Implementation of an OFDM based underwater acoustic modem
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In this thesis we designed and implemented an underwater acoustic (UWA) communication system employing multicarrier modulation in the form of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). UWA communication became more popular as there has been a growing interest in transmitting real-time data, such as video and sonar images. There are many applications where these transmissions are used. These applications are underwater wireless sensor networks(UWSN) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) for military and scientific purposes. Therefore, building an efficient UWA communication system which has a high data rate can improve these applications’ performance signifi- cantly. Currently, many underwater communication systems use single carrier modulation which have limited data rate due to complexity of their receivers, as frequency selectivity of the channel increases when the symbol rate increases, so we preferred to use multicarrier modulation in UWA communication in order to increase data rate of our system. In this thesis, we considered a system that uses zero-padded (ZP) OFDM modulation. Based on ZP-OFDM, we used a receiver model that performs pilot-tone based channel estimation, carrier frequency offset compensation based on least squares (LS) fitting error or null subcarriers if they occur and data demodulation for each OFDM block individually. We used MATLAB environment for implementing our system. The MATLAB scripts generate a data burst that contains OFDM blocks, and then it is transmitted to the hardware from a laptop by using a Data Acquisition (DAQ) Card. At the other side of the system, the receiver laptop gets the data by using a DAQ Card. As the data is received, MATLAB scripts are used for demodulating it. As we built our system, we performed underwater experiments at Bilkent Lake Facility to investigate its performance in a real UWA channel. In our test, a data rate of 13.92 kbps has been achieved with quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) modulation while the bit-error-rate (BER) was less then 9x10−2 without using any coding.
Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)
underwater acoustic (UWA) communication