The Sci-Files – 01/19/2020 – Pratap Bhanu Solanki – Underwater Robot Communication

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Pratap Bhanu Solanki.

Pratap is a 6th year Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program at Michigan State University. His research focusses on wireless communication for underwater robots.

In the underwater domain, most of our standard wireless modes like wifi, Bluetooth, and cellphone signals do not work as they diminish more quickly in the water. Currently, standard industrial technology is acoustic communication. However, it suffers from time delay, low bandwidth, and high power consumption. LED-based visible-light communication is a promising alternative for data-heavy underwater applications. A fundamental challenge associated with the free space optical communication systems is to establish and maintain Line-Of-Sight (LOS) between two communication parties. Pratap’s work involves developing underwater autonomous robotic systems and algorithms to address the challenge of alignment control for optical communication.

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The picture shows Pratap and the MSU Scuba Club.