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Underwater acoustic communications in the ocean is complicated as the acoustic signals may be attenuated, distorted and delayed. In this paper, the authors review the underwater acoustic signal propagation properties in terms of sound speed profile, spreading loss and absorption loss. They study and compare different approaches on the calculation of signal transmission loss in the water, more specifically, the ray theory model approach and the semi-empirical formula approach. Using the Acoustic Toolbox, they compare their performance under different environmental parameters, including the sound source depth, bathymetry data, and the horizontal distance between the sound source and receiver.
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