News / Science & Technology

Underwater Wi-Fi Could Provide 'Deep-Sea Internet'

Doctoral candidates in Melodia's lab, Hossain and Kulhandjian (above), dropped two 40-pound sensors into the water and then typed a command into a laptop. (Credit: Douglas Levere)
Doctoral candidates in Melodia's lab, Hossain and Kulhandjian (above), dropped two 40-pound sensors into the water and then typed a command into a laptop. (Credit: Douglas Levere)

Related Articles

Google, Facebook Carve out 'Internet Empires'

Google dominates West and India, while Facebook is king in Middle East and Latin America

New Group Aims for Affordable Internet Access

In the developing world, the price of broadband is a staggering 30.1 percent of average monthly incomes
VOA News
Researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York are developing an underwater wireless network they’re dubbing a “deep-sea” Internet.

If successful, it could lead to improvements in tsunami detection, offshore oil and natural gas exploration, surveillance, pollution monitoring and other activities.

“A submerged wireless network will give us an unprecedented ability to collect and analyze data from our oceans in real time," said Tommaso Melodia an associate professor of electrical engineering and the project’s lead researcher. “Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives.”

Land-based wireless networks rely on radio waves that transmit data via satellites and antennae. Unfortunately, radio waves work poorly underwater. This is why agencies like the Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use sound wave-based techniques to communicate underwater.

For example, NOAA relies on acoustic waves to send data from tsunami sensors on the seafloor to surface buoys. The buoys convert the acoustic waves into radio waves to send the data to a satellite, which then redirects the radio waves back to land-based computers. This can be a cumbersome process because each system has a different infrastructure.

The framework Melodia is developing also uses sound and would solve that problem. It would transmit data from existing and planned underwater sensor networks to laptops, smartphones and other wireless devices in real time.

The system was recently tested in Lake Erie. Melodia and his fellow researchers lowered two, 40-pound sensors into the water, typed a command into a laptop, and seconds later a series of high-pitched chirps ricocheted off a nearby concrete wall, which, researchers say, showed the test worked.

Melodia says the implications are many.

"We could even use it to monitor fish and marine mammals, and find out how to best protect them from shipping traffic and other dangers," Melodia said. "An Internet underwater has so many possibilities."

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid