Underwater wireless communications can be carried out through acoustic, radio frequency and optical waves. Compared to its bandwidth limited acoustic and RF counterparts, underwater optical wireless communications (UOWCs) can support higher data rates at low latency levels. However, severe aquatic channel conditions (e.g., absorption, scattering, turbulence, etc.) pose great challenges for UOWCs and significantly reduce the attainable communication ranges, which necessitates efficient networking and localization solutions.
This white paper, provides a comprehensive survey on the challenges, advances, and prospects of underwater optical wireless networks (UOWNs) from a layer by layer different perspectives. It also outlines the open research challenges and point out the future directions for underwater optical wireless communications, networking, and localization research.