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Special Issue "Underwater Wireless Communications and Networking"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Internet of Things".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Dimitris A. Pados
Guest Editor
Professor, I-SENSE Fellow, Charles E. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in Engineering and Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
Interests: cognitive software-defined radios and networks; interference-avoiding networking; secure wireless communications; underwater cognitive hi-rate/long-distance acoustic communications; autonomous unmanned aerial/ground/underwater system communications; localization in GPS-less environments; ad hoc/dynamic geometry beamforming and array radar; communications–radar coexistence; compressed sensed (multiview) imaging and video; digital data embedding/hiding; robust feature extraction from faulty data sets; L1-norm principal component analysis
Dr. George Sklivanitis
Guest Editor
Assistant Research Professor, I-SENSE Fellow and Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
Interests: cognitive radio; autonomous networking; adaptive wireless communications; multihop dynamic routing; secure communications; software-defined wireless networks; crosslayer network optimization; robust localization and tracking; array processing for directional communication; software-defined radio wireless testbeds; 5G; IoT

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, yet almost 95% of the underwater world remains unexplored. Nearly 4000 robots are swimming up and down in the world’s oceans, which allow scientists to measure and understand ocean dynamics, like the directions and speeds of currents, as well as physical characteristics like temperature and salinity, yet scientists can only recover the collected sensor data and track the position of the robots only when they rise to the surface or when the robots are retrieved at the end of a mission. Real-time data retrieval of frequent measurements, continuous tracking of underwater robots and increased spatial coverage and sensing from a network of submerged robots/sensors is hindered by the limited communication speed and absence of GPS underwater. This hampers a wide range of activities, including real-time underwater sensing, sea-life monitoring, port surveillance, ocean mapping, subsea infrastructure inspection, wireless diver-to-diver communication, wireless diver/underwater vehicle communication, untethered sea exploration, subsea search-and-rescue operations, underwater wireless video feeds, and off- shore drilling monitoring.

Recent developments in adaptive underwater communications, robust direction finding for GPS-less underwater localization, software-defined underwater acoustic modems, and soft robotics for low-cost macro/micro autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are notable enabling technologies to achieve faster communication speeds, accurate positioning, and low-cost testbed deployments underwater. Further research is required to understand the physical environment and spatiotemporal characteristics of the underwater acoustic channel, application constraints and programmability, size, weight, and power of next-generation underwater wireless platforms to enable the design, development, and deployment of underwater wireless networks of robots/sensors at scale.

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

  • Localization
    • communication-based navigation for low-cost AUVs
    • localization, detection, classification, and tracking
    • simultaneous localization and mapping
    • short-data-record under-ranked localization
    • graph localization
  • Physical layer 
    • modulation/coding/signal processing/arrays
    • channel modeling/prediction
    • autonomous communications (receiver feedback/transmitter adaptivity)
    • secure LPD/LPI communications
    • full-duplex
  • Networking 
    • channel sharing under high latency
    • routing protocols
    • crosslayer networking, handover, and meshing
    • application-specific system level optimization
    • distributed mobile networking
  • Wireless Platforms and Applications
    • software-defined acoustic/ultrasonic/optical modems
    • sensor integration
    • next generation platforms
    • arctic, oil and gas/smart aqua/agriculture
    • testbeds

Dr. Dimitris A. Pados
Dr. George Sklivanitis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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.


  • Localization and tracking
  • Internet-of-Underwater-Things
  • Mobile communication
  • Autonomous communications
  • Security
  • Authentication
  • Multiantenna
  • Array processing
  • Multimodal communication (acoustic/optical/EM)
  • Underwater cellular networks
  • Cooperative communication
  • Adaptive communication
  • Routing
  • Directional networking
  • Full-duplex
  • Low-power
  • Machine learning
  • Software-defined networking
  • Distributed beamforming
  • Testbeds
  • Reconfigurable hardware

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Cell ID and Timing Estimation Techniques for Underwater Acoustic Cellular Systems in High-Doppler Environments
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4147; - 26 Jul 2020
In an underwater acoustic cellular (UAC) system, underwater equipment or sensor nodes need to detect the identity of an underwater base station (UBS) and synchronise it with a serving UBS. It is known that, in an underwater acoustic channel, the temporal variability of [...] Read more.
In an underwater acoustic cellular (UAC) system, underwater equipment or sensor nodes need to detect the identity of an underwater base station (UBS) and synchronise it with a serving UBS. It is known that, in an underwater acoustic channel, the temporal variability of the ocean coupled with the low speed of sound in water may induce a significant Doppler shift. In this paper, two different types of cell search techniques (CSTs) are proposed to detect the cell ID and correct timing of the UBS in UAC systems with a Doppler shift: CST based on linear frequency modulation with full bandwidth in the time domain (LFM-FT) and CST based on linear frequency modulation in the frequency domain (LFM-FF). The performances (auto-correlation, cross-correlation, ambiguity function, and cross ambiguity function) of the proposed techniques are analysed and compared with simulation results. It is demonstrated by simulation that the proposed techniques perform better than previous techniques in both AWGN and multipath channels when a Doppler shift exists. It is also shown that the LFM-FF-CST achieves the best performance in the presence of a Doppler shift and is suitable for mobile UAC systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Wireless Communications and Networking)
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