Network Protocols for Simultaneous Underwater Acoustic Communication and Target Detection

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Underwater monitoring and surveillance involves the detection, classification, localisation and tracking of targets underwater. Typical approaches involve the use of dedicated sensor systems for detection, e.g. monostatic/multistatic sonar, passive acoustic sensors or visual/infrared cameras, and a separate communication system for the nodes to deliver the data to shore. In this paper, we consider an alternative way of detecting underwater targets – simultaneous underwater acoustic communication (UAC) and target detection using a network of underwater nodes, where regular data transmissions are ``reused" for the purpose of target detection. In particular, this study focuses on the development of network protocols that can enable such networks to: 1) detect potential targets moving through water; 2) deliver the detection information reliably and with adequate latency to a master station on shore. To this end, we develop a solution based on Spatial Time Division Multiple Access (STDMA), robust multipath routing, and data aggregation at the relays. The simulation studies show that the STDMA-based Link layer provides a high probability of detection for targets moving at typical AUV speeds (up to 2 m/s), while the Gradient routing protocol combined with data aggregation at the network nodes provides a good trade-off between the end-to-end packet delivery ratio and latency, compared with Flooding and shortest path routing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition (UACE'23)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Jun 2023

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