Evaluating acousticcommunication performance of micro autonomous underwater vehicles in confined spaces
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Micro-sized autonomous underwater vehicles (μAUVs) are well suited to various applications in confined underwater spaces. Acoustic communication is required for many application scenarios of μAUVs to enable data transmission without surfacing. This paper presents the integration of a compact acoustic communication device with a μAUV prototype. Packet reception rate (PRR) and bit error rate (BER) of the acoustic communication link are evaluated in a confined pool environment through experiments while the μAUV is either stationary or moving. We pinpoint several major factors that impact the communication performance. Experimental results show that the multi-path effect significantly affects the synchronization signals of the communication device. The relative motion between the vehicle and the base station also degrades the communication performance. These results suggest future methods towards improvements.
Key wordsAutonomous underwater vehicles Underwater acoustic communications Confined water space
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The authors would like to express heartfelt gratitude to Sean MAXON, Chang QIN, and Jaeseok CHA for helping with the experiments and building the μAUV prototype.
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