Underwater Tether Deployer-Extended Range (UTD-XR)

Period of Performance: 07/02/2008 - 10/21/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S., Suite D113 Array
Bothell, WA 98011
Principal Investigator


The overall objective of this SBIR effort is to develop fiber optic winding and packaging processes to enable low-cost production of wound fiber optic packages that can deploy reliably at high speeds underwater with minimal signal attenuation. Our goal for the Phase I project is to develop and finalize a design for a fully automated, multi-fiber pack winding machine, as well as to optimize the fiber length, strength, and wind quality through careful design optimization of the fiber pack spindle and possibly of the fiber itself. To accomplish this goal, we will focus work tasks on the following technical objectives: Evaluate available high strength fiber options; Optimize Lifting Body and Spindle Design for Maximum Fiber Length; Optimize Fiber Winding Process, Automation, and Quality Assurance Computer Modeling of Deployment and Winding Process Key to the proposed approach is the optimization of our fully-automated process for fabrication of low-attenuation, low deployment-drag optical fiber packs. Extensive testing on our easily reconfigurable developmental winder will allow us to explore multiple design options, and the resulting prototype winds will be verified through testing in both our water tank test stand and in open-water towed deployment.