Affordable underwater wireless optical communication using LEDs

Vladimir Pilipenko, Shlomi Arnon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In recent years the need for high data rate underwater wireless communication (WC) has increased. Nowadays, the conventional technology for underwater communication is acoustic. However, the maximum data rate that acoustic technology can provide is a few kilobits per second. On the other hand, emerging applications such as underwater imaging, networks of sensors and swarms of underwater vehicles require much faster data rates. As a result, underwater optical WC, which can provide much higher data rates, has been proposed as an alternative means of communication. In addition to high data rates, affordable communication systems become an important feature in the development requirements. The outcome of these requirements is a new system design based on off-the-shelf components such as blue and green light emitting diodes (LEDs). This is due to the fact that LEDs offer solutions characterized by low cost, high efficiency, reliability and compactness. However, there are some challenges to be met when incorporating LEDs as part of the optical transmitter, such as low modulation rates and non linearity. In this paper, we review the main challenges facing the incorporation of LEDs as an integral part of underwater WC systems and propose some techniques to mitigate the LED limitations in order to achieve high data rate communication.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationLaser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans II
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2013
Event2nd Conference on Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 26 Aug 201327 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


Conference2nd Conference on Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • DMT
  • LED
  • Non linearity
  • Optical wireless communication
  • Transfer function
  • Underwater

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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