TDA-MAC: TDMA Without Clock Synchronization in Underwater Acoustic Networks

TDA-MAC: TDMA Without Clock Synchronization in Underwater Acoustic Networks


This paper investigates the application of underwater acoustic sensor networks for large scale monitoring of the ocean environment. The low propagation speed of acoustic signals presents a fundamental challenge in coordinating the access to the shared communication medium in such networks. In this paper, we propose two Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols, namely Transmit Delay Allocation MAC (TDA-MAC) and Accelerated TDA-MAC, that are capable of providing Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) to sensor nodes without the need for centralized clock synchronization. A comprehensive simulation study of a network deployed on the sea bed shows that the proposed protocols are capable of closely matching the throughput and packet delay performance of ideal synchronized TDMA. The TDA-MAC protocols also significantly outperform T-Lohi, a classical contention-based MAC protocol for underwater acoustic networks, in terms of network throughput and, in many cases, end-to-end packet delay. Furthermore, the assumption of no clock synchronization among different devices in the network is a major advantage of TDA-MAC over other TDMA-based MAC protocols in the literature. Therefore, it is a feasible networking solution for real-world underwater sensor network deployments.



  • System : Pentium Dual Core.
  • Hard Disk : 120 GB.
  • Monitor : 15’’ LED
  • Input Devices : Keyboard, Mouse
  • Ram : 1 GB


  • Operating system : Windows XP/UBUNTU.
  • Implementation : NS2
  • NS2 Version : 2.28
  • Front End : OTCL (Object Oriented Tool Command  Language)
  • Tool : Cygwin (To simulate in Windows OS)


Nils Morozs, Member, IEEE, Paul Mitchell, Senior Member, IEEE and Yuriy Zakharov, Senior Member, IEEE, “TDA-MAC: TDMA Without Clock Synchronization in Underwater Acoustic Networks”, IEEE Access, 2018.

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