Station-Keeping Gateway Communications Buoy 'Gatekeeper'

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00039-05-C-0032
Agency Tracking Number: N051-077-1148
Amount: $98,228.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: N05-077
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
1510 Springport Rd Suite C, Jackson, MI, 49202
DUNS: 005055582
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Sparks
 (517) 784-8340
Business Contact
 David Sparks
Title: President
Phone: (517) 784-8340
Research Institution
As improvements are made to remote sensing platforms such as wake detection systems, surface communications for U.S. Navy submarines has become increasingly dangerous. Inserting an intermediate communications relay buoy at the surface would de-couple these otherwise vulnerable submarines, thereby protecting key military assets by extending their already stealthy characteristics. To further prevent submarines' locations from being disclosed during communications, the surface relay buoy must not compromise overall covertness. Eliminating local surface presence during buoy deployment and maintenance is the best method to avoid drawing attention to the location. To limit the need for maintenance, the buoy should have the ability to persist for long periods of time in the same location. The buoy should be unmoored to increase the utility of the system; this removes the need to match hardware to the water depth or current profile of the specific location while providing the option to command the buoy to a new location if necessary. Even more importantly, free floating systems are capable of surviving worse sea states than moored systems. SeaLandAire Technologies Inc., with the help of Undersea Sensor Systems Inc. (USSI), proposes to develop an innovative station-keeping, energy-harvesting communications gateway buoy (Gatekeeper) to address this opportunity.

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

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