The linear mechanism for optical-to-acoustic energy conversion is explored for optoacoustic communication from an in-air platform or surface vessel to a submerged vessel such as a submarine or unmanned undersea vehicle. The communication range that can be achieved is addressed. A number of conventional signals used in underwater acoustic telemetry applications are shown to be capable of being generated experimentally through the linear optoacoustic regime conversion process. These results are in agreement with simulation based on current theoretical models. A number of practical issues concerning linear optoacoustic communication are addressed that lead to a formulation of a linear-regime optoacoustic communication scheme. The use of oblique laser beam incidence at the air–water interface to obtain considerable in-air range from the laser source to the in-water receiver is addressed. Also, the effect of oblique incidence on in-water range is examined. Next, the optimum and suboptimum linear optoacoustic sound-generation techniques for selecting the optical wavelength and signaling frequency for optimizing in-water range are addressed and discussed. Optoacoustic communication techniques employing M-ary frequency shift keying and multifrequency shift keying are then compared with regard to communication parameters such as bandwidth, data rate, range coverage, and number of lasers employed.
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