A Data Link Layer in Support of Swarming of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

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Executive Summary

Swarms of Underwater Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) are being increasingly used in civilian and military applications. Formations of UAVs are being utilized to detect mine-like objects and oilfields, collect water quality information, detect intruders, and in navigation assistance applications, among others. This paper introduces a new data link layer for underwater communications suitable for non-synchronized ad-hoc networks using multiple frequency channels that supports linear and polygon formations of UAVs. At the MAC layer, the 2MAC protocol is introduced. 2MAC is a contention-based and collision avoidance scheme designed to work on top of an OFDMA-based acoustic channel at the physical layer and coordinate the simultaneous transmissions of multiple OFDMA sub-channels simultaneously with only one transceiver.

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