The University of Plymouth in the UK is leading a £1.2m (€1.5m) project to create an underwater data network at Smart Sound Plymouth.
A network of acoustic modems will boost the body of water as a proving ground for businesses to test, trial, prototype and commercialise autonomous underwater systems and services.
There is already a ‘wave relay’ mesh of 4G and 5G wireless across the water, developed with Steatite and Vodafone that reaches 20 miles out to sea, and along with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory will install an underwater acoustic communications network.
“The Smart Sound Connect Subsurface network will integrate into the existing advanced surface networks to deliver a fully connected environment; combining underwater, surface, and aerial platforms to deliver a world leading testbed for marine autonomy,” said Dr James Fishwick, Head of Smart Sound Plymouth at Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
In addition, the project will see new specialist lab facilities at City College Plymouth’s Centre for Higher Technical and Maritime Skills at Oceansgate. This will support training and development opportunities that will create a pipeline of engineers via a range of full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and T-Level based study routes.
The network is a key element of the National Centre for Coastal Automony, the UK’s first autonomous fully integrated coastal observing and monitoring network, which will employ the latest autonomous boats and submarines.
“If we are to fully unleash the potential of advanced marine technologies, state of the art communications will be essential,” said Dr Alex Nimmo Smith, Associate Professor in Marine Physics at the University of Plymouth. “This will deliver a unique subsea communications network within Smart Sound Plymouth. It will also help to train the next generation of engineers and innovators, who will be crucial to maintaining the city’s place at the forefront of this industry.”
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.