Underwater wireless optical communications (UWOCs) have attracted considerable attention in recent years as an alternative means for acoustic communication. However, optical path loss of light propagation from attenuation is in large part due to absorption and scattering in various water conditions. Identification of environmental effects, especially tropical storms on underwater optical path loss, is key to the success of using optics for UWOCs. Underwater inherent optical properties (IOPs), such as the beam attenuation coefficient for 470 nm light in the western North Pacific Ocean, were measured from U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office Seagliders deployed after Super Typhoon Guchol’s (June 7–20, 2012) passage from June 25 to June 30, 2012 and without any typhoon passage from January 9 to February 28, 2014. The two observed sets (with and without the super typhoon) of IOPs are taken as input for a recently developed radiative transfer equation solver. The simulated normalized received powers for the two durations show a large impact of typhoon passage on UWOCs.
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