Underwater Acoustics, Communication and Networking

Written by Super User. Posted in research

Technology: sonar systems, acoustic imaging, geoacoustics

Applications: team operations, positioning and localization systems, intervention, marine mammals monitoring, active detection, harbor protection, performance prediction


The distribution of the tasks of a single mission among different vehicles is based on communication and autonomous cooperation capabilities.

ISME carries on an intensive research on hydroacoustic communication.

One of the most recent projects aiming at building an underwater acoustic network is Archeosub, involving ISME nodes of Firenze and Roma La Sapienza. Archeosub aims to develop products and services in support of the discovery of new Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) sites and of the surveying, conservation, protection, and valorization of new and existing ones. The project will use an in-situ underwater sensor network deployed at a site for real-time monitoring and surveillance. 


ISME is also involved in developing underwater acoustic communication and localization devices. In the last years the development of the first low-cost acoustic modem took place by DIMES, University of Calabria, with the aim to offer an open hardware/software platform for developing underwater cost-effective control, communication and localization applications, especially well suited for universities and research centres in their first proof-of-concepts development phases.

The research is going on and it now is focused on new and more robust modulation techniques, on adding additional ranging capabilities and networking protocols. In-house hardware and software development ensure a fully reconfigurable device that can be adapted to any need with easiness. Ranging capabilities enable the integration of localization and communication functionalities. Custom localization algorithms can be developed by using acoustic two-way or one-way protocols. One-way ranging is carried out with the integration of high precision synchronization (atomic) clocks. 

By exploiting  these technologies in the VISAS and Bluemed projects, novel LBL and SBL systems for underwater tablets localization were developed in collaboration with industry.


In the Sunrise - Nemo project it was also demonstrated the applicability of acoustic communication and networking underwater technologies for water quality monitoring and the automation of underwater fish farms.