.0"

As part of a student's thesis, the Laboratory of Digital Humanities at EPFL has developed an application that aims at rearranging literary works by changing their chapter order. "The human simulation" a saga ...