SWiG releases a new industry standard for underwater wireless acoustic communication

With the increased focus on underwater inspection, maintenance and repair by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), vessel and vehicle operators need to equip their platforms with a growing range of systems to cover various communication tasks

To address the problem of this increasing diversity of systems, the SWiG JIP (Subsea Wireless Industry Group) was established to help drive such a future, focusing on defining standards that facilitate interoperability between users of different subsea wireless technologies (radio frequency, acoustic, inductive power and data, free space optics and hybrid solutions). These technologies are complementary, delivering different functions and performances in different subsea operating environments. Today, members of SWiG include representation from all parts of the supply chain from the major oil and gas operators to subsea service providers and integrators through to the specialist instrumentation companies.

SWiG has unveiled its latest industry standard – SWiGacoustic. The objective of this standard is to provide a simple acoustic protocol that satisfies the requirements of interoperability and interchangeability for acoustic data communication devices. SWiGacoustic is derived from NATO ANEP-87 Edition A Version 1 (referred to in this document as ANEP-87, and formerly known as STANAG 4748 and previously JANUS).

SWiGacoustic targets subsea process operations and supports monitoring and control applications.

For example:

  • Process control
  • Equipment and process monitoring
  • Diagnostics and maintenance

This version of the new standard, which is available to SWiG members from the SWiG website, reflects decisions made by industry stakeholders to balance capabilities with compromises in the following ways:

  • Bandwidth vs. range: as bandwidth and range are inversely correlated, a range was selected where the available bandwidth is still enough to be of interest for the discussed applications
  • Frequency capability: only one band has been defined in this first standard to allow for the maximum interoperability
  • Transducer sizes: a frequency was selected where the transducer size is still small enough to be installed in smaller vehicles where size and weight can pose a problem

How to become a SWiG member

To understand how your business could benefit from joining SWiG, please contact Shreekant Mehta at [email protected]


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