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Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 765924, 18 pages
Research Article

Location-Aware Source Routing Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks of AUVs

Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA

Received 9 May 2012; Revised 13 August 2012; Accepted 6 September 2012

Academic Editor: Paolo Casari

Copyright © 2012 Edward A. Carlson 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.


Acoustic networks of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) cannot typically rely on protocols intended for terrestrial radio networks. This work describes a new location-aware source routing (LASR) protocol shown to provide superior network performance over two commonly used network protocols—flooding and dynamic source routing (DSR)—in simulation studies of underwater acoustic networks of AUVs. LASR shares some features with DSR but also includes an improved link/route metric and a node tracking system. LASR also replaces DSR's shortest-path routing with the expected transmission count (ETX) metric. This allows LASR to make more informed routing decisions, which greatly increases performance compared to DSR. Provision for a node tracking system is another novel addition: using the time-division multiple access (TDMA) feature of the simulated acoustic modem, LASR includes a tracking system that predicts node locations, so that LASR can proactively respond to topology changes. LASR delivers 2-3 times as many messages as flooding in 72% of the simulated missions and delivers 2–4 times as many messages as DSR in 100% of the missions. In 67% of the simulated missions, LASR delivers messages requiring multiple hops to cross the network with 2–5 times greater reliability than flooding or DSR.