---------- DARPA ----------

24 Phase I Selections from the 10.3 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 500
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 674-8245
Daniel Theobald
DARPA 103-001      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Low Noise, High Efficiency Hydraulics for Mobile Robots
Abstract:The next generation of high-degree-of-freedom robots require not only significant strength but efficient, quiet operation and effective control policies if they are to perform to expectations. Vecna proposes a systems approach that includes Smart Hydraulic Actuator (SHA) technology, an intelligent Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU), and intelligent control to vastly improve hydraulic efficiency and reduce the noise profile without significantly impacting other performance parameters. This approach has been shown in preliminary analysis and bench-top component testing to allow for at least a two-fold improvement in energy efficiency over the conventional approach and a corresponding two-fold improvement in noise. As hydraulics research stagnated several decades ago, there is substantial room for innovation and improvement over the current state-of-the-art. It is clear that hydraulics will be the technology of choice wherever high power density mobility or manipulation are needed, hence the long-standing limitations of hydraulics should be addressed as proposed herein.

VISHWA ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LLC
32 Orvis Road
Arlington, MA 02474
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(321) 276-0380
BHARGAV GAJJAR
DARPA 103-001      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Low Noise, High Efficiency Hydraulics for Mobile Robots
Abstract:Biologically-inspired motions such as flapping, perching, walking, running, swimming, grasping and manipulating, are difficult for the most advanced robots today. The primary limitation comes from actuation technology in terms of stress/strain ratio delivered to the joint by the actuator overcoming specific resistance. Electromagnetic motors have low torque at high speeds and hence cannot be used directly on mobile robots without large transmission ratios. Transmission introduces weight, friction, reflected inertia and backlash. Most bioinspired robots such as running quadrupeds, bipeds, humanoids and exoskeletons need high-powered force control at moderate bandwidth. Conversely, hydraulic actuators provide extremely high power density but they are inefficient and noisy. To develop a highly efficient and low-noise hydraulic actuator for biologically-inspired robotics, this proposal will develop several high-level concepts for developing advanced pump, control and actuator subsystems. Specifically, we plan to build experimental compact valveless hydroelastic muscle to demonstrate high- fidelity force control with variable impedance and energy recovery. The primary focus will be to develop essential elements for integrating a high-efficiency, low noise variable impedance hydroelastic actuator prototype that can accurately mimic the mechanical behavior of biological animal or human limbs (arms or legs) resulting in applications in small- to medium-sized mobile robotic devices.

Berkeley Exoworks
2546 Tenth St
Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 295-5877
Kurt Amundson
DARPA 103-001      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Low Noise, High Efficiency Hydraulics for Mobile Robots
Abstract:Hydraulic actuation systems for mobile robotics are characterized by high bandwidth, high power density, robust operation, flexible power transmission but also by low efficiency, high rejected heat, and high noise levels. The undesirable characteristics of hydraulic power systems are not inherent to fluid power transmission; they are the result of the highly inefficient techniques used to control the power delivered to individual actuators. The spool valve architecture that dominates hydraulic servo systems has roots in gasoline powered heavy equipment where efficiency and noise are not primary concerns; this architecture is not appropriate for modern mobile robotics. Berkeley Bionics has been a leader in innovating novel hydraulic systems for mobile robotics from our roots working with hydraulic servo systems on the DARPA exoskeletons program at the University of California, Berkeley. Our current third generation HULC exoskeleton, under development with Lockheed Martin, uses proprietary hydraulic components and non-standard servo controls. Currently our electro-hydraulic actuation systems have overall efficiencies nearing 50%. The proposed project builds on our industry leading technology to design an electro-hydraulic actuation system that will rival the overall efficiency of an electro- mechanical actuation system, while maintaining an extremely low audible signature and the intrinsic benefits of hydraulic actuation.

Magzor Corporation
3529 Old Conejo Rd Suite # 115
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 306-1315
Trevor Niblock
DARPA 103-002      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Robot Fabrication via Layered Manufacturing
Abstract:This proposal is to grow complex alloys on flexible electronics (polymer) substrates that can be layered upon one-another to form agile and dexterous millirobots with excellent power to weight ratios. The process includes CAD modeling of the robots, folded panel extraction of the polymer, simulation and then fabrication in state of the art – hitherto unavailable – electroforming equipment. The end goal of the project is to produce a method of muscular tissue formation that would incorporate actuation and sensing. The technology will allow for the design and fabrication of meso-scale devices that are relatively simple to design and fabricate having superior performance characteristics than those presently available. Other advantages of this technology are that it uses a flexible electronic substrate and many organic electronic technologies are being developed on this format. This potentially gives the millirobot the ability to (e.g.) harvest solar energy through OPVC’s (Organic PhotoVoltatics) and hide like a chameleon using organic display type camouflage.

Meka Robotics, LLC
1240 Pennsylvania Ave
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(415) 206-0131
Aaron Edsinger
DARPA 103-002      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Robot Fabrication via Layered Manufacturing
Abstract:Robots deployed by the DoD and in industry increasingly demand complex electro- mechanical systems that utilize high levels of integration within small packages. In addition, the cost of these devices needs to be an order-of-magnitude lower than current levels to effectively augment today’s warfighter on the battlefield — it is surely more effective to deploy ten $10K robotic arms instead of a single $100K arm to disable IEDs. Layered printing and sheet assembly processes are a promising technology that can address this need. Two-dimensional patterned sheets are typically much quicker and cheaper to produce than 3D forms. Layering offers the ability to combine different types of materials, to construct complex laminated 3D structures, and to embed a robot’s actuators, sensors, communication systems and electronic controls within a single integrated structure. We propose a new manufacturing process for producing low-cost yet complex robotic systems. The process extends two mature manufacturing technologies: Shape Deposition Manufacturing and Laminated Object Manufacturing. It features end-to-end automated manufacturing capability and does not require specialized tooling, allowing for rapid and low-cost design changes. It will enable the manufacture of low-cost electro-mechanical micro-structures integrated into durable, flexible robot links.

CyPhy Works
16 Electronics Avenue
Danvers, MA 01923
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(339) 234-1406
Jason Walker
DARPA 103-002      Awarded: 3/15/2011
Title:Robot Fabrication via Layered Manufacturing
Abstract:In this phase I proposal, we seek a solution to the problem of wiring sensors and actuators on periphery of a robot’s frame(i.e. those positioned to make contact with environment). We will accomplish this using printing technologies and a new proprietary layered carbon fiber forming technology. Because we will enhance segments from CyPhy Works UAV with this technology, this project will have a near-term impact on the way military robots are constructed. Our long-term goal is a "one process" fabrication techniques for disposable UAVs, smart munitions, and consumer robots. This "one process" would include mechanical, electrical, and sensing components.

Innovega Inc.
4888 NE Sheltered Bay Lane
Hansville, WA 98340
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(206) 310-4775
Randall Sprague
DARPA 103-003      Awarded: 3/25/2011
Title:Contact Lens See-Through Head Worn Display
Abstract:This Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of using specially modified contact lenses combined with an LCD display illuminated with a wave-guided backlight to enable an 80 degree field of view see-through display. The new eyewear architecture being proposed is a radical departure from traditional near eye displays. Rather than present the eye with collimated rays of light that appear to originate from a distant source, the performance of the eye is enhanced by sophisticated contact lenses to enable short focal length accommodation of non-collimated light rays. The special contact lenses add one additional focal accommodation distance to the wearer’s normal vision. This is done with no impact to the wearer’s normal sight other than a slight attenuation of ambient brightness. The result is that the eye is able to observe the near-eye imagery over its full field of view while simultaneously observing the surrounding environment. This eliminates all of the imaging optics from the eyewear resulting in a see-thru display panel that can be bonded directly to standard ballistic eyewear. The proposed Phase 1 research will demonstrate the ability to view see-through monochromatic near eye imagery over an 80 degree field of view.

Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 933-5355
Adel El-Fallah
DARPA 103-003      Awarded: 3/15/2011
Title:Unified Bayesian Global ISR
Abstract:Automated construction of a unified global ISR picture—one that optimizes theater-wide tactical priorities, while permitting ongoing operator contextual guidance—presents a daunting theoretical and practical challenge. First is the huge variety of seemingly incommensurable information sources and information types. Second, automatic global ISR algorithms must compute optimal solutions that are based on evolving priorities, and thus also adaptively and dynamically determine the best spatial and temporal deployments of all sensors and platforms in order to maximize relevant information. Ultimately, this means that global ISR requires a seamless and optimal integration of: multisensor-multitarget data fusion; multitarget search, detection, localization, identification, and tracking; multitarget- multisensor sensor management; tactical prioritization; and operator contextual guidance. The Scientific Systems Company, Inc. team proposes a foundational, information-theoretic and control-theoretic approach to global ISR. Our approach is based on five innovations: (1) a multisensor-multitarget likelihood function and multisource Markov density that encapsulate all relevant information regarding the characteristics of the various sensors and platforms; (2) dynamic “tactical importance functions (TIFs) that semi-automatically specify the evolving meaning of “target of interest (ToI), and which are the mathematical portals through which operator contextual guidance can be inserted; (3) an information-theoretic, and yet intuitively meaningful objective function, the posterior expected number of targets of interest (PENTI); and (4) integration of these concepts with approximate multitarget filters (specifically, multitarget-moment filters or multi-hypothesis correlator trackers). The project team includes Dr. Ronald Mahler of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin will provide both technical and commercialization support in the application of the advanced Global ISR Algorithms.

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 491-3474
Brad Rosenberg
DARPA 103-003      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Social PLatform for an ISR Collaboration Environment (SPLICE)
Abstract:Despite advances to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, intelligence analysts in the theater cannot achieve true multi-INT exploitation and cross- cueing due to the stove-piped nature of fielded ISR systems. Current ISR systems: 1) force human-to-human interaction to be the primary method to discover relevant intelligence data, despite its inefficiency; 2) require significant development for modification, leading to traditionally long delays before new capabilities transition to the field; and (3) continue to provide a linear workflow process that does not fully integrate human-machine collaboration. These limitations must be overcome through an integrated approach to ISR before superior operational performance can be achieved. To provide an integrated approach to global ISR that enables automated multi-INT exploitation and cross-cueing for a wide variety of missions, we propose to design and demonstrate a Social PLatform for an ISR Collaboration Environment (SPLICE). SPLICE provides a novel collaboration environment platform for intelligence analysts in tactical operations centers to discover relevant intelligence through a social network, orchestrate new capabilities using a mash-up authoring tool, and collaborate on intelligence products with other human analysts and automated agents. This combined approach provides a platform for intelligence analysts that can revolutionize multi-INT exploitation and cross-cueing for an ever-changing battlespace.

Nano Terra, Inc
790 Memorial Drive Suite 202
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 621-8500
Matthew Stewart
DARPA 103-004      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Lithography-free Manufacturing of Polymer Photonic Devices
Abstract:Photonic devices are used to produce, transmit, modulate, and detect light. These devices are widely used in the data storage and communications industries. Commercial photonic devices are typically made of rigid materials including inorganic oxides and semiconductors, however, these materials are costly, expensive to deposit and process, and have poor mechanical properties (e.g., brittle, delicate). Given these disadvantages, there is increasing interest in developing polymeric photonic devices that are more robust, flexible, easier to process and integrate into 2D and 3D circuits, and less expensive than devices made of inorganic materials. The most heavily used techniques for manufacturing polymeric photonic devices are conventional top-down photolithographic processes and dry ion etching. These processes are expensive and increase optical scattering losses due to roughening of the polymeric material during etching. Given the many benefits and widespread commercial and military uses of polymeric optical devices, there is a strong need for less expensive manufacturing methods capable of producing high quality photonic devices. The most promising non-photolithographic means for manufacturing high quality photonic devices with high throughput is using Soft Lithography. This program will focus on developing automated roll-based Soft Lithographic molding systems for high-throughput manufacturing polymeric photonic devices on flexible and rigid substrates.

Omega Optics, Inc.
10306 Sausalito Dr
Austin, TX 78759
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 996-8833
Alan Wang
DARPA 103-004      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:High Speed E-O Polymer Photonic Devices by Nickel Template Replication with Transferred Traveling Wave Electrode
Abstract:In this program, Omega Optics and the University of Texas at Austin propose to develop a cost effective UV imprinting technology using high quality metallic mold by directly electroplating nickel over photoresist patterns on transparent quartz substrate. Unlike any existing nano-imprinting technology which requires ion etching to transfer patterns into substrate, we can directly replicate template patterns into the bottom cladding through a low pressure UV imprinting process operated at room temperature. Additionally, we invent a new concept of molding-and-wire-transferring for the traveling wave electrodes. Instead of electroplating amorphous metal electrode, we transfer bulky gold wires with much better conductivity to the predefined position formed by metallic molding as well. Therefore it can achieve more than 60GHz bandwidth due to the low resistance traveling wave electrode. Given advantages of the high quality metallic template and the energy efficient imprinting fabrication, this project is expected to reduce fabrication cost for polymer photonic devices with improved performances. In the phase I program, we anticipate to demonstrating the feasibility of using nickel template based UV imprinting technology for the fabrication of polymer photonic devices. These devices are expected to show lower optical insertion loss and higher bandwidth compared with conventional photolithography and ion etched devices.

AppliFlex LLC
PO Box 159293
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 386-1980
Hee Park
DARPA 103-004      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Laser Processing Fabrication Technology from Nano to Micro Scales for Polymer Photonics
Abstract:This project proposes to develop versatile, lithography-free technology for fabricating high- performance polymer photonic devices. This innovation utilizes laser processing to achieve low-cost, simplified production method without compromising the performance necessary for high-speed optical telecommunication devices. The proposed approach is a (a) flexible fabrication platform spanning from nano to macro scales without retooling of complex equipment, (b) non-contact method, free from parasitic effects of mold contact, (c) ambient processing technique, scalable to large-area process, and (d) digital, on-demand, agile manufacturing technique. Laser patterning and annealing can modify and improve the photonic polymer structures and properties, thus enabling the high performance device characteristics without large transmission loss due to scattering. The proposed approach provides streamlined, scalable, direct-write manufacturing protocols for flexible polymer photonic devices compared to the traditional photolithography and ion etching.

OptiGrate Corp.
3267 Progress Drive
Orlando, FL 32826
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(407) 381-4115
Christine Spiegelberg
DARPA 103-005      Awarded: 3/15/2011
Title:Wavelength-Stabilized, High-Brightness Diode Laser Pumps for High-Power Fiber Lasers
Abstract:The proposed innovation is based on a combination of two new technologies developed at the Center for Laser Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute and OptiGrate Corp. and aims to integrate advanced packaging of single emitter laser diodes, spectral and angular narrowing of these diodes by volume Bragg gratings in external resonators, and spectral combining of laser beams by a stack of volume Bragg gratings, all in a robust compact laser module. The use of individual laser diodes instead of diode bars ensures high reliability and very high brightness of the combined of output power from many single emitters without the need for beam transformation. By spectrally combining several high power modules that have been locked to a very narrow linewidth our approach will result in a dramatic increase of the spectral and spatial brightness of these laser modules compared to conventional diode bars. Efficient spectral combining of beams from several modules with no penalty in power will result in a spectrum narrower than that from any conventional high power laser bar. The brightness of the proposed device will be about 1 order of magnitude higher than the current state of the art and will facilitate a 5 kW pumping source coupled to 100 um 0.22 NA fiber.

nLight Photonics
5408 NE 88th Street, Bldg E
Vancouver, WA 98665
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(360) 713-5230
Paul Leisher
DARPA 103-005      Awarded: 3/23/2011
Title:Wavelength-Stabilized, High-Brightness Diode Laser Pumps for High-Power Fiber Lasers
Abstract:nLight proposes the development of a wavelength-stabilized 5 kW, 105 µm, 0.22NA fiber- coupled 976 nm diode laser pump system with a final predicted power conversion efficiency of >45% and mass-to-power ratio of < 1 kg/kW. The program will leverage nLight’s wavelength-stabilized 100 W, 105 µm, 0.22NA fiber-coupled 976 nm diode laser module, which will serve as the principal building block of the proposed system. Brightness and power will be scaled via wavelength beam combining, effectively trading the ultra high spectral brightness made possible by VBG-locking for increased spatial brightness. Because the spectral bandwidth of each channel in the system can be reduced to <0.05 nm, >50 individual channels (each operating at 100 W) can be efficiently fit within a 3 nm total bandwidth, ensuring excellent absorption by the 976-nm transition in Yb-doped fiber. This effort will represent the confluence of multiple technologies in which nLight has deep experience, making nLight well-positioned to meet all of the specifications set forth in the solicitation. During the Phase 1 program, nLight will investigate design considerations for the wavelength beam combining technique and demonstrate feasibility of the approach by applying it to a 2-channel 200 W (rated), 105 µm, 0.22NA fiber-coupled system.

TeraDiode, Inc.
11A Beaver Brook Road
Littleton, MA 01460
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 952-2501
Bien Chann
DARPA 103-005      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Wavelength-Beam-Combined Diode Laser Pumps for High-Power Fiber Lasers
Abstract:In this SBIR program, TeraDiode, Inc. will develop a record brightness fiber-coupled diode laser system for pumping high power fiber lasers. TeraDiode has an exclusive license on intellectual property developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory on a means of combining many diode lasers while scaling the brightness, to obtain an exceptionally bright fiber-coupled diode laser system. TeraDiode will demonstrate 5 kW or greater power level fiber-coupled to a 200 um/0.11 NA fiber. This laser will be wavelength stabilized to 976 nm and have a spectral bandwidth of 2 nm. The weight of the system will be engineered to be less than 1 kg/kW, which is of critical importance for DoD system applications. In Phase I, we will perform a baseline design for the laser system. In Phase II, we will construct the laser based on the Phase I design.

Oceanit Laboratories, Inc.
Oceanit Center 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(808) 531-3017
Chris Sullivan
DARPA 103-006      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Novel Acoustic Materials for Passive Hearing Protection
Abstract:The goal of this effort is to develop a low cost, passive ear protection device to be worn as an earplug or headset that will allow the Soldier to maintain situational awareness but filter out harmful noise threats. Newly developed acoustic meta-materials may be leveraged to address this problem. Meta-materials are composite systems whose bulk properties are derived from the geometric structure rather than the chemical constituents of the material. Oceanit plans to offer a unique approach to satisfy requirements to selectively filter the frequency and amplitude of damaging combat noise levels encountered by the Soldier in the battlefield.

CoMMET, LLC
5835 Schumann Dr.
Fitchburg, WI 53711
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(608) 277-9417
Yuri Shkel
DARPA 103-006      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Novel Acoustic Materials for Passive Hearing Protection
Abstract:A bi-stable meta-material which rejects high amplitude harmful sound but transfers sound levels needed for the situation awareness is proposed. A threshold intensity of the sound is determined by the material design and is set to 90 dBA – all signals exceeding this level will be attenuated at least at 25 dB. More specifically, the material is composed by meta- structural elements having two stable states: an element transmits a low intensity pressure wave by uniaxial elastic deformation. However, under the load exceeding the critical level, uniaxial deformations are replaced by bending deformations of the meta-structure. Since bi- stable elements are prone to mechanical instability and are switchable by the sound wave, they will perform best by having linear sizes much smaller than the wave length. In addition, the desired acoustic performance can be achieved within a few millimeters thick monolayer of the meta-elements. This is a critical advantage for designing wearable protective devices. Finally, the material can be mass fabricated using lithography free low cost manufacturing approaches.

CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Dr., 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 726-4994
Debbie Reeves
DARPA 103-006      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Design of Acoustic Metamaterials for Passive Hearing Protector
Abstract:CFDRC proposes to develop new acoustic metamaterials, more specifically Locally Resonant Sonic Materials (LRSM), to be used in passive Hearing Protection Devices (HPD). LRSM derive their unique properties from resonators contained within each unit cell. Sound attenuation of finite size of LRSM is determined by the interaction of an incident elastic pulse with the resonators within the unit cells. The components that correspond to the resonance frequencies excite the resonators, taking its energy out of the propagating pulse. This trapped energy is then gradually passed to the surrounding material. The direction of the waves emitted by the resonant vibrations is in general different from the direction of the incident pulse, yielding a net attenuation of these frequency components. We can tune the band gaps of the LRSM response by varying the size and geometry of the structural unit. To accomplish the design objective, CFDRC proposes to use our existing software toolkit as a tool to design the optimum LRSM for HPD in Phase I. We will use existing modules as well as adding new modules to suit the needs for LRSM design. We plan to incorporate our existing auditory computational model to virtually test conceptual HPD designs using the LRSM.

Coherent Logix, Incorporated
1120 South Capital of Texas Highway Building 3, Suite 310
Austin, TX 78746
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 382-8947
Michael Doerr
DARPA 103-007      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Radio Communication System Development Environment (Xsdev)
Abstract:Building on a foundation methodology, process, and successful introduction of unprecedented development environment capability, Coherent Logix, Incorporated proposes to further develop and expand the capabilities of the development environment to support MAC and other layers and needs impacting radio development. During the course of the Phase I, Coherent Logix will fully develop methodology, process definitions, and investigate and evaluate potential 3rd party tools that could fulfill process requirements. Then a full development tool suite will be specified to be developed and introduced as product over the following phases of the program.

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20855
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 294-5275
Jason Li
DARPA 103-007      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:CAD Tool for Radio Communications
Abstract:Communications radios consist of an increasingly large and complex set of waveforms. The amount of time and effort needed to transform a waveform design into an implementation and perform necessary testing and validation, combined with system integration tasks, commonly results in a development period of several years. Therefore, we propose a CAD tool for the domain of communications waveform design which will significantly reduce waveform development time, simplify the development process, and allow for waveform optimizations which are not currently practical. We propose an approach whereby a waveform designer has maximum control over the overall waveform design that is eventually implemented in the hardware without requiring the waveform designer to understand lower level specifics. Through the development of a waveform representation language and library of communication blocks which can be assembled by the waveform designer, waveforms can be quickly specified and implemented. These waveforms can then be placed on a test radio, where the waveform undergoes automated and semi-automated procedures to validate and test the waveform’s operation.

Toyon Research Corp.
6800 Cortona Drive
Goleta, CA 93117
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 968-6787
Roger Helkey
DARPA 103-007      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:Waveform Design, Database, and Development for Radio Communications
Abstract:A design environment for communications system is proposed that enables rapid design and analysis of high-performance communications systems.

Cesaroni Technology Inc.
1144 Tallevast Road Suite 108
Sarasota, FL 34243
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(941) 360-3100
Anthony Cesaroni
DARPA 103-008      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:High Speed Naval Surface Munition
Abstract:The Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA) is currently seeking a small semi-autonomous, very high speed maritime surface munition that is capable of speeds of 100 knots or greater in sea state 4 or above. The system must have the capability to track, differentiate and intercept a target such as a small high-speed watercraft , at an initial range of up to three miles at high speed while maintaining good sea keeping characteristics above, below, and on the surface of the water. Cesaroni Technology Incorporated (CTI) is proposing a Phase 1, design, analysis and development effort to produce an advanced munition configuration that will meet these requirements while addressing the technical challenges of such a system and its mission goals. Novel control, propulsion, morphing hull techniques and packaging arrangements will be studied and applied as part of this program.

Donald L. Blount and Associates, Inc.
Greenbrier Tower II 870 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 600
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(757) 321-8517
Robert Ranzenbach
DARPA 103-008      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:High Speed Naval Surface Munition
Abstract:DARPA 103-008 has the objective to develop a high speed, semi-autonomous, naval surface munition designed to travel in water at speeds in excess of 100 knots to acoustically track and engage swarms of enemy boats up to 3 miles from the munition launch point. The munition is designed to fit within the footprint of an “A-size” sonobuoy. The proposed CONOPS results in multiple operating regimes: • Sub- and super- cavitating operation in water to acoustically track and engage enemy boat(s) • Short duration segments where the vehicle is completely operating in air to facilitate communication with command and control. • As a result, the munition must also exit and re-enter the water in a stable and predictable manner. The control authority is provided by a combination of actuators to include a variable angle nose mounted cavitator, novel aft planing control surfaces (rather than more conventional, controllable aft mounted fins), and vectored thrust (using a solid propellant and a collection of rotating nozzles). Dynamic models for all operating regimes are developed and the feasibility of the proposed combination of actuators and control system to meet the challenging performance requirements is explored and verified through modeling and simulation.

Vehicle Control Technologies, Inc.
1900 Campus Commons Drive Suite 300
Reston, VA 20191
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 620-0703
Douglas Humphreys
DARPA 103-008      Awarded: 3/1/2011
Title:High Speed Naval Surface Munition
Abstract:Underwater, high-speed vehicles present several design challenges. Along with the many cavity/hydrodynamic issues are included: propulsion, control, energy density, and navigation. In addition to an underwater high-speed vehicle design, this proposal describes the development of an air phase high-speed munition concept (HSM) that employs a single watery entry event. For relative shallow depth and very high speed, underwater operations have the potential to produce a self-generating cavity. Acoustic and RF communications are difficult if not impossible through the cavity. In order to transmit and receive RF data the proposed concept requires RF communication via an embed antenna on the vehicle during the air flight phase of the con-ops. After the single water entry the HSM relies on its navigation and acoustic sensors. This proposed concept develops an engine design that will propel the vehicle in air for the first phase, and then propel the vehicle in water for the second phase. Control is performed using the movable control surfaces and/or thrust vectoring of the engine. The hull will be shaped for high-speed underwater operation.