Over the past few decades, communication technology has percolated into every aspect of our lives, and we have come to take it for granted. Wireless communication technology we use in air doesn’t work underwater, and we need to rethink and develop new technology that is specifically designed for the challenges posed by the underwater environment. The Unet project strives to develop technologies and promote community collaboration in the area of underwater networks.
The Unet project started at the Acoustic Research Laboratory (ARL) in 2004. Theoretical advances, careful engingeering and extensive field testing in challenging environments have resulted in robust and performant technology components. Much of the technology is freely available for academic and research use, and commercially available through Subnero.
UnetStack is an agent-based network stack that lies the heart of the Unet project. It powers underwater communication nodes, and also an Underwater Network Simulator for development and testing of underwater network technology. It is easy to learn and use, and allows code to be shared between deployment and simulation environments. Essentially, once a protocol is developed and tested in simulation, it is ready to be deployed and tested at sea in any UnetStack-compatible modem.