Special Issue "Underwater Networking"

A special issue of Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks (ISSN 2224-2708). This special issue belongs to the section "Network Services and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paul Mitchell
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronic Engineering, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Interests: wireless communications; underwater networks; medium access control; routing; cognitive radio; wireless sensor and ad hoc networks; satellite systems; queuing theory; mobile communication systems; traffic modelling
Dr. Roberto Petroccia
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
NATO Science & Technology Organization Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (STO CMRE), Viale San Bartolomeo 400, La Spezia 19136, Italy
Interests: wireless sensor networks design; underwater communications and networking; security; underwater robots localisation and cooperation; standardisation for digital communications in the underwater environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interest in underwater networks is rapidly on the rise. Knowledge of the ocean environment is important to our understanding of the Earth and of interest to many groups of people including geologists, physicists, chemists, biologists, ecologists, meteorologists, and engineers. In fact, 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and we have explored less than 5% of the oceans. The oceans contain important fossil reserves, pristine nature, and biodiversity for future generations. Communication technologies will play a key role in providing remote, unobtrusive ocean monitoring, and a balance between sustainable exploitation and conservation.

Current underwater deployments often comprise low numbers of instruments recording data during a mission for later retrieval. Improvement in underwater networking is required to transform our ability to explore the oceans, by enabling continuous data collection and control of a potentially large number of underwater sensing and communication devices from remote sites. Such technology would allow us to gather a wealth of data to better understand the Earth’s natural processes, monitor marine life, and protect biodiversity. It will help predict natural disasters in the oceans and undoubtedly lead to the discovery of new ecosystems and sources of energy, food, and medicine.

Recent developments in underwater sensing, robotics (such as autonomous underwater vehicles), and low-cost acoustic modem design are notable enabling technologies. Further advances are required, however, including improvement in underwater networking capability. Further research on this topic needs to be underpinned by an understanding of the underwater channel, different application requirements, and practical deployment constraints.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to solicit original research papers on all aspects of underwater networking, including (but not restricted to):

  • Multiple-access techniques
  • Medium access control
  • Link-layer reliability
  • Multi-hop routing
  • Localisation and tracking
  • Mobility management
  • End-to-end quality of service provisioning
  • Integration with terrestrial systems (e.g. via radio backhaul)
  • Cross-layer design

It is our intention to bring together the latest developments in the field within this single issue, as a valuable resource for both new and experienced researchers in the field.

Dr. Paul Daniel Mitchell
Dr. Roberto Petroccia
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. Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1600 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.


  • underwater communication
  • network
  • acoustic
  • multiple access
  • medium access control
  • reliability
  • routing
  • localisation
  • mobility
  • quality of service

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Data Gathering from a Multimodal Dense Underwater Acoustic Sensor Network Deployed in Shallow Fresh Water Scenarios
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2019, 8(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan8040055 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3443
The Robotic Vessels as-a-Service (RoboVaaS) project intends to exploit the most advanced communication and marine vehicle technologies to revolutionize shipping and near-shore operations, offering on-demand and cost-effective robotic-aided services. In particular, the RoboVaaS vision includes a ship hull inspection service, a quay walls [...] Read more.
The Robotic Vessels as-a-Service (RoboVaaS) project intends to exploit the most advanced communication and marine vehicle technologies to revolutionize shipping and near-shore operations, offering on-demand and cost-effective robotic-aided services. In particular, the RoboVaaS vision includes a ship hull inspection service, a quay walls inspection service, an antigrounding service, and an environmental and bathymetry data collection service. In this paper, we present a study of the underwater environmental data collection service, performed by a low-cost autonomous vehicle equipped with both a commercial modem and a very low-cost acoustic modem prototype, the smartPORT Acoustic Underwater Modem (AHOI). The vehicle mules the data from a network of low cost submerged acoustic sensor nodes to a surface sink. To this end, an underwater acoustic network composed by both static and moving nodes has been implemented and simulated with the DESERT Underwater Framework, where the performance of the AHOI modem has been mapped in the form of lookup tables. The performance of the AHOI modem has been measured near the Port of Hamburg, where the RoboVaaS concept will be demonstrated with a real field evaluation. The transmission with the commercial modem, instead, has been simulated with the Bellhop ray tracer thanks to the World Ocean Simulation System (WOSS), by considering both the bathymetry and the sound speed profile of the Port of Hamburg. The set up of the polling-based MAC protocol parameters, such as the maximum backoff time of the sensor nodes, appears to be crucial for the network performance, in particular for the low-cost low-rate modems. In this work, to tune the maximum backoff time during the data collection mission, an adaptive mechanism has been implemented. Specifically, the maximum backoff time is updated based on the network density. This adaptive mechanism results in an 8% improvement of the network throughput. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Networking)
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