MAC protocol for underwater sensor networks using EM wave with TDMA based control channel

Ibrahim Ibne Alam, Farhad Hossain, Kumudu Munasinghe, Abbas Jamalipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Underwater communication (UWC) growing over the past few decades is the major tool for exploring the vast underwater space. Research and development of UWC networks are dominantly acoustic (Ac) wave based due to its long coverage capability. However, the demand of low latency and high throughput applications, and the emergence of short-range UWCs in modern times has drawn attention towards the development of electromagnetic (EM) wave based underwater sensor networks (UWSNs). In light of this, this paper proposes novel medium access control (MAC) protocols by integrating EM-based communications in UWSNs. Proposed protocols use one TDMA-based control channel and one or multiple data channel(s) for control and data packet transmissions respectively. The control channel uses EM wave, while the data channels use either EM or Ac wave for communications. Proposed MAC protocols are developed considering both protocol interference model and physical interference model by taking both propagation delay and underwater channel impairments into account. Performance of the protocols is evaluated through extensive simulations in terms of throughput, packet collision rate, waiting time, energy requirement and network coverage. Impact of system parameters including offered load, network size, data packet size, control packet power, water conductivity and channel bandwidth are analyzed thoroughly. A comprehensive feasibility study by comparing the proposed MAC protocols with the traditional protocols as well as with the full Ac-wave based counterpart is also presented for further validations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3022769
Pages (from-to)168439-168455
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2020


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