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

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 12, 2016; revised April 27, 2017 and July 15, 2017; accepted September 12, 2017. Date of publication September 29, 2017; date of current version December 8, 2017. This work was supported in part by the Environmental Knowledge and Operation Effectiveness Program of the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation and in part by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme under Grant G5293. The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication was Z. Sun. (Corresponding author: Roee Diamant.) R. Diamant is with the Department of Marine Technology, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel (e-mail: roeed@univ.haifa.ac.il).

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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