All underwater vehicles have difficulties with transferring information from water to people on the surface, and vice versa. High frequency radio waves have short wavelength and require a significant amount of energy to maintain form. Radio waves can also be hampered by conducting materials, such as seawater, which absorb radio waves and seriously hinder radio wave emission. These characteristics of radio waves causes them to quickly disappear as they progress through water mixtures. As land-to-water communication becomes increasingly important due to the rise of submarine and ROVs, many scientific efforts were made to overcome this complication.
To effectively convey info between people on land and underwater vehicles, there are two popular strategies. One solution is to attach cables onto the vehicle and transfer data. This method is used by most deep sea ROVs where people on the surface operate drones in a depth of more than 1000 meters.
Low Frequency Radio
A more technological advanced solution is to use low frequency radio wave instead of high. Low frequency radio waves has a longer wavelength than high frequency radio waves and they can travel further in water because they require less energy to pass through conductors than high frequency waves. With Low frequency radio wave technology, people on land can communicate with underwater vehicles hundreds of feet under the ocean without the need of a cable. However, Low frequency radio wave technology is very expensive and bulky. The antenna and internal hardware that transmits low frequency radio wave can be extremely large. Above all, the low frequency transmission has low bandwidth, meaning only a minimum amount of data can be transferred at a time. Thus, it would be almost impossible to stream videos using low frequency radio waves.
Navatics MITO incorporates both methods of land-to-water communication techniques. MITO is directly tethered to a communication buoy with a durable waterproof cable that. The remote control can output instructions to the communication buoy by using Wi-Fi, and the communication buoy will then transmit the acquired information to MITO through the tether. MITO will relay video footage back to the buoy and the buoy will broadcast the live video feed to user’s mobile device. With this design, MITO can be operated from a long distance from the controller without the use of a very long cable or very expensive low frequency radio wave technology.