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Dr. Zheng Peng

Institution: City College of New York

Department: Computer Science

Proposed research ideas:

Develop advanced network technologies and novel network architecture for sustainable underwater monitoring and exploration. The technology of underwater acoustic network has emerged as a promising solution to facilitate a variety of aquatic applications, such as subsea scientific exploration, commercial exploitation and coastline protection. This new technology can transform the way we understand, explore and utilize the large and sparsely sampled oceans, estuaries, lakes and rivers. However, acoustic communications is known for much higher energy consumption than that of terrestrial RF-based wireless communications. As the amount of data to be collected and transmitted over the acoustic network increase significantly, the energy consumption of such networks becomes skyrocketing. This poses a grand challenge for underwater networking nodes which are mainly powered by batteries. To make matter worse, the large amount of energy, in the form of acoustic waves, injected into the ocean could disturb the marine animals. Existing acoustic networks make use a large portion of the acoustic frequency band without considering marine lives. There are growing concerns about the effect of man-made noises on marine animals. Therefore, it is imperative to create a future generation of “green” networks, which is energy efficient, environmental-friendly, and in the meantime, provides decent QoS. Novel network architecture(s), as well as new networking algorithms across all layers, needs to be developed for sustainable ocean monitoring and exploration. In this project, we would like to conduct preliminary research and conceive innovative ideas to tackle these challenges.


The Scientific Networking Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has a group of internationally recognized experts in advanced networking research. It has previously conducted research on “green networking”, which targets at shrinking the carbon footprint of decentralized networks. This project is expanding the idea of “green networking” to reach the vast oceans, which cover 70% of the Earth surface. The experience and expertise from the “green networking” project could greatly benefit this project. This motivates us to participate in this program. We believe that the collaboration could spur innovations, create better tools, and inspire new ideas for “green” networks on this water planet.