Wireless radio link design to improve near-shore communication with surface nodes on tidal waters

Miguel Gutierrez Gaitan, Pedro M. D'Orey, Pedro M. Santos, Manuel Ribeiro, Luis Pinto, Luis Almeida, J. Borges De Sousa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless radio links deployed over aquatic areas (e.g., sea, estuaries or harbors) are affected by the conductive properties of the water surface, strengthening signal reflections and increasing interference effects. Recurrent natural phenomena such as tides or waves cause shifts in the water level that, in turn, change the interference patterns and cause varying impairments to propagation over water surfaces. In this work, we aim at mitigating the detrimental impact of tides on the quality of a line-of-sight over-water link between an onshore station and a surface node, targeting mission data transfer scenarios. We consider different types of surface nodes, namely, autonomous underwater vehicles, unmanned surface vehicles and buoys, and we use WiFi technology in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. We propose two methods for link distance/height design: (i) identifying a proper Tx-Rx distance for improved link quality at each point of the tidal cycle; (ii) defining the height/distance that minimizes the path loss averaged during the whole tidal cycle. Experimental results clearly show the validity of our link quality model and the interest of method (i). Analytical results confirm method (ii) and show that it outperforms, in both frequency bands, the common practice of placing onshore antennas at the largest possible height and/or surface nodes at a short but arbitrary distance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOCEANS 2021
Subtitle of host publicationSan Diego - Porto
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780692935590
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventOCEANS 2021: San Diego - Porto - San Diego, United States
Duration: 20 Sept 202123 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameOceans Conference Record (IEEE)
ISSN (Print)0197-7385


ConferenceOCEANS 2021: San Diego - Porto
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Maritime communication
  • Over-water
  • Path loss
  • Propagation
  • Tidal fading
  • Tides
  • Two-ray
  • WiFi
  • Wireless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ocean Engineering


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