Subsurface Communications System for Robotics (DHS002)

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Homeland Security
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,998.83
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
2011-ST-065-ARP003
Agency Tracking Number:
1 R43 EB014149-01
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
PAR-10-279-002
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Sandia Research Corporation
5810 South Sossaman Road Suite 108, Mesa, AZ, 85212-5825
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
786521273
Principal Investigator:
Steven Shope
sshope@sandiaresearch.com
Business Contact:
Kimberly McGrane
kmcgrane@sandiaresearch.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Underground cross-border tunnels of all sizes and shapes are an increasingly important threat to our National security. Finding cross-border tunnels is a challenging task and once found, an additional challenge is mapping the entire underground tunnel. Manned entry into these dangerous underground environments is a risky endeavor. The use of robotics offers a great improvement over human entry into these tunnels. To function effectively, tunnel robots require a wireless communications link. This proposal describes a research program to successfully develop a flexible and highly adaptable electromagnetic (RF) communications link for underground robotics. The link will be bi-directional and have a range of at least 500 m. What we are proposing in this proposal is an adaptive parametric signal processing scheme where the relationship between data rate, communications range, power, covertness, etc. can be optimized for a given communications link because the underground electromagnetic propagation environments can greatly vary from site to site. By using a software defined radio approach this optimization can be user-adjusted or automatically optimized in the field. We call this method the Parametric Underground Communications System (PUCS). Frequencies will range from several kHz to several MHz. Data rates will be sufficient to transmit slow scan imagery. This effort will implement, test and finally conduct a field demonstration of the PUCS method at a local underground test site.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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