Exploring the oceans: EvoLogics is partner of the SUNRISE project connecting swarms of AUVs into the “internet of things”

The SUNRISE project, supported by the EU within the 7th Framework Programme, focuses on wireless underwater networks that enable cooperation between different underwater devices.

Partners of the project, led by Professor Chiara Petrioli of University of Rome La Sapienza (IT), are NATO Science and Technology Organisation - Centre for Maritime Research & Experimentation (IT), EvoLogics GmbH (DE), University of Porto (PT), University of Twente (NL), SUASIS (TR), The Research Foundation of State University of New York (US) and Nexse (IT).

Project collaborators combine their expertise and resources aiming for underwater “Internet of Things” - a complete system of self-organized underwater vehicles, intelligent sensors and actuators with flexible communication, networking and navigation capabilities, that performs the required sensing and monitoring tasks controlled from anywhere in the world over Internet.

Underwater Internet is clearly a future concept, as underwater networking is still at its early stages of development. Highly dynamic parameters of the challenging underwater environment, lack of existing standards and protocols, the cost of experimenting and testing new solutions, expensive equipment - all put limits on the development progress.

To pave the way for further growth, SUNRISE project set its goal on creating a web-accessible testing infrastructure - a federation of five testbeds comprising underwater communication networks in different locations around the world, some based on facilities already designed, built and deployed by project partners. The testbeds represent various application scenarios in very different marine environments, offering a great platform for experiments with a software-defined open architecture. SUNRISE will provide a user-friendly interface to interact with its systems and conduct simulation and emulations tests on underwater communication networks at a fraction of time and cost required today.

The testbed federation will help researchers implement and test innovative network protocol solutions for reliable and efficient underwater multi-hop communication between multiple underwater sensors and vehicles.

EvoLogics S2C series of underwater acoustic modems are deployed at several SUNRISE testbeds. The modems with built-in networking support provide bidirectional digital communication with the company’s patented S2C technology and offer different media access control algorithms. In particular, one is optimized for transmissions of large volumes of data, as the acoustic channel’s characteristics are measured to adjust S2C parameters in order to achieve and maintain the highest bit rate possible. A useful feature, another algorithm allows to exchange short messages even during ongoing data transfers, which can also be used to broadcast data to all network nodes.

The first SUNRISE field trials at one of the testbeds in Porto (PT) were conducted in summer 2014 and yielded great results. An underwater communication network between mobile nodes was successfully established and coordinated, and, among other test goals, even helped find a lost container in the port of Porto. Thrilled with further prospects, EvoLogics is proud to participate in a project that will help define the future of underwater networking.

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