Page 38: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2006)


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ROVs • AUVs UUVs www, Marine Technology Reporter 39

By Melissa Mendoza

Founded more than 10 years ago through a joint part- nership between David Clifford and Scott Griffin- the current president and head of engineering, respectively -

Prizm Advanced Communication Electronics, Inc. (Prizm) designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes fiber optic multiplexer systems, rotary joints and payout spools for the Navy, other government agencies, universi- ties, scientists, researchers, among others. Prizm is based in Elkridge, Md., and has an Autonomous Underwater

Vehicle (AUV) manufacturing facility in Yorktown, Va.

According to sales manager Bob Sullivan, the ability to design, engineer and manufacture products in-house, is one of Prizm's distinguishing qualities as a fiber optic communication system manufacturer. "We take pride in the fact that we engineered all the electronics and fiber optics we manufacture," he said.

Prizm has three primary business lines. The first is its fiber optic and wireless video and data multiplexer.

The multiplexer is designed to convert multiple streams of data, or multiple inputs, into a single stream of infor- mation, or output. "It is a telemetry system which can take electro signals and break them down, simplify them and convert multiple data into one serialized stream of light," Sullivan explained. "By converting the informa- tion to laser, we give our sub-sea customers greater control of the mission by giving them the ability to transmit sig- nals from afar."

Prizm’s Acquisition Adds to its Spectrum

PRIZM Purchases Sias Patterson

MTR met with the Prizm, Inc. President, David Clifford and Sales

Manager, Bob Sullivan. In Clifford's opinion, there are three AUVs in what is considered the small class: the Bluefin, the new PRIZM

Fetch and REMUS. Bluefin was developed at MIT. Sias Patterson was developed at VIMS and REMUS at WHOI. Both Bluefin and

Remus have left their university nests and are being commercialized by Bluefin-Battelle and Hydroid, respectively. Prizm is the commer- cialization partner, if you will for the Sias Patterson AUV.

According to David Clifford, Prizm purchased all assets of Sias

Patterson from Jim Sias and Mark Patterson because he wants to cre- ate a hybrid AUV using Prizm's existing talent and demonstrated abilities in fiber optic transmission. He will marry Prizm's expend- able fiber optic cable spools with the AUV. The fiber optic cable is connected to AUV upon launch. Very high bandwidth data can be sent and received in real time while the cable pays out. The 20 km cable will transmit any signal that the vehicle can generate including: video, sonar, currents, water column data. There are many applications for this sort of hybrid system in the military and the intelligence communities. Eventually, the PRIZM Fetch class AUVs will serve the offshore diving, oceanographic and environmental communities as well. — Maggie Merrill

Bob Sullivan, Prizm Sales Manager proudly displays the Fetch Class AUV that is now being commercialized by PRIZM (Photo Credit: Maggie L. Merrill, MTR)

Fiber spooler equipment.

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Marine Technology

Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.