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Variable Speed and Energy Efficient Depth Changing Buoys

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: 140D0420C0068
Agency Tracking Number: D2-2486
Amount: $1,794,249.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: HR001119S0035-15
Solicitation Number: DARPA HR001119S0035-15
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-26
Small Business Information
911 S Primrose Ave Suite J
Monrovia, CA 91016
United States
DUNS: 078572774
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Yi Chao
 (626) 602-6186
Business Contact
 Celeste West
Phone: (626) 386-5988
Research Institution

DARPA challenges the community to develop a long endurance and fast profiling float that can dive to 1000m at 1 m/s speed for more than 100 dive cycles. Today’s buoyancy engine used by floats and gliders is too small to support this fast profiling requirement. To increase the size of buoyancy engine and add propeller can achieve 1 m/s speed but require a significantly larger battery in order to maintain long endurance. Innovations of new propulsion and energy harvesting are therefore required to meet this DARPA challenge. This proposal has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers with demonstrated abilities to accomplish the proposed objective on schedule and within budget. Using a commercially available profiling float, we will develop three innovative technologies: 1) a chemical reactor using fluidized aluminum to react with water to produce pressurized hydrogen for rapid buoyancy change, 2) a hydraulic buoyancy engine with larger size and faster pumping for precise depth control, and 3) an energy harvesting system to convert ocean thermal energy into electricity to enable long endurance. An optimal combination of these three technologies will push the envelope of persistent monitoring and extend the mission endurance from 100 dive cycles towards infinite.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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