The ocean is key to human survival, providing natural resources, most of the global oxygen supply, and economic development through mineral, gas, and oil deposits. Although the sea is primarily considered a silent world, it is abundant with the natural sounds of marine life communication and geological processes. Human activities, especially active sonars, water-polluting, shipping traffic, and underwater vehicles, have significantly affected the aquatic ecosystem and environment. In this talk, recent developments and advances in underwater wireless optical communication will be presented. I will focus my discussion on optoelectronic devices and system challenges facing long-distance, multiple-Gbps underwater wireless optical communication. The future perspective of underwater photonics will also be discussed.
(Fellow of NAI, IEEE, OSA, SPIE, and InstP) is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at KAUST. He was the Director of the KACST-Technology Innovation Center at KAUST from 2013-2021. His research interests include high-speed optoelectronics and optical wireless communications. He has trained a total of 36 Ph.D. students and 17 postdocs and placed them in top places in academia, industry, and government. He is an inventor/co-inventor of 37 issued US Patents. He received the following selected awards and honors: Khalifa International Award (UAE, 2023); PIFI Distinguished Scientist Award (CAS-China, 2021); and Nokia Open Innovation Challenge (Finland, 2019). He served as Associate Editor then Senior Editor of the IEEE Photonics Journal, and Associate Editor of the Optics Express; served on the technical program committee of CLEO, IPC, Photonics West, ISLC, and IEDM. Presently, he is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters.