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Sensors 2012, 12(2), 1312-1335; doi:10.3390/s120201312
Article

Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks: How Do Acoustic Propagation Models Impact the Performance of Higher-Level Protocols?

*  and
Physics and Computer Engineering Department, Miguel Hernandez University, Ave. Universidad S/N, Ed. Alcudia, 03202 Elche (Alicante), Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2011 / Revised: 13 January 2012 / Accepted: 29 January 2012 / Published: 31 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensor Nodes and Underwater Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

Several Medium Access Control (MAC) and routing protocols have been developed in the last years for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks (UWSNs). One of the main difficulties to compare and validate the performance of different proposals is the lack of a common standard to model the acoustic propagation in the underwater environment. In this paper we analyze the evolution of underwater acoustic prediction models from a simple approach to more detailed and accurate models. Then, different high layer network protocols are tested with different acoustic propagation models in order to determine the influence of environmental parameters on the obtained results. After several experiments, we can conclude that higher-level protocols are sensitive to both: (a) physical layer parameters related to the network scenario and (b) the acoustic propagation model. Conditions like ocean surface activity, scenario location, bathymetry or floor sediment composition, may change the signal propagation behavior. So, when designing network architectures for UWSNs, the role of the physical layer should be seriously taken into account in order to assert that the obtained simulation results will be close to the ones obtained in real network scenarios.
Keywords: underwater wireless sensor networks; network simulation; acoustic propagation models; MAC and routing protocols underwater wireless sensor networks; network simulation; acoustic propagation models; MAC and routing protocols
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Llor, J.; Malumbres, M.P. Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks: How Do Acoustic Propagation Models Impact the Performance of Higher-Level Protocols? Sensors 2012, 12, 1312-1335.

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