Experimental demonstration of underwater acoustic communication by vector sensors

Aijun Song, Ali Abdi, Mohsen Badiey, Paul Hursky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Acoustic communication often relies on a large size array with multiple spatially separated hydrophones to deal with the challenging underwater channel. This poses limitation to its application in compact size underwater platforms. In this paper, acoustic communication by vector sensors is demonstrated by the data collected during a high frequency acoustic experiment, where a vector sensor array was drifting in the ocean. It is shown that the multichannel receiver using a single vector sensor can offer significant size reduction for coherent acoustic communication at the carrier frequency of 12 kHz, compared with a pressure sensor line array. Further, the performance difference between vector sensors and pressure sensors varies at communication ranges. At close ranges (up to 160 m), both a single vector sensor and a vector sensor array can offer significant performance gain compared with the pressure sensor array. At longer ranges (up to 1080 m), the single vector sensor has the same performance with the pressure sensor array, on average. The vector sensor array consistently provides gain at all ranges over the pressure sensor array since additional information of the acoustic field is utilized by vector sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5887356
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Underwater acoustic communication
  • time reversal
  • vector sensor


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