Cross-Medium Photoacoustic Communications: Challenges, and State of the Art

Muntasir Mahmud*, Md Shafiqul Islam, Akram Ahmed, Mohamed Younis*, Fow Sen Choa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The current era is notably characterized by the major advances in communication technologies. The increased connectivity has been transformative in terrestrial, space, and undersea applications. Nonetheless, the water medium imposes unique constraints on the signals that can be pursued for establishing wireless links. While numerous studies have been dedicated to tackling the challenges for underwater communication, little attention has been paid to effectively interfacing the underwater networks to remote entities. Particularly it has been conventionally assumed that a surface node will be deployed to act as a relay using acoustic links for underwater nodes and radio links for air-based communication. Yet, such an assumption could be, in fact, a hindrance in practice. The paper discusses alternative means by allowing communication across the air–water interface. Specifically, the optoacoustic effect, also referred to as photoacoustic effect, is being exploited as a means for achieving connectivity between underwater and airborne nodes. The paper provides background, discusses technical challenges, and summarizes progress. Open research problems are also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4224
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • air-to-underwater communication
  • cross-medium communication
  • optoacoustic
  • photoacoustic
  • underwater communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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