Software-defined open-architecturre underwater communication networks


Most commercial underwater communication systems do not perform well in the challenging and noisy waters around Singapore. About 15 years ago, we decided to tackle this problem by understanding what the problems were due to, and finding solutions to them. In order to do that, we required a flexible modem platform where we could dynamically reconfigure and customize the physical layer and the higher layers in the network stack. As such a modem was not available in the market, we embarked on the development of a software-defined modem platform to support our research. This resulted in the development of the UnetStack software stack & simulator, which is openly available to the research community, and the UNET modems that have been extensively used in networking experiments in Singapore. In this talk, I will discuss the architecture of the third-generation UNET modems and the UnetStack network stack, and show how the flexibility provided by the software-defined architecture benefited the development of communication & networking algorithms.


Mandar Chitre is currently the Head of the Acoustic Research Laboratory at Tropical Marine Science Institute, and an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering of the National University of Singapore. He has more than 15 years of research experience with underwater communication networks, acoustic signal processing, and marine robotics, and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. He is also a co-chair of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society technology committee on underwater communication, navigation & positioning.