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Design and Evaluation of an Acoustic Modem for a Small Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle

1
The Key Laboratory of Underwater Acoustic Communication and Marine Information Technology of the Minister of Education, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China
2
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
3
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(13), 2923; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19132923
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 24 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensor Networks: Applications, Advances and Challenges)
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Abstract

Design of underwater acoustic (UWA) modems for compact-sized, underwater platforms such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) is challenging because of the practical requirement to keep an engineering balance between the performance and the system overhead. Considering this type of mobile communication scenario, Doppler spread as well as the multipath draws substantial attention in implementing the system’s design and engineering. Specifically, for a small AUV, the large computational complexity of real-time resampling for the classic Doppler correction poses significant difficulty for the limited capability of the low-cost processor. In this paper, by adopting an adjustable AD (analog-to-digital) sampling rate, a Doppler compensation approach is proposed to enable low-complexity hardware implementation. Based on this, a direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) acoustic modem is designed for a low-cost, small-sized AUV. Meanwhile, the performance evaluation of this acoustic modem is conducted in terms of the robustness upon varying Doppler as well as AUV integration. Finally, experimental results performed on a commercial, small-sized AUV under different speeds are reported to verify the effectiveness of the proposed acoustic modem. View Full-Text
Keywords: doppler; AUV; acoustic modem; direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) doppler; AUV; acoustic modem; direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS)
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Zheng, S.; Tong, F.; Li, B.; Tao, Q.; Song, A.; Zhang, F. Design and Evaluation of an Acoustic Modem for a Small Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle. Sensors 2019, 19, 2923.

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