Smart Tether for Relative Localization of Moored and Towed Bodies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-04-M-0257
Agency Tracking Number: N045-020-0300
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: N04-T020
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2 State Street, Suite 300, New London, CT, 06320
DUNS: 112716357
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jason Rudzinsky
 Senior Engineer
 (860) 440-3253
Business Contact
 David Horne
Title: Business Manager
Phone: (860) 440-3253
Research Institution
 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutio
 M. Tavares
 98 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA, 02543
 (508) 289-2462
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Determining a geo-reference of an underwater object is a critical requirement for marine applications such as mine-hunting and marine surveying. Although a GPS fix can be obtained at the surface, the watch circle of a tether connecting a surface and underwater body can impose positional errors that are far greater than GPS errors. Here we propose to develop a technology to automatically determine the geodetic location of an underwater body by acoustically measuring the relative position vector to a surface expression, equipped with an acoustic transmitter. The proposed system makes use of vector hydrophones, allowing determination of the bearing of a surface expression relative to a moored body with a single, relatively small sensor. Significantly, the angle of arrival accuracy of vector sensor is nearly independent of frequency, facilitating a compact, low frequency localizing system. This is an important consideration in very shallow water or surf zone regions where bubbles and suspended sediment can have impose enormous high frequency acoustic attenuation. The proposed system is envisioned to provide a low cost, general purpose solution to a host of underwater positioning applications. One important potential application to be investigated is the enabling of a sea-based Differential Global Positioning Base Station.

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

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