Multi-function Connectors for Shipboard Equipment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N65538-05-M-0039
Agency Tracking Number: N043-217-0139
Amount: $69,827.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: N04-217
Solicitation Number: 2004.3
Small Business Information
1835 Energy Park Drive, Saint Paul, MN, 55108
DUNS: 153865951
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Randy Milbert
 Chief Technology Officer
 (651) 659-6762
Business Contact
 Tom Ashenbrenner
Title: Manager, Military Applications
Phone: (651) 659-6760
Research Institution
The United States Navy is developing a multi-mission surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The present design supports anti-submarine warfare (ASW), mine warfare (MIW), and surface warfare (SUW) mission packages. It also provides underwater vehicle, aerial vehicle, and weapon zones for attaching mission modules. LCS's objective is to support a complete mission change-including an operational test (OPTEST)-within 24 hours. We propose a Pod ConnectorT for rapidly and securely attaching mission modules to a ship's deck. The Pod ConnectorT is self-stowing, watertight, and dirt-free. When the Pod ConnectorT is not in use, it stores upside-down and creates a watertight seal. Unlike protruding fasteners, which are damaged by loading apparatus (e.g. grabs and bulldozers), and recessed fasteners, which fill with dirt and water, the Pod ConnectorT stores flush with the deck's surface. As a result, there is no need for time consuming removal and replacement of the Pod ConnectorT between missions. In addition, the watertight seal prevents thread corrosion and water freezing on contacts, thereby ensuring reliable attachment. Pod ConnectorT variants include one for supplying power and data and another for transferring fluid and gas. The Pod ConnectorT accelerates mission module installation and reduces logistical overhead by rarely requiring replacement. Working with our partner, Lockheed Martin, we have devised an optimal layout for Pod ConnectorT arrays in each LCS zone. This configuration is designed to maximize the effectiveness of existing and future sensor, vehicle, and weapon modules including the Spartan Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS) Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV), and Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).

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

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