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UK defense firm pumps data through solid submarine walls

Sean Hollister
07.21.10
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Wireless power may still be on the drawing board, but wireless data is here today, and a UK defense contractor has figured out a way to pipe the latter through several inches of steel. Using a pair of piezoelectric transducers on either side of a watertight submarine compartment, BAE's "Through Hull Data Link" sends and receives an acoustic wave capable of 15MHz data rates, enough to transmit video by essentially hammering ever-so-slightly on the walls. BAE impressed submarine commanders by streaming Das Boot right through their three-inch hulls, and while metadrama is obviously the killer app here, the company claims it will also save millions by replacing the worrisome wiring that's physically routed via holes in a submarine's frame. See the company's full US patent application at our more coverage link.

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