Underwater Sensor Network Applications: A Comprehensive Survey

Emad Felemban, Faisal Karim Shaikh, Umair Mujtaba Qureshi, Adil A. Sheikh, Saad Bin Qaisar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)


There is no escaping fact that a huge amount of unexploited resources lies underwater which covers almost 70% of the Earth. Yet, the aquatic world has mainly been unaffected by the recent advances in the area of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and their pervasive penetration in modern day research and industrial development. The current pace of research in the area of underwater sensor networks (UWSNs) is slow due to the difficulties arising in transferring the state-of-the-art WSNs to their underwater equivalent. Maximum underwater deployments rely on acoustics for enabling communication combined with special sensors having the capacity to take on harsh environment of the oceans. However, sensing and subsequent transmission tend to vary as per different subsea environments; for example, deep sea exploration requires altogether a different approach for communication as compared to shallow water communication. This paper particularly focuses on comprehensively gathering most recent developments in UWSN applications and their deployments. We have classified the underwater applications into five main classes, namely, monitoring, disaster, military, navigation, and sports, to cover the large spectrum of UWSN. The applications are further divided into relevant subclasses. We have also shown the challenges and opportunities faced by recent deployments of UWSN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number896832
JournalInternational Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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