Underwater Acoustic Data Communications for Autonomous Platform Command, Control and Communications
Final rept. 15 Dec 1998-12 Feb 2001
BAE SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY NASHUA NH
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of this study is to provide an analysis and assessment of the state-of-the-art of underwater acoustic UWA data communications technology with application to multiple vehicle operation in support of shallow-water mine countermeasures MCM operations. This study is intended to provide system architects with a reference to what the current state of acoustic communications technology can provide and to support the execution of system architecture trades. Included are discussions and analyses that may be used to predict the performance, strengths, and limitations of different approaches to acoustic communications in facilitating the overall MCM system approach. Not only does the underwater environment constrain the data rates achievable but it also limits the maximum ranges achievable. Acoustic attenuation in the ocean is frequency-dependent with higher frequencies propagating shorter distances. The requirement to provide connectivity to submerged Naval assets over very long ranges is unlikely to be met directly with a single acoustic link due to the complex effects of acoustic propagation and limited propagation ranges. One solution is to create an UWA network of communications nodes. Another solution to this requirement is to use a buoy to convert acoustic signals to and from radio frequency RF signals. This solution provides real-time two-way communications to distant surface ships, aircraft andor satellites that can act as relays to integrate undersea communications into the RF-based communications network.