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Special Issue "Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zheng Peng
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, NAC 8/203, Grove School of Engineering, City University of New York - City College, 160 Covent Avenue, New York, NY 10031
Interests: Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks; Wireless Networking; Cross-layer Design and Optimization; Localization and Synchronization; Computer Architecture; Embedded System; Operating System; Cyber-Physical System; Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ocean is the lifeblood of the planet Earth. It is the largest habitat on Earth. It has a massive impact on the planet’s climate. It is home to numerous natural resources that are hidden beneath the deep waters.

The strategic significance of the ocean leads to the growing interests in developing effective and efficient sensing, communication and networking systems for the underwater environments. New technology is being developed to meet the increasing need of exploring the mysteries of the deep sea. New research is being conducted to address new challenges posed by the unique underwater environments. These efforts can transform the way we understand, explore and utilize the largely unexplored ocean.

In this Special Issue, we welcome our fellow colleagues to present the recent research outcomes in the areas of underwater sensing, communication, networking and system designs. The topics of interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Underwater sensing technology, including sensor design, sensing algorithms, data mining, data fusion and dissemination;
  • Underwater wireless communications, including acoustic, optical, RF, and magneto-inductive;
  • Underwater observatory, including wired and wireless observatory at coastal, regional and global scales;
  • Underwater wireless networks, including networking theories, protocol designs and architecture;
  • Underwater robotics, including autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), underwater remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) and underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV);
  • Power harvesting and power systems, including alternative energy sources, renewable energy sources, underwater wireless charging and low power design;
  • Hardware design, including sensor system, system integration, prototype, software defined communication and networking platform;
  • Modeling, simulation and testbed design;
  • Underwater ranging, localization and tracking;
  • Underwater cybersecurity and countermeasures;
  • System deployment and network planning;
  • Applications, case study, field trials and experiment results;
Dr. Zheng Peng
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (26 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
A Time-Varying Filter for Doppler Compensation Applied to Underwater Acoustic OFDM
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19010105 - 29 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper describes a Doppler compensation algorithm to improve the reliability of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). To compensate for the time-varying Doppler effect in a mobile deployment scenario, first the time-scaling factor over a wideband channel is estimated using pilot tones inserted [...] Read more.
This paper describes a Doppler compensation algorithm to improve the reliability of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). To compensate for the time-varying Doppler effect in a mobile deployment scenario, first the time-scaling factor over a wideband channel is estimated using pilot tones inserted in each OFDM symbol. Then, using a time-varying resampling technique, the Doppler effect is compensated during the reception of each OFDM symbol in the frame. To predict the performance of the system in relatively shallow waters, a software channel model is developed that is able to simulate a wide variety of dynamic shallow water deployment scenario. The performance of the algorithm was tested for two extreme frequency ranges during sea trials, the first at 2 kHz for a long-range application, and the second at 125 kHz for a short range telemetry link. For the 2-kHz system, a 16-bps mobile link in which the platform was moving at 1 m/s was demonstrated to have a bit error rate on the order of 10 3 , while, for the 125-kHz telemetry application, a 2000-bps link was enabled with a bit error rate of 0.03 at a low SNR equal to 5.5 dB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Reference Phase Stabilizer for Distributed Underwater Sonar Systems
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124279 - 05 Dec 2018
Abstract
An optical fiber is a promising approach for data and clock transmission in distributed underwater sonar systems. However, synchronization is a critical challenge in distributed sonar systems, which mandates accurate clock synchronization down to a sub degree. Potential phase misalignment is caused by [...] Read more.
An optical fiber is a promising approach for data and clock transmission in distributed underwater sonar systems. However, synchronization is a critical challenge in distributed sonar systems, which mandates accurate clock synchronization down to a sub degree. Potential phase misalignment is caused by fiber length variations. In this paper, we propose a fiber-based phase stabilizer method to achieve accurate clock synchronization among sensor nodes. We use fiber-based feedback loop between sensor nodes and central station unit to monitor phase variations. Subsequently, we leverage phase shifters symmetrically arranged on the forward lane and feedback lane to compensate real-time phase variation and maintain high-precision synchronization. Besides, an ambiguity eliminator circuit is designed to remove the clock’s cyclic ambiguity. Both analysis and experimental results suggest that the proposed phase stabilizer can achieve 10 MHz reference clock synchronization within 0.4 degree. We also analyze the impact of the reference clock’s phase error on the system range detection accuracy, which indicates that the proposed phase stabilizer can greatly improve detection accuracy of sonar systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
RECRP: An Underwater Reliable Energy-Efficient Cross-Layer Routing Protocol
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124148 - 26 Nov 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
A reliable energy-efficient routing protocol plays a key role in underwater data transmission. In the face of acoustic communication challenges in underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs), including long propagation delay, topology change, limited energy, and communication voids, we propose RECRP, a Reliable Energy-efficient [...] Read more.
A reliable energy-efficient routing protocol plays a key role in underwater data transmission. In the face of acoustic communication challenges in underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs), including long propagation delay, topology change, limited energy, and communication voids, we propose RECRP, a Reliable Energy-efficient Cross-layer Routing Protocol to achieve high data delivery rate. RECRP is a location-free single-copy protocol. The information of the physical layer such as Doppler scale shift measurement, Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI), etc. are adopted to estimate the distance, thus no extra hardware is needed for localization. Moreover, the overhead introduced by redundant packets is avoided with the single-copy mechanism. To improve the two-hop packet delivery rate and balance energy consumption among adjacent nodes, an optimal max–min method is proposed that dynamically controls transmission power and channel frequency. Furthermore, a surface to bottom routing establishment method is also adopted to handle communication voids. Compared with depth-based routing (DBR) and hop-by-hop vector-based forwarding (HH-VBF), RECRP is more energy-efficient with a higher delivery rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
HAS4: A Heuristic Adaptive Sink Sensor Set Selection for Underwater AUV-Aid Data Gathering Algorithm
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4110; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124110 - 23 Nov 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
In this paper, we target solving the data gathering problem in underwater wireless sensor networks. In many underwater applications, it is not quick to retrieve sensed data, which gives us the opportunity to leverage mobile autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) as data mules to [...] Read more.
In this paper, we target solving the data gathering problem in underwater wireless sensor networks. In many underwater applications, it is not quick to retrieve sensed data, which gives us the opportunity to leverage mobile autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) as data mules to periodically collect it. For each round of data gathering, the AUV visits part of the sensors, and the communication between AUV and sensor nodes is a novel high-speed magnetic-induction communication system. The rest of the sensors acoustically transmit their sensed data to the AUV-visit sensors. This paper deploys the HAS 4 (Heuristic Adaptive Sink Sensor Set Selection) algorithm to select the AUV-visited sensors for the purpose of energy saving, AUV cost reduction and network lifetime prolonging. By comparing HAS 4 with two benchmark selection methods, experiment results demonstrate that our algorithm can achieve a better performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Joint Passive Detection and Tracking of Underwater Acoustic Target by Beamforming-Based Bernoulli Filter with Multiple Arrays
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 4022; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18114022 - 18 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
In this paper, improved Bernoulli filtering methods are developed to deal with the problem of joint passive detection and tracking of an underwater acoustic target with multiple arrays. Three different likelihood calculation methods based on local beamforming results are proposed for the Bernoulli [...] Read more.
In this paper, improved Bernoulli filtering methods are developed to deal with the problem of joint passive detection and tracking of an underwater acoustic target with multiple arrays. Three different likelihood calculation methods based on local beamforming results are proposed for the Bernoulli filter updating. Firstly, multiple peaks, including both mainlobe and sidelobe peaks, are selected to form the direction-of-arrival (DOA) measurement set, and then the Bernoulli filter is used to extract the target track. Secondly, to make full use of the informations in the beamforming output, not only the DOAs but also their intensities, the beam powers are used as the input measurement sets of the filter, and an approach based on Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) is developed for distinguishing between signal and noise. Lastly, a hybrid method of the former two is proposed in the case of fewer then three arrays. The tracking performances of the three methods are compared in simulations and experiment. The simulations with three distributed arrays show that, compared with the DOA-based method, the beam-based method and the hybrid method can both improve the target tracking accuracy. The processing results of the shallow water experimental data collected by two arrays show that the hybrid method can achieve a better tracking performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Receiver-Initiated Handshaking MAC Based on Traffic Estimation for Underwater Sensor Networks
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3895; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113895 - 12 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
In underwater sensor networks (UWSNs), the unique characteristics of acoustic channels have posed great challenges for the design of medium access control (MAC) protocols. The long propagation delay problem has been widely explored in recent literature. However, the long preamble problem with acoustic [...] Read more.
In underwater sensor networks (UWSNs), the unique characteristics of acoustic channels have posed great challenges for the design of medium access control (MAC) protocols. The long propagation delay problem has been widely explored in recent literature. However, the long preamble problem with acoustic modems revealed in real experiments brings new challenges to underwater MAC design. The overhead of control messages in handshaking-based protocols becomes significant due to the long preamble in underwater acoustic modems. To address this problem, we advocate the receiver-initiated handshaking method with parallel reservation to improve the handshaking efficiency. Despite some existing works along this direction, the data polling problem is still an open issue. Without knowing the status of senders, the receiver faces two challenges for efficient data polling: when to poll data from the sender and how much data to request. In this paper, we propose a traffic estimation-based receiver-initiated MAC (TERI-MAC) to solve this problem with an adaptive approach. Data polling in TERI-MAC depends on an online approximation of traffic distribution. It estimates the energy efficiency and network latency and starts the data request only when the preferred performance can be achieved. TERI-MAC can achieve a stable energy efficiency with arbitrary network traffic patterns. For traffic estimation, we employ a resampling technique to keep a small computation and memory overhead. The performance of TERI-MAC in terms of energy efficiency, channel utilization, and communication latency is verified in simulations. Our results show that, compared with existing receiver-initiated-based underwater MAC protocols, TERI-MAC can achieve higher energy efficiency at the price of a delay penalty. This confirms the strength of TERI-MAC for delay-tolerant applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Reinforcement Learning-Based Multi-AUV Adaptive Trajectory Planning for Under-Ice Field Estimation
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3859; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113859 - 09 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
This work studies online learning-based trajectory planning for multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to estimate a water parameter field of interest in the under-ice environment. A centralized system is considered, where several fixed access points on the ice layer are introduced as gateways [...] Read more.
This work studies online learning-based trajectory planning for multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to estimate a water parameter field of interest in the under-ice environment. A centralized system is considered, where several fixed access points on the ice layer are introduced as gateways for communications between the AUVs and a remote data fusion center. We model the water parameter field of interest as a Gaussian process with unknown hyper-parameters. The AUV trajectories for sampling are determined on an epoch-by-epoch basis. At the end of each epoch, the access points relay the observed field samples from all the AUVs to the fusion center, which computes the posterior distribution of the field based on the Gaussian process regression and estimates the field hyper-parameters. The optimal trajectories of all the AUVs in the next epoch are determined to maximize a long-term reward that is defined based on the field uncertainty reduction and the AUV mobility cost, subject to the kinematics constraint, the communication constraint and the sensing area constraint. We formulate the adaptive trajectory planning problem as a Markov decision process (MDP). A reinforcement learning-based online learning algorithm is designed to determine the optimal AUV trajectories in a constrained continuous space. Simulation results show that the proposed learning-based trajectory planning algorithm has performance similar to a benchmark method that assumes perfect knowledge of the field hyper-parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Orthogonal Chirp Division Multiplexing for Underwater Acoustic Communication
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3815; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113815 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The objective of this study is to investigate a novel Underwater Acoustic Communication (UWAC) system based on a modulated chirp signal termed as Orthogonal Chirp Division Multiplexing (OCDM). Originating from the Fresnel transform, OCDM uses chirp signals to exploit the multipath diversity of [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to investigate a novel Underwater Acoustic Communication (UWAC) system based on a modulated chirp signal termed as Orthogonal Chirp Division Multiplexing (OCDM). Originating from the Fresnel transform, OCDM uses chirp signals to exploit the multipath diversity of the channel, achieving a good robustness against frequency fading, especially in the underloaded scenario where only a subset of the available waveforms is modulated. The implementation of the OCDM system for the UWAC scenario is described, and the performance results over an experimental water tank and realistic replayed underwater channel are compared against the traditional Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) transmission scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects and Constraints of Optical Filtering on Ambient Light Suppression in LED-Based Underwater Communications
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3710; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113710 - 31 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Optical communication promises to be a high-rate supplement for acoustic communication in short-range underwater applications. In the photic zone of oceanic and coastal waters, underwater optical communication systems are exposed by remaining sunlight. This ambient light generates additional noise in photodetectors, thus degrading [...] Read more.
Optical communication promises to be a high-rate supplement for acoustic communication in short-range underwater applications. In the photic zone of oceanic and coastal waters, underwater optical communication systems are exposed by remaining sunlight. This ambient light generates additional noise in photodetectors, thus degrading system performance. This effect can be diminished by the use of optical filters. This paper investigates light field characteristics of different water types and potential interactions with optical underwater communication. A colored glass and different thin film bandpass filters are examined as filter/detector combinations under varying light and water conditions, and their physical constraints are depicted. This is underlined by various spectral measurements as well as optical signal-to-noise ratio calculations. The importance of matching the characteristics of the light emitting diode (LED) light source, the photodetector, and the filter on the ambient conditions using wider angle of incidents is emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Depth Discrimination for Low-Frequency Sources Using a Horizontal Line Array of Acoustic Vector Sensors Based on Mode Extraction
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3692; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113692 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Depth discrimination is a key procedure in acoustic detection or target classification for low-frequency underwater sources. Conventional depth-discrimination methods use a vertical line array, which has disadvantage of poor mobility due to the size of the sensor array. In this paper, we propose [...] Read more.
Depth discrimination is a key procedure in acoustic detection or target classification for low-frequency underwater sources. Conventional depth-discrimination methods use a vertical line array, which has disadvantage of poor mobility due to the size of the sensor array. In this paper, we propose a depth-discrimination method for low-frequency sources using a horizontal line array (HLA) of acoustic vector sensors based on mode extraction. First, we establish linear equations related to the modal amplitudes based on modal beamforming in the vector mode space. Second, we solve the linear equations by introducing the total least square algorithm and estimate modal amplitudes. Third, we select the power percentage of the low-order modes as the decision metric and construct testing hypotheses based on the modal amplitude estimation. Compared with a scalar sensor, a vector sensor improves the depth discrimination, because the mode weights are more appropriate for doing so. The presented linear equations and the solution algorithm allow the method to maintain good performance even using a relatively short HLA. The constructed testing hypotheses are highly robust against mismatched environments. Note that the method is not appropriate for the winter typical sound speed waveguide, because the characteristics of the modes differ from those in downward-refracting sound speed waveguide. Robustness analysis and simulation results validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Spiral Sound Wave Transducer Based on the Longitudinal Vibration
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3674; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113674 - 29 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
A spiral sound wave transducer comprised of longitudinal vibrating elements has been proposed. This transducer was made from eight uniform radial distributed longitudinal vibrating elements, which could effectively generate low frequency underwater acoustic spiral waves. We discuss the production theory of spiral sound [...] Read more.
A spiral sound wave transducer comprised of longitudinal vibrating elements has been proposed. This transducer was made from eight uniform radial distributed longitudinal vibrating elements, which could effectively generate low frequency underwater acoustic spiral waves. We discuss the production theory of spiral sound waves, which could be synthesized by two orthogonal acoustic dipoles with a phase difference of 90 degrees. The excitation voltage distribution of the transducer for emitting a spiral sound wave and the measurement method for the transducer is given. Three-dimensional finite element modeling (FEM)of the transducer was established for simulating the vibration modes and the acoustic characteristics of the transducers. Further, we fabricated a spiral sound wave transducer based on our design and simulations. It was found that the resonance frequency of the transducer was 10.8 kHz and that the transmitting voltage resonance was 140.5 dB. The underwater sound field measurements demonstrate that our designed transducer based on the longitudinal elements could successfully generate spiral sound waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
An Autonomous Solar-Powered Marine Robotic Observatory for Permanent Monitoring of Large Areas of Shallow Water
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3497; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103497 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Apart from their ecological value, the world’s oceans are among the planet’s most valuable resources, a rich source of food and wealth and in urgent need of protection. This article describes BUSCAMOS-RobObs, a robot-based observatory, consisting of an autonomous solar-powered marine robot with [...] Read more.
Apart from their ecological value, the world’s oceans are among the planet’s most valuable resources, a rich source of food and wealth and in urgent need of protection. This article describes BUSCAMOS-RobObs, a robot-based observatory, consisting of an autonomous solar-powered marine robot with specialized sensing systems designed to carry out long-term observation missions in the inland sea of the Mar Menor in southeastern Spain. This highly specialised device is unique because it has the capacity to anchor itself to the seabed and become a “buoy”, either to take measurements at specific points or to recharge its batteries. It thus avoids drifting and possible accidents in the buoy mode, especially near the coast, and resumes monitoring tasks when the required energy levels are reached. The robot is equipped with a broad range of sensors, including side scan sonar, sub-bottom sonar, laser systems, ultrasound sonar, depth meters, a multi-parametric probe and a GPS, which can collect georeferenced oceanic data. Although various types of autonomous vehicles have been described in the literature, they all have limited autonomy (even in the long term) as regards operational time and covering the seabed. The article describes a permanent monitoring mission in the Mar Menor, with a combination of solar energy and a decision-making strategy as regards the optimum route to be followed. The energy and mission simulation results, as well as an account of actual monitoring missions are also included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
In Design of an Ocean Bottom Seismometer Sensor: Minimize Vibration Experienced by Underwater Low-Frequency Noise
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3446; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103446 - 13 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) placed on the seafloor surface are utilized for measuring the ocean bottom seismic waves. The vibration of OBS excited by underwater noise on its surface may interfere with its measured results of seismic waves. In this particular study, an [...] Read more.
Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) placed on the seafloor surface are utilized for measuring the ocean bottom seismic waves. The vibration of OBS excited by underwater noise on its surface may interfere with its measured results of seismic waves. In this particular study, an OBS was placed on the seabed, while ray acoustic theory was used to deduce the sound field distribution around the OBS. Then using this information, the analytical expression for the OBS vibration velocity was obtained in order to find various factors affecting its amplitude. The finite element computing software COMSOL Multiphysics® (COMSOL) was used to obtain the vibration response model of the OBS which was exposed to underwater noise. The vibration velocity for the OBS calculated by COMSOL agreed with the theoretical result. Moreover, the vibration velocity of OBS with different densities, shapes, and characters were investigated as well. An OBS with hemispherical shape, consistent average density as that of the seafloor, and a physical structure of double tank has displayed minimum amplitude of vibration velocity. The proposed COMSOL model predicted the impact of underwater noise while detecting the ocean bottom seismic waves with the OBS. In addition, it provides significant help for the design and optimization of an appropriate OBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Robust Directional Angle Estimation of Underwater Acoustic Sources Using a Marine Vehicle
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 3062; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18093062 - 12 Sep 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Acoustic source localization is used in many underwater applications. Acquiring an accurate directional angle for an acoustic source is crucial for source localization. To achieve this purpose, this paper presents a method for directional angle estimation of underwater acoustic sources using a marine [...] Read more.
Acoustic source localization is used in many underwater applications. Acquiring an accurate directional angle for an acoustic source is crucial for source localization. To achieve this purpose, this paper presents a method for directional angle estimation of underwater acoustic sources using a marine vehicle. It is assumed that the vehicle is equipped with two hydrophones and that the acoustic source transmits a specific signal repeatedly. The proposed method provides a probabilistic model for time delay estimation. The probability is recursively updated by prediction and update steps. The prediction step performs a probability transition using the angular displacement of the marine vehicle. The predicted probability is updated using a generalized cross correlation function with a verification process using entropy measurement. The proposed method can provide a reliable and accurate estimation of the directional angles of underwater acoustic sources. Experimental results demonstrate good performance of the proposed probabilistic directional angle estimation method in both an inland water environment and a harbor environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
A Broadband Beamformer Suitable for UUV to Detect the Tones Radiated from Marine Vessels
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2928; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092928 - 03 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this paper, the issue that the underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV) with a sonar array achieves the passive detection of vessel targets by detecting the tones radiated from the targets is considered. The multi-beam low-frequency analysis and recording method is widely applied in [...] Read more.
In this paper, the issue that the underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV) with a sonar array achieves the passive detection of vessel targets by detecting the tones radiated from the targets is considered. The multi-beam low-frequency analysis and recording method is widely applied in a manned sonar system. The sonar operator provides an auxiliary decision to extract the target tones from the multiple beams output. However, the complexity of the multi-dimensional information fusion makes it difficult to apply the multi-beam processing in the unmanned sonar system. Aiming at this problem, we introduce the self-adjusting characteristics of adaptive line enhancer to a time domain broadband beamformer and then propose a self-steering broadband beamformer. The proposed beamformer can adaptively steer the main beam to the direction-of-arrival (DOA) of the tonal target. There is no need to pre-form the multiple beams. The complexity of the UUV-based tone detection is reduced. Theoretical derivation and simulation experiments verify that the main beam of the proposed beamformer can track the DOA of tonal target which is rapidly changing. Meanwhile, the tonal interferences as well as the wide-band noise are well suppressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Scalable Scheduling MAC Protocol for Underwater Sensor Networks
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092806 - 25 Aug 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Underwater Sensor Networks (UWSNs) utilise acoustic waves with comparatively lower loss and longer range than those of electromagnetic waves. However, energy remains a challenging issue in addition to long latency, high bit error rate, and limited bandwidth. Thus, collision and retransmission should be [...] Read more.
Underwater Sensor Networks (UWSNs) utilise acoustic waves with comparatively lower loss and longer range than those of electromagnetic waves. However, energy remains a challenging issue in addition to long latency, high bit error rate, and limited bandwidth. Thus, collision and retransmission should be efficiently handled at Medium Access Control (MAC) layer in order to reduce the energy cost and also to improve the throughput and fairness across the network. In this paper, we propose a new reservation-based distributed MAC protocol called ED-MAC, which employs a duty cycle mechanism to address the spatial-temporal uncertainty and the hidden node problem to effectively avoid collisions and retransmissions. ED-MAC is a conflict-free protocol, where each sensor schedules itself independently using local information. Hence, ED-MAC can guarantee conflict-free transmissions and receptions of data packets. Compared with other conflict-free MAC protocols, ED-MAC is distributed and more reliable, i.e., it schedules according to the priority of sensor nodes which based on their depth in the network. We then evaluate design choices and protocol performance through extensive simulation to study the load effects and network scalability in each protocol. The results show that ED-MAC outperforms the contention-based MAC protocols and achieves a significant improvement in terms of successful delivery ratio, throughput, energy consumption, and fairness under varying offered traffic and number of nodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
An Improved Velocity Estimation Method for Wideband Multi-Highlight Target Echoes in Active Sonar Systems
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2794; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092794 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In active sonar systems, the target echoes are usually equivalent to a superposition of the Doppler-scaled reflections from multiple highlights. The reflections overlap with each other both in the time and frequency domain, which results in a decreased velocity estimation performance. Recently, the [...] Read more.
In active sonar systems, the target echoes are usually equivalent to a superposition of the Doppler-scaled reflections from multiple highlights. The reflections overlap with each other both in the time and frequency domain, which results in a decreased velocity estimation performance. Recently, the hyperbolic-frequency modulated signal has been widely employed in sonar systems for moving targets due to its Doppler tolerance, while the precise velocity estimation becomes a great challenge under such conditions. In this paper, the echo c is modeled onsidering a target with a constant velocity and multi-highlights. The velocity estimation performance is analyzed though the signal’s matched filter and the wideband ambiguity function. An improved method based on the sliding window matching algorithm is proposed to improve the performance. The method controls the energy of environmental noise and interference by focusing on the dominant target highlight, and applying a designed window which utilizes the Doppler characteristics of hyperbolic-frequency modulated signals. Simulations and lake experiment allow us to compare between the improved method and the conventional matched filter method. The results verify the influence of the multi-highlights in velocity estimation and indicate that the improved method has more effective performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
A Data Quality Control Method for Seafloor Observatories: The Application of Observed Time Series Data in the East China Sea
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2628; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082628 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
With the construction and deployment of seafloor observatories around the world, massive amounts of oceanographic measurement data were gathered and transmitted to data centers. The increase in the amount of observed data not only provides support for marine scientific research but also raises [...] Read more.
With the construction and deployment of seafloor observatories around the world, massive amounts of oceanographic measurement data were gathered and transmitted to data centers. The increase in the amount of observed data not only provides support for marine scientific research but also raises the requirements for data quality control, as scientists must ensure that their research outcomes come from high-quality data. In this paper, we first analyzed and defined data quality problems occurring in the East China Sea Seafloor Observatory System (ECSSOS). We then proposed a method to detect and repair the data quality problems of seafloor observatories. Incorporating data statistics and expert knowledge from domain specialists, the proposed method consists of three parts: a general pretest to preprocess data and provide a router for further processing, data outlier detection methods to label suspect data points, and a data interpolation method to fill up missing and suspect data. The autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was improved and applied to seafloor observatory data quality control by using a sliding window and cleaning the input modeling data. Furthermore, a quality control flag system was also proposed and applied to describe data quality control results and processing procedure information. The real observed data in ECSSOS were used to implement and test the proposed method. The results demonstrated that the proposed method performed effectively at detecting and repairing data quality problems for seafloor observatory data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
An Effective Scheduling Algorithm for Coverage Control in Underwater Acoustic Sensor Network
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2512; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082512 - 01 Aug 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Coverage maintenance is a bottleneck restricting the development of underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs). Since the energy of the nodes is limited, the coverage of UASNs may gradually decrease as the network operates. Thus, energy-saving coverage control is crucial for UASNs. To solve [...] Read more.
Coverage maintenance is a bottleneck restricting the development of underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs). Since the energy of the nodes is limited, the coverage of UASNs may gradually decrease as the network operates. Thus, energy-saving coverage control is crucial for UASNs. To solve the above problems, this paper proposes a coverage-control strategy (referred to as ESACC) that establishes a sleep–wake scheduling mechanism based on the redundancy of deployment nodes. The strategy has two main parts: (1) Node sleep scheduling based on a memetic algorithm. To ensure network monitoring performance, only some nodes are scheduled to work, with redundant nodes in a low-power hibernation state, reducing energy consumption and prolonging the network lifetime. The goal of node scheduling is to find a minimum set of nodes that can cover the monitoring area, and a memetic algorithm can solve this problem. (2) Wake-up scheme. During network operation, sleeping nodes are woken to cover the dead nodes and maintain high coverage. This scheme not only reduces the network energy consumption but takes into account the monitoring coverage of the network. The experimental data show that ESACC performs better than current algorithms, and can improve the network life cycle while ensuring high coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
A Conformal Driving Class IV Flextensional Transducer
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072102 - 30 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Class IV Flextensional Transducers (FTs) are the most popular among various FTs used as low-frequency and high power underwater acoustic sources. However, an undeniable fact exists in Class IV FTs is that the resonance frequency of breathing mode regulator used is fairly raised [...] Read more.
Class IV Flextensional Transducers (FTs) are the most popular among various FTs used as low-frequency and high power underwater acoustic sources. However, an undeniable fact exists in Class IV FTs is that the resonance frequency of breathing mode regulator used is fairly raised by its longitudinal driver stacks. In this research, a conformal driving Class IV FT in which the driver stacks are kept conformal with its oval shell was proposed aiming at the limitations of conventional driving Class IV FTs described above. The device exhibits competitive Transmitting Voltage Responses (TVRs) but much lower operation frequencies with respect to conventional driving Class IV FTs, through the designs of conformal and segmentally controlled driver stacks. Geometric parameters analysis was carried out extensively by Finite Element (FE) simulations for the design optimizations and then a conformal driving Class IV FT resonating at 510 Hz (45% approximately lower than that of conventional driving Class IV FT with the same shell geometry) was finalized. Subsequently the conformal driving Class IV was fabricated and tested in the anechoic tank experimentally. Good agreements of both FE predictions and experimental results demonstrate its low-frequency and small-size acoustic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Routing Protocols for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks: Taxonomy, Research Challenges, Routing Strategies and Future Directions
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051619 - 18 May 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
Recent research in underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs) has gained the attention of researchers in academia and industry for a number of applications. They include disaster and earthquake prediction, water quality and environment monitoring, leakage and mine detection, military surveillance and underwater navigation. [...] Read more.
Recent research in underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs) has gained the attention of researchers in academia and industry for a number of applications. They include disaster and earthquake prediction, water quality and environment monitoring, leakage and mine detection, military surveillance and underwater navigation. However, the aquatic medium is associated with a number of limitations and challenges: long multipath delay, high interference and noise, harsh environment, low bandwidth and limited battery life of the sensor nodes. These challenges demand research techniques and strategies to be overcome in an efficient and effective fashion. The design of routing protocols for UWSNs is one of the promising solutions to cope with these challenges. This paper presents a survey of the routing protocols for UWSNs. For the ease of description, the addressed routing protocols are classified into two groups: localization-based and localization-free protocols. These groups are further subdivided according to the problems they address or the major parameters they consider during routing. Unlike the existing surveys, this survey considers only the latest and state-of-the-art routing protocols. In addition, every protocol is described in terms of its routing strategy and the problem it addresses and solves. The merit(s) of each protocol is (are) highlighted along with the cost. A description of the protocols in this fashion has a number of advantages for researchers, as compared to the existing surveys. Firstly, the description of the routing strategy of each protocol makes its routing operation easily understandable. Secondly, the demerit(s) of a protocol provides (provide) insight into overcoming its flaw(s) in future investigation. This, in turn, leads to the foundation of new protocols that are more intelligent, robust and efficient with respect to the desired parameters. Thirdly, a protocol can be selected for the appropriate application based on its described merit(s). Finally, open challenges and research directions are presented for future investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
Open AccessArticle
H-SLAM: Rao-Blackwellized Particle Filter SLAM Using Hilbert Maps
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051386 - 01 May 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Occupancy Grid maps provide a probabilistic representation of space which is important for a variety of robotic applications like path planning and autonomous manipulation. In this paper, a SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) framework capable of obtaining this representation online is presented. The [...] Read more.
Occupancy Grid maps provide a probabilistic representation of space which is important for a variety of robotic applications like path planning and autonomous manipulation. In this paper, a SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) framework capable of obtaining this representation online is presented. The H-SLAM (Hilbert Maps SLAM) is based on Hilbert Map representation and uses a Particle Filter to represent the robot state. Hilbert Maps offer a continuous probabilistic representation with a small memory footprint. We present a series of experimental results carried both in simulation and with real AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles). These results demonstrate that our approach is able to represent the environment more consistently while capable of running online. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Consumption Research of Mobile Data Collection Protocol for Underwater Nodes Using an USV
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041211 - 16 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) integrated with an acoustic modem is a novel mobile vehicle for data collection, which has an advantage in terms of mobility, efficiency, and collection cost. In the scenario of data collection, the USV is controlled autonomously along the [...] Read more.
The Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) integrated with an acoustic modem is a novel mobile vehicle for data collection, which has an advantage in terms of mobility, efficiency, and collection cost. In the scenario of data collection, the USV is controlled autonomously along the planning trajectory and the data of underwater nodes are dynamically collected. In order to improve the efficiency of data collection and extend the life of the underwater nodes, a mobile data collection protocol for underwater nodes using the USV was proposed. In the protocol, the stop-and-wait ARQ transmission mechanism is adopted, where the duty cycle is designed considering the ratio between the sleep mode and the detection mode, and the transmission ratio is defined by the duty cycle, wake-up signal cycles, and USV’s speed. According to protocol, the evaluation index for energy consumption is constructed based on the duty cycle and the transmission ratio. The energy consumption of the protocol is simulated and analyzed using the mobile communication experiment data of USV, taking into consideration USV’s speed, data sequence length, and duty cycle. Optimized protocol parameters are identified, which in turn denotes the proposed protocol’s feasibility and effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Seismic Data from the Bottom Sea
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041132 - 08 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
An anchored marine seismometer, acquiring real-time seismic data, has been built and tested. The system consists of an underwater seismometer, a surface buoy, and a mooring line that connects them. Inductive communication through the mooring line provides an inexpensive, reliable, and flexible solution. [...] Read more.
An anchored marine seismometer, acquiring real-time seismic data, has been built and tested. The system consists of an underwater seismometer, a surface buoy, and a mooring line that connects them. Inductive communication through the mooring line provides an inexpensive, reliable, and flexible solution. Prior to the deployment the dynamics of the system have been simulated numerically in order to find optimal materials, cables, buoys, and connections under critical marine conditions. The seismometer used is a high sensitivity triaxial broadband geophone able to measure low vibrational signals produced by the underwater seismic events. The power to operate the surface buoy is provided by solar panels. Additional batteries are needed for the underwater unit. In this paper we also present the first results and an earthquake detection of a prototype system that demonstrates the feasibility of this concept. The seismometer transmits continuous data at a rate of 1000 bps to a controller equipped with a radio link in the surface buoy. A GPS receiver on the surface buoy has been configured to perform accurate timestamps on the seismic data, which makes it possible to integrate the seismic data from these marine seismometers into the existing seismic network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
3D Laser Scanner for Underwater Manipulation
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041086 - 04 Apr 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Nowadays, research in autonomous underwater manipulation has demonstrated simple applications like picking an object from the sea floor, turning a valve or plugging and unplugging a connector. These are fairly simple tasks compared with those already demonstrated by the mobile robotics community, which [...] Read more.
Nowadays, research in autonomous underwater manipulation has demonstrated simple applications like picking an object from the sea floor, turning a valve or plugging and unplugging a connector. These are fairly simple tasks compared with those already demonstrated by the mobile robotics community, which include, among others, safe arm motion within areas populated with a priori unknown obstacles or the recognition and location of objects based on their 3D model to grasp them. Kinect-like 3D sensors have contributed significantly to the advance of mobile manipulation providing 3D sensing capabilities in real-time at low cost. Unfortunately, the underwater robotics community is lacking a 3D sensor with similar capabilities to provide rich 3D information of the work space. In this paper, we present a new underwater 3D laser scanner and demonstrate its capabilities for underwater manipulation. In order to use this sensor in conjunction with manipulators, a calibration method to find the relative position between the manipulator and the 3D laser scanner is presented. Then, two different advanced underwater manipulation tasks beyond the state of the art are demonstrated using two different manipulation systems. First, an eight Degrees of Freedom (DoF) fixed-base manipulator system is used to demonstrate arm motion within a work space populated with a priori unknown fixed obstacles. Next, an eight DoF free floating Underwater Vehicle-Manipulator System (UVMS) is used to autonomously grasp an object from the bottom of a water tank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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Open AccessProject Report
Modular AUV System with Integrated Real-Time Water Quality Analysis
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061837 - 05 Jun 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
This paper describes the concept, the technical implementation and the practical application of a miniaturized sensor system integrated into an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for real-time acquisition of water quality parameters. The main application field of the presented system is the analysis of [...] Read more.
This paper describes the concept, the technical implementation and the practical application of a miniaturized sensor system integrated into an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for real-time acquisition of water quality parameters. The main application field of the presented system is the analysis of the discharge of nitrates into Norwegian fjords near aqua farms. The presented system was developed within the research project SALMON (Sea Water Quality Monitoring and Management) over a three-year period. The development of the sensor system for water quality parameters represented a significant challenge for the research group, as it was to be integrated in the payload unit of the autonomous underwater vehicle in compliance with the underwater environmental conditions. The German company -4H- JENA engineering GmbH (4HJE), with experience in optical in situ-detection of nutrients, designed and built the measurement system. As a carrier platform, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) “CWolf” from Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung - Institutsteil Angewandte Systemtechnik (IOSB-AST) modified to an AUV was deployed. The concept presented illustrates how the measurement system can be integrated easily into the vehicle with a minimum of hard- and software technical interfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensing, Communication, Networking and Systems)
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