Distributed Smart Orientation Sensor Array for Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Navigation

Period of Performance: 08/04/2015 - 01/30/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KCF Technologies, Inc.
336 South Fraser Street Array
State College, PA 16801
Principal Investigator


KCF proposes to develop a system based on its Smart Tether technology which will use a series of 3-dimensional orientation sensors placed at known locations along the undersea cable to measure the 3D shape of the cable in real-time, including the position and orientation of the cable-laying vehicle. This system will make it possible to do cable-burying operations with high accuracy by directly measuring the shape and location of the undersea cable, rather than trying to track the vehicle using underwater navigation technologies which are poorly-matched to the application. KCF?s self-contained cable-positioning system will transmit all position and cable shape information to the anchor station to allow simple real-time viewing and steering of the cable-burying vehicle system, as well as providing continuing position data after the operation is complete, to allow any change in the cable?s position to be documented, e.g. due to seismic activity or accidental dredging by an anchor. Knowing the shape and position of the entire undersea cable will be beneficial to spatial location of sensor data collected by a sensorized cable, e.g. a hydrophone array.