Wavelength Dependence of Underwater Turbulence Characterized Using Laser-Based White Light



The means of communication in oceanic environments is currently dominated by sonar. Although it is reliable for long-distance transmission, the vision of internet of underwater things (IoUT) requires an alternate means for high-data-rate transmission. It is also envisaged that a networked underwater and above-water objects, such as sensor nodes, and autonomous underwater vehicles will benefit seafloor exploration. The use of laser-based optical communication is poised to realize this dream while working hand-in-hand with acoustic and radio-frequency technologies from the littoral zone to deep blue sea. While blue and green lasers are typically utilized depending on the optical properties of the water, laser-based white light is attractive in a number of aspects. In this thesis, we proposed and realized the use of white light to model the channel and to provide the immediate decision for the preferred system configuration, which is critical for developing reliable communication links, particularly, in the presence of turbulence, which makes the alignment of underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) links challenging. Temperature and salinity changes are among factors that change the refraction index, giving rise to beam wander. This thesis explores the dependence of underwater turbulence on the wavelength. After comparing the performance of red, green, and blue lasers, an ultra-fast comprehensive method that utilizes a white-light source that can produce a wide range of wavelengths is implemented. Experimental results show an 80%-decrease in the scintillation index as the wavelength is increased from 480 to 680 nm in weak turbulence caused by a 0.02-℃/cm temperature gradient with a 40-ppt salt concentration, which emulates conditions found in the Red Sea. The effect of turbulence on the bit error ratio (BER) is also investigated experimentally. Temperature gradients increased the BER especially for shorter wavelengths. The results along long-transmission distances were verified using Monte Carlo simulations. The correlation matrix between wavelengths was studied, which is important for designing multiple-input multiple-output systems. The results obtained show that as the difference in the wavelengths increases, the correlation decreases. Based on the interplay among scintillations, scattering, absorption, and the correlation between different wavelengths, it is possible to design a more reliable UWOC link.
Date made available2019
PublisherKAUST Research Repository

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