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IJMS Vol.38(3) [September 2009] >


Title: Recent advancement in sensor technology for underwater applications
Authors: Arshad, Mohd Rizal
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Underwater environment is the new frontier for major future discovery for the benefits of the world at large. The vastness of the oceans mirrored the vast potentials that lie beneath it. In order for scientist and researchers to explore these vast resources, newer and better sensing technology is pertinent. Of course, any sensor module would not be of any use if there are no reliable platforms to take them to the bottom of the oceans or any water column. Currently, there are underwater robotic platforms that can navigate down to more than 6000 meters. But, there are limitations which need to be addressed. In general, the advancement of sensing technology has always preceded most, if not all, major discoveries in the field of science and technology. The efforts into developing sensors must take into consideration the inherent environmental limitations for underwater applications such as the corrosive nature of sea-water, bio-fouling, limited energy resource module, pressure resistant enclosure, data transfer reliability and the dynamic nature of the ocean itself. The research into producing acceptable sensor system/modules will require close international collaborations. The whole range of potential measurement and sensing requirements also may disrupt the proper development of a robust and reliable sensing system/module. Underwater sensor technology can be divided into the acoustic or non-acoustic based sensing. The major problem of acoustic-based sensors is that they are very prone to noise. Because acoustic signal are mechanically-actuated signal, the dynamic nature of the underwater medium disrupts the signal quality. On the other hand, the non-acoustic sensors are very application-specific, and must be tailored made for specific applications. The utilizations of MEMs-based underwater sensor system are a major future scope of research. MEMs-based sensor will optimize the cost of material and energy, particularly. One other potential dimension of underwater sensor development is the bio-inspired system approach. The existing biological system around us, especially in the oceans, is a rich depository for ideas and solutions to the man-made problems. Bio-inspired sensor system is not just about trying to imitate the living system, but synergize the current available technology with what nature is showing.
Page(s): 267-273
ISSN: 0975-1033 (Online); 0379-5136 (Print)
Source:IJMS Vol.38(3) [September 2009]

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