The Internet Underwater: Monitoring Undersea Conditions With Acoustic Networks

By Doug

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State University of New York researchers in Buffalo are testing a wireless underwater network of nodes that chirp acoustic, rather than RF, transmissions from lake or ocean floors to a receiver on the water’s surface, and then forward that data to the Internet via a cellular connection. The underwater nodes transmit at 11.5 kHz, forming a network that forwards data over the course of potentially many miles, back to a receiving node linked to software on a back-end system at the water’s surface. When sensors, such as temperature-measurement devices, are built into or wired to the unit, that unit can then transmit information regarding changes in the water. Learn how the system could eventually enable scientists to predict tsunamis or other natural disasters, as well as locate underwater oil or natural gas sources, or to monitor fish and marine mammals within the vicinity.