Underwater acoustic (UWA) communications have attracted a lot of interest in recent years motivated by a wide range of applications including offshore oil field exploration and monitoring, oceanographic data collection, environmental monitoring, disaster prevention, and port security. Different signaling solutions have been developed to date including non-coherent communications, phase coherent systems, multi-input and multi-output solutions, time-reversal-based communication systems, and multi-carrier transmission approaches. This paper deviates from the traditional approaches to UWA communications and develops a scheme that exploits biomimetic signals. In the proposed scheme, a transmitter maps the information bits to the parameters of a biomimetic signal, which is transmitted over the channel. The receiver estimates the parameters of the received signal and demaps them back to bits to estimate the message. As exemplary biomimetic signals, analytical signal models with nonlinear instantaneous frequency are developed that match mammal sound signatures in the time-frequency plane are developed. Suitable receiver structures as well as performance analysis are provided for the proposed transmission scheme, and some results using data recorded during the Kauai Acomms MURI 2011 UWA communications experiment are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2194-2211
Number of pages18
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 25 2016


  • LPI and LPD communication scheme
  • biological sounds
  • underwater acoustic communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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