水中ワイヤレス通信

水中では電波の代わりに音波を使うのは電波が屈折し使えなくなるためです。現在ではこのために水中での通信には制約がかかってしまうことは否めない事実です。トランスポンダーなどを設置し音波で位置の確認などはできますし、ケーブルを使えば問題ありません。

現在、スコットランドでは2年間計画で水中でのワイヤレスデータ通信を可能にするための研究が行われているそうです。この技術がすぐに一般にも使えるようにはならないでしょうが、海洋研究には大きく貢献できそうです。近い将来一般的になれば、ダイバーがそれぞれ水中で会話できるようになるのでは?

Wireless tech goes deep-sea diving
By Julian Goldsmith, Special to ZDNet Asia
Tuesday , March 27 2007 11:00 AM

A 1.1 million-pound (US$2.2 million), two-year research project aims to develop technologies to allow divers and machines to communicate wirelessly underwater.

The Department of Trade and Industry has partially funded a Scottish consortium to the tune of US$1.1 million to develop equipment that can transmit data wirelessly underwater and enable divers to talk to each other without having to resort to hand signals.

According to the DTI, the technology resulting from the research project should be invaluable to oceanographic and environmental monitoring and increase safety for professional divers working in the oil and gas industries.

The “underwater radio” works like a wireless modem and can be used to transmit data to and from unmanned machinery in deep sea.

In a statement, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling said the project offers an opportunity to help establish British industry at the forefront of the field.

The emerging technology could prove useful for divers in certain situations, backers said.

“The signal won’t go for miles, but it will actually work. Commercial divers work in noisy environments. They are making bubbles and often working beside machinery,” said Ron Marquis, business development manager at Wireless Fibre Systems, which is leading the consortium.

“Hand signals work well when you are in the clear waters of the Caribbean, but most divers are working with considerably less visibility. Radio communications isn’t affected by noise and it’s not dependent on clear visibility,” Marquis said.

But a spokesman from the Association of Professional Divers wasn’t convinced.

“It’s not something that commercial divers will be interested in,” the spokesman said. “It’s obligatory to have communications already. The divers have their air pumped through a pipe to them from the surface and a communications cable goes up with that.”

Julian Goldsmith of Silicon.com reported from London.

引用元:http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/communications/0,39044192,62000081,00.htm

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