Publication

Robotic Systems (RS)
2010

STUMP: SUPER-STRONG TUBE THAT’S AN ULTRALIGHT MODULE AT PRESSURE

by Phillip L. Townsend; Vivek Bhatnagar; Rudy Martinez; Frank Warnakulasuriya

Abstract

Motorized ground forces spend considerable resources in equipping for situational awareness capabilities. Given requirements spanning command, control, surveillance, and reconnaissance of a battlefield, there has been no single mast technology that can support each of these with elevated sensors and weapons. A tough, extremely low weight modular mast system has been designed to be quickly attached or removed from a ground vehicle to provide different operational capabilities depending on the payload. The design allows for easy modification to fit functional needs on different vehicles and platforms. At the heart of the technology is a proprietary super-fiber pressurized tube which elevates the payload on a column of moderate gas pressure eliminating cumbersome hydraulic/mechanical systems. An internal, simple alignment system and gyroscopemaintained verticality allow a stable, elevated platform without introducing instability to the vehicle. The system is capable of withstanding extreme external forces and impact as typical of field operations. This innovation promises such light weight that unprecedented heights may be reached faster.