Swantje Plambeck receives Hamburger VDI Award

Swantje Plambeck received the second award of the Hamburger VDI award for her bachelor thesis “Analysis of Convolutional Codes for Underwater Communications” which she had done at the Institute of Communications under the supervision of Melanie Falk. The award ceremony with participation of Sven Warnck and Axel Dreckschmidt, board members of the VDI local chapter Hamburg, took place on May 22, 2019 in the Panorama Lounge at the St. Pauli fish market.

Axel Dreckschmidt, Swantje Plambeck, Sven Warnck (©Roman Jupitz, source: VDI Hamburger Bezirksverein e.V.)

The Hamburger VDI award is an annual award by the Hamburg chapter of the Association of German Engineers (Verein deutscher Ingenieure, VDI). It recognizes young engineers from the Hamburg region for an outstanding master or bachelor thesis.

In her thesis, Swantje Plambeck investigated error correcting convolutional codes for reliable underwater communication. The focus was on underwater sensor networks which transmit small amounts of data at very low transmit power. Such sensor networks have a variety of applications and may be deployed in smart ports for flow, temperature, or pollution measurements. Another application may be the detection of ships which approach a protected area. Todays solutions often apply no or rudimentary error correcting codes as decoding is computationally expensive. Moreover, powerful coding typically requires very long messages which is undesired due to latency and memory requirements. Therefore, efficient coding for short message sizes is an important research topic. The thesis investigated several coding approaches and decoding variants including so-called tailbiting convolutional codes for the specific requirements of an underwater communications scenario and evaluated them regarding error rate performance and computational complexity using computer simulations.

The award winners: Henrik Mülverstedt, Swantje Plambeck, Johannes Schmidt (©Roman Jupitz, source: VDI Hamburger Bezirksverein e.V.)