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To fully understand the ocean environment requires sensing the full water column. Utilizing a depth adjustment system on an underwater sensor network provides this while also improving global sensing and communications. This paper presents a depth adjustment system for waters up to 50 m deep that connects to the aquanode sensor network nodes. We performed experiments characterizing and demonstrating the functionality of the depth adjustment system. We discuss the application of this device in improving acoustic communication and also verify the functionality of a decentralized depth adjustment algorithm that optimizes the placement of the nodes for collecting sensing data.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012