The Internet Underwater: An IP protocol stack for commercial undersea modems
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Recent underwater sensor network research has been focused on developing physical and medium access control layer protocols to enable fast and reliable underwater acoustic communication. However, we are now reaching the point where it is essential to design and standardize a network architecture uniquely designed for underwater acoustic networks that will enhance the usability and interoperability of underwater networks. This paper proposes a networking architecture to efficiently provide interoperability with traditional TCP/IP protocol stacks for commercial underwater modems. The proposal is based on inserting an Adaptation Layer between the data link layer and the network layer, such that the original TCP/IP Network Layer and Transport Layer are preserved to the maximum extent. The adaptation layer performs header compression and data fragmentation to guarantee energy efficiency. Furthermore, the proposed architecture includes mechanisms for auto-configuration with router proxy that can avoid human-in-the-loop and save energy when broadcast is needed. We implemented and proved the validity of the proposed framework by implementing and testing it on a Linux device driver for a commercial underwater network modem by Teledyne Benthos. Testing and simulation results illustrate that the architecture provides efficient support for TCP/IP and interoperability.