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Building Novel VHF-Based Wireless Sensor Networks for the Internet of Marine Things

Al-Zaidi, R and Woods, JC and Al-Khalidi, M and Hu, H (2018) Building Novel VHF-Based Wireless Sensor Networks for the Internet of Marine Things. IEEE Sensors Journal, 18 (5). pp. 2131-2144. ISSN 1530-437X

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Abstract

Traditional marine monitoring systems such as oceanographic and hydrographic research vessels use either wireless sensor networks with a limited coverage, or expensive satellite communication that is not suitable for small and mid-sized vessels. This paper proposes a novel Internet of Marine Things data acquisition and cartography system in the marine environment using Very High Frequency (VHF) available on the majority of ships. The proposed system is equipped with many sensors such as sea depth, temperature, wind speed and direction, and the collected data is sent to 5G edge cloudlets connected to sink/base station nodes on shore. The sensory data is ultimately aggregated at a central cloud on the internet to produce up to date cartography systems. Several observations and obstacles unique to the marine environment have been discussed and feed into the solutions presented. The impact of marine sparsity on the network is examined and a novel hybrid Mobile Ad-hoc/Delay Tolerant routing protocol is proposed to switch automatically between Mobile Ad-hoc Network and Delay Tolerant Network routing according to the network connectivity. The low rate data transmission offered by VHF radio has been investigated in terms of the network bottlenecks and the data collection rate achievable near the sinks. A data synchronization and transmission approach has also been proposed at the 5G network core using Information Centric Networks.

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