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MC500: Underwater Optical Wireless Communication

1 Review
0 Deploys

Middle range Ethernet communication (up to 80m)

Page last modified
November 25 2022

Shimadzu's optical wireless modem is capable of high-speed underwater communication by sending and receiving green and blue laser light. The MC500 is the second in the series, continuing on from the MC100 (released in Japan in February 2020), which was designed for short-range (10 meter) communications. This modem has a maximum communication range of 80 meters. It can be mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) or remotely operated vehicle (ROV, a kind of underwater drone), for communication between robots or between an underwater robot and a ship on the sea. Through this product, Shimadzu is contributing to heightening the efficiency of marine activities including the installation and maintenance of offshore infrastructures including wind power plants and oil & gas markets, inspection of seabed pipelines, and searches for rare earth elements and other mineral resources.

At present, underwater communication is primarily based on wired or acoustic techniques. However, with wired communication, the movement of the underwater drone is limited by the cable, and with acoustic communication, the communication rate cannot exceed several dozen Kbps. Many underwater wireless optical communication systems use LEDs as the light source. However, Shimadzu has developed the MC series of underwater optical wireless modems featuring both high-speed communication (up to 20 Mbps) and low power consumption by adopting laser-diode, which provides excellent directivity and response rate. 


  • Remote monitoring and control operation of underwater vehicle without latency
  • Data harvesting and collection between underwater vehicles and subsea assets


High-speed communication up to 80m
Communication speed is switchable (1Mbps, 10Mbps and 20Mbps)
Full-duplex communication (Bi-directional communication)
Up to 3,000m depth operation
Could be shorter distance under ambient light or turbidity conditions


Size 279 x 149mm (1 modem)
Comms. Speed 1 Mbps / 10 Mbps / 20 Mbps (Switchable)
Comms. Range 80m (with an underwater attenuation rate of 0.3 dB/m)
Water Depth 3000m
Beam Angle 40 degrees
Power Consumption 90W or lower
Operating Temperature Range -5 to 35 degrees Celsius

Relative Business Impact

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Reviews (1)

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Operations Manager


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Would recommend
full full full full half 4.5/5
Technology Readiness Level


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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About Shimadzu Corporation

Shimadzu Corporation is a Japanese company, established in 1875, manufacturing wide range of precision products for analytical measurement, medical, aviation, industrial and offshore markets. We offer Underwater Optical Communication Equipment using laser-diode technology and high-sensitive sensors (magnetism and Underwater Electric Potential) for offshore market.

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