Electric Field Sensor Technology

Period of Performance: 06/25/2012 - 12/25/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Information Systems Laboratories, Inc.
10070 Barnes Canyon Road Array
San Diego, CA 92121
Principal Investigator


This Phase 2 research is directed towards designing electrodes for electric field (E-field) sensing technology that will be incorporated into the design for an air-droppable, A-size acoustic/E-field combination sonobuoy (designated the E-Buoy ). The electrodes are part of a 3-axis E-field sensing system, which also includes a pre-amplifier and an A/D circuit. Most current E-field sensors use a silver/silver-chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrode encased in conductive agar, which acts as a buffer between the electrode and the seawater. During the time it takes for these electrodes to come to equilibrium with the seawater upon buoy deployment, system performance can be degraded. The purpose of this effort is to develop a suitable electrode for employment in air-dropped buoys for ASW localization missions.. The primary tasks for this Phase are: (a) to identify whether alternative electrode types to the Ag/AgCl, primarily capacitive carbon electrodes, work better in the combination sonobuoy, (b) to determine the best way to buffer the electrodes, (c) to assess the feasibility and potential advantages of dry-storable electrodes vs. wet electrodes, and (d) to develop a prototype design for compact electrodes which can be packaged and stored within an A-size container for long periods prior to deployment, and open up automatically.