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High bit rate communication through metallic structures using electromagnetic acoustic transducers

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3 Author(s)
Graham, D.J. ; Sch. of Electr., Electron. & Comput. Eng., Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne, UK ; Neasham, J.A. ; Sharif, B.S.

Many applications exist whereby it would be useful to communicate into or out of conducting enclosures such as pipelines, storage containers or the compartments formed by the hull and bulkheads of a naval vessel. To maintain the structural integrity or simply for ease of use it is often not desirable to break the wall of the enclosure, preventing any hard-wired solution. The conducting nature of the enclosure also prevents the effective use of radio communications due to the skin effect. A novel approach to this problem is to utilise acoustic transducers to transmit modulated ultrasound through the enclosure wall. A complete solution is presented including custom acoustic transducers, appropriate modulation schemes and receiver structures capable of coping with acoustic multipath. Acoustic data rates of 1-2 Mbps are shown to be achievable. When used in conjunction with a radio transceiver, RF data can be transparently routed through a conducting wall, allowing seamless connectivity throughout larger structures such as ships.

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Date of Conference:

11-14 May 2009