JANUS is the first international underwater communication protocol


NATO countries recently agreed that JANUS is the NATO standard for digital underwater communications. It is the first time that a digital underwater communication protocol has been recognized internationally and paves the way for a standardized “Underwater Internet of Things”.

The protocol is a way of encoding information into sound simple enough that existing and new equipment can be brought up to standard relatively easily. It is named after JANUS, the Roman god of openings and gateways, because it opens the portal between different paradigms of operation. In practice, it functions as a Lingua Franca and can make military and civilian, NATO and non-NATO aircraft fully interoperable. As happened not too long ago with overwater Wi-Fi, JANUS has the potential to leverage technology investments and create more value underwater, making all compliant assets (and their networks) capable of cooperating with robust signaling. method.

Adopted globally, JANUS aims to stop the current underwater ‘Tower of Babel’ between modems and systems from different manufacturers and nations. For this reason, the development process of JANUS has been, from the beginning, as inclusive as possible, involving academia, industry and government agencies. JANUS tests at sea have been conducted in recent years by CMRE aboard the NATO Research Vessel Alliance, and using the innovative CMRE Littoral Ocean Observatory Network (LOON), which facilitates the experimentation of research teams. mission base of marine robots by creating an acoustic network surveillance system with tripods of underwater communication equipment placed on the seabed but accessible to users around the world via the Web.

Air and land communication methods do not work well underwater. Therefore, none of the available communication protocols could be easily exported below the sea surface to work with and enhance the capabilities of revolutionary new robotic technologies. This is why the NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation STO (CMRE), based in La Spezia (Italy), began a decade ago to develop an underwater digital coding standard. aimed at providing a basic common denominator for underwater acoustic communications.


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