Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks: A Survey on Enabling Technologies, Localization Protocols, and Internet of Underwater Things

Mohammed Jouhari, Khalil Ibrahimi, Hamidou Tembine, Jalel Ben-Othman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Underwater communication remains a challenging technology via communication cables and the cost of underwater sensor network (UWSN) deployment is still very high. As an alternative, underwater wireless communication has been proposed and have received more attention in the last decade. Preliminary research indicated that the Radio Frequency (RF) and Magneto-Inductive (MI) communication achieve higher data rate in the near field communication. The optical communication achieves good performance when limited to the line-of-sight positioning. The acoustic communication allows long transmission range. However, it suffers from transmission losses and time-varying signal distortion due to its dependency on environmental properties. These latter are salinity, temperature, pressure, depth of transceivers, and the environment geometry. This paper is focused on both the acoustic and magneto-inductive communications, which are the most used technologies for underwater networking. Such as acoustic communication is employed for applications requiring long communication range while the MI is used for real-time communication. Moreover, this paper highlights the trade-off between underwater properties, wireless communication technologies, and communication quality. This can help the researcher community by providing clear insight for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8763947
Pages (from-to)96879-96899
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019


  • Internet of Underwater Things
  • Underwater wireless sensor networks
  • acoustic communications
  • information transfer
  • magneto-inductive communications
  • simultaneous wireless power
  • underwater wireless communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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