MIT Media Lab Researchers have taken a step forward to develop a system that allows that allows underwater and Airborne to share data directly using Sensors. This Can be achieved by using transmitter projecting a sonar signal to the water surface which causes tiny Vibrations to the 1s and 0s transmitted. Similarly, a highly sensitive receiver above the surface reads these minute disturbances and decoded the specific signal.
Fadel Adib and Francesco Tonolini of MIT Media Lab, have developed this way to connect these seemingly dissonant mediums through something called Translational Acoustic-RF communication where sound waves generated underwater, and Radar devices inbuilt to the planes transmit messages by creating faint ripples on the surface of the water. Adib also states that, though “translational acoustic-RF communication” (TARF), is still in its early stages”, it creates a milestone that opens new capabilities in Air-Water Communications.
TARF works on the underwater acoustic transmitter that transmits sonar signals using a standard acoustic speaker. The signals undergo as pressure waves of different frequencies with reference to different data bits and when the signal hits the surface, it causes tiny ripples in the water to a minute level. The system transmits multiple data rates at the same time to achieve higher frequency rates so that researchers can transmit a huge amount of data at once.
For the RADAR to detect incoming sonar signals Researchers employed a technology that detects reflections in an environment and organizes them by distance and power. TARF accurately decodes any data at hundreds of bits per second, similar to standard data rates for underwater communications even though any disturbances are caused. Adib also says, Although under some situations like the waves higher than 16 centimetres, the systems aren’t able to decode signals but it works efficiently in calm days and deals with certain water disturbances.
Aaron Schulman mentions that “TARF is the first system that is more efficient to receive underwater acoustic transmissions from the air using radar” and hope I expect this new radar-acoustic technology will benefit researchers in fields that depend on underwater acoustics and will inspire the scientific community to investigate more on this technology. He also hopes that their researchers further develop airborne drone or plane flying across a water’s surface to constantly receive incoming sonar signal and decode them in a very short time.