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HULL PENETRATOR REPLACEMENT SYSTEM (HPRS

)
Corey Jaskolski President – Hydro Technologies, Inc. December 1, 2006

HYDRO TECHNOLOGIES
700 AUTOMATION DRIVE W I N D S O R , C O 8 05 5 0 O F F I C E : ( 97 0 ) 67 4- 80 9 4 F A X : ( 9 70) 67 4- 80 95

c j a sk o lsk i@h yd r o- te c h.c o m www. hydro-tech. c om

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OVERVIEW............................................................................................................................................................................ 3 FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTION ...................................................................................................................................... 4 SPECIFICATIONS.............................................................................................................................................................. 5 APPLICATIONS................................................................................................................................................................... 6 AVAILABILITY .................................................................................................................................................................... 7

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OVERVIEW
In many underwater applications it is impractical, unsafe, or inconvenient to penetrate a housing, hull, or pressure vessel with wire penetrators for data and power transmission. However, neither acoustic methods nor traditional RF wireless data communications technologies will work in most of these applications due to the materials involved. Modern pressure hull materials include aluminum, steel, and titanium depending on the specific application. The highly conductive nature of these hull materials result in the hull acting as an RF blocking Faraday cage thus preventing RF wireless communications. The degree to which RF is blocked depends on the electrical conductivity of the material. Acoustic through-hull communications methods are extremely data rate limited (e.g. 20 baud) due to inherent multipath and multimodal acoustic effects in thin barriers. Additionally, acoustic methods require a good acoustic interface to each side of a hull or barrier. Finally, neither acoustic nor RF techniques are able to pass usable amounts of power as well as data through hull materials. Eliminate penetrators: HPRS technology eliminates the need for drilling pass through holes in pressure hulls for communications and power transmission. High data rates: Since HPRS is a direct throughthe-hull communications technique, data rates of >1Mb/s can be achieved depending on materials Power Transmission: Along with data, HPRS supports transferring power through hulls or barriers utilizing low frequency magnetic field generation for inductive power coupling Low signature: Since HPRS is a non acoustic technique, there is no acoustic signature. The magnetic fields are extremely localized and result in no detectable field except in the immediate vicinity of the transducers Secure communication: HPRS is compatible with digital encryption to prevent outside sources from unauthorized access. HPRS supports the 256-bit AES encryption standard which has been cleared for Top-Secret transmissions by the NSA as of June 2003.

An alternative to wireless RF communications or throughhull acoustics is the Hull Penetrator Replacement System (HPRS) developed by Hydro Technologies. This system is designed to eliminate the need for hull penetrations while still allowing for high speed, low power, and secure data and power transmission between systems inside and outside of a pressure hull or other material. To accomplish this, HPRS uses a technique referred to as multi-frequency local magnetic field modulation to produce magnetic fields capable of carrying data and power through almost any material. Patents for this technique are currently pending.

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FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTION
The HPRS platform has been designed to provide robust data and power transfer through nearly any hull or structural material. Unlike RF communication which is blocked by relatively small amounts of conductive material (e.g. metals or seawater), or acoustic communication which requires a direct acoustic path, or optical communication which requires transparent media, the modulated magnetic field that HPRS uses is only affected by the magnetic permeability of the material through which the data and power is transmitted. This means that materials such as seawater, aluminum, stainless steel, fiberglass, carbon composites, and titanium are completely “transparent” to this communications technique as their magnetic permeabilities are near that of air. Even alloys that have fairly high magnetic permeabilities, such as HY-80 steel, are compatible with HPRS, although at a lower data and power transfer rate.

Figure 1: HPRS functional diagram The main system components of the HPRS platform are shown in Figure 1. Starting from the left-hand side of the diagram, the first block is a sensor or other signal source. This could be any device that produces either an analog or a digital signal which is to be passed through the hull. The next block, labeled signal conditioning, transforms the raw sensor or transducer signal into a digital stream which is then input into a digital signal processor (DSP). Firmware in the DSP performs digital modulation of the data and possibly encryption and other
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processing of the input data. This modulated and processed communication stream from the Hydro Technologies, Inc. Copyright 2006

DSP is then mixed with a low frequency wave for power transmission and sent through a magnetic transducer. The hardware on the other side of the pressure hull reverses this entire process by coupling the magnetic field through its magnetic transducer, filtering out the low frequency power carrier, digitizing the analog signal, demodulating the signal, and decrypting the digital data. The net result is that the signal generated at the sensor or other equipment on one side of the hull or barrier is available on the other side of the hull or barrier along with power without the need for a physical penetrator. HPRS is bidirectional so power and data can be transferred to and from both sides of the hull or barrier if required.

SPECIFICATIONS
The HPRS platform is still under development with full commercial release expected to occur in mid 2008. To date, HPRS has been tested through many materials including: fiberglass, marine grade aluminum, stainless steel, air, seawater, HY-80, other alloys used in Navy ship construction, and stacked combinations of these materials. Through materials with low magnetic permeability (e.g. almost anything except highly magnetic steels) data rates of more than 1 Mb/s are achievable. For heavily magnetic steel (e.g. HY-80) typical data rates of 10’s of kHz are achievable. Although primarily a means for high speed through-hull communications, the nature of the magnetic field transducers used in HPRS also allow for the transfer of power through a hull or barrier. Power transfer of up to 100W is feasible with the current system. The efficiency of the power transfer depends on the separation between the two transceivers as well as the material in between. As with the data transmission, power transmission is more efficient through materials with low magnetic permeability. The HPRS platform consists of a pair of bidirectional transceivers, a control and communications electronics board, and an optional power transmission board. The entire system is pressure tolerant to full ocean depth.

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APPLICATIONS
The HPRS platform has application anywhere data and/or power needs to be communicated from one side of a hull, pressure vessel, pipe, or other barrier to the other within a range of about 1 meter. Along with permanent installations such as placing sensors in sealed containers, HPRS is also appropriate where data and power is required through a barrier without permanent modification. Some of the many applications of HPRS include: Inter-pressure vessel communication on UUVs and ROVs Supporting testing for new sensors on manned submersibles and submarines without alterations to the hull Temporary installation of multibeam or acoustic positioning equipment on vessels of opportunity Simplification of moored ocean floor sensor connectors Transmission of sensor data and power through the wall of sealed containers such as nuclear waste storage containers Data communication through pipe walls High speed (1 Mb/s) data transfer and 100W power transmission through materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, fiberglass, glass, seawater, and air Moderate speed data (10-50 kb/s) and 10W power transmission though magnetic materials such as HY-80. High temperature applications (transducers have been tested to 200° C)

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Transmit Electronics (battery powered)

Metal Barrier

Data & Power

Receiver Electronics

Figure 2: Demonstration of HPRS communicating through 1” thick stainless steel as shown at Oceans 2006 and UDT Pacific 2006. Actual transducers are about 1” diameter and are embedded in the white Delrin stands.

AVAILABILITY
The core of the HPRS platform has been demonstrated and is in use in an active Navy application. The HPRS system is currently being made available to select partners with full commercial availability expected by the second quarter of 2008. Hydro Technologies is actively seeking an industrial or government partner to continue work in increasing the data rate and power transmission capabilities of this technology beyond what is currently achievable.

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