Russian Scientists Develop 'Underwater Wi-Fi' to Control Sea Robots

© Fotolia / StockdonkeyTomsk Polytechnic University scientists are working on a modem to service underwater vehicles and equipment.
Tomsk Polytechnic University scientists are working on a modem to service underwater vehicles and equipment. - Sputnik International
Tomsk Polytechnic University researchers are developing a modem capable of connecting underwater vehicles and equipment to the internet.

MOSCOW, January 24 (Sputnik) — Scientists at the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) are working on a modem that will be able to provide users the ability to connect to the internet in an underwater environment, and shared preliminary results of their efforts with reporters on Friday, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

"The first results show a capacity for a 1.2 kbp/s connection under conditions of [underwater] constraints. Today, according to our data, similar devices in Russia operate at a speed of 0.2 kbp/s. Simulations have been carried out, and new prototypes have been created with pressure and temperature sensors. The technical characteristics of the devices are on a level comparable with the best foreign analogues, and have no analogues in Russia," said Yuri Svinolupov, the head of the Laboratory of Telecommunications, Instrumentation and Marine Geology.

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Svinolupov noted that this year, scientists are planning to conduct tests on the modems together with the Institute of Marine Technology (IMT) of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The TPU and the IMT are presently engaged in the development of communications systems for underwater robotics. The new modem is needed for the control of deep-sea vehicles, environmental measurement, geological research and the exploration of mineral resources in the seas and the oceans, RIA Novosti has explained.
According to Omsk Region Deputy Governor Mikhail Sonkin, the IMT is already creating vehicles capable of operating at a depth of six kilometers under water, and work is underway on the creation of an apparatus which can reach the depths of the Mariana Trench – almost 12 kilometers.

"Ahead of us is the development of group control, the transmission of information, data collection and processing, pattern recognition, and the creation and implementation of new types of materials," Sonkin noted. "Tomsk enterprises can implement all of these developments," he added.

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The Deputy Governor pointed to the TPU's recent project to develop 'smart' miniature satellites, and explained that presently the issue of integrating the new satellites' capabilities with that of the underwater devices may make it possible for satellites to serve a system of transmitting emergency communications data in the world's oceans.

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