Long-Range Underwater Acoustic Channel Estimation

Weihua Jiang, Roee Diamant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-range underwater acoustic communication (LR-UWAC) is an essential technique for applications such as the control of unmanned underwater vehicles, gliders, or tactical submarines for long-term monitoring tasks. While techniques for estimating the channel impulse response (CIR) of short-range UWAC have been successfully applied, this is not the case for LR-UWAC. Here, the main challenge is to handle the diverse channel structure, which can be of a sparse or a non-sparse structure. In this paper, we propose a robust channel estimator for LR-UWAC. Our solution includes a switching mechanism to classify the channel as either sparse or non-sparse. In its sparse form, the LR-UWAC channel is characterized by a long time delay spread, time-invariant characteristics, and a block structure. Thus, we propose a non-trivial combination of the block subspace pursuit and the distributed subspace pursuit algorithms to exploit the channel's block structure. For non-sparse LR-UWAC channel structures, we approximate the received signal as Gaussian, and derive a maximum-likelihood (ML) estimator to separate the non-resolvable multipath. Extensive numerical simulation and results from two long-range sea experiments demonstrate the efficiency of our approach in identifying the channel's structure, and to accurately estimate the channel compared to state-of-the-art benchmarks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6267-6282
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • Long range underwater acoustic communication
  • block structure
  • channel estimation
  • diverse channel structure
  • non-resolvable multipath

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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