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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A survey of underwater wireless optical communication Zeng, Zhaoquan


Underwater wireless communication refers to transmitting data in unguided water environment through the use of wireless carriers, i.e., radio-frequency wave, acoustic wave, and optical wave. We focus, in this thesis, on the underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) that employs optical wave as the transmission carriers. In comparison to RF and acoustic counterparts, UWOC has a much higher transmission bandwidth, thus providing much higher data rate. Due to this high-speed transmission advantage, UWOC has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Many potential applications of UWOC systems have been proposed for environmental monitoring, offshore exploration, disaster precaution, and military operations. However, UWOC systems also suffer from severe absorption and scattering introduced by underwater channel. In order to overcome these technical challenges, several new system design approaches, which are different from the conventional terrestrial free-space optical communication, have been explored in recent years. In this thesis, we provide a comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art of UWOC research in three aspects: channel characterization, channel modulation and coding techniques, and practical implementations of UWOC. Based on the comprehensive understanding of UWOC, we also investigate the outage performance for vertical buoy-based UWOC with pointing errors. Closed-form outage probability with zero boresight pointing errors and outage probability bounds with nonzero boresight pointing errors have been derived.

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