Persistent Deployable Communications Network for Unmanned Vehicles

Period of Performance: 04/11/2007 - 08/06/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vehicle Control Technologies, Inc.
1900 Campus Commons Drive Suite 300
Reston, VA 20191
Principal Investigator


Unmanned systems are increasingly being used in a broad range of missions in the littorals. To meet requirements in a cost effective manner, a number of differing types of unmanned vehicles must work together cooperatively over large areas. Bandwidth is a precious commodity that is often not available for these vehicles. The use of Sentinel, an Unmanned Lighter Than Air vehicle (U-LTA), uses a biomorphic, buoyant and dynamic lift design and geospatial operational strategy that, when deployed from a USV, has the potential to provide a means of persistent high data rate, interoperable communications. Power and propulsion will be provided by the Sprung-brett RDI advanced electric motor actuation and propulsion technology that results in relative motion that produces high torque at low rpm. This technology, a synthesis of variable reluctance electromagnetic field modulation technology and strain-wave gearing (harmonic gear phenomena), is believed to be a significant innovation and development in electromotive actuation technology. This proposal also addresses the USV/U-LTA control forces and needed stability for persistent coverage in a variety of environments. This proposal also examines at a high level in Phase 1 the hardware/software interfaces for LCS, JUSC-2 ACTD, and message trafficking standards (JAUS/STANAG) requirements.