Head, Acoustic Research Laboratory, and Associate Professor,
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore
25th May 2022, 4:00pm - 5:00pm (GST)
Unusual suspects: A tale of discovery of less known, but critical, challenges in underwater communication.
It is well known that underwater acoustic communication can be often challenging. Decades of research have unveiled challenges such as poor propagation conditions as a result of adverse sound speed profiles, excessive reverberation in confined or shallow waters, bubbles due to breaking waves in surf zones, and multi-scale Doppler due to surface waves. The waters around Singapore tend to be well mixed, and with mild winds. One would therefore expect underwater communication to be easy in these waters, but yet Singapore offers one of the more challenging waters for underwater modems. In this talk, I'll explore two of the key contributing factors that make Singapore waters difficult to communicate in -- impulsive ambient noise due to snapping shrimp, and persistent bubbles due to heavy shipping. These factors are not just unique to Singapore, but also present challenges in other warm shallow and littoral waters around the world, with busy shipping or an active biota. Surprisingly, some of the things we are learning in the tropical waters around Singapore also teaches us a lot about communicating in the arctic -- an environment that couldn't be more different, but yet shares some key acoustic attributes.