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The need of monitoring aqueous environments and structures has been prompting the development of reliable subsea communications.

AURA is an innovative technology for operating an underwater antenna to improve wireless communications, especially in dynamic environments. Using a patented automatic frequency-tuneable technology, AURA is able to adjust its directional radiation pattern to optimize radio signal coupling with other devices such as autonomous vehicles (AUVs) or underwater sensors.

Challenge | Opportunity

Underwater wireless communications are currently based in acoustic, optical or radio frequency (RF) technologies. While acoustic systems have poor performance in shallow water, optical systems are very susceptible to turbidity and fouling particles, and they require line-of-sight and thus precise alignment.

RF systems have several advantages over acoustic and optical systems such as turbidity and acoustic noise immunity, non-line-of-sight operations, and high bandwidths (up to 100 Mbit/s) at very close range. However, the radiation pattern of RF systems may be highly affected by environmental conditions, namely salinity, jeopardizing communications range and data rate.

Developed at INESC TEC, AURA tackles this limitation of RF systems by automatically adjusting the resonant frequency of the antenna considering surrounding salinity and the position of the receiver device.

Main Advantages

  • Higher data rate;
  • Improved operational flexibility in both fresh and seawater.


  • Search and rescue;
  • Deep sea oil exploration;
  • Deep sea mining and extraction (e.g. organic and bio compounds);
  • Tourism;
  • Energy production;
  • Construction;
  • Aquaculture.

  • Technology Reference

  • Commercial Rights

  • Development Stage

    Lab prototype (TRL 3-4)
  • Further Information

    <p>US16/329,546</p> <p><a href="">EP3507857</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">AU2017319594</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CA3033933A1</a></p> <p><a href="">JP100177426</a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
  • IPR Status

    Patent Pending
  • Licensing Availability

  • Industrial Categories

    Information and Communication
  • Tags

    Underwater communication, Antenna, Maritime networks, Rescue, Internet of things