Adaptive Modulation for Long-Range Underwater Acoustic Communication

Jianchun Huang, Roee Diamant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-range underwater acoustic communication (LR-UWAC) refers to the peer-to-peer transmission of messages for distances of tens to hundreds of km. It is a key enabling technique for applications such as control over unmanned underwater vehicles for long-term surveying. While underwater acoustic communication over shorter ranges is an established technique, this is not the case for LR-UWAC. This gap is mostly due to channel uncertainties: in the absence of feedback from the receiver and due to the long transmission range, channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter may not reflect the actual channel. In this paper, we propose an adaptive approach to pre-set the modulation scheme for LR-UWAC. This is a channel classification approach which, based on environmental information and on prior training on various channel types, predicts the best modulation scheme for the expected channel. Our classification procedure is trained to identify the channel's important features. Thus, compared to a direct decision approach, it becomes less sensitive to possible mismatches of environmental information. Our numerical simulation and sea experiment show that our approach successfully identifies the best modulation scheme based on the environmental information-even when the information is biased or only partially available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9137713
Pages (from-to)6844-6857
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received August 13, 2019; revised December 29, 2019 and April 23, 2020; accepted June 22, 2020. Date of publication July 9, 2020; date of current version October 9, 2020. This work was supported in part by the Israeli Ministry of Energy, Action on Environmental Impact Assessment and in part by the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This article was presented in part at the 2019 IEEE Oceans Conference, Marseille, France, 2019. This latter conference version does not include the channel classification methodology, the full simulation results, and the results from the sea experiment. The associate editor coordinating the review of this article and approving it for publication was P. Salvo Rossi. (Corresponding author: Jianchun Huang.) Jianchun Huang is with the Department of Marine Technologies, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel, also with the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China, and also with the Key Laboratory of Underwater Acoustic Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • adaptive modulation
  • channel classification
  • channel simulation
  • long-range underwater acoustic communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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