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Under-water Optical Communication (EPS2022/28)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Dr X Wang  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Underwater wireless sensor network (UWSN) that consists of many distributed nodes (such as seabed sensors, relay buoys, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), and etc.) is becoming increasingly important and widely used for offshore ocean exploration. Underwater wireless communication (UWC) technology is one of the key technologies enabling the realization of UWSN.

Traditionally, acoustics communication is the most dominant technique for underwater wireless links achieving a long link distance up to tens of kilometers. However, underwater acoustics is limited to low transmission data rate in the order of kbps. Underwater optical communication (UWOC) provides unprecedentedly high transmission data rate thanks to the large available bandwidth (THz). It also has advantages of high security, low power requirements, and low latency comparing to the acoustic communication systems.

This project will research on advanced technologies (such as advanced modulation and DSP, machine learning signal processing, and etc) to enable high-speed, long distance, low-cost UWOC system ( It can be used to support harvesting data from underwater sensor nodes from roaming AUVs, and/or to serve as high bandwidth link between sections of UASN.

The candidate will collaborate closely with the Ocean System Lab and ORCA (

We are looking for motivated candidates with strong physics/optics/opto-electronics/electronics engineering/telecommunication background.

Contact [Email Address Removed] for more details.

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD, Bio-science & Bio-Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select September 2022 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the potential supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

There are a number of scholarships available which offer funding from between 3 and 3.5 years at an average stipend rate of £15,000 per year.
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