MIT Air Water Communication
Source: MIT

The researchers at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) have finally broken through the water-air barrier in communication. Wireless communication between airplanes and submarines was previously not possible.

This is because of the difference in mediums and modes of wireless communication between the two carriers. Airplanes use radio waves, which die out rapidly when traveling through water. Submarines, on the other hand, use sonar, which reflects off the surface of the water and never reaches the air.

To tackle this problem, MIT researchers have developed a new system called  “translational acoustic-RF communication” (TARF).

TARF consists of an underwater acoustic transmitter. This transmitter sends a sonar signal to the surface in the form of pressure waves of different frequencies corresponding to 0s and 1s of binary data. Above the surface, a highly sensitive receiver reads these minute disturbances and decodes the sonar signal into corresponding bits.

These converted bits are then processed to produce meaningful data.

This breakthrough in direct data transmission between underwater and airborne devices could have all kinds of applications- To find airplanes that go missing underwater, military submarines can communicate with airplanes without surfacing and revealing their position and underwater drones could continuously monitor marine life without having to surface to transmit data.

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