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ACMENet: an underwater acoustic sensor network protocol for real-time environmental monitoring in coastal areas

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Abstract

Owing to the recent advances in subsea acoustic communication technology, there is a growing interest in underwater acoustic sensor networks. The most obvious applications of such networks are environmental and military observation of coastal and ocean areas, control of autonomous underwater vehicles, fish detection, collision avoidance and long-term geological surveys. In comparison to radio frequency wireless links, underwater acoustic channels have very limited bandwidth, much longer propagation delays and higher error rates. A new network protocol, ACMENet, that provides highly efficient use of the scarce network resources – bandwidth and sensor battery lifetimes – for an underwater acoustic sensor network is proposed. The protocol was developed and tested in sea trials within the framework of the ACME project sponsored by the European Union. The objective of this research is to present the ACMENet protocol and the results of the Second and Third ACME sea trials in which ACMENet was implemented.

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