Hardware

Design of a Low-Cost Underwater Acoustic Modem

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Executive Summary

There has been an increasing interest in creating short-range, low data rate, underwater wireless sensor networks for scientific marine exploration and monitoring. However, the lack of an inexpensive, underwater acoustic modem is preventing the proliferation of these sensor networks. Thus, the authors are building an underwater acoustic modem starting with the most critical component from a cost perspective - the transducer. The design substitutes a commercial transducer with a homemade transducer using cheap piezoceramic material and builds the rest of the modem's components around the properties of the transducer to extract as much performance as possible.

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