KCF Technologies Tether Navigation
KCF Technologies is a dynamic technology company that develops and commercializes products and solutions for industry and the military. The company was founded in November 2000 by three researchers from Penn State University and specializes in energy harvesting, wireless sensors, underwater navigation and smart material devices.
Our vision is to be a leader in the development of federally funded technologies and bridge the gap to successful commercial products by establishing strategic partnerships. Our main product, the Smart Tether, is a revolutionary technology for underwater navigation and positioning. A robust and easy-to-use system, the Smart Tether offers real-time GPS positioning for divers and underwater vehicles, along with advanced scanning, mapping, and target-marking functions, greatly expanding your underwater mission capabilities.
Advanced tether technology for underwater operations
Smart Tether includes a series of sensor nodes embedded in the tether itself. These nodes use acceleration, magnetic, and pressure sensors to measure the tether shape and track the position of your vehicle and tether. This data is then transmitted to the control box and displayed on your computer screen in real time. The operator’s absolute location can be determined either by the included GPS antenna or by manually entering a location. By adding the vehicle’s relative position to the operator’s absolute position, the vehicle’s absolute real-time position is determined.
Real-time navigation system with GPS positioning
The Smart Tether system’s fast refresh rate of five times per second gives your crew instant and accurate information about your diver’s or submersible’s position. This real-time navigation facilitates missions that require precise operation, including: close-up inspections, rescue and recovery work, ordnance location, and homeland security operations. Tides, currents, and wave dynamics can make precise underwater navigation using a fixed launch point nearly impossible. Smart Tether includes GPS integration to help you navigate your ROV or diver from a moving point such as a boat or barge. When operated properly, the Smart Tether has better than 5ft accuracy.
Durable system design for harshest applications
With Smart Tether, there is no need for additional external transponders or complicated set-up, measurement, and training. Since the sensors are embedded in the tether, you won’t need extra wires and batteries, either. It’s a ‘drop and go’ system.
The Smart Tether user interface makes navigation in the field simple, smart, and safe. The software displays the live position of your ROV or diver and tether, allowing real-time navigation, communication, and tether awareness. Smart Tether even provides a position history of visual and SONAR scans so your operators know what areas have already been searched. The Smart Tether software also seamlessly integrates with mapping software such as Google Earth for simple one-click geo-referencing of targets marked and areas scanned, making it a valuable tool for mission reporting.
The system was designed to outlast your toughest mission. It’s been tested and used in extreme conditions.