6 October 2017
Let us picture a scenario of
great biologic and oceanographic interest, as is the case of the “Lucky Strike”
site in the Azores, which comprises a series of seamounts and hydrothermal
vents spreading over 150 km2 with depths up to 1600 meters and fostering a rich
ecosystem of diverse aquatic plants, animal life and rich deposits of ore. A
long term scientific observation and monitoring of such a site requires a
number of bottom and mid water permanent or semi-permanent sensors as well
as autonomous vehicles for close visual
inspection and information gathering which, as a whole, represents a challenge
with current technology. In one or two decades man will probably walk on Mars,
but he will still have difficulties to observe and monitor thoroughly the deep
sea on Earth. In the actual state-of-the-art, the most viable option for
guarantying wireless access to remote sensors in a scenario similar to that
described above is through the use of underwater acoustic communications.
However, the typology of the data communication system required for such
purpose is diverse and specific: horizontal short range between bottom network
nodes and long range vertical links to the surface; encompassing various data
rates, bandwidths and modulations, aiming at high efficiency levels and high
robustness, all together not available at present time.
Although various of these challenges have been addressed by the scientific community in the last two or three decades, this workshop aims at discussing those specifically imposed by the deep oceanic environment to underwater acoustics communications, to address the ground truth of current solutions and to discuss future trends and limits. It aims to bring together a group of experienced experts with different backgrounds, interested in ocean monitoring and exploitation, and to provide a share of experiences and an open discussion on the needs and solutions for the deep-water data-accessibility problem.