Surface wave-based broadband RF communication through seawater and conductive enclosures

I. I. Smolyaninov, Q. Balzano, D. Young
Saltenna LLC, Virginia, United States

Keywords: broadband radio communication, seawater, Faraday cage, surface electromagnetic wave

An underwater portable radio antenna operating in the 50 MHz band and efficient for launching surface electromagnetic waves at the seawater/air interface is presented. The antenna operation is based on the field enhancement at the antenna tip and on an impedance matching antenna enclosure, which is filled with de-ionized water. This enclosure allows us to reduce antenna dimensions and improve the coupling of electromagnetic energy to the surrounding salt water medium. Since surface wave propagation length far exceeds the skin depth of conventional radio waves at the same frequency, this technique is useful for broadband underwater wireless communication over several meters distances. Similar surface wave-based techniques have been developed for broadband communication through conductive enclosures.