SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N07-066 (Navy)
Title:  Common Low Cost Sonar Transmit Capability
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles, Sensors

Acquisition Program:  Virginia Class Attack Submarine Program (ACAT 1D)
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: This topic is “ITAR Restricted”. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign nationals may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the “Permanent Resident Card”, or are designated as “Protected Individuals” as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.
  Objective:  Utilize new sensor materials (e.g. single crystal) and advance high power electronic devices to provide a more robust active transmit capability that can support submarine communications “at speed and depth” in addition to covertly and securely mapping ocean bottoms, detecting other ships, and navigating channels.
  Description:  Submarine and surface ship active sonar systems are used in a variety of applications such as mapping the ocean bottom, ice keel avoidance, acoustic communications, depth sounders, mine detection, and navigation. Existing systems do not support communications at speed and depth (one of the highest priorities for submarines). During the last several decades, there has not been much in the way of technology that has changed the approaches used to perform active sonar functions. New advances in sensor materials and high power electronic devices have theoretically made it possible for significant active sonar improvements (size, weight, power, and cost). For example, single crystal materials can provide significant performance enhancements associated with power density and broader transmit/receive spectrum coverage. Additionally, for the past several years the growth in power electronics has been widespread, reflecting what some have called a “second electronic revolution.” This growth has been largely driven by silicon power electronics because of the levels of integration that silicon technology provides. These advancements in high power electronics have many different dynamic characteristics, including dc, pulsed dc, continuous-wave ac, and burst ac that can be applied to sonar system amplifiers and power conversion. There is a need to minimize the cost while significantly increasing the performance and density (reducing the footprint) of submarine active transmit systems. The successful proposal will seek to identify innovative approaches to improve active sonar capabilities while reducing cost associated with this functionality. Submissions should identify strategies to minimize the total cost of ownership including procurement, installation, ILS, maintenance and commonality across existing submarine platforms. Proposals should clearly identify the risks associated with the candidate technologies during phase I. Submissions should provide a path to mitigate those risks through Phase II to ensure that a producible design can be achieved in Phase III that meets the technical and cost objectives outlined above.

  PHASE I: Identify candidate technologies that can meet the required performance and power density. Provide an architecture that utilizes these technologies to support the requirements stated above. Design must consider life cycle costs (installation, ILS, maintenance, etc).
  PHASE II: Prototype leading technologies and evaluate technical performance. Build a cost model clearly identifying performance gains and cost savings of candidate technologies/architectures.

  PHASE III: Using a “System Design Approach” utilize advanced sensor materials and high power electronics to build an active sonar system that can support existing and emerging requirements such as acoustic communications “at speed at depth.

  PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: The technologies developed under this effort could be applied in any high power signal amplification environment such as commercial or DoD RADAR applications, commercial SONAR, etc.


Keywords:  transmit; sonar; active; ASW; cost

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