SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  DTRA07-007 (DTRA)
Title:  Sensor for Electromagnetic Threats
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Nuclear Technology

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  New low-cost technologies for sensing electromagnetic threats from different emissions of high power microwave (HPM) sources.
  Description:  Electromagnetic threats pose significant problems to electronics; and it is important in operation of military and critical civilian systems to determine when the systems are being irradiated. An innovative electromagnetic (EM) warning sensor is desired that can alert system operators of undesired intense EM radiation on their systems. The sensor is expected to operate primarily for high-power microwave with a low false alarm rate. It is important to be able to handle different emissions (e.g., frequency, intensity) that are possible. A network of several sensor elements and a variable alarm threshold may be required to reduce false alarms. While the nuclear EMP threat signal has been specified (examples can be found in IEC 6100-2-9 and MIL-STD-464), the HPM threat signal is not as well characterized. It can be assumed, however, to include approximately 100-ns to 1-microsecond pulses in the frequency range of 0.5 – 3 GHz. It may or may not be repetitive. Project involves a moderate-to-high degree of technical risk due to the wide variation in EM signal possible and the hazard a particular presents to wide variety of systems. Feasibility of the technology to be developed is based upon success in other microwave applications of this complexity. The objective HPM sensor should be capable of identifying time(s) of attack and frequency of attack. It should also be small/compact, require low operating power and provide a level and excursion audible signals as outputs indicating presence of an EM threat. The sensor should be capable of surviving exposure to 5 W/cm2 for HPM.

  PHASE I: Proof of concept should be demonstrated by analysis and/or preliminary experimental device. A detailed plan for further engineering development and for demonstration testing during Phase 2 should also be provided.
  PHASE II: Successfully demonstrate the operation of the prototype EM sensor to warn against electromagnetic threats.

  PHASE III: Demonstration of EM sensor should encourage various system program offices to consider inclusion of sensor into their systems that have a specification to operate in EM threat environment. Dual use of EM sensor for warning of EM exposure from potential terrorist threats to both military systems and commercial facilities/civilian infrastructures is a plus. Such a sensor could have important application to civilian aircraft and key civilian computer installations, to include supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

  References:  1. "Personal Microwave Dosimeter," data sheet Model 5000830, Market Central, Inc., 500 Business Center Drive, Pittsburg, PA 15205. 2. References under "Microwave Detection" and "Microwave Detectors" on Worldwide Web (e.g.,

Keywords:  High-power microwave, sensor, electromagnetic, HPM

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