Expandable Underwater Sensor Array

Reference#: P01740

Precision placement of sensors underwater or on land to measure seismic, pressure, temperature events is difficult. The current techniques use a grid pattern of single cable sensors deployed individually. Especially underwater this is not practical and often results in a grid with overlaps and voids. This technology would be valuable in undersea mining and oil exploration.

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a method to deploy sensor arrays in any required geometry. Deployment and placement of the sensors in the array will insure maximum return of the signals desired. This technology uses an expandable structure to house the sensors. During deployment the structure is inflated with water or foam and the various elements of the array unfurl to form the pre planed grid. This allows for accurate placement of the sensors with relation to each other. This method can be used to deploy both 2 and 3 dimensional grids of varying geometry and sizes from a few feet to several hundreds of feet. Sensors used in this invention are acoustic, thermisters, pressure sensors, accelerometers and geophones. Using gas as the inflating medium the sensor array can float on the surface of the water or be deployed on land.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6801475 issued.

Mr. E. Chalfin
Phone: (443) 778-7473