Underwater acoustic channel modeling
In recent years, interests in Underwater Acoustic (UWA) communications have exponentially grown due to many emerging commercial and military applications such as ocean pollution monitoring, off-shore oil exploration and data telemetry, oceanic environment sensing and surveillance, underwater wireless sensor networking, submarine communications, and so on. The UWA channels have specific properties which differ from radio channels, which make it a big challenge to apply current radio wireless systems to it directly. There are three main characters attached in UWA channels: low speed of sound that varies with medium conditions; attenuation that increases with both transmission range and frequency; time-varying multipath propagation that depends on boundary conditions. The wireless communication systems build on UWA channels would suffers from limited bandwidth, long multipath delays, large Doppler shift and spread which means low data rate, sever inter symbol interference (ISI) and complex equalization. The design and analysis of underwater acoustic communication systems rely on the fundamental characterization of underwater acoustic signal propagation. Several channel models have been developed to investigate channel properties in different environment set ups. Currently, there are no standardized models for acoustic channel fading. There are two kinds of models developed so far for different purposes: deterministic models and statistical models. While the former one focuses on the reflections when boundary conditions are fixed, the latter one concentrates on overall channel's statistical probability distributions with changing boundaries. Statistical models raise too much debate and the assumptions of the models with various statistical distributions remain to be further tested. On the other hand, many deterministic models have been tested and implemented as appropriate tools to investigate the reflection and refraction behavior of underwater acoustic signal propagation. In this thesis, we aim to study the power delay profile of underwater acoustic communication channels for given specific system configuration. Specifically, we investigated the multipath channel impulse responses of underwater acoustic channels by considering firstly a deterministic ray/beam tracing model and then a statistically random environment. We simulated an underwater acoustic channel model on MATLAB based on geometry of transceiver and surrounding environment and wave propagation equations. The amplitude and delays of the multipath channel impulse responses were compared and analyzed for underwater acoustic channels with various transceiver configurations such as range, depth, frequency, random water surface and bottom. Simulation results show that the depth location of underwater transceivers does not affect much the delay profile of the multipath received signals, however, it does change the power distribution of the multipath signals as the closer the transceiver to the boundaries, the less power received. Regarding various ranges between the transmitter and receiver, it is interesting to observe that the power delay profile of the multipath signals vary randomly, and the number of delay paths is uncorrelated to the ranges. Regarding underwater acoustic communication with different frequencies, while the delay profile of multipath signals remains stable with the same system geometry, the attenuation of multipath signals decreases as the frequency of acoustic signals increases. Moreover, the boundary conditions (water surface and/or bottom) of underwater acoustic channel affect the power delay profile of multipath signals significantly. In both fixed boundary and randomly varying boundary (e.g. water surface waves), the power delay profile of multipath signals exhibits a random pattern, which raises significant challenge in channel estimation in underwater acoustic communication. Our findings are helpful to the design of high-rate underwater acoustic communication systems. Our ultimate goal is to apply the MIMO-OFDM concept in underwater communication scenario in order to increase the date rate of underwater acoustic communication systems, in which channel estimation, channel multipath mitigation, signal processing, and data detection, need to be redesigned properly to take into account the unique characteristics of underwater acoustic channels.