The medium access control (MAC) protocol is a key element for underwater acoustic networks (UWANs). However, due to peculiar features of underwater acoustic channels such as long propagation delay, very small channel capacity, low channel reliability and high dynamics of channel quality, not only MAC protocols but also MAC design strategies originally developed for radio-frequency (RF) based wireless networks (RWNs) cannot work well in UWANs.
Human underwater activities in oceans are growing fast in recent years and a huge number of sensors, actuators and various types of vehicles have been deployed underwater. Underwater things equipped with communication functions are able to construct the Internet of Underwater Thing (IoUT). Thus, underwater wireless networking has been becoming a hot research topic for more than one decade. Similar to radio-frequency based wireless networks (RWNs) used in terrestrial environments, the medium access control (MAC) protocol is one of the most important parts for underwater wireless networks. Since radio signal cannot propagate well in underwater environments, currently acoustic communication is widely used. However, due to peculiar features of underwater acoustic channels such as slow signal propagation speed (about 1.5 km/s in seawater), very small channel capacity, low channel quality and high dynamics of channel quality, MAC protocol design for underwater acoustic networks (UWANs) faces many new challenges. Especially, the long propagation delay is a key factor that makes the MAC design strategy widely adopted by RWNs unsuitable for UWANs.
For further reading could refer to the article “State-of-The-Art Medium Access Control (MAC) Protocols for Underwater Acoustic Networks: A Survey Based on A MAC Reference Model”. The link for the article is:
The assessment requires the students to compare the existing radio-frequency (RF) based wireless networks (RWNs) with the Underwater Acoustic Networks and evaluate the Medium Access Control (MAC) Protocols for Underwater Acoustic Networks. The students are required to submit a report which addresses the following issues:
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