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Shipborne Underwater Acoustic Communication System and Sea Trials with Submersible Shenhai Yongshi


The Shipborne acoustic communication system of the submersible Shenhai Yongshi works in vertical, horizontal and slant channels according to the relative positions. For ease of use, an array combined by a vertical-cone directional transducer and a horizontal-toroid one is installed on the mothership. Improved techniques are proposed to combat adverse channel conditions, such as frequency selectivity, non-stationary ship noise, and Doppler effects of the platform’s nonlinear movement. For coherent modulation, a turbo-coded single-carrier scheme is used. In the receiver, the sparse decision-directed Normalized Least-Mean-Square soft equalizer automatically adjusts the tap pattern and weights according to the multipath structure, the two receivers’ asymmetry, the signal’s frequency selectivity and the noise’s spectrum fluctuation. The use of turbo code in turbo equalization significantly suppresses the error floor and decreases the equalizer’s iteration times, which is verified by both the extrinsic information transfer charts and bit-error-rate performance. For noncoherent modulation, a concatenated error correction scheme of nonbinary convolutional code and Hadamard code is adopted to utilize full frequency diversity. Robust and low-complexity synchronization techniques in the time and Doppler domains are proposed. Sea trials with the submersible to a maximum depth of over 4500 m show that the shipborne communication system performs robustly during the adverse conditions. From the ten-thousand communication records in the 28 dives in 2017, the failure rate of the coherent frames and that of the noncoherent packets are both below 10%, where both synchronization errors and decoding errors are taken into account.

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Correspondence to Min Zhu.

Additional information

Foundation item: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61471351), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2016YFC0300300 and 2016YFC0300605), and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program, Grant No. 2009AA093301).

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Wu, Yb., Zhu, M., Liang, T. et al. Shipborne Underwater Acoustic Communication System and Sea Trials with Submersible Shenhai Yongshi. China Ocean Eng 32, 746–754 (2018).

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Key words

  • underwater acoustic communication
  • turbo equalization
  • human occupied vehicle
  • high-speed shipborne communication system