KCF/PSU Smart Tether Retrofit Device for Localization of Tethered Bodies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-04-M-0258
Agency Tracking Number: N045-020-0329
Amount: $99,757.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: N04-T020
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
119 S. Burrowes St., Suite #605, State College, PA, 16801
DUNS: 005051219
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeremy Frank
 (814) 867-4097
Business Contact
 Jeremy Frank
Title: President
Phone: (814) 867-4097
Email: jfrank@kcftech.com
Research Institution
 Pennsylvania State University
 Christopher D Rahn
 157 Hammond Building
University Park, PA, 16802
 (814) 865-6237
 Nonprofit college or university
A method is needed to measure the location of a submerged body relative to a tethered buoy. The application targeted in this proposal is unmanned crawling robots used to localize submerged mines and other targets. The crawlers require a 60-70 foot tether, creating a large error circle when operating in shallow water. A simpler application that will also benefit from this technology is Long Base Line (LBL) navigation transponders. We propose to retrofit the tether with an inexpensive yet robust sensing system to accurately predict the crawler position relative to the buoy. The system derives the relative position using a simple crawler-mounted tri-axial load cell tension sensor and a time-tracking position integrating algorithm. The retrofit device will be simple and robust. Installation will require only an external load cell mounting bracket on the crawler, and no modification of the tether or buoy. In Phase I, we will assess the feasibility and outline the benefit to be achieved by retrofitting LBL navigation transponders and unmanned crawling robots with the proposed device. After building a scaled demonstration unit, we will test the prototype under various flow conditions in a simulated flow tank at Penn State University. In Phase II, we will develop and demonstrate a full-scale KCF/PSU Smart Tether and test it in a large test tank the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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