The Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science INESC TEC is an Associate Laboratory with more than 30 years of experience in R&D and technology transfer, incorporating 13 R&D Centres and 1 associate Unit, always looking to the international mark.

FEUP campus Rua 4200 - 465 Porto Portugal

AURA – Antenna for Underwater Radio Communications

managed by INESC TEC


The need of monitoring aqueous environments and to have reliable communications with or between underwater vehicles has led to extensive research on underwater wireless communications.
AURA is an antenna for underwater radio communications and respective operation method. In particular, it is an antenna for underwater radio communications comprising an automatic frequency-tuneable circuit between a first frequency and a second frequency. This allows to automatically obtaining a variable directional radiation pattern by the antenna device in order to select a directional radiation pattern for improving the radio signal coupling with another antenna.
- Challenge | Opportunity
Acoustic and optical systems are the most frequently used in underwater communication applications. However, both technologies present limitations and disadvantages that radio frequency systems do not have.
Acoustic systems have poor performance in shallow water, limited bandwidth due to the low frequencies used, may have an impact on marine life, and the ambient noise level could be a limiting factor for communication performance. On the other hand, optical systems are very susceptible to turbidity and fouling particles, and they require line-of-sight and thus precise alignment.
This technology overcomes some of these limitations since it is not affected by turbidity, can operate in non-line-of-sight, is immune to acoustic noise, and allows high bandwidths (up to 100 Mbit/s) at very close range.


• Allows high bandwidths (up to 100 Mbit/s) at close range thus allows the transmission of large amounts of data in a short period and real time
• Immune to turbidity
• Operates in non-line-of-sight
• Immune to acoustic noise




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


Readiness Level (TRL)

technology validated in lab(The pie chart refers to the entire portfolio contained in the database of the helpdesk)

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a method of estimating technology maturity of Critical Technology Elements (CTE) of a program during the acquisition process. The use of TRLs enables consistent, uniform, discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology.

Patent Grading Report

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Current status

PCT Application


Available for




EU-Japan Centre
European CommissionMeti