The short hop communication link includes a sensor module positioned downhole from a motor in a well. The module includes sensors that monitor operational, directional and environmental parameters downhole and provide an electrical data signal indicative thereof. Sensors may also be positioned in the drill bit for obtaining parameters related to the bit, and communicating data signals reflecting the sensed parameters to the sensor module. The sensor module includes a transceiver, with an annular anrenna, for transmitting electromagnetic sensor data signals to a point above the motor. A control module, which also includes a transceiver with an annular antenna, is located above the motor, and receives the electromagnetic signals from the sensor module reflecting the sensed parameters. In addition, the control module is capable of transmitting command signals to the sensor module requesting data regarding desired parameters. The command module connects to a host module which orchestrates all measurement-while-drilling components downhole. The host module connects to a mud pulser for transmitting desired data to the surface for real-time processing. The sensor module is strategically placed within a removable, interchangeable sub below the motor, or alternatively, within an extended driveshaft of the motor, while the sensor antenna is located on an exterior shoulder of the sub or driveshaft. The sensor module and an associated battery pack reside within a pressure container which forms part of a current return path from the sensor antenna to the circuitry within the sensor module.