Technology Development of Fiber Optic Moorings for Surface Communication Buoys
Navy SBIR 2018.3 - Topic N183-141
NAVFAC - Mr. Timothy Petro - [email protected]
Opens: September 24, 2018 - Closes: October 24, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)
Electronics, Ground/Sea Vehicles, Information Systems
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Non-ACAT
OBJECTIVE: Design and test
compliant mooring connection cables. The cables would be used to moor buoys in ocean
waves and ocean currents such that the moorings will include optical fibers.
The cable must be able to withstand motions of buoy tugging on the cable in
ocean waves, ocean currents and wind loading.
DESCRIPTION: This SBIR topic
seeks to support the transmission of Navy sensor data to and from subsea nodes
to airplanes, Navy ships, and satellites. The status quo is to use a geometric
compliant mooring cable with clamp-on floats, which is not suitable for
specific Navy programs that require unique deployment and winching operations.
An example would be an underwater winch that pays out cable to a buoy and then
winds the cable back into a garage. The target cable to be designed and tested
under this SBIR topic will be for small-size buoys with displacement ranges of
100-500 pounds. The focus will be axial stiffness and fatigue life of the
compliant cable. For proposal purposes, assume the compliant cable section will
need to have a low stiffness (axial) to stretch in the range of 10 feet in the
range of 50-100 pounds, and operate reliably for a duration of 60 days at sea
in Sea State 3-4 conditions. The compliant stretchable cable section will need
to be (a) light weight in seawater (for instance, it is desired to be neutral
buoyant to not have a large dead weight pulling down on the buoy reserve
buoyancy) and (b) as small diameter is feasible to reduce fluid drag loading
which would adversely impact the surface buoy performance and (c) have a
diameter of 3 inches or less if feasible (the diameter is the structural
member, the flexible member, the fiber optic cable included). In addition, if
this compliant cable is to be flange connected to interface to the surface buoy
and interface to the remaining fiber optic mooring cable, it is desired to have
the flanges as compact as possible to reduce handling and dead weight and for
fluid drag loading on the buoy mooring as a whole.
PHASE I: Design and conduct
proof-of-concept studies for a compliant mooring connection cable that includes
optical fibers. Develop a Phase II work plan.
PHASE II: Design,
manufacture, and test prototypes using a dry laboratory with a cyclic testing
machine, in consultation with NAVFAC mooring and buoy experts. Perform cycle
load studies of the cable to simulate ocean waves and then test the fatigue and
optical light wave signals strength with time.
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Produce compliant fiber optic cables per specifications required
by each Navy project that needs these moored transceiver buoys. Assist the Navy
in transitioning the technology to the fleet. Other dual use applications are
the technology can be spun off to the ocean science measurement community at
large that needs high bandwidth data from small buoys. While the technology is
targeted for small buoys, in theory, it may be scalable for larger,
longer-duration buoys typically used in the science community (e.g., Scripps
Institute of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Monterey Bay
Aquarium Research Institute).
1. Paul, Walter. “The Use of
Snubbers as Strain Limiters in Ocean Moorings”, Dept. of Applied Ocean Physics
and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA.
2. Farr, N., Frye, D.,
Grosenbaugh, M., Paul, W., Peters, D., and Chaffey, M. “Development of a Nylon
EOM Mooring Cable for Moored Ocean Observatories”, ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop, 2006.
KEYWORDS: Buoy; Mooring; High
Bandwidth; Subsea Nodes; Fiber Optic Cable; Data Transfer; Snubber Hose;
Compliant Mooring Cable