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Taking the Internet ­nderwater

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Doctoral candidates in Melodia's lab dropped two 40-pound sensors into the water and then typed a command into a laptop.

Researchers are working to develop a deep-sea Internet framework.

Credit: Douglas Levere

University at Buffalo researchers are developing a deep-sea Internet framework that could lead to improvements in tsunami detection, offshore oil and natural gas exploration, surveillance, pollution monitoring, and other activities.

"A submerged wireless network will give us an unprecedented ability to collect and analyze data from our oceans in real time," says Buffalo professor Tommaso Melodia. "Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives."

The network would transmit data from existing and planned underwater sensor networks to laptops, smartphones, and other wireless devices in real time.

Melodia also says the network would encourage collaboration among researchers and potentially eliminate the duplicative deployments of sensors and other equipment. In addition, he says the wireless framework could be applied to the energy industry, which typically relies on seismic waves to search for underwater oil and natural gas. "We could even use it to monitor fish and marine mammals, and find out how to best protect them from shipping traffic and other dangers," Melodia says.

From University at Buffalo News
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