Underwater Acoustic Communications

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Multi-user communications diagram
Collaborators: BAE Systems
Sponsors: ONR
The underwater channel severely distorts acoustic communications waveforms in both time and frequency, corrupting the received data. Interference from simultaneous transmitters and extraneous sources poses further challenges. For this project, I design and test simulations that realistically model the transmission of acoustic communication waveforms in the underwater channel using the Sonar Simulation Toolkit (SST). In particular, I am working closely with BAE Systems to characterize the performance of a particular type of FSK modulation called differential frequency hopping (DFH) in the underwater channel. We conduct preliminary simulation studies, design algorithmic improvements based on these simulations, and verify the performance of DFH on real data collected during sea trials. By iterating this process we've been able to make DFH even more robust to the environmental effects and to multi-user interference.