Tutorial: Practical Underwater Software-Defined Networking

Practical Underwater Software-Defined Networking

Monday, October 12

Presenters: Prasad Anjangi, Shiraz Shahabudeen, & Chinmay Pendharkar
Subnero Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)

Background & Motivation:

Underwater wireless communications and networks play an important role in marine activities such as environmental monitoring, underwater exploration, and scientific data collection. Advances in the acoustic modem technology have enabled robust, reliable and high data-rate communications for a peer-to-peer link. However,

  • When there are multiple nodes forming an underwater network trying to achieve an objective, what developmental tools and practices can be followed?
  • How does the current state-of-the-art acoustic modem technology provide the capabilities to the developer/user to harness and create useful underwater networking solutions?
  • How does a software-defined modem help in expanding the capabilities in developing complex applications with ease?

Software-defined underwater modems and networks are rapidly gaining popularity due to the flexibility they afford in communicating underwater in challenging environments. With advances in low-power computing technology and flexible software architectures, some modems are able to support not only customizable network stacks, but also re-programmable signaling at the physical layer. This enables re- searchers & engineers to customize the behaviors of the modems to robustly communicate in many challenging environments, and to take advantage of special features of the channel, such as propagation delay and channel sparsity. It also allows modems to interact closely with the command & control systems of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), providing critical information for adaptive path planning in light of communication & navigation constraints.

In this tutorial, we will present some crucial concepts involved in an underwater network stack and we make the concepts concrete by showing practical examples using a particular networking stack.

Topic Overview: 

This is a comprehensive tutorial on the subject of practical software-defined underwater networks. The content presented in this tutorial can be broadly classified into the following two major topics:

(a) Setting up a practical underwater network.
(i) Crucial concepts involved in a network stack.
(ii) Need for cross-layer optimization in an underwater network stack.
(iii) Confguring network stack for different application scenarios.
(b) Developing applications utilizing the underwater network infrastructure such as:
(i) File transfer among nodes in an underwater acoustic network.
(ii) Underwater localization of a mobile node (e.g. an Autonomous Under-water Vehicle (AUV)).
(iii) Processing baseband acoustic signals using a software-defined modem.

The purpose of this tutorial is to expand the audience’s knowledge in the domain of practical underwater networks and software-defined modems. The content is prepared keeping the current state-of-the-art in mind. The objective is to equip the audience to be at the cutting-edge of this field at the end of this tutorial. The tutorial is not only useful for the new researchers in this domain but also to the experts in academia and relevant industries wanting to quickly develop, simulate and deploy their underwater networking solutions. The subject matter is covered through a combination of theoretical and hands-on sessions. The audience will learn to simulate and develop underwater peer-to-peer and networking applications using the tools and techniques presented. The content outline section presents in detail the topics that are covered.

Target Audience:

  • Engineers interested in designing, simulating or deploying underwater networks
  • Researchers interested in developing underwater networking protocols.
  • Early-stage PhD students focusing on underwater networking.
  • The hands-on session may also be of interest to engineers and researchers with advanced knowledge in the domain.

Content Outline:

We propose both a full-day and a half-day content outline. Each of the topic will be dealt at the conceptual level in the half-day tutorial. In the full-day tutorial the topics will be dealt conceptually as well as via hands-on sessions in addition to the advanced topics that will be covered. Please check the detailed content outline given below:

Configuring a practical underwater network (90min)

a) Basics of underwater networks
b) The concept of agent-oriented programming
c) Need for cross-layer optimization
d) Transport agent
e) Router agent
f) Link agent
g) Medium Access Control (MAC) agent
h) Physical agent

Underwater network simulator

a) Introduction to UnetSim
b) Setting up the simulator environment
c) Example simulations

Discussion + Coffee break (20 min)

Underwater localization (50min)

a) Problem statement
b) Theoretical solution
c) Simulation setup with reference nodes and a mobile node
d) Simulation results

Baseband signal processing using a software-defined modem (50min)

a) Custom modulators and demodulators
b) Range measurements using time difference of arrival
c) Delay-doppler channel estimation

Prasad Anjangi received his Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2016. Prior to that he received the B.Eng. degree in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from Andhra University, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2007 and the M.Eng. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India, in 2009. Currently, he is a Research Scientist and part of the core team at Subnero Pte. Ltd. He worked in semiconductor industries with Atmel and STMicroelectronics as Firmware and Senior Design Engineer, respectively, from 2009 to 2012. His current research interests include underwater acoustic communications, signal processing, networking protocol design, and autonomous underwater vehicles. Dr. Anjangi has served in technical program committee of WUWNet and is a reviewer of many journals including IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering and IEEE Transactions on Communications.

Shiraz Shahabudeen has held various engineering roles including at Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), NeST Software, India etc. He was a Research Fellowat ARL, National University of Singapore (NUS) where his research interests included underwater acoustic communications and autonomous underwater vehicles. He is currently a R&D consultant for Subnero, Singapore. Dr. Shahabudeen holds an M.S degree in telecommunication engineering from Melbourne University (Australia) and a PhD from NUS in Underwater Communications.

Chinmay Pendharkar received his B.Eng. degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2006. Since then he has spent more than 10 years in the industry from working on embedded software in Motorola Electronics Pte. Ltd. to working with experimental audio technologies at a startup spun out of NUS. He also has an M.Sc in Engineering Acoustics from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) which he completed in 2011. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Subnero, where one of his focuses is on implementing software-de_ned networking applications on physical devices.