A team of researchers are testing out the use of underwater WiFi, and hope it’s use could eventually be applied towards better underwater warning systems, according to BBC News.
The researchers, who are from the University of Buffalo, New York, conducted their research on Lake Erie, not too far from Buffalo, and the test involved dropping two 40 lb (18 kg) sensors into the water, and then used a laptop computer to transmit information to the sensors. They hope the information they gain will eventually be applied towards providing warnings for disaster events such as tsunamis. The team will release more of their findings at a conference in Taiwan, which will focus on underwater networking.
Underwater WiFi uses sounds waves, as opposed to radio waves which are used above ground. Radio waves can be used underwater, but their range is much shorter.
“A submerged wireless network will give us an unprecedented ability to collect and analyze data from our oceans in real time,” said Tommaso Melodia to the BBC News. Tommaso is the team’s lead researcher and says, “Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives.”