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This paper focuses on statistical characterization and capacity evaluation of shallow water acoustic communications channels. Wideband single-carrier and multi-carrier probe signals are employed to measure the time-varying channel response, and to estimate its statistical properties that play an important role in the design of bandwidth-efficient and power-efficient communication systems. To assess the capacity of an underwater acoustic channel, the authors first assess the probability density functions that model the signal fading. Rician fading is found to provide a good match for the experimental data collected in the Pacific Ocean during the summer 2008 Kauai acoustic communications experiment (KAM'08).
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