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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 508708, 9 pages
Research Article

An Underwater Wireless Sensor Network with Realistic Radio Frequency Path Loss Model

Department of Electrical Engineering, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, P.O. Box 26666, Sharjah, UAE

Received 2 November 2012; Revised 15 January 2013; Accepted 25 January 2013

Academic Editor: Nirvana Meratnia

Copyright © 2013 Ghaith Hattab et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We propose an Underwater Wireless Sensor Network (UWSN) for near-shore applications using electromagnetic waves (EM). We also introduce a realistic path loss model for estimating the attenuation encountered by EM waves in underwater environments. The proposed model takes into account the variation of the seawater complex-valued relative permittivity with frequency in contrast to previous work that treats the permittivity as a real-valued constant parameter. Furthermore, the proposed model accounts for the impedance mismatch at the seawater-air boundary, which results in a more realistic estimate of the signal attenuation. Simulation results show the expected signal levels underwater for different scenarios. A prototype implementation to measure the path loss is also presented.