Underwater Optical Wireless Communications Link for Short-Range Data Transmission: A Proof of Concept Study
Agrawala, Ashok K.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this thesis is to lay the groundwork for the development of a cost-effective Underwater Optical Wireless Communications system. Currently, one of the largest barriers to the expansion of underwater enterprise and research is a lack of high-speed wireless communication systems. Wireless communication underwater is essential for safety, improving aquatic technology, and many other marine ventures, yet it is still technologically limited. Current methods, such as acoustic communication, are often power inefficient, cumbersome, and expensive. The proposed system would enable scuba divers and researchers to bridge the technological gaps in available underwater data transmission systems. This paper proposes using visible light to wirelessly transmit data underwater. Visible light is an effective carrier wave underwater due to its large bandwidth and low absorption coefficient. Using light emitting diodes, silicon PIN photodetectors, waterproof enclosures, and consumer-grade microcontrollers, a model for the development of a wireless optical communications system is proposed. The system also adopts a modular design which allows each component to evolve as needed. The proposed system can transmit and receive audio and vitals signals underwater, illustrating the potential of a technology that could make diving and other underwater endeavors safer and more efficient. Furthermore, the proposed data link shows the potential for this technology to be used in other underwater applications that were previously limited by data speeds or mobility. Above all, this technology seeks to build upon existing knowledge of optical wireless communication and advance the field of underwater science and technology.
Gemstone Team OPTIC