Underwater Wireless Optical Communications Systems: from System-Level Demonstrations to Channel Modeling

  • Hassan M. Oubei

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Approximately, two-thirds of earth's surface is covered by water. There is a growing interest from the military and commercial communities in having, an efficient, secure and high bandwidth underwater wireless communication (UWC) system for tactical underwater applications such as oceanography studies and offshore oil exploration. The existing acoustic and radio frequency (RF) technologies are severely limited in bandwidth because of the strong frequency dependent attenuation of sound in seawater and the high conductivity of seawater at radio frequencies, respectively. Recently, underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) has been proposed as the best alternative or complementary solution to meet this challenge. Taking advantage of the low absorption window of seawater in blue-green (400-550 nm) regime of the electromagnetic spectrum, UWOC is expected to establish secure, efficient and high data rate communication links over short and moderate distances (< 100 m) for versatile applications such as underwater oil pipe inspection, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sensor networks. UWOC uses the latest gallium nitrite (GaN) visible light-emitting diode (LED) and laser diode (LD) transmitters. Although some research on LED lased UWOC is being conducted, both the military and academic 5 research communities are favoring the use of laser beams, which potentially could enhance the available bandwidth by up to three orders of magnitude. However, the underwater wireless channel is optically very challenging and difficult to predict. The propagation of laser beams in seawater is significantly affected by the harsh marine environments and suffers from severe attenuation which is a combined effect of absorption and scattering, optical turbulence, and multipath effects at high transmission rates. These limitations distort the intensity and phase structure of the optical beam leading to a decrease in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) which ultimately degrades the performance of UWOC links by increasing the probability of error. In this dissertation, we seek to experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of short range (≤ 20 m) UWOC systems over various underwater channel water types using different modulation schemes as well as to model and describe the statistical properties of turbulence-induced fading in underwater wireless optical channels using laser beam intensity fluctuations measurements.
Date of AwardJun 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
SupervisorBoon Ooi (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • underwater wireless optical communication
  • Oceanic propagation
  • Oceanic turbulence
  • Underwater Channel modeling
  • Free-space optical communication
  • Visible Light Communication

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