BlueComm - Underwater Optical Communication System
BlueComm is a through-water wireless optical communication system, developed to transmit subsea data, stream video and perform tetherless vehicle control at very high speeds. The BlueComm modem family is currently made up of three variants. BlueComm 100 is optimised for shallow water ‘high ambient light’ operating environments and offers a good balance between data rate and range. BlueComm 200 sends data at up to 10 Mbps and is suitable for deep or night time operations. BlueComm 200 UV is best suited for ROV or AUV applications that require the use of artificial lights, for example, when recording video. The dual laser configuration of BlueComm 5000 supports data transfer rates of up to 500 Mbps.
BlueComm uses the electromagnetic spectrum rather than acoustic pressure waves to transmit high volumes of data. Typically operating in the 450 nm Blue Light region of the spectrum, BlueComm can achieve data rates of greater than 500 Mbps. Optical data transmission is highly efficient, enabling 1 Gb of data to be transmitted with the energy contained within a single lithium D-sized cell over distances greater than 150 metres.
- Use it to stream video and control vehicles
- Data rates of up to 500 Mbps achievable
- Compatible with your subsea Ethernets
- Fast and efficient data off-load to resident AUVs
- Depth rated to 4,000 metres
As a high speed communication platform, BlueComm is an Ethernet connected device allowing plug-and-play connectivity to clients’ own subsea networks. This allows for easy expansion of pre-existing networks, improving productivity by increasing the data communications speed. Its flexible system architecture means that BlueComm can be integrated with Sonardyne’s comprehensive array of acoustic navigation, control and monitoring devices.
Complementary Sonardyne acoustic communications provide long range (>4 km), low bandwidth command and control. This capability enables functions such as data recording to be turned ‘on’ and ‘off ‘ remotely from the surface, and health or QC information to be transmitted.the power of light
BlueComm 100 uses an array of high power light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are rapidly modulated to transmit data. The receiver uses photodiodes allowing peak performance in all lighting conditions, including very shallow ‘high ambient light’ conditions. Both the receivers and emitters are packaged into a small 5 kg unit rated to 4,000 m. Delivering 5 Mbps at 10 m range, BlueComm100 is a short range, highly reliable solution.
BlueComm 200 also uses an array of rapidly modulated LEDs but has a separate photomultiplier tube as its receiving element. The photomultiplier tube allows a much more sensitive receive capability allowing communication ranges of up to 150 m. Due to the sensitivity of the photomultiplier receiver, the emitter is housed separately to prevent self-interference. BlueComm 200 is excellent for long-range remote communications to ROVs.
BlueComm 200 UV is very similar to the BlueComm 200. It operates at a shorter wavelength in the UV spectrum meaning it has higher tolerance to visible light. The system is capable of operating at ranges of up to 75 metres. The UV system is ideal for AUV and ROV operations where light sources are used to illuminate the scene and may be in the line of sight of the modems. It ensures a consistent performance regardless of the visible light conditions in the environment.
BlueComm 5000 uses two rapidly modulated off frequency lasers to produce simultaneous bi-directional communications. The equipment is optimised for peak data transfer performance with transfer speeds of 500 Mbps being achievable. BlueComm 5000 is excellent at large data offloads from deployed sea bed nodes or fast ‘fly-by’ data collections by field resident AUVs.