Effect of Sea Waves on Vertical Underwater Visible Light Communication Links

Mohammed Elamassie, Sadiq M. Sait, Murat Uysal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Underwater visible light communication (VLC) has been proposed to deal with emerging high bandwidth underwater applications. Initial research works on underwater VLC are based on the assumption that both transmitter and receiver are submerged, creating a horizontal link. In most of the vertical communication links, one of the transceiver nodes takes the form of a buoy and requires taking into the effect of the sea surface, which is inherently unsteady due to wind and waves. In this article, we consider a vertical underwater VLC link where the transmitter is in the form of a buoy at the sea surface, and the receiver is a submerged node at a certain depth. We assume sinusoidal waves and consider the fact that the buoy will fluctuate and oscillate, during drifting up and down, around its vertical axis. This effectively results in a 3-D displacement at the suspended transmitter. Building upon these assumptions of practical relevance, we propose an aggregate channel model, which includes a random path loss due to periodic changes of the transmission distance and a fading term induced by pointing errors with periodic changes of relative movement. Based on the proposed statistical model, we derive closed-form expressions for the exact and asymptotic bit error ratio and investigate the achievable diversity orders. We further present numerical results to confirm the analytical findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • Path loss
  • pointing error
  • sea waves
  • underwater visible light communication
  • vertical links

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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