Underwater radiocommunications: An alternative to acoustics?
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Radio-frequency communications are recently being re-evaluated for the purpose of transmitting digital data under water. However, the conductivity of ocean waters as well as fresh waters tends to quickly dissipate the power of a radiating radio wave, confining the communication range within a few tens of cm, and requiring careful design of antennas, physical layer modulation techniques and of the system as a whole. In this talk, we will address the vision of IMDEA Networks on radio communications under water, review a few recent underwater applications whose challenges could be at least partially addressed via radio-frequency communications, and discuss relevant previous work and current efforts related to this topic. The bottom line of the presented arguments is that, compared to optical and acoustic communications, underwater digital radio communications constitute a comparatively newer research area. However, if the technology will be sufficiently researched and developed, this technology is very likely to provide a good solution to a set of practical communication and operational problems found in underwater static and mobile networks.