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Open AccessArticle

Real-Time Communication Support for Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computers, Universidad Nacional del Sur, CONICET, Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina
Computer Science Department, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370456, Chile
Department of Computer Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona 08034, Spain
Department of Computer Engineering and Mathematics, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona 43007, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Santos, R.; Orozco, J.; Micheletto, M.; Ochoa, S.F.; Meseguer, R.; Millan, P.; Molina, C. Scheduling Real-Time Traffic in Underwater Acoustic Wireless Sensor Networks. In Proceedings of the Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence: 10th International Conference, UCAmI 2016, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, Spain, 29 November–2 December 2016.
Current address: IIIE, UNS-CONICET, Alem 1253, Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1629;
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from UCAmI 2016)
Underwater sensor networks represent an important and promising field of research due to the large diversity of underwater ubiquitous applications that can be supported by these networks, e.g., systems that deliver tsunami and oil spill warnings, or monitor submarine ecosystems. Most of these monitoring and warning systems require real-time communication in wide area networks that have a low density of nodes. The underwater communication medium involved in these networks is very harsh and imposes strong restrictions to the communication process. In this scenario, the real-time transmission of information is done mainly using acoustic signals, since the network nodes are not physically close. The features of the communication scenario and the requirements of the communication process represent major challenges for designers of both, communication protocols and monitoring and warning systems. The lack of models to represent these networks is the main stumbling block for the proliferation of underwater ubiquitous systems. This paper presents a real-time communication model for underwater acoustic sensor networks (UW-ASN) that are designed to cover wide areas with a low density of nodes, using any-to-any communication. This model is analytic, considers two solution approaches for scheduling the real-time messages, and provides a time-constraint analysis for the network performance. Using this model, the designers of protocols and underwater ubiquitous systems can quickly prototype and evaluate their solutions in an evolving way, in order to determine the best solution to the problem being addressed. The suitability of the proposal is illustrated with a case study that shows the performance of a UW-ASN under several initial conditions. This is the first analytic model for representing real-time communication in this type of network, and therefore, it opens the door for the development of underwater ubiquitous systems for several application scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: underwater sensor networks; underwater monitoring; MAC protocol; acoustic transmission; submarine ubiquitous applications underwater sensor networks; underwater monitoring; MAC protocol; acoustic transmission; submarine ubiquitous applications
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Santos, R.; Orozco, J.; Micheletto, M.; Ochoa, S.F.; Meseguer, R.; Millan, P.; Molina, C. Real-Time Communication Support for Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks. Sensors 2017, 17, 1629.

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