Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31917
Evaluating the Feasibility of Magnetic Induction to Cross an Air-Water Boundary

Authors: Mark Watson, J.-F. Bousquet, Adam Forget


A magnetic induction based underwater communication link is evaluated using an analytical model and a custom Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) simulation tool. The analytical model is based on the Sommerfeld integral, and a full-wave simulation tool evaluates Maxwell’s equations using the FDTD method in cylindrical coordinates. The analytical model and FDTD simulation tool are then compared and used to predict the system performance for various transmitter depths and optimum frequencies of operation. To this end, the system bandwidth, signal to noise ratio, and the magnitude of the induced voltage are used to estimate the expected channel capacity. The models show that in seawater, a relatively low-power and small coils may be capable of obtaining a throughput of 40 to 300 kbps, for the case where a transmitter is at depths of 1 to 3 m and a receiver is at a height of 1 m.

Keywords: Magnetic Induction, FDTD, Underwater Communication, Sommerfeld.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 320


[1] A. Zoksimovski, D. Sexton, M. Stojanovic, and C. Rappaport, “Underwater electromagnetic communications using conduction - channel characterization,” Ad Hoc Netw., vol. 34, no. C, p. 42–51, Nov. 2015.
[Online]. Available:
[2] F. Tonolini and F. Adib, “Networking across boundaries: Enabling wireless communication through the water-air interface,” in ACM SIGCOMM 2018 Confrence, ser. SIGCOMM ’18. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2018.
[Online]. Available:
[3] D. Gibson, Channel Characterisation and System Design for Sub-Surface Communications. Leeds, Great Britain: Lulu Enterprises, 2010.
[4] J. R. Wait, “Electromagnetic fields of sources in lossy media,” in Antenna Theory - Part 2. McGraw-Hill, 1969, pp. 468–471.
[5] M. Domingo, “Magnetic induction for underwater wireless communication networks,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 2929–2939, 2012.
[6] H. Guo, Z. Sun, and P. Wang, “Multiple Frequency Band Channel Modeling and Analysis for Magnetic Induction Communication in Practical Underwater Environments,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. PP, no. 99, pp. 1–1, 2017.
[7] S. Taflove, A. Hagness, Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, 3rd ed. Boston, Massachusetts: Artech House, 2005.
[8] M. N. O. Sadiku, Numerical Techniques in Electromagnetics with MATLAB, 3rd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2015.
[9] K. S. Yee, “Numerical solution of initial boundary value problems involving maxwell’s equations in isotropic media,” IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 14, pp. 302–307, 1966.
[10] R. C. Rumpf, “Electromagnetic analysis using finite-difference time-domain,” University of Texas at El Paso, available:, Last accessed 03 March 2020.
[11] W. Stutzman and G. Thiele, Antenna Theory and Design, ser. Antenna Theory and Design. Wiley, 2012.
[Online]. Available:
[12] C. A. Balanis, Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design, 4th ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2016.
[13] Z. Lathi, B. P. Ding, Modern Digital and Analog Communication Systems, 5th ed. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.