Challenge

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Building Underwater Communications Systems

70% of the planet is underwater where tech connections are difficult to establish and maintain. Because radio wave transmission lacks functionality over distance underwater, alternate methods of communication, such as acoustic technologies, are required.
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Nature and Context

Underwater sensors can help us monitor gas pipelines, examine submerged archaeological sites and study marine geology. This understanding is crucial to our economy – oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, wind energy production - are examples of industrial activities which are more and more performed offshore.

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Ideas Description

The European Union’s SUNRISE project, aimed at building an underwater communications system based on acoustic waves that can travel tens of kilometers under water. Learning from the communication patterns of marine mammals, Petrioli’s research group has developed new software and hardware solutions for integrating modems, nodes and drones equipped with sensors that can monitor things like oxygen levels and pressure, and communicate with each other in water, as well as with their terrestrial counterparts.

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