SensorPod™ Dispensing Technologies

SensorPod Overview - Applications - Dispensing - Emplacement

Individual or Serial Dispensers

Key to many sensing systems and instrument concepts we have investigated, whether tethered or not, is dispensing of the sensors away from the user or host vehicle. Our dispensers are launched from several standard launch platforms. They are designed for use with small robotic ground vehicles, UAVs, UUVs, stationary landers, and even hand held systems, based on the 40mm grenade launcher and 37mm flare launcher (used for a majority of the developmental testing). These systems can ballistically deploy sensors to targets ranging from a few meters to multiple kilometers, depending on the mission requirements.

Pyrotechnic Dispensers

Some of the pyrotechnic dispensers developed have been had full gas containment. This allows silent, spark and contamination free operation.


Constrained Launcher


Click the above picture to watch the constrained launcher movie

Cold-gas Dispensers

Our cold-gas deployment systems can be recharged using common sources such as CO2 cartridges and paintball tanks. The follow picture shows a prototype system which uses multiple independently accessible magazines of sensor packages, allowing the operator to dynamically choose the type of sensor that is best suited for their need.


Picture of the Mobile MultiLaunch Platform

The various size projecticles all capable of being launched from this platform


Click the above picture for a video of the Mobile MultiLaunch Platform in action

Airdropped MultiPod Deployer

Sensor applications such as seismic characterization of underground facilities and perimeter security can benefit from a capability to distribute 1-D or 2-D arrays of sensors, as illustrated below. Using several tethered SensorPod™ deployment mechanisms arranged in a “star” or “spoke and perimeter” configuration, we have demonstrated near-surface deployment of sensor arrays with baselines in excess of 100 m. Much larger baselines are possible using an airdropped method. Array deployments in this fashion also allow for deployments that minimally disturb the target location. This is often desirable for both soil analysis as well as surveillance missions.


MultiPod mission concept


Click the above for a movie of a airdrop test launch


Click to see a low gravity deployment test of the above prototype.


The prototype used in the above test.

Underwater MultiPod Deployer

In addition to airdropped surface arrays, a similar deployed array is possible underwater. As part of a project funded by the Navy, we developed optical fiber winding technologies for high-speed deployment from a submarine. This technology has been combined with SensorPod™ deployment systems, and initial testing of lifting body prototypes has lead to a system that can deploy using only the drag induced on the sensor bodies after hitting the water. This allows a baseline that is limited only by the depth of the water, or the available tether volume.


The Underwater MultiPod Deployer. Click the above to see a movie of this being released

 

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