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Toward cheap underwater sensor nets
Date:5/27/2009

: digital signal processors, microcontrollers, and reconfigurable hardware. Their testsdescribed in the paper presented at the IEEE Workshop in Romeshow that the reconfigurable hardware platform provides the best low-energy implementation for the particular underwater communications algorithm they implemented.

While Bridget Benson and UC San Diego computer science professor Ryan Kastner are working on digital signal processing challenges, Jacobs School undergraduates are hard at work on analog portions of the underwater communications project, including the transmitter power amplifier and receiver low noise amplifier.

"The amplifier works, but it is not yet as efficient as Don Kimball's original design or the early simulations," said electrical engineering undergraduate Brian Faunce, referring to Calit2 principal development engineer Don Kimball. "There is some sort of an optimization issue we still have to figure out." "The impedance of the underwater transducer is much more complex than we originally thought" says Kimball.

"In class, you learn a lot of theory, but you don't learn how to revise a schematic, layout the printed circuit board, assemble the circuit and then perform field tests. I have friends at other schools, and when it comes to internships and projects, they are just not available at other schools the way they are here," said Faunce.

"Sensor networks are revolutionizing the way we understand our natural world. Unfortunately, the advances in the underwater sensor networks have not matched those in the terrestrial domain," said Kastner, the professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the Jacobs School steering the project.

Sensor Nets and Diving Vets

If scientists had underwater sensor nets, they could keep better tabs on how water conditions are changing. For example, Benson is working with researchers at an ecological research station in Tahiti that includes
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Contact: Daniel Kane
dbkane@ucsd.edu
858-534-3262
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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