Special Issue "Underwater Communication and Networking Systems"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ho-Shin Cho
Website
Guest Editor
School of Electronics Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
Interests: Mobile communication; Underwater communication; Molecular communication
Dr. Zheng Peng
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, NAC 8/203, City University of New York - City College and Graduate Center, 160 Covent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USA
Interests: Wireless Sensor Networks; Ad-Hoc and Mobile Networks; Underwater Networks; Networking Protocol Design; Cross-layer Optimization; Modeling, Implementation and Experimentation; Proto-type, Testbed and Platform Design; Localization and Synchronization; Autonomous Underwater Vehicle; Cyber-Physical System; Computer Architecture; Embedded System; Operating System

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ocean is the heart of the planet, as it affects the planet’s climate on a global scale and provides countless resources and benefits to all of the creatures that live on Earth. The technology of underwater communications and networking can greatly enhance human’s ability to study, monitor, explore, and protect the planet’s precious aquatic environment. However, the unique characteristics under the surface of the sea present grand challenges to the development of wireless communication and networking systems, including a harsh environment, severe attenuation, multipath dispersion, Doppler shift, mobility, link and topology dynamics, and so on. In recent years, significant efforts have been made by both academia and industry to tackle these challenges. These research and development endeavors are promising novel and efficient solutions towards a better-connected underwater world.

In this Special Issue, we would like to invite domain experts to share the recent progress and original work in the research and implementation of underwater wireless communication and networking systems. The topics of interests include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Underwater wireless signals: acoustics, optics, magnetic induction, electromagnetic wave, and so on;
  • Underwater channel modeling, estimation, and characterization;
  • Underwater communication physical layer solutions: synchronization, signal processing, modulation, transceiver and modem designs, link budget, and so on;
  • Underwater networking solutions: medium access control, routing/forwarding, reliable data transfer, congestion control, security, self-organized networking, and so on;
  • Underwater network and system architecture design: proto-type, testbed, and platform;
  • Underwater communication traffic engineering: traffic modeling, packet/circuit call management, quality of service (QoS), and so on;
  • Underwater communication supported by emerging IT technologies such as IoT, machine learning, cloud computing, big data, and so on;
  • Underwater cellular communication: channel allocation, handoff, signaling procedure, mobility management, and so on;
  • Underwater robotics: navigation, tracking, localization, power, communication, and networking;
  • Demonstration of experiment results: field trial, measurement, and case study;
  • Applications of underwater communication and networking systems: aquaculture, environment data collection, archeology, search and rescue, video/image streaming, AUV/UUV management, remote monitoring and control, human operator interaction, disaster detection and early warning, and so on.

Prof. Dr. Ho-Shin Cho
Dr. Zheng Peng
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Collision-Free Hybrid MAC Protocol Based on Pipeline Parallel Transmission for Distributed Multi-Channel Underwater Acoustic Networks
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040679 - 22 Apr 2020
Abstract
The transmission rate between two nodes is usually very low in underwater acoustic networks due to the low available bandwidth of underwater acoustic channels. Therefore, increasing the transmission parallelism among network nodes is one of the most effective ways to improve the performance [...] Read more.
The transmission rate between two nodes is usually very low in underwater acoustic networks due to the low available bandwidth of underwater acoustic channels. Therefore, increasing the transmission parallelism among network nodes is one of the most effective ways to improve the performance of underwater acoustic networks. In this paper, we propose a new collision-free hybrid medium access control (MAC) protocol for distributed multi-channel underwater acoustic networks. In the proposed protocol, handshaking and data transmission are implemented as a pipeline on multiple acoustic channels. Handshaking is implemented using the time division multiple access (TDMA) technique in a dedicated control channel, which can support multiple successful handshakes in a transmission cycle and avoid collision in the cost of additional delay. Data packets are transmitted in one or multiple data channels, where an algorithm for optimizing the transmission schedule according to the inter-nodal propagation delays is proposed to achieve collision-free parallel data transmission. Replication computation technique, which is usually used in parallel computation to reduce the requirement of communication or execution time, is used in the data packet scheduling to reduce communication overhead in distributed environments. Simulation results show that the proposed protocol outperforms the slotted floor acquisition multiple access (SFAMA), reverse opportunistic packet appending (ROPA), and distributed scheduling based concurrent transmission (DSCT) protocols in throughput, packet delivery rate, and average energy consumption in the price of larger end-to-end delay introduced by TDMA based handshaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Towards Software Based Optical Communication Methods for the Assistance of Docking Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040655 - 16 Apr 2020
Abstract
The use of optical communications systems is prevalent in underwater robotics when short-range data transmission is required or preferred. This paper proposes a method of producing and testing an optical communications system for use in the assistance of optical docking for autonomous underwater [...] Read more.
The use of optical communications systems is prevalent in underwater robotics when short-range data transmission is required or preferred. This paper proposes a method of producing and testing an optical communications system for use in the assistance of optical docking for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). It describes how the Simulink modelling environment was used to program and simulate a model of a transmitter, which was then implemented on a microcontroller. The transmitter model implemented on hardware was then used to produce an optical signal, which was sampled, logged and used to design a receiver model in Simulink. For signalling purposes, the experiment used a light-emitting diode (LED) with a driver circuit and photodiode based receiver. This simulated approach using real world data enabled the analysis of the system at every point during the process, allowing for a hardware in the loop style approach to be used in the receiver model design. Consequently, the Simulink Coder was used to produce the receiver model’s equivalent in C++ for later deployment. A benchmark was determined through experimentation to compare within future studies; the system was tested and found to operate effectively at distances between 1 m and 12 m in a controlled in air test environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effect of Link Misalignment in the Optical-Internet of Underwater Things
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040646 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
Underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) enables high-speed links in water for the optical Internet of Underwater Things (O-IoUT) networks. O-IoUT provides various marine applications, including ocean exploration, environmental monitoring, and underwater navigation. O-IoUT typically utilizes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and different laser diodes (LDs) [...] Read more.
Underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) enables high-speed links in water for the optical Internet of Underwater Things (O-IoUT) networks. O-IoUT provides various marine applications, including ocean exploration, environmental monitoring, and underwater navigation. O-IoUT typically utilizes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and different laser diodes (LDs) such as green/blue lasers to achieve efficient data communication in the underwater environment. The high-speed optical communication is limited up to a few tens of meters due to underwater channel impairments and misalignment between the transmitter (Tx) and the receiver (Rx). UWOC provides high-speed communications only in the line of sight conditions, and a small misalignment between the Tx and the Rx can degrade the system performance. In an attempt to understand and minimize this misalignment issue, we investigate how received power in a UWOC system depends on the transmitted beam’s divergence angle. Simulation results are provided to show the effectiveness of the study by comparing the plane, Gaussian, and spherical beams. Monte Carlo simulations are utilized to determine the maximum allowable lateral offset between Tx and Rx for a given Tx divergence angle. The results provide an overview and design-based trade-off between different parameters such as lateral offset, the power received, and bandwidth of the channel. The proposed method improves not only the maximum allowed link-span but also the bandwidth of the channel for a given transmission distance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Downlink Power Allocation Strategy for Next-Generation Underwater Acoustic Communications Networks
Electronics 2019, 8(11), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8111297 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The increasing interest in next-generation underwater acoustic communications networks is due to vast investigation of oceans for oceanography, commercial operations in maritime areas, military surveillance, and more. A surface buoy or underwater base station controller (UBSC) communicates with either transceivers or underwater base [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in next-generation underwater acoustic communications networks is due to vast investigation of oceans for oceanography, commercial operations in maritime areas, military surveillance, and more. A surface buoy or underwater base station controller (UBSC) communicates with either transceivers or underwater base stations (UBSs) via acoustic links. Transceivers further communicate with underwater sensor nodes using acoustic links. In this paper, we employ a downlink (DL) power allocation (PA) strategy using an orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) technique for underwater acoustic communications (UAC) networks. First, we present an approach to power offsets using three kinds of pilot spacing and apply the power boosting (PB) concept on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) symbols for the UAC network. Secondly, we draw the block error rate (BLER) curves from link-level simulation (LLS) and analyze the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for both PA and non-PA strategies. Lastly, we adopt the best PB for system-level simulation (SLS) and compare the throughput and outage performance for PA and non-PA strategies. Hence, the simulation results confirm the effectiveness of the DL PA strategy for UAC networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Signaling-Free Underwater Code Division Multiple Access Scheme
Electronics 2019, 8(8), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8080880 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, we propose an underwater code division multiple access system where each sensor node independently evaluates whether a channel is available or not without control message exchanges with a central data-gathering node named a sink. A sensor node is able to [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose an underwater code division multiple access system where each sensor node independently evaluates whether a channel is available or not without control message exchanges with a central data-gathering node named a sink. A sensor node is able to estimate how large power is currently received at a sink in the distance based on the overheard power at the node from neighbors. If the estimated power is below a certain threshold level, the sensor node is allowed to transmit data in a p-persistent manner, where the probability p depends on the available capacity. Simulation results show the traffic estimation works well as demonstrated by a success probability of approximately 100%, and the data throughput improves in most of the offered traffic region because of the removal of the control signaling related to channel allocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Underwater Robot Detection System Based on Fish’s Lateral Line
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050566 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper introduces the near-field detection system of an underwater robot based on the fish lateral line. Inspired by the perception mechanism of fish’s lateral line, the aim is to add near-field detection functionality to an underwater vehicle. To mimic the fish’s lateral [...] Read more.
This paper introduces the near-field detection system of an underwater robot based on the fish lateral line. Inspired by the perception mechanism of fish’s lateral line, the aim is to add near-field detection functionality to an underwater vehicle. To mimic the fish’s lateral line, an array of pressure sensors is developed and installed on the surface of the underwater vehicle. A vibrating sphere is simulated as an underwater pressure source, and the moving mechanism is built to drive the sphere to vibrate at a certain frequency near the lateral line. The calculation of the near-field pressure generated by the vibrating sphere is derived by linearizing the kinematics and dynamics conditions of the free surface wave equation. Structurally, the geometry shape of the detection system is printed by a 3D printer. The pressure data are sent to the computer and analyzed immediately to obtain information of the pressure source. Through the experiment, the variation law of the pressure is generated when the source vibrates near the body, and is consistent with the simulation results of the derived pressure calculation formula. It is found that the direction of the near-field pressure source can distinguished. The pressure amplitude of the sampled signals are extracted to be prepared for the next step to estimate the vertical distance between the center of the pressure source and the lateral line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Underwater Network Management System in Internet of Underwater Things: Open Challenges, Benefits, and Feasible Solution
Electronics 2020, 9(7), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9071142 - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
As oceans cover the majority of the earth’s surface, it becomes inevitable in extending the concepts of Internet of Things (IoT) to ocean bodies, thereby tiling the way for a new drift in the digital world, the Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT). The [...] Read more.
As oceans cover the majority of the earth’s surface, it becomes inevitable in extending the concepts of Internet of Things (IoT) to ocean bodies, thereby tiling the way for a new drift in the digital world, the Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT). The primary objective of IoUT is the creation of a network of several smart interconnected undersea things, to digitally link water bodies by using devices such as autonomous underwater vehicles. Since the traditional ideas of IoT cannot be merely expanded to underwater, due to the difference in environmental characteristics, this puts forward a variety of challenges for scientists to work with IoUT, and one such challenge is the network management with IoUT. This paper gives an overview on (1) underwater network management systems (U-NMS) using acoustic communication in IoUT; (2) the challenges and benefits and use cases of U-NMS; (3) fault, configuration, accounting, performance, security and constrained management (FCAPSC) functionalities of U-NMS and (4) a comparison between network management system in IoT and U-NMS system in IoUT. Additionally, this paper shows the prototype design and implementation setup of U-NMS in a laboratory environment, using lightweight machine to machine (LWM2M) and acoustic communication technology for IoUT. This paper will contribute much to the profit of researchers and industry players in uncovering the critical areas of the Internet of Underwater Things. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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