AI is bringing the internet underwater to submerged Roman ruins

Cable systems are the most reliable, but they are difficult to maintain and cover a limited operating area. And wireless internet doesn’t work well in water, due to the way water interacts with electromagnetic waves. Scientists have tried optical and acoustic waves, but light and sound are not effective forms of underwater wireless communication—water temperature, salinity, waves, and noise can alter the signal. as they move between devices.

So Davidde teamed up with a team of engineers led by Chiara Petrioli, a professor at Sapienza University and the WSense director of Sapienza, a startup specializing in underwater communication and surveillance systems. . Petrioli’s team has developed a network of underwater wireless sensors and acoustic modems capable of collecting environmental data and transmitting it to land in real time. “We can now monitor the site remotely and at any time,” says Davidde.

Their system relies on AI algorithms to constantly change network protocols. As sea conditions change, algorithms modify the information path from one node to another, allowing signals to travel up to two kilometers. The system can send data between transmitters one kilometer apart at kilobits per second and reach speeds of tens of megabits per second over shorter distances, Petrioli explained. This bandwidth is sufficient to transmit environmental data collected by sensors anchored on the seabed, such as images and information on water quality, pressure and temperature; metallic, chemical and biological elements; and noise, currents, waves and tides.

At Baiae, the underwater internet enables continuous, remote monitoring of environmental conditions such as pH and carbon dioxide levels, which can affect microbial growth that can distort artifacts. In addition, it allows divers to communicate with each other and with colleagues on the surface, who can also use the technology to determine their position with great accuracy.


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