Low Cost Submarine UAV Communications and Sensor Data Link

Period of Performance: 06/19/2003 - 12/16/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ross-hime Designs, Inc.
1313 5th Street South East
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Principal Investigator


We propose to design and conduct feasibility trade studies for a low-cost communication system and data link for a disposable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in response to FY2003 SBIR topic N03-047. The key aspect of our approach will be to reduce the lifecycle cost of an airborne line-of-sight TCDL data-link and increase the range of the data link to be limited only by the UAV altitude, up to a distance of 200 miles. The project will accomplish this goal by utilizing a Communication System Pointer based on Ross-Hime Designs, Inc. Omni-Wrist III, a low-cost, lightweight, compact, high dexterity pointing device and a state-of-the-art high gain directional Ku band antenna. The Omni-Wrist III offers hemispherical 2 pi steradians of singularity-free precision movement, low manufacturing costs, and a simple design. The Omni-Wrist III also reduces the complexity of a typical Ku band directional antenna by allowing the RF feed and pointer to be virtually maintenance-free. Ross-Hime Designs, Inc. (RHD) of Minneapolis, Minnesota has over 16 U.S. Patents on robot joints. Lockheed Martin Tactical Systems (LMTS) of Eagan, Minnesota is a prime item integrator for the USN with domain knowledge in C4SI systems development. Benefits expected to arise from the proposed work include: high capacity multimedia data exchange; jam-resistance communication; small transmit/receive aperture; low-power and weight; and resistance to EMI and co-site interference. Potential commercial applications include: high-bandwidth video transmission; long-distance communication links; and remote sensing.