UAN Models

Collaboration diagram for UAN Models:

UAN Module Overview

The main goal of the UAN Model is to enable researchers to model a variety of underwater network scenarios. The UAN model is broken into three main parts: The channel, PHY, and MAC models.

UAN Propagation Models

Modelling of the underwater acoustic channel has been an active area of research for quite some time. Given the complications involved, surface and bottom interactions, varying speed of sound, etc..., the detailed models in use for ocean acoustics research are much too complex (in terms of runtime) for use in network level simulations. We have attempted to provide the often used models as well as make an attempt to bridge, in part, the gap between complicated ocean acoustic models and network level simulation. The three propagation models included are the ideal channel model, the Thorp propagation model and the Bellhop propagation model (Available as an addition).

All of the Propagation Models follow the same simple interface in ns3::UanPropModel. The propagation models provide a power delay profile (PDP) and pathloss information. The PDP is retrieved using the GetPdp method which returns type UanPdp. ns3::UanPdp utilises a tapped delay line model for the acoustic channel. The UanPdp class is a container class for Taps, each tap has a delay and amplitude member corresponding to the time of arrival (relative to the first tap arrival time) and amplitude. The propagation model also provides pathloss between the source and receiver in dB re 1uPa. The PDP and pathloss can then be used to find the received signal power over a duration of time (i.e. received signal power in a symbol duration and ISI which interferes with neighbouring signals). Both UanPropModelIdeal and UanPropModelThorp return a single impulse for a PDP.

a) Ideal Channel Model ns3::UanPropModelIdeal

The ideal channel model assumes 0 pathloss inside a cylindrical area with bounds set by attribute. The ideal channel model also assumes an impulse PDP.

b) Thorp Propagation Model ns3::UanPropModelThorp

The Thorp Propagation Model calculates pathloss using the well-known Thorp approximation. This model is similar to the underwater channel model implemented in ns2 as described here:

Harris, A. F. and Zorzi, M. 2007. Modeling the underwater acoustic channel in ns2. In Proceedings of the 2nd international Conference on Performance Evaluation Methodologies and Tools (Nantes, France, October 22 - 27, 2007). ValueTools, vol. 321. ICST (Institute for Computer Sciences Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering), ICST, Brussels, Belgium, 1-8.

The frequency used in calculation however, is the center frequency of the modulation as found from ns3::UanTxMode. The Thorp Propagation Model also assumes an impulse channel response.

c) Bellhop Propagation Model ns3::UanPropModelBh (Available as an addition)

The Bellhop propagation model reads propagation information from a database. A configuration file describing the location, and resolution of the archived information must be supplied via attributes. We have included a utility, create-dat, which can create these data files using the Bellhop Acoustic Ray Tracing software (

The create-dat utility requires a Bellhop installation to run. Bellhop takes environment information about the channel, such as sound speed profile, surface height bottom type, water depth, and uses a gaussian ray tracing algorithm to determine propagation information. Arrivals from Bellhop are grouped together into equal length taps (the arrivals in a tap duration are coherently summed). The maximum taps are then aligned to take the same position in the PDP. The create-dat utility averages together several runs and then normalizes the average such that the sum of all taps is 1. The same configuration file used to create the data files using create-dat should be passed via attribute to the Bellhop Propagation Model.

The Bellhop propagation model is available as a patch. The link address will be made available here when it is posted online. Otherwise email for more information.

UAN PHY Model Overview

The PHY has been designed to allow for relatively easy extension to new networking scenarios. We feel this is important as, to date, there has been no commonly accepted network level simulation model for underwater networks. The lack of commonly accepted network simulation tools has resulted in a wide array of simulators and models used to report results in literature. The lack of standardization makes comparing results nearly impossible.

The main component of the PHY Model is the generic PHY class, ns3::UanPhyGen. The PHY class's general responsibility is to handle packet acquisition, error determination, and forwarding of successful packets up to the MAC layer. The Generic PHY uses two models for determination of signal to noise ratio (SINR) and packet error rate (PER). The combination of the PER and SINR models determine successful reception of packets. The PHY model connects to the channel via a Transducer class. The Transducer class is responsible for tracking all arriving packets and departing packets over the duration of the events. How the PHY class and the PER and SINR models respond to packets is based on the "Mode" of the transmission as described by the ns3::UanTxMode class.

When a MAC layer sends down a packet to the PHY for transmission it specifies a "mode number" to be used for the transmission. The PHY class accepts, as an attribute, a list of supported modes. The mode number corresponds to an index in the supported modes. The UanTxMode contains simple modulation information and a unique string id. The generic PHY class will only acquire arriving packets which use a mode which is in the supported modes list of the PHY. The mode along with received signal power, and other pertinent attributes (e.g. possibly interfering packets and their modes) are passed to the SINR and PER models for calculation of SINR and probability of error.

Several simple example PER and SINR models have been created. a) The PER models

b) SINR models

In addition to the generic PHY a dual phy layer is also included (ns3::UanPhyDual). This wraps two generic phy layers together to model a net device which includes two receivers. This was primarily developed for UanMacRc, described in the next section.

UAN MAC Model Overview

Over the last several years there have been a myriad of underwater MAC proposals in the literature. We have included three MAC protocols with this distribution: a) CW-MAC, a MAC protocol which uses a slotted contention window similar in nature to the IEEE 802.11 DCF. Nodes have a constant contention window measured in slot times (configured via attribute). If the channel is sensed busy, then nodes backoff by randomly (uniform distribution) choose a slot to transmit in. The slot time durations are also configured via attribute. This MAC was described in

Parrish N.; Tracy L.; Roy S. Arabshahi P.; and Fox, W., System Design Considerations for Undersea Networks: Link and Multiple Access Protocols , IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC), Special Issue on Underwater Wireless Communications and Networks, Dec. 2008.

b) RC-MAC (ns3::UanMacRc ns3::UanMacRcGw) a reservation channel protocol which dynamically divides the available bandwidth into a data channel and a control channel. This MAC protocol assumes there is a gateway node which all network traffic is destined for. The current implementation assumes a single gateway and a single network neighborhood (a single hop network). RTS/CTS handshaking is used and time is divided into cycles. Non-gateway nodes transmit RTS packets on the control channel in parallel to data packet transmissions which were scheduled in the previous cycle at the start of a new cycle, the gateway responds on the data channel with a CTS packet which includes packet transmission times of data packets for received RTS packets in the previous cycle as well as bandwidth allocation information. At the end of a cycle ACK packets are transmitted for received data packets.

When a publication is available it will be cited here.

c) Simple ALOHA (ns3::UanMacAloha) Nodes transmit at will.