[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we consider data muling over a network of fixed sensors by employing a mobile Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). We approach the problem using both acoustic and optical communications together in a multi-modal hybrid network: the most appropriate physical layer is chosen according to the quality of the transmissions that take place over time. We consider three distinct cases of water type: clear, coastal and turbid water, in order to test the system behavior under different conditions. The ambient light noise is realistically reproduced via the Hydrolight software and taken into account, due to its important contribution to the optical SNR in shallow waters. Finally, we simulate the performance of the system using the DESERT Underwater framework during missions of interest in different channel conditions and network depth. Our results show the effectiveness of a multi-modal underwater network in the cases of clear and coastal waters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore the possibility of controlling a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) via a fully wireless control channel. As a first step, we review the expected bit rate offered by optical, acoustic as well as radio-frequency underwater communication technologies, as a function of the distance between the transmitter and the receiver. We then discuss the ROV data transfer requirements and discuss which ones can be supported by a given technology at a given distance. Finally, we simulate the performance of the system during missions of interest, and conclude by discussing the effectiveness of wireless control methods for ROVs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several models can be used to determine the attenuation incurred by sound waves as they travel under water. A trade-off between accuracy and complexity is observed in this respect: the most accurate results are typically yielded by some form of numerical solution to the sound propagation equations, but at the price of high complexity; conversely, simple link budget equations are typically valid only as a first-order approximation, but are much simpler to evaluate. When such different models are applied to network simulations, both the accuracy and the complexity of the chosen model can have a big impact on the simulation time and on the significance of the outcomes. In this paper, we present a comparison among different models of increasing computational complexity for simulating the transmission loss of underwater acoustic channels, when applied to the simulation of multi-hop underwater acoustic networks. All models have been integrated in the DESERT Underwater framework, which is based on the ns2/MIRACLE network simulator. Our results show that the model and its parameters have in fact a big impact on network simulation results in different network topologies, which is consistent with the findings reported by some other papers that recently appeared in the open literature. Our results also show that in some instances simple propagation models provide a useful approximation if their parameters are properly chosen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simulation and experimentation of underwater networks entail many challenges, which for the former are mainly related to the accurate modeling of the channel behavior, while they are typically logistic in nature for the latter. In this article, we present our experience with WOSS and DESERT Underwater, two open source suites address both classes of challenges. The suites build on and extend the capabilities of ns2 and NS-MIRACLE, two widely known software packages for network simulation. WOSS endows NS-MIRACLE with the capability to generate realistic channel patterns by automatically retrieving and processing the environmental boundary conditions that influence such patterns; DESERT Underwater makes it possible to evolve toward at-sea experiments by reusing the same code written for simulations, thereby minimizing the effort required for network deployment and control. Both suites have been widely tested and used in several projects: some examples are provided in this respect, including an account of some experiments carried out in collaboration with the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multipath routing protocols trade off the effort of replicating data packets through multiple routes for improved delivery ratio or end-to-end delay. These advantages are especially valuable for those underwater networking applications where reliable data delivery justifies a higher resource consumption. In this letter, we argue that choosing multipath routes according only to the node- and link-disjoint paradigms may lead to excessive interference in underwater networks, even in the presence of MAC protocols based on interference avoidance. We show that it is more convenient to directly choose multipath routes that cause little interference to one another, and propose a multipath routing protocol that distributedly implements this concept. We simulate our solution in underwater network scenarios, and show that it achieves better packet delivery ratio and fewer interference-induced packet losses with respect to standard multipath routing approaches, even when the latter are stacked on top of interference-avoiding MAC protocols.
IEEE Wireless Communication Letters 10/2014; 3(5):465-468. DOI:10.1109/LWC.2014.2342232
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Underwater acoustic networks make it possible to wirelessly convey information, e.g., coming from measurements and sensing applications from under water to the surface. However, underwater communications are characterized by long delays, small available bandwidths and high error rates. These aspects may significantly affect the design of a reliable data-link layer for such systems. In this paper, we assess the performance of hybrid automatic repeat request error control schemes and we evaluate their application to improve the reliability of time-varying underwater acoustic links. We employ a parametric Markov model, which has been trained over channel traces collected during at-sea experiments. The results, based on both experimental data and analysis, suggest that parametric probabilistic representations, such as the considered Markov model, are good candidates for describing the correlated underwater acoustic channel dynamics, and may be employed to achieve a realistic evaluation of the data-link layer performance for underwater acoustic scenarios. Analytical and simulation results confirm that incremental redundancy improves the throughput of underwater acoustic links, even when real channel conditions, such as those encountered in the considered experiments, have wide dynamics over time. Finally, this kind of evaluations, beyond the data-link design, can also be employed at the network level for routing and network deployment considerations.
Ad Hoc Networks 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.adhoc.2014.07.013 · 1.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an open source framework that makes it possible to remotely monitor and control a heterogeneous network of underwater acoustic nodes. The framework exploits acoustic communications to deliver control messages, and thus avoids the need to deploy cabled or wireless connections to control each node. The framework has been developed with the goal to provide a ready-to-use, lightweight, robust and reliable tool for real field trials. The framework is very cheap in terms of hardware resources and is easily portable on several embedded systems because it is not necessary to recompile it. Furthermore, RECORDS embeds features developed to manage in real time network experiments by using the DESERT Underwater framework, based on the well-known ns2/NS-MIRACLE network simulator. RECORDS has been validated successfully in several laboratory experiments and sea trials involving different embedded systems arranged into several network topologies, including one major sea trial conducted in collaboration with the NATO STO CMRE.
2014 13th Annual Mediterranean Ad Hoc Networking Workshop (MED-HOC-NET); 06/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents ALBA-R, a protocol for convergecasting in wireless sensor networks. ALBA-R features the cross-layer integration of geographic routing with contention-based MAC for relay selection and load balancing (ALBA), as well as a mechanism to detect and route around connectivity holes (Rainbow). ALBA and Rainbow (ALBA-R) together solve the problem of routing around a dead end without overhead-intensive techniques such as graph planarization and face routing. The protocol is localized and distributed, and adapts efficiently to varying traffic and node deployments. Through extensive ns2-based simulations, we show that ALBA-R significantly outperforms other convergecasting protocols and solutions for dealing with connectivity holes, especially in critical traffic conditions and low-density networks. The performance of ALBA-R is also evaluated through experiments in an outdoor testbed of TinyOS motes. Our results show that ALBA-R is an energy-efficient protocol that achieves remarkable performance in terms of packet delivery ratio and end-to-end latency in different scenarios, thus being suitable for real network deployments.
IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems 03/2014; 25(3):529-539. DOI:10.1109/TPDS.2013.60 · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we discuss the performance of different network protocols for RACUN, a European Defence Agency project with the objective of demonstrating ad hoc underwater networks for multiple purposes related to security. The RACUN network is designed for long-range communications over areas of large size, hence a very important role is played by the network protocols employed. We show that the channel realizations observed in typical scenarios and the physical layer schemes available in the project lead to significant bit error rates. Therefore, the protocols that offer some inherent form of redundancy, as in the case of flooding-based protocols, tend to yield better performance than protocols based on the exchange of signaling traffic. In support of this statement, we simulate two scenarios for the RACUN network over channel realizations that are statistically derived from real channel measurements. Our results provide insight on the advantages and drawbacks of the different packet forwarding strategies, and confirm that flooding-based approaches perform better. In addition, we prove how splitting packets into multiple fragments to match the modem's maximum service data unit significantly limits the performance.
Proceedings of the Eighth ACM International Conference on Underwater Networks and Systems; 11/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent development of underwater acoustic modems has enabled multihop networking capabilities that can be used in important military and civilian applications. For this reason, routing protocols for underwater acoustic networks (UANs) have recently been proposed and evaluated. However, the interactions between channel dynamics and networking performance are not well understood. In this paper, we investigate and quantify the effect of the time-varying (TV) link quality on routing protocols in static UANs. In order to do so, we simulate the considered routing protocols in several network scenarios, obtained by changing the network density, the number of packet retransmissions, the packet length, the modulation type, and the power level with both TV and time-invariant (TI) channel conditions. Results confirm that, when evaluating the performance of routing protocols, it is important to understand the TV behavior of the channel quality over intervals of time sufficiently long to accommodate multihop communications. Finally, we also present experimental results, confirming the outcome of the simulations. The experiments have been conducted in collaboration with the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) during the CommsNet12 sea trial.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we introduce Underwater Selective Repeat (USR), a Selective Repeat Automatic Repeat reQuest (SR-ARQ) mechanism for multiuser underwater acoustic networks. Our scheme exploits the typically large round-trip time (RTT) of underwater acoustic links to interlace the transmission of data and acknowledgment (ACK) packets, such that the transmitter never starts sending data packets when it should receive ACKs. No specific synchronization mechanism is required to do so. It is shown that the timing of point-to-point communications can be adjusted to optimize the performance of multiuser networks of a given size. Moreover, it is shown that the proposed strategy can be made robust to mobility, hence to time-varying RTTs. We provide detailed simulation results that assess the performance of USR as a function of the protocol parameters, both in static and in mobile networks. Based on these results, we propose an adaptive version of USR, whereby a node can modify its behavior (e.g., it can pack data transmissions more tightly or more loosely within one RTT) by reacting to packet errors induced by multiple-access interference.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a theoretical framework to evaluate the expected throughput of underwater networks over an ensemble of node topologies and propagation environments. The analysis is based on the assumptions that the transmitters are spatially distributed according to a Poisson point process, and that the channel follows a Rayleigh fading distribution, with a mean that is determined by spreading loss and frequency-dependent absorption. We evaluate the probability of a successful transmission, i.e., the probability that the signal-to-interference-and-noise ratio at the typical receiver is greater than a given threshold, and determine the maximum network throughput density over the transmitter density and the operating frequency. The theoretical results are validated using a realistic underwater channel simulator based on ray tracing. It is demonstrated that, for a number of practical scenarios, the theoretical and simulated throughput match provided that the spreading-loss exponent is appropriately fitted to the simulation scenario. Overall, the proposed framework provides easy-to-obtain network throughput results, which can be used as a complement or an alternative to time-costly, deployment-dependent network simulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Channel variability and a high level of noise lead to a significant probability of packet loss in many underwater networks. Techniques based on packet-level Forward Error Correction (FEC), such as Reed Solomon (RS) codes, can be used to offer effective protection against excessive packet losses that would be generated by noise. In this paper, we propose a new error recovery scheme based on RS codes to be used in conjunction with multipath routing. We discuss several routing policies to take advantage of the inherent redundancy of multi-path routing coupled with a suitable RS code. We evaluate the performance of these policies through simulation and compare them with the Multi-Sink Routing Protocol (MSRP). Results show that our policies outperform MSRP in terms of packet delivery ratio (PDR), and that our solution strikes a balance between the achieved PDR and the overhead introduced by packet replication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the challenges faced by future networks is to integrate heterogeneous segments whose protocols are optimized for very different conditions. This work provides an overview of project COMPOUND, which tackles problems in this class to interface an underwater acoustic network comprising both static and mobile nodes to the Internet. The main goal is to create value and foster new applications in a niche but strategically important area by making the data and assets in the network easily available to a wide community. This will reduce the time, effort, and cost needed to customize the network to suit a specific need. A key insight in COMPOUND is to extensively exploit knowledge of node positions, including submerged ones with no access to GPS, to configure the network parameters at multiple levels, from the Internet gateway down to a node's physical layer. In turn, positioning is derived from observed data traffic on the network and collaborative exchanges between nodes, resulting in a system that tightly integrates positioning and communications. This paper discusses the proposed approach within the scope of current research on underwater acoustic communications and networking, describes application scenarios, envisaged technical solutions, planned developments, and identifies some of the possible impacts of this work.
Future Network & Mobile Summit (FutureNetw), 2012; 07/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The quest for sustainable energy models is the main factor driving research on smart grid technology. SGs represent the bridging paradigm to enable highly efficient energy production, transport, and consumption along the whole chain, from the source to the user. Although this concept promises to be very fruitful, the research on how to deploy it in the real world has just begun. A discussion on the enabling technologies for SGs and a possible roadmap for the profitable evolution thereof is the focus of this article. After introducing the recent trends that are pushing the SG paradigm, we will discuss various key scenarios for the SG, and briefly introduce some of its key requirements. We will then provide an analysis of how current and future standard solutions in the areas of communications and networking can be engineered into a system that fulfills the needs of the SG vision. We advocate the use of small, cheap, and resource-constrained devices with pervasive computing capabilities as the key component to deploy a ubiquitous energy control system. To this end, the recent efforts carried out by Internet standardization bodies such as the IETF and W3C toward the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) are especially relevant. The various components of the proposed solution have been successfully showcased in real-world implementations, and relevant actors such as ETSI, ZigBee, and IPSO are already evaluating their potential for future IoT applications, making the Internet-based smart grid vision considered in this article practically achievable in the not too distant future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we consider a coastal surveillance scenario, where Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) patrol an area of interest and inspect surface ships or underwater assets passing through the area. A shore-based control center monitors the AUVs by means of delay-tolerant networking techniques. In particular, as the AUVs carry out their patrolling task, they may get in contact with one another and have a chance to exchange data about the inspected assets (identity, route followed, movement speed, etc.). Given that the area to be patrolled is usually quite large, these contacts are erratic and time-limited: this makes the AUVs and the sink a Delay-Tolerant Network (DTN). To make the communication between AUVs more effective during a contact, we propose a DTN protocol which splits the estimated contact duration between the nodes involve and enhance this protocol using an Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) technique based on selective repeat for error control. Moreover, the structure of the signaling packets exchanged prior to data transmission is designed to help estimate the contact duration and thereby optimize the subsequent data packet exchange. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed protocol outperforms other ARQ-based DTN routing protocols.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DESERT Underwater (short for DEsign, Simulate, Emulate and Realize Test-beds for Underwater network protocols) is a complete set of public C/C++ libraries to support the design and implementation of underwater network protocols. Its creation stems from the will to push the studies on underwater networking beyond simulations. Implementing research solutions on actual devices, in fact, is of key importance to realize a communication and networking architecture that allows heterogeneous nodes to communicate reliably in the underwater environment. In this paper, we first discuss the rationale behind this work, and, then we list and briefly describe all the DESERT Underwater libraries currently implemented. In line with the current trends in underwater networking, our approach makes it possible to reuse the same code prepared for simulations in order to realize underwater network prototypes. We also present some preliminary tests that confirm the feasibility of the proposed solution for the design and evaluation of underwater network protocols. In this perspective, we believe that DESERT Underwater is a useful tool to profitably develop and test real world applications.