Professor of Telecommunications and Networking,
Department of Information Engineering University of Padova, Italy
11th May 2022, 4:00pm – 5:00pm (GST)
Design, simulation and optimization of multimodal underwater networks
When referring to underwater communication and networks, it is usually implied that acoustic technologies are employed for wireless information transfer. Indeed, acoustic communication schemes and systems have been widely researched and studied, and many practical modem implementations and commercial products exist that deliver acoustic communications for general-purpose or niche applications. Acoustic modems are generally characterized by a convenient mix of long transmission ranges, fair reliability and robustness, at the cost of a low data rate. The recent uptake of non-acoustic underwater transmission systems suggests that in the near future it will be common for underwater devices to incorporate different physical communication technologies. Such devices are typically described as multimodal. They seek flexibility by compensating for the shortcomings of a given technology through the advantages of another. For example, a system encompassing acoustic and optical communication systems can provide long-range, low-bit-rate communications, while enabling faster data transfer at very short range. As the development of non-acoustic underwater communications is taking momentum, so is the research on how to optimally exploit the multimodal communications capabilities in different scenarios. This presentation presents a survey of our own past and recent work on this topic, covering the development both of the communication technologies and of the networking schemes and protocols for multimodal networks. As an example of the opportunities offered by multimodal communications, we discuss a few different case studies. We conclude with an outlook on likely future developments for multimodal communications.