NeTS: Medium: Collaborative Research:
Riding the Stress Wave: Integrated Monitoring, Communications, and Networking for Subsea Infrastructure


Project Information

Project Summary

Thousands of miles of pipelines crisscrossed on the Gulf of Mexico sea floor comprise the veins for offshore oil and gas industry of the United States. Leaks and ruptures of those pipelines can lead not only to staggering economic loss but also environmental disasters. The goal of this proposal is thus to effectively monitor  subsea infrastructure such as offshore pipelines, and efficiently deliver sensed information in subsea environment. To provide a viable solution, we plan to integrate piezoelectric transducers/actuators designs, acoustic communications, stress wave communications, and hybrid networking, and conduct experiments and field tests to validate the proposed scheme. Such a vision needs efforts from both engineering and scientific perspectives, and questions we seek to answer include: (i) How to utilize piezoelectric transducers for a concurrent execution of stress wave communication (SWC) and structural health monitoring for subsea pipelines. (ii) How to characterize the stress wave propagation and reflection in a pipeline network with multiple segments and joints, and how to conduct communication channel modeling. (iii) How to achieve optimized rates-reliability trade-off via transmitter adaptivity in short range acoustic communications. (iv) How to exploit the subsea infrastructure to form a stress wave assisted hybrid subsea network to improve transmission performance in terms of end-to-end throughput, power efficiency, delay, and so on.

Personnel at UH

  • Dr. Miao Pan, PI
  • Dr. Gangbing Song, Co-PI
  • Dr. Jiefu Chen, Co-PI
  • Mr. Debing Wei, PhD Student
  • Ms. Sihong He, PhD Student
  • Mr. Chaoxian Qi, PhD Student

Personnel at UA

  • Dr. Aijun Song, PI
  • Mr. Qiang Fu, PhD Student

Personnel at TSU

  • Dr. Xuemin Chen, PI
  • Ms. Mingchi Zhang, MS Student

Research Progress and Outreach Activities

Research Collaboration and Idea Exchange

Prof. Aijun Song at UA visited UH team and delivered a talk in March 2019.


  1. Debing Wei, Li Yan, Xuanheng Li, Jie Wang, Jiefu Chen, Miao Pan, and Yahong Rosa Zheng, “Ferrite Assisted Geometry-Conformal Magnetic Induction Antenna and Subsea Communications for AUVs”, IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM’18), Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 9-13, 2018.
  2. Debing Wei, Steban Soto, Javier Garcia, Aaron Becker, Li Wang, and Miao Pan, “ROV Assisted Magnetic Induction Communication Field Tests in Underwater Environments”, ACM International Conference on Underwater Networks and Systems (WUWNet’18), Shenzhen, China, December 3-5, 2018.