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Underwater acoustic communications consume a significant amount of energy due to the high transmission power (10 - 50 W) and long data packet transmission times (0.1 - 1 s). Mobile Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) can conserve energy by waiting for the 'Best' network topology configuration, e.g., a favorable alignment, before starting to communicate. Due to the frequency-selective underwater acoustic ambient noise and high medium power absorption - which increases exponentially with distance - a shorter distance between AUVs translates into a lower transmission loss and a higher available bandwidth. By leveraging the predictability of AUV trajectories, a novel solution is proposed that optimizes communications by delaying packet transmissions in order to wait for a favorable network topology (thus trading end-to-end delay for energy and/or throughput).
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