Babcock shows RTBC at UDT 2017
At UDT 2017, MONS spoke to James Date, Head of Future Products at Babcock International Group, about their Recoverable Tethered Communications Buoy (RTBC) system. The RTBC works by deploying a tethered communication buoy, currently configured to house the Iridium aerial set and incorporate a GPS aerial, which comes to the surface and allows the submarine to carry out two way communication. “The tip of the system floating on the surface has a very low radar cross section“, says Date, “which prevents the submarine from coming to periscope depth and compromise its position“.
The buoy is linked to the submerged submarine by a fiber optic cable, which can reach any length depending on customer specifications – the current baseline version is 4km of cable but this can be increased. The cable continues to pay out tether under very low tension, thus allowing the buoy to remain virtually stationary to maximise the quality and quantity of data transmission while the submarine continues to operate normally, covertly and freely at depth.
“What distinguishes us from what is already on the market is our buoy that can float on the surface avoiding waves breaking over it and compromising communication while having a very low radar cross-section that prevents it from being detected“, concludes Date.