According to foreign media reports, underwater submarines have been unable to communicate directly with aircraft for a long time. On Tuesday, the MIT Media Lab unveiled a new technology that enables underwater-to-air communications, an unprecedented feat.
Submerged submarines have long been unable to communicate directly with aircraft due to mismatches in each other’s communication media. Submarines use sonar, while planes use radio signals, cellular systems, or GPS. Sonar signals can’t penetrate the surface, and radio signals don’t travel well underwater.
But MIT has a solution.
The researchers used underwater transmitters to send sonar signals to the surface of the pool, causing tiny vibrations. This vibrating signal is received by a sensitive radar, which then decodes the 1s and 0s transmitted as vibrations.
The communication system is a “milestone”, said Fadel Adib, a co-author of the research paper and an assistant professor at the Media Lab.
The system is called “Translational Acoustic-Radio Frequency Communication” (TARF). MIT says it could be used to find planes missing underwater, allow military submarines to communicate with planes without having to surface to expose their locations, and allow underwater drones to continuously monitor marine life, while No need to surface to transfer data.