By Gautham Nagesh - 07/08/10 03:42 PM EDT
Lockheed is teaming with subcontractors Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems
and ERAPSCO to develop communications buoys that will allow subs to chat,
transfer files and send e-mails while below the surface. Phone calls will also be possible, though Reints said that is not a central aim of the project.
Developers say two buoys will be tethered to each sub, allowing them to communicate through a fiber optic cable. The batteries for the tethered system will last up to 30 minutes; once power runs out, the buoy sinks itself.
The first buoys are scheduled to be delivered to the Navy by January for testing.