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Underwater acoustic communications using time reversal

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6 Author(s)
Edelmann, G.F. ; Marine Phys. Lab., Scripps Instn. of Oceanogr., San Diego, CA ; Song, H.C. ; Kim, S. ; Hodgkiss, W.S.
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This paper contains theoretical and experimental results on the application of the time-reversal process to acoustic communications in order to improve data telemetry in the ocean. A coherent underwater acoustic communication system must deal with the inter-symbol interference caused by the time-varying, dispersive, shallow-water ocean environment. An approach is demonstrated that takes advantage of the focal properties of time reversal. The spatial and temporal compression available at the time-reversal focus mitigates channel fading, reduces the dispersion caused by the channel, and increases the signal strength. Thus, a time-reversal communication system does not require spatial diversity at the receiver, i.e., an array of receiving sensors, but takes advantage of spatial diversity at the transmitter. The time-reversal communications system concept is demonstrated using experimental data collected in shallow water. Data telemetry bit rates of 500 bps (BPSK) and 1000 bps (QPSK) with bit error rates of 0 out of 4976 bits and 254 out of 9953 bits, respectively, were obtained when transmitting to a receiver at a distance of 10 km, with a carrier frequency of 3500 Hz, and a 500 Hz bandwidth. In a shallow-water upslope region, bit error rates of 15 out of 4976 bits and 14 out of 4976 bits were achieved over the same distance. In neither case was complex processing at the receiver used (i.e., channel equalization, error correction coding). Time-reversal transmissions are intercompared with single source and broadside transmissions and shown to have superior results in both range independent and dependent bathymetries. The time-reversal performance appears limited by self-generated inter-symbol interference. In addition, an initial look at the application of a single channel adaptive channel equalizer to received time-reversal communication sequences is presented. The same properties that are beneficial to a single channel receiver are also beneficial to adaptive channel- - equalization. A single channel RLS DFE equalizer is cascaded with the received time-reversal sequences and shown to further reduce scatter in the I/Q plane. The bit error rate decreased in all but one of the cases

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )