Long range and long duration underwater localization using molecular messaging

Song Qiu*, Weisi Guo, Bin Li, Yue Wu, Xiaoli Chu, Siyi Wang, Yin Yao Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we tackle the problem of how to locate a single entity with an unknown location in a vast underwater search space. In under-water channels, traditional wave-based signals suffer from rapid distance- and time-dependent energy attenuation, leading to expensive and lengthy search missions. In view of this, we investigate two molecular messaging methods for location discovery: 1) a Rosenbrock gradient ascent algorithm and 2) a chemical encoding messaging method. In absence of explicit diffusion channel knowledge and in presence of diffusion noise, the Rosenbrock method is adapted to account for the blind search process and allow the robot to recover in areas of zero gradient. The two chemical methods are found to offer attractive performance trade-offs in complexity and robustness. Compared to conventional acoustic signals, the chemical methods proposed offers significantly longer propagation distance (1000 km) and longer signal persistence duration (months).

Original languageEnglish
Article number7511669
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Under-water communications
  • chemical noise
  • localization
  • molecular communications


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