Microwave-Induced Thermoacoustic Communications

Xiong Wang, Tao Qin, Yexian Qin, Russell S. Witte, Hao Xin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Wireless communications from an airborne device to an underwater receiver is challenging because the conductivity of water severely dampens the magnitude of electromagnetic waves in the spectrum commonly used for wireless applications. In this paper, microwave-induced thermoacoustic communications (TAC), a hybrid technique for wireless communications, is investigated and experimentally demonstrated to provide a potential solution to this deficiency. TAC is based on the thermoacoustic effect and directly converts electromagnetic energy in air into acoustic energy in water. Experimental demonstration of TAC is reported by successful wireless information transmission from a microwave antenna in air to an acoustic transducer in water. Bench-top TAC experiments are combined with an analytical model to study the influences of pivotal design parameters on the performance of TAC. The experiments and theoretical analysis suggest that TAC might lead to a new paradigm of air-to-underwater wireless communications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7880653
Pages (from-to)3369-3378
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Microwave communications
  • thermoacoustic communications (TAC)
  • thermoacoustic effect
  • wireless communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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