Underwater Acoustic Networks

Underwater Acoustic Networks: Performance Analysis and Protocol Design


The SIGNET group at the Information Engineering Department of the University of Padova, led by Prof. Michele Zorzi, has been active for some years now in the field of underwater communications and networking. The group features both personnel permanently allocated to the topic and temporary collaborations with students and fellows of other Universities, as well as external collaborations with private institutions. The interests of the SIGNET group are widespread, and span from realistic channel modeling to MAC protocol analysis and design, from channel allocation schemes for channel-aware FDMA to routing and broadcasting in fixed as well as mobile networks.
Our activities include, but are not limited to:
  1. Channel modeling: we seek compact models, encompassing peculiar underwater channel features that are not typical of radio channels, such as shadow zones, horizontal vs. vertical channel fading, spherical vs. cylindrical propagation and attenuation, etc. In addition we study how to relate environmental factors such as the geographic location, season, type of bottom sediments, surface waves patterns, etc., to channel statistics, in order to drive the design of underwater networking protocols. The models we look for should are meant to be easy enough to be incorporated into network simulators. This task is carried out in collaboration with institutions and research centers such as the NATO CMRE, WHOI and Scripps, that can provide realistic data from undersea measurement campaigns.

  2. MAC protocol design and evaluation: we have been analyzing and designing a number of MAC solutions by means of stochastic models, in order to discover which features make one protocol perform better than others. Thanks to tools such as WOSS, specifically designed to provide realistic channel behaviors to simulations, we can perform network simulation in a variety of scenarios. This line of research will eventually lead to the definition of a novel protocol that should include all the best behaviors seen in other approaches.

  3. Routing protocol design and evaluation: routing in multihop underwater networks may turn out to be a very challenging task, as different underwater applications and tasks may require very different performance in terms of network responsiveness or communications robustness. In some cases, this may require delay-tolerant routing protocols, that work well in the presence of very long propagation delays and intermittent connectivity. Broadcasting also represent a fundamental primitive that will enable baseline (e.g., network reprogramming) as well as priority operations (e.g., alarm spreading, distress calls). We analyzed the relevant routing tradeoffs that allow, e.g., to save energy by choosing wisely which nodes will relay messages; this led to the definition of some routing paradigms that proved to work well in 2D and 3D networks. We also designed several protocols such as SUN, UDTN, UW-Polling, etc., which help manage information routing and data retrieval in generic UW networks where no knowledge of the network topology is available a priori. We are also working towards solutions that make use of some compressed knowledge of the channel gain in order to optimize multihop communications.

  4. Error control over underwater acoustic links: We have investigated several policies for error control in underwater networks, both over single links and in multiuser networks with multiple access interference. Our work led to the definition of an ARQ policy that reduces the in-order delivery delay over single links, to a study of Hybrid-ARQ implemented using “good” code ensembles over correlated single-link underwater channels, and to USR, a policy that emulates Selective Repeat ARQ over half-duplex underwater channels and works well in multiuser networks. In the past, we also designed efficient broadcasting techniques based on Hybrid ARQ with a strong FEC component, in order to prevent long retransmission delays.

  5. Sea trials and experiments: underwater networking is known to be a challenging task, which in turn requires to demonstrate networking protocols and solutions at-sea before claiming that they actually work. In order to make this task easier and to reduce the protocol design-to-experimentation delay, we have designed an interface which makes it possible to reuse network simulator code for at-sea experiments. This interface is becoming more mature by the day, in order to support different modems and network architectures, which yield most diverse requirements in terms of bit rate, MTU, frequency, and language to interface with the modem. Our interface is part of the DESERT Underwater libraries, a full solution for simulation and experimentation of underwater network protocols.

Projects recently completed

The underwarter acoustic networks group is currently involved in several efforts funded by major institutions worldwide. These efforts are typically in the form of 3- to 4-year projects involving up to 10 partners. The three major ongoing projects are:

CLAM logo   The goal of the CLAM project is to develop a collaborative embedded monitoring and control platform for surveillance of underwater equipment. This objective is being pursued by combining cutting edge acoustic vector sensor technology, 1D, 2D, and 3D sensor arrays, underwater wireless sensor networks protocol design, advanced techniques for acoustic communication, new solutions for collaborative situation-aware reasoning and distributed data and signal processing and control for linear sensor arrays.
NAUTILUS logo The main objective of the NAUTILUS project is to provide a comprehensive study of the technical issues related to the realization of underwater telerobotics, on which a system concept can be based. Specifically, the major outcome of the NAUTILUS project will be a complete solution for a communications and networking architecture for an underwater sensing, monitoring and exploration system comprising intelligent robots that need to perform collaborative missions. The main areas of research addressed will include underwater channel models, efficient acoustic communications, networking protocols (multiple access, routing, transport), and cross-layer protocol design.
Robust Acoustic Communications for Underwater Networks (RACUN) is a 4-year effort funded under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency. It involves underwater communication and networking technologies in support of several applications related to safety in operational environment, including establishing and maintaining a safe operating area, forward reconnaissance, underwater surveying using multiple AUVs and general-purpose communications. These objectives will be achieved by special-purpose reconfigurable modem design and by developing protocols for underwater channel access, routing and error control. The outcome of the project will be demonstrated using a heterogeneous network of several nodes including 2 mobile AUVs. RACUN does not have a public web site, but its concept is described in a paper appeared at IEEE/OES OCEANS 2011 Santander. The paper can be downloaded here .
and WHOI,

Further efforts include collaborations with the IMDEA Networks Institute, the University of Haifa, the NATO STO CMRE and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Past collaborations with Scripps and WHOI were funded by the US NSF and ONR. A collaboration with JHUAPL and a collaboration with SPAWAR have also been also funded by ONR.

People mainly involved

Paolo Casari

Paolo Casari

Federico Favaro

Federico Favaro

Ivano Calabrese

Ivano Calabrese

Federico Guerra

Federico Guerra
Filippo Campagnaro

Filippo Campagnaro
                  Roberto Francescon

Roberto Francescon
Roee Diamant

Roee Diamant
Samar Kaddouri

Samar Kaddouri

Former group members

                  Giovanni Toso

Giovanni Toso
Cristiano Tapparello

Cristiano Tapparello
Riccardo Masiero

Riccardo Masiero
                   Loris Brolo

Loris Brolo
Beatrice Tomasi

Beatrice Tomasi
Md. Saiful Azad

Saiful Azad

Talks and lectures

Lecturer Title of the talk Type and venue PDF
Michele Zorzi Re-engineering Wireless Networking Protocols: the Case of Underwater Acoustic Communications
Keynote speech at European Wireless Conference, Lucca, Italy, April 2010
Keynote Speech at EW2010 pdf
Michele Zorzi Recent results on underwater acoustic communication networks
Keynote speech at International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference, Cyprus, August 2012
Keynote Speech at IWCMC 2012 pdf
Michele Zorzi Modeling the UnderWater Acoustic (UWA) channel for simulation studies
Keynote speech at UCOMMS Conference, Sestri Levante, Italy, September 2012
Keynote Speech at UCOMMS 2012 pdf

Full list of published papers (from most recent)

# Authors Title Venue PDF
80. Francesca Meneghello, Filippo Campagnaro, Roee Diamant, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Design and Evaluation of a Low-Cost Acoustic Chamber for Underwater Networking Experiments WUWNet 2016 pdf
79. Filippo Campagnaro, Roberto Francescon, Federico Guerra, Federico Favaro, Paolo Casari, Roee Diamant, Michele Zorzi The DESERT Underwater Framework v2: Improved Capabilities and Extension Tools Ucomms 2016 pdf
78. Filippo Campagnaro, Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Roee Diamant, Michele Zorzi Implementation of a Multi-modal Acoustic-Optical Underwater Network Protocol Stack Oceans 2016 Shanghai pdf
77. Roee Diamant, Ryan Kastner, and Michele Zorzi Detection and Time-of-Arrival Estimation of Underwater Acoustic Signals SPAWC 16 pdf
76. Roee Diamant, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi A TDMA-based MAC Protocol Exploiting the Near-Far Effect in Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2016 Shanghai pdf
75. Roee Diamant, Paolo Casari, Filippo Campagnaro, Michele Zorzi A Handshake-based Protocol Exploiting the Near-Far Effect in Underwater Acoustic Networks IEEE Wireless Communications Letters pdf
74. Filippo Campagnaro, Federico Guerra, Federico Favaro, Violeta Sanjuan Calzado, Pedro Forero, Michele Zorzi, Paolo Casari Simulation of Wireless Remote Control System for Underwater Vehicles WUWNet 2015 Washington DC pdf
73. Filippo Campagnaro, Federico Favaro, Federico Guerra, Violeta Sanjuan Calzado, Michele Zorzi, Paolo Casari Simulation of Multimodal Optical and Acoustic Communications in Underwater Networks Oceans 2015 Genova pdf
72. Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Khandekar Tabin Hasan, Michele Zorzi MACA-APT: A MACA-based Adaptive Packet Train transmission protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks WUWNET 2014 pdf
71. Pedro A. Forero, Stephan K. Lapic, Cherry Wakayama, Michele Zorzi Rollout Algorithms for Data Storage- and Energy-Aware Data Retrieval Using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles WUWNET 2014 pdf
70. Filippo Campagnaro, Paolo Casari, Federico Favaro, Michele Zorzi On the Feasibility of Fully Wireless Remote Control for Underwater Vehicles Asilomar SS&C 2014 pdf
69. Paolo Casari, Cristiano Tapparello, Federico Guerra, Federico Favaro, Ivano Calabrese, Giovanni Toso, Saiful Azad, Riccardo Masiero, Michele Zorzi Open-source Suites for the Underwater Networking Community: WOSS and DESERT Underwater IEEE Network SI
“Open source for networking,” 2014
68. Giovanni Toso, Ivano Calabrese, Federico Favaro, Loris Brolo, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Testing Network Protocols via the DESERT Underwater Framework: the CommsNet’13 Experience OCEANS 2014 St. John’s pdf
67. Giovanni Toso, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi The Effect of Different Attenuation Models on the Performance of Routing in Shallow-Water Networks UCOMMS 2014 pdf
66. Beatrice Tomasi, Paolo Casari, Leonardo Badia, Michele Zorzi Cross-layer analysis via Markov models of incremental redundancy hybrid ARQ over underwater acoustic channels
(corrected proof)
Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks 2014 pdf
65. Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Multipath Routing with Limited Cross-Path Interference in Underwater Networks
(authors’ camera-ready)
IEEE WCL 2014 pdf
64. Giovanni Toso, Ivano Calabrese, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi RECORDS: a Remote Control Framework for Underwater Networks Med-Hoc-Net 2014 pdf
63. Cristiano Tapparello, Paolo Casari, Giovanni Toso, Ivano Calabrese, Roald Otnes, Paul van Walree, Michael Goetz, Ivor Nissen, Michele Zorzi Performance Evaluation of Forwarding Protocols for the RACUN Network WUWNet 2013 pdf
62. Beatrice Tomasi, Giovanni Toso, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Impact of Time-Varying Underwater Acoustic Channels on the Performance of Routing Protocols (approved proof version) IEEE JOE SI Oct. 2013 pdf
61. Federico Favaro, Loris Brolo, Giovanni Toso, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi A Study on Remote Data Retrieval Strategies in Underwater Acoustic Networks OCEANS 2013 San Diego pdf
60. Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi The Underwater Selective Repeat Error Control Protocol for Multiuser Acoustic Networks: Design and Parameter Optimization (approved proof version) IEEE TWireless 2013 pdf
59. Beatrice Tomasi, Giovanni Toso, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi On the Impact of Time-varying Acoustic Channels on Routing Protocols for Underwater Networks UCOMMS 2012 pdf
58. Paolo Casari, Daniele Spaccini, Giovanni Toso, Beatrice Tomasi, Roberto Petroccia, Chiara Petrioli, Michele Zorzi A Study on Channel Dynamics Representation and its Effects on the Performance of Routing in Underwater Networks Asilomar SS&C 2012 pdf
57. Kostas Stamatiou, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi The Throughput of Underwater Networks: Analysis and Validation using a Ray Tracing Simulator (pre-proof author version) IEEE TWireless pdf
56. Riccardo Masiero, Giovanni Toso, Paolo Casari, Oleksiy Kebkal, Maksym Komar, Michele Zorzi Demo Abstract: A Master/Slave Approach to Command Acoustic Modems during Underwater Networking Sea Trials WUWNet 2012 Los Angeles pdf
55. Beatrice Tomasi, Daniele Munaretto, James C. Preisig, Michele Zorzi Realtime Redundancy Allocation for Time-Varying Underwater Acoustic Channels WUWNet 2012 Los Angeles pdf
54. El Hadi Cherkaoui, Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Laura Toni, Nazim Agoulmine, Michele Zorzi Packet Error Recovery via Multipath Routing and Reed-Solomon Codes in Underwater Networks Oceans 2012 Hampton Roads pdf
53. Ivano Calabrese, Riccardo Masiero, Paolo Casari, Lorenzo Vangelista, Michele Zorzi Embedded Systems for Prototyping Underwater Acoustic Networks: the DESERT Underwater Libraries on board the PandaBoard and NetDCU Oceans 2012 Hampton Roads pdf
52. Giovanni Toso, Riccardo Masiero, Paolo Casari, Oleksiy Kebkal, Maksym Komar, Michele Zorzi Field Experiments for Dynamic Source Routing: S2C EvoLogics modems run the SUN protocol using the DESERT Underwater libraries Oceans 2012 Hampton Roads pdf
51. Matteo Lazzarin, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Endowing Underwater Networks with Channel Awareness: a discussion on computational complexity and information size issues ECUA 2012 Edinburgh pdf
50. Riccardo Masiero, Saiful Azad, Federico Favaro, Matteo Petrani, Giovanni Toso, Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi DESERT Underwater: an NS–Miracle-based framework to DEsign, Simulate, Emulate and Realize Test-beds for Underwater network protocols Oceans 2012 Yeosu pdf
49. Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Coastal Patrol and Surveillance Networks using AUVs and Delay-Tolerant Networking Oceans 2012 Yeosu pdf
48. Beatrice Tomasi, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi On the Spatial Correlation in Shallow Water and its Impact on Networking Protocols Oceans 2012 Yeosu pdf
47. Davide Zennaro, Beatrice Tomasi, Lorenzo Vangelista, Michele Zorzi Light-Sync: a Low Overhead Synchronization Algorithm for Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2012 Yeosu pdf
46. Federico Favaro, Paolo Casari, Federico Guerra, Michele Zorzi Data Upload from a Static Underwater Network to an AUV: Polling or Random Access? Oceans 2012 Yeosu pdf
45. Roald Otnes, Alfred Asterjadhi, Paolo Casari, Michael Goetz, Thor Husøy, Ivor Nissen, Knut Rimstad, Paul van Walree, Michele Zorzi Underwater acoustic networking techniques SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering pdf
44. John Heidemann, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi Underwater Sensor Networks: Applications, Advances, and Challenges Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society 2012 pdf
43. Kostas Stamatiou, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Throughput and transmission capacity of underwater networks with randomly distributed nodes Globecom 2011, Houston, TX pdf
42. Beatrice Tomasi, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi On the predictability of underwater acoustic communications performance: the KAM11 data set as a case study WUWNet 2011, Seattle, WA pdf
41. Beatrice Tomasi, Laura Toni, Paolo Casari, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi A study on the SPIHT image coding technique for underwater acoustic communications WUWNet 2011, Seattle, WA pdf
40. Federico Favaro, Saiful Azad, Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi On the Performance of Unsynchronized Distributed MAC Protocols in Deep Water Acoustic Networks WUWNet 2011, Seattle, WA pdf
39. Michael Goetz, Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Ivor Nissen, Michele Zorzi Jamming-Resistant Multi-path Routing for Reliable Intruder Detection in Underwater Networks WUWNet 2011, Seattle, WA pdf
38. Nicolò Michelusi, Urbashi Mitra, Andreas Molisch, Michele Zorzi Hybrid Sparse/Diffuse Channels: a New Model and Estimators for Wideband Channels Allerton 2011 UIUC pdf
37. Paolo Casari, Alfred Asterjadhi, Michele Zorzi On Channel Aware Routing Policies in Shallow Water Acoustic Networks Oceans 2011 Hawaii pdf
36. Nicolò Michelusi, Beatrice Tomasi, Urbashi Mitra, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi An Evaluation of the Hybrid Sparse-Diffuse Algorithm for Underwater Acoustic Channel Estimation Oceans 2011 Hawaii pdf
35. Riccardo Masiero, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi The NAUTILUS project: Physical Parameters, Architectures and Network Scenarios Oceans 2011 Hawaii pdf
34. Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Protocol Design Issues in Underwater Acoustic Networks Elsevier Computer Communications 2011 pdf
33.  Beatrice Tomasi, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi A Study on the Wide-Sense Stationarity of the Underwater Channel for Coherent Systems UAM 2011 pdf
32.  Paolo Casari, Beatrice Tomasi, Konstantinos Pelekanakis, Mandar Chitre, Michele Zorzi Performance Evaluation of SNR Prediction Schemes in Acoustic Communication Systems using Variable-Rate Modulation UAM 2011 pdf
31.  Nirvana Meratnia, Paul Havinga, Paolo Casari, Chiara Petrioli, Knut Grythe, Thor Husoy, Michele Zorzi CLAM: Collaborative Embedded Networks for Submarine Surveillance Oceans 2011 Santander pdf
30.  Muhammad Sajjadur Rahim, Paolo Casari, Federico Guerra, Michele Zorzi On the Performance of Delay-Tolerant Routing Protocols in Underwater Networks Oceans 2011 Santander pdf
29.  Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Federico Guerra, Michele Zorzi On ARQ Strategies over Random Access Protocols in Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2011 Santander pdf
28.  Saiful Azad, Paolo Casari, Chiara Petrioli, Roberto Petroccia, Michele Zorzi On the Impact of the Environment on MAC and Routing in Shallow Water Scenarios Oceans 2011 Santander pdf
27.  Beatrice Tomasi, James Preisig, Michele Zorzi A Study on the Wide-Sense Stationarity of the Underwater Acoustic Channel for Non-coherent Communication Systems European Wireless 2011 pdf
26.  Josep-Miquel Jornet Montaña, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi On Joint Frequency and Power Allocation in a Cross-Layer Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks JOE 2010 pdf
25.  Beatrice Tomasi, Paolo Casari, Lorenzo Finesso, Giovanni Zappa, Kim McCoy, Michele Zorzi On Modeling JANUS Packet Errors over a Shallow Water Acoustic Channel using Markov and Hidden Markov Models MILCOM 2010, San Jose pdf
24.  Beatrice Tomasi, Paolo Casari, Leonardo Badia, Michele Zorzi A Study of Incremental Redundancy Hybrid ARQ over Markov Channel Models Derived from Experimental Data WUWNet 2010, Woods Hole pdf
23.  Beatrice Tomasi, Laura Toni, Paolo Casari, Lorenzo Rossi, Michele Zorzi Performance Study of Variable-Rate Modulation for Underwater Communications based on Experimental Data Oceans 2010, Seattle pdf
22.  Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Alessandro Berni, John R. Potter, Michele Zorzi Performance Evaluation of Random and Handshake-Based Channel Access in Collaborative Mobile Underwater Networks Oceans 2010, Seattle pdf
21.  Beatrice Tomasi, Giovanni Zappa, Kim McCoy, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Experimental Study of the Space-Time Properties of Acoustic Channels for Underwater Communications Oceans 2010, Sydney pdf
20.  Albert F. Harris III, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi Idle-time energy savings through wake-up modes in underwater acoustic networks Ad Hoc Networks 2009 pdf
19.  Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi World Ocean Simulation System (WOSS): a simulation tool for underwater networks with realistic propagation modeling WUWNet 2009 pdf
18.  Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi A performance comparison of MAC protocols for underwater networks using a realistic channel simulator Oceans 2009 pdf
17.  Federico Guerra, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi MAC protocols for monitoring and event detection in underwater networks employing a FH-BFSK physical layer UAM 2009 pdf
16.  Leonardo Badia, Paolo Casari, Marco Levorato, Michele Zorzi Analysis of an automatic repeat request scheme addressing long delay channels WUnderNet 2008 pdf
15.  Michele Zorzi, Paolo Casari, Nicola Baldo, Albert F. Harris III Energy-efficient routing schemes for underwater acoustic networks JSAC, Dec. 2008 pdf
14.  Josep Miquel Jornet Montana, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi Focused Beam Routing protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks WUWNet 2008 pdf
13.  Paolo Casari, Michele Rossi, Michele Zorzi Fountain Codes and their Application to Broadcasting in Underwater Networks: Performance Modeling and Relevant Tradeoffs WUWNet 2008 pdf
12.  Paolo Casari, Beatrice Tomasi, Michele Zorzi A Comparison Between the Tone-Lohi and Slotted FAMA MAC Protocols for Underwater Networks Oceans 2008 pdf
11.  Nicola Baldo, Paolo Casari, Paolo Casciaro, Michele Zorzi Effective Heuristics for Flexible Spectrum Access in Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2008 pdf
10.  Nicola Baldo, Paolo Casari, Michele Zorzi Cognitive Spectrum Access for Underwater Acoustic Communications ICC CogNet 2008 pdf
9.  Paolo Casari, Michele Rossi, Michele Zorzi Towards Optimal Broadcasting Policies for HARQ based on Fountain Codes in Underwater Networks WONS 2008 pdf
8.  Paolo Casari, Albert F. Harris III Energy-efficient Reliable Broadcast in Underwater Acoustic Networks WUWNet 2007 pdf
7.  Albert F. Harris III, Michele Zorzi Modeling the Underwater Acoustic Channel in ns2 NSTools 2007 pdf
6.  Albert F. Harris III, Davide G. B. Meneghetti, Michele Zorzi Maximizing Channel Utilization for Underwater Acoustic Links Oceans 2007 pdf
5.  Paolo Casari, Stefano Marella, Michele Zorzi A Comparison of Multiple Access Techniques in Clustered Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2007 pdf
4.  Paolo Casari, Fabio E. Lapiccirella, Michele Zorzi A Detailed Simulation Study of the UWAN-MAC Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2007 pdf
3.  Paolo Casari, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi Exploiting the Bandwidth-Distance Relationship in Underwater Acoustic Networks Oceans 2007 pdf
2.  Albert F. Harris III, Milica Stojanovic, Michele Zorzi Why Underwater Acoustic Nodes Should Sleep With One Eye Open: Idle-time Power Management In Underwater Sensor Networks WUWNet 2006 pdf
1.  Leonardo Badia, Michele Mastrogiovanni, Chiara Petrioli, Stamatis Stefanakos, Michele Zorzi An Optimization Framework for Joint Sensor Deployment, Link Scheduling and Routing in Underwater Sensor Networks WUWNet 2006 pdf