Experimental studies of applications of time-reversal acoustics to non-coherent underwater communications
Heinemann, Michael Gerhard
Smith, Kevin B.
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The most difficult problem in shallow underwater acoustic communications is considered to be the time-varying multipath propagation because it impacts negatively on data rates. Computationally intensive and complex signal processing algorithms are required to compensate for symbol overlapping. This thesis presents results of a tank scale experiment to test Time-Reversal Acoustics (TRA) approach for high data rate binary transmissions. TRA can environmentally adapt the acoustic propagation effects of a complex medium. Our results show the suitability of the TRA approach in underwater acoustic communications. The results also show good focusing properties at an intended target location. The focal region extends over a few wavelengths, outside of which scrambling of the message occurs, offering natural encryption. Range shifts of the focal region could be achieved by frequency shifting. We found that the time focusing is aperture-size independent, but the spatial focusing is aperture-size dependent. Overall, we showed that our algorithm can accomplish a fast, secure, and stable communication scheme with low computational complexity