The impact of vertical salinity gradient on non-line-of-sight underwater optical wireless communication

Mohammed Sait, Yujian Guo, Omar Alkhazragi, Meiwei Kong, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The non-line-of-sight (NLOS) underwater communication can offer a viable route in signal propagation and coverage, thus mitigating the pointing, acquisition, and tracking difficulties in line-of-sight optical communication. However, implementing the NLOS link is non-trivial. While the NLOS technique relies on light scattering, i.e., channel turbulence can facilitate NLOS communication, the associated pathloss (PL) can be significant. Signal fading can degrade link robustness, which arises due to ocean water temperature and salinity fluctuation and gradients. To evaluate the robustness of NLOS in natural waters, we systematically measure the link metrics, such as the bit error ratio, PL, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), of water bodies of uniform and nonuniform salinity ranging from 3040 (part-per-thousand). We found that salinity-induced turbulence can establish NLOS communication with PL reduction of 0.7 dB/m and SNR increase by 32.5% for dynamic water. Furthermore, a strong correlation was obtained between the strength of signal fluctuations and the received SNR. Finally, we obtained a Gaussian distribution of the statistical scintillation behavior. These results demonstrated the benefit of using the NLOS regime for underwater wireless sensor networks for aiding designers and engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-10-21
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1614-01-01, GEN/1/6607-01-01, KACST TIC R2-FP-008, KCR/1/2081-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded in part by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) BAS/1/1614-01-01, KCR/1/2081-01-01, GEN/1/6607-01-01, and in part by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (grant no. KACST TIC R2-FP-008.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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