Retractable UUV Antenna Buoy with Smart Tether GPS
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-194
Topic Title: Retractable UUV Antenna Buoy with Smart Tether GPS
Proposal No.: N082-194-0919
Firm: KCF Technologies, Inc
112 W. Foster Ave
Suite 1
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
Contact: Dave Kraige
Phone: (814) 867-4097
Web Site:
Abstract: KCF Technologies, in collaboration with Star-H and Penn State ARL, will fabricate a tethered antenna to support two-way RF communication and GPS reception. In addition, the module will incorporate a "watch circle error" position correction using KCF Smart Tether sensors on the tether, to project the buoy GPS accurately onto the submerged UUV. In Phase 1, KCF and Star-H will fabricate and test a preliminary deployable antenna. The prototype will be configured as a module for the Bluefin 21 UUV. During Phase 2, Penn State ARL and Bluefin will support a demonstration of the deployable antenna module on a Penn State UUV and the Bluefin 21, respectively. The eventual goal is to also integrate the module onto the Bluefin 12 and other 12 _ inch UUVs.
Benefits: UUVs are used in applications where long-term underwater operation is required. Among these are mine countermeasures (MCM), surveillance, and swimmer detection and targeting. UUVs typically navigate via inertial navigation units that are fixed to GPS prior to diving; the vehicles are also equipped with fixed antennas for RF communications when surfaced. The ability to communicate rapidly while still submerged would be very beneficial to UUVs, particularly those developed for the Terminal Swimmer Detection and Targeting (TSDT) Future Naval Capability (FNC). A tethered antenna that supports two-way RF communication and GPS reception will conserve power and enhance performance of the system by enabling real-time transmission of high-bandwidth data and images while the UUV remains submerged and continues to operate.