State of the art analysis of underwater optical communications and their applications in the military field

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Centro Universitario de la Defensa de Marín
Underwater optical wireless communication (UOWC) is a developing technology of great interest to the industry, scientific community and military, more specifically to the Navy, who has the operative task of Sea Control. Despite the astounding progress achieved in underwater acoustic communication, its small bandwidth strongly limits its transmission capacity in an era where the amount of information grows exponentially. Therefore, UOWC has attracted considerable attention in recent years, as it offers a much higher transmission bandwidth, thus providing greater data rate. However, UOWC is severely dependent on the properties of the underwater environment, the reason why they must be studied in depth. This paper analyzes the state of the art of UOWC, providing an exhaustive research on the factors and phenomena affecting the underwater light propagation as well as its main challenges and recent technological advances. Afterwards, a simple UOWC prototype is designed to carry out assorted experiments in order to test the literature and draw meaningful conclusions. Finally, the application of this technology in the military field is discussed in terms of its feasibility, usefulness, main advantages and difficulties of its implementation, opening up a promising future for its development.
UOWC, Attenuation, LASER, LED, Military Applications