Deep-sea Internet: a near future?

University of Buffalo researchers Zahed Hossain and Hovannes Kulhandjian have tested an “underwater wi-fi” network in Lake Erie last month, constituted by two wireless internet modems with an aquatic version of TCP/IP. By dropping these 40lb (18 kg) sensors into the lake, they used sound waves instead of the traditional radio waves (the normal wi-fi) to propagate through water – a smart move, since sound waves have more range, stability and velocity. Hossain and Kulhandjian, afloat, used a laptop to transmit information to the modems.

Tommaso Melodia, leading researcher on this study has some usage ideas in mind: “Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives”.

The goal is to create a seafloor wireless network, accessible through the Internet, that communicates directly and in real time with people around the world by using cheaper undersea sensors. 

Credit: BBC News and WIRED

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3 thoughts on “Deep-sea Internet: a near future?

  1. masaleiro says:

    Interesting, but not really something new. An underwater acoustic network for digital communications has already been implemented and tested 4 years ago by the Signal Processing Laboratory (http://www.siplab.fct.ualg.pt/proj/uan.shtml) from the University of the Algarve, who led the EU-funded project UAN (Underwater Acoustic Network http://www.ua-net.eu/ ). Several trials were made in Ria Formosa, Vilamoura and island of Elba, in Italy. A demonstration was also setup in a giant aquarium in the Portugal Tecnológico exhibition at FIL, in Lisbon. I worked on the project for one year 🙂 . If you’re interested in getting long range acoustic communications working with Ziphius I’m sure the people working at SiPLAB will be able to help you 🙂 Btw, it would be awesome to be able to remote control Ziphius from very far away using digital acoustic communications 🙂 .

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