On the relationship between the underwater acoustic and optical channels

Roee Diamant, Filippo Campagnaro, Michele De Filippo De Grazia, Paolo Casari, Alberto Testolin, Violeta Sanjuan Calzado, Michele Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wireless transmissions in water are mostly carried out via long-range (but low-rate) underwater acoustic communications, or short-range (but high-rate) underwater optical communications. In this paper, we are interested in finding out whether a statistical relationship exists between underwater acoustics and optics. Besides the theoretical interest of such a relationship, predicting the quality of the optical link through acoustics is also relevant in the context of a multimodal system with both acoustics and optics. Our study is based on a large data set acquired during the NATO ALOMEX 2015 expedition. During this experiment, we simultaneously measured several characteristics of the acoustic and optical links at multiple locations, reflecting a diversity of sea environments. Our results show a strong correlation between the properties of the acoustic link and the reliability of optical communications. This correlation makes it possible to predict the state of the underwater optical link at a certain depth and range. Due to the complexity of the acoustic and optical channels, we could not find the source of this correlation. This paper is, therefore, aimed to stimulate a theoretical study of the mutual properties of underwater acoustic and optical communication links. For reproducibility, we share the processed data from the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8037-8051
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


  • Classification
  • Machine learning
  • Multimodal systems
  • Prediction
  • Sea experiment
  • Support vector machine
  • Underwater acoustic communications
  • Underwater optical communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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