Assessment of Wide-Sense Stationarity of an Underwater Acoustic Channel Based on a Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence Probe Signal

The performances of Underwater Acoustic Communication (UAC) systems are strongly related to the specific propagation conditions of the underwater channel. Designing the physical layer of a reliable data transmission system requires a knowledge of channel characteristics in terms of the specific parameters of the stochastic model. The Wide-Sense Stationary Uncorrelated Scattering (WSSUS) assumption simplifies the stochastic description of the channel, and thus the estimation of its transmission parameters. However, shallow underwater channels may not meet the WSSUS assumption. This paper proposes a method for testing the Wide-Sense Stationary (WSS) part of the WSSUS feature of a UAC channel on the basis of the complex envelope of a received probe Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence (PRBS) signal. Two correlation coefficients are calculated that can be interpreted, together, as a measure that determines whether the channel is WSS or not. A similar wide-sense stationarity assessment can be performed on the basis of the Time-Varying Impulse Response (TVIR) of a UAC channel. However, the method proposed in this paper requires fewer computational operations in the receiver of a UAC system. PRBS signal transmission tests were conducted in the UAC channel simulator and in real conditions during an inland water experiment. The correlation coefficient values obtained using the method based on the envelope of a probe signal and the method of analysing the TVIR estimates are compared. The results are similar, and thus, it is possible to assess if the UAC channel can be modelled as a WSS stochastic process without the need for TVIR estimation.

Direction-of-Arrival Estimation Methods in Interferometric Echo Sounding

Nowadays, there are two leading sea sounding technologies: the multibeam echo sounder and the multiphase echo sounder (also known as phase-dierence side scan sonar or bathymetric side scan sonar). Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, and they can be perceived as complementary to each other. The article reviews the development of interferometric echo sounding array configurations and the various methods applied to determine the direction-of-arrival. “Interferometric echo sounder” is a broad term, applied to various devices that primarily utilize phase dierence measurements to estimate the direction-of-arrival. The article focuses on modifications to the interferometric sonar array that have led to the state-of-the-art multiphase echo sounder. The main algorithms for classical and modern interferometric echo sounder direction-of-arrival estimation are also outlined. The accuracy of direction-of-arrival estimation methods is dependent on the configuration of the array and external and internal noise sources. The main sources of errors, which influence the accuracy of the phase dierence measurements, are also briefly characterized. The article ends with a review of the current research into improvements in the accuracy of interferometric echo sounding and the application of the principle of interferometric in other devices.

Reliable OFDM Data Transmission with Pilot Tones and Error-Correction Coding in Shallow Underwater Acoustic Channel

The performance of Underwater Acoustic Communication (UAC) systems are strongly related to the specific propagation conditions of the underwater channel. Horizontal, shallow-water channels are characterised by extremely disadvantageous transmission properties, due to strong multipath propagation and refraction phenomena. The paper presents the results of communication tests performed during a shallow, inland-water experiment with the use of a laboratory model of a UAC system implementing the Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technique. The physical layer of data transmission is partially configurable, enabling adaptation of the modulation and channel coding parameters to the specific propagation conditions. The communication tests were preceded by measurement of the UAC channel transmission properties. Based on the estimated transmission parameters, four configurations of OFDM modulation parameters were selected, and for each of them, communication tests were performed with the use of two Error-Correction Coding (ECC) techniques. In each case, the minimum coding rate was determined for which reliable data transmission with a Bit Error Rate (BER) of less than 10−4 is possible

Shallow Water Experiment of OFDM Underwater Acoustic Communications

The large variability of communication properties of underwater acoustic channels, and especially the strongly varying instantaneous conditions in shallow waters, is a challenge for the designers of underwater acoustic communication (UAC) systems. The use of phase modulated signals does not allow reliable data transmission through such a tough communication channel. However, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), being a multi-carrier amplitude and phase modulation technique applied successfully in the latest standards of wireless communications, gives the chance of reliable communication with an acceptable error rate. This paper describes communication tests conducted with the use of a laboratory model of an OFDM data transmission system in a shallow water environment in Wdzydze Lake.

Underwater Navigation Ssystem Based on Doppler Shift – Measurements and Error Estimations

A new acoustic navigation system was developed to determine the position and speed of moving underwater objects such as divers and underwater vehicles. The path of an object and its speed were determined by the Doppler shifts of acoustic signals emitted by a transmitter placed on the object and received by four hydrophones installed at the periphery of the monitored body of water. The position and speed measurements were affected by errors mainly caused by acoustic reflections (returns) from the water body boundaries and surface reverberations. This paper discusses the source of the disturbances with the results of a simulation test and experimental measurements. It was demonstrated that the magnitude of the errors could be acceptable in most of the potential applications of the acoustic navigation system.

Performance of Coherent Modulation Scheme Used in Acoustic Underwater Communication System

The development of an acoustic underwater communication system for shallow waters is still a big scientificand construction challenge. Currently, non-coherent modulations in combination with strong channel coding are used to achieve reliable communication with low rate in such a channel. To obtain transmission with a higher transmission rate, it is required to use coherent modulation. This paper presents the assumptions of such a transmission system and the results of data transmission carried out by this system in the channel with the Rician fading, which reflects the short range shallow water channel. A digital version of the carrier phase modulation known as Phase-Shift Keying was selected for simulation.

Simulation of Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum Data Transmission System for Reliable Underwater Acoustic Communications

Underwater acoustic communication (UAC) system designers tend to transmit as much information as possible, per unit of time, at as low as possible error rate. It is a particularly difficult task in a shallow underwater channel in which the signal suffers from strong time dispersion due to multipath propagation and refraction phenomena. The direct-sequence spread spectrum technique (DSSS) applied successfully in the latest standards of wireless communications, gives the chance of reliable data transmission with an acceptable error rate in a shallow underwater channel. It utilizes pseudo-random sequences to modulate data signals, and thus increases the transmitted signal resilience against the inter symbol interference (ISI) caused by multipath propagation. This paper presents the results of simulation tests of DSSS data transmission with the use of different UAC channel models using binary spreading sequences.

A method for testing the wide-sense stationary uncorrelated scattering assumption fulfillment for an underwater acoustic channel

Wide-sense stationary and uncorrelated scattering (WSSUS) assumptions are often applied for the statistical description of wireless communication channels. However, in the case of underwater acoustic channels the WSSUS model is of limited value. The degree of similarity of in-phase and quadrature components of the channel impulse response, measured with the use of bandpass modulated signals, can be used as an indicator of WSSUS assumption fulfillment. The paper describes an experimental method that uses quadrature Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence to evaluate the validity of the WSSUS assumption. The technique was developed by analyzing the shallow water experiment in the Bornholm Basin of the Baltic Sea.

Estimation of Coherence Bandwidth for Underwater Acoustic Communication Channel

A shallow underwater acoustic communication channel is characterized by strong multipath propagation. The signal reaching the receiver consists of a direct waveform and a number of its delayed and suppressed replica. A significant time dispersion of the transmitted signal and selective fading of its spectrum are observed. Coherence bandwidth defines maximal bandwidth, wherein the channel amplitude characteristic remains constant and its phase characteristic is linear. It is one of the channel transmission parameters that determine the physical layer of data transmission. Coherence bandwidth can be calculated on the basis of the channel impulse response, measured by the correlation method with the use of wideband frequency modulated signals or pseudo-random binary sequences. Both types of probe signals have an impulse-like autocorrelation function whose influence on the impulse response estimate is often considered as negligible. However, probe signals practically used in measuring systems have a limited bandwidth, which causes their correlation properties to be different than in the truly wideband case. This has a direct impact on impulse response and transmission parameters estimates. In particular, the coherence bandwidth can differ significantly depending on the probe signal used. The paper proposes a method of correction of the probe signal influence on the estimate of channel coherence bandwidth.

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Technique for Underwater Acoustic Communication System

The performance of an underwater acoustic communication (UAC) system is limited due to tough propagation conditions in the UAC channel. Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technique can improve the reliability of the data transmission system, increase its speed, increase its range, and reduce the energy consumption. The paper presents an implementation method of MIMO technique in the form of coding the Space-Time Block Code and its optimal case in the form of Alamouti coding. The results of simulation tests in a channel with flat Rayleigh fading were included, which were compared with the quality of the SISO system.