Passive underwater sensor networks are often used to monitor a general area of the ocean, a port or military installation, or to detect underwater vehicles near a high value unit at sea, such as a fuel ship or aircraft carrier. Deploying an underwater sensor network across a large area of interest (AOI), for military surveillance purposes, is a significant challenge due to the inherent difficulties posed by the underwater channel in terms of sensing and communications between sensors. Moreover, monetary constraints, arising from the high cost of these sensors and their deployment, limit the number of available sensors. As a result, sensor deployment must be done as efficiently as possible. The objective of this work is to develop a deployment strategy for passive underwater sensors in an area clearance scenario, where there is no apparent target for an adversary to gravitate towards, such as a ship or a port, while considering all factors pertinent to underwater sensor deployment. These factors include sensing range, communications range, monetary costs, link redundancy, range dependence, and probabilistic visitation. A complete treatment of the underwater sensor deployment problem is presented in this work from determining the purpose of the sensor field to physically deploying the sensors. Assuming a field designer is given a suboptimal number of sensors, they must be methodically allocated across an AOI. The Game Theory Field Design (GTFD) model, proposed in this work, is able to accomplish this task by evaluating the acoustic characteristics across the AOI and allocating sensors accordingly. Since GTFD considers only circular sensing coverage regions, an extension is proposed to consider irregularly shaped regions. Sensor deployment locations are planned using a proposed evolutionary approach, called the Underwater Sensor Deployment Evolutionary Algorithm, which utilizes two suitable network topologies, mesh and cluster. The effects of these topologies, and a sensor's communications range, on the sensing capabilities of a sensor field, are also investigated. Lastly, the impact of deployment imprecision on the connectivity of an underwater sensor field, using a mesh topology, is analyzed, for cases where sensor locations after deployment do not exactly coincide with planned sensor locations.
Computing and Information Sciences (Ph.D.)
Department, Program, or Center
PhD Program in Computing and Information Sciences
Golen, Erik, "Intelligent deployment strategies for passive underwater sensor networks" (2009). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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