The emerging demand for pervasive underwater monitoring and control systems has stimulated research on network protocols for underwater acoustic sensor networks. Several solutions have been proposed in the last few years at the different layers of the protocol stack. However having a complete and accurate understanding of the performance of these protocols is not an easy task. The missing tool is a standard platform to easily simulate, emulate and test in field novel protocol solutions. This platform should allow researchers and developers to be able to compare and evaluate different network designs, algorithms and protocols in a variety of settings and application scenarios. It should also allow to validate and improve the simulation process itself according to the results obtained at-sea. With this objective in mind, we have developed a framework, named SUNSET, to seamlessly simulate, emulate and test (at-sea) a variety of communication protocols. SUNSET is based on the open source and well known network simulator ns-2  and its extension ns2-Miracle . It allows to easily implement novel solutions, to investigate protocol performance through ns-2 simulations and to then use the same code for emulation and at sea testing without any code rewriting. SUNSET has been extensively validated and evaluated during at sea experimental campaigns in the past few years. Experiments have been performed with SUNSET running on different platforms and working with different external devices: off-the-shelf acoustic modems, environmental sensors, autonomous underwater and surface vehicles. This paper describes SUNSET and its extensions, recently released open source to the scientific community , and describes the results of some of the recent experiments we have performed using it.
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