Simulation of a Multimodal Wireless Remote Control System for Underwater Vehicles
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While the design of reliable and enduring remotely operated vehicles for underwater operations is currently a hot research area, there are not many options to control these systems in real time using wireless telemetry. In particular, a reliable, fully wireless control method that exploits state-of-the-art underwater wireless communication technologies is still lacking. In this paper, we consider the design and engineering of one such multimodal control system comprising optical and acoustic underwater communications, and characterize its performance under different configurations of the communication protocol stack. Compared to previous work, we introduce a proactive mechanism to switch among the components of the multimodal system by means of a signaling mechanism that requires negligible overhead. Our results suggest that a multimodal wireless control system can provide satisfactory control performance by supplying different levels of interaction with the vehicle, depending on the technology in use, and by reliably and timely switching between the available communication technologies.