On the Relationship between Transmission Power and Capacity of an Underwater Acoustic Communication Channel

Daniel E. Lucani, Milica Stojanovic, Muriel Médard

The underwater acoustic channel is characterized by a path loss that depends not only on the transmission distance, but also on the signal frequency. As a consequence, transmission bandwidth depends on the transmission distance, a feature that distinguishes an underwater acoustic system from a terrestrial radio system. The exact relationship between power, transmission band, distance and capacity for the Gaussian noise scenario is a complicated one. This work provides a closed-form approximate model for 1) power consumption, 2) band-edge frequency and 3) bandwidth as functions of distance and capacity required for a data link. This approximate model is obtained by numerical evaluation of analytical results which takes into account physical models of acoustic propagation loss and ambient noise. The closed-form approximations may become useful tools in the design and analysis of underwater acoustic networks.

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