The objective of this program is to conduct an in-depth investigation of underwater distributed antenna system, where a large number of spatially distributed underwater transducers / hydrophones are interconnected via cable or radio links. Such systems are drastically different from their terrestrial counterparts due to unique underwater channel characteristics. Field engineers have relied on engineering intuition when building such operational networks to support communication and navigation needs of autonomous underwater vehicles. However, a systematic study of such systems is lacking. This program will explore both fundamental limits and the design of practical communication algorithms for different types of traffics in such a system. Selected designs will be validated in real-world facilities with different channel conditions and system characteristics.
Intellectual merit: The intellectual merit is to address realistic challenges in a unique underwater distributed antenna system, which differs from the radio counterparts due to long channel dispersion, fast channel variation, large propagation delay, and half duplex operational constraint. This program will provide a rich set of theoretical insights and practical algorithms, supported by extensive real-world validations.
Broader impacts: The broader impacts are: (i) fast transition of the project outcome to practical underwater distributed antenna systems, providing tremendous benefits to various scientific and homeland security applications; (ii) involvement of graduate students in challenging research problems in the fast-growing field of underwater acoustic networks; (iii) participation of undergraduates, women and other under-represented groups, in advanced research and its practical applications.