SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-131 (Navy)
Title:  Increased Target Selectivity Harpoon Seeker
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Weapons

Acquisition Program:  PMA-201, Precision Strike Weapons, ACAT II
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): 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 Citizens 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 citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.
  Objective:  Develop a low-cost approach that will significantly improve a sequential search radar seekers probability of acquiring the intended target in a target-rich environment.
  Description:  The current Harpoon weapon uses a radar seeker that sequentially searches an Area of Uncertainty (AOU). This method starts by searching for targets within an assigned search area (in both azimuth and elevation) and when it gets a return it determines if the return is clutter or a target. If the return is determined to be a target, the seeker will start tracking the return/target. The current Harpoon guidance control unit (GCU) has sufficient processing power to implement a basic target mapping capability, but does not have sufficient data and control using the current seeker interface. Implementation of the appropriate algorithms in the GCU with only minor modifications to the seeker and/or its interface as well as improved target selectivity is desired. Several engineering studies have been performed over the last 25 years along with hardware demonstrations showing the benefits of using track-while-scan (TWS) algorithms to improve target selection accuracy in a target-rich environment. These demonstrations have primarily assumed that these algorithms would be performed within the seeker where the target detection information is most readily accessible. While most would agree with this logic, its implementation would require a major modification to a large portion of the Harpoon seeker inventory. The cost of such a major seeker upgrade has proven to be cost-prohibitive. While the newer SLEP (service life extension program) seeker was designed with this requirement in mind, it represents only a small portion of the overall seeker population. Other alternatives that might provide significant target selection capability at a much lower cost are desired. The overall goal of this SBIR is to determine the impact of going from a sequential search radar seeker to a TWS radar seeker that would increase target selectivity. The sequential radar seeker, described above, relies on certain features to meet performance requirements (e.g. probability of false alarm, search times, and dwell times). Representative unclassified performance figures will be provided to support phase I of this SBIR. The TWS system would start searching for targets and when it gets a return it would determine if it is a target or clutter. If it is determined to be a target, a track file would be generated and the seeker would continue searching for other targets.

  PHASE I: Determine and demonstrate the feasibility of developing a low-cost approach to increasing the target selection capability of a sequential search seeker in a target-rich environment.
  PHASE II: Develop a prototype and demonstrate the improved target selection capability of the selected technology. This will involve implementing the recommendation(s) from phase I in actual hardware which is classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material in accordance with DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.

  PHASE III: Transition the increased target selectivity seeker upgrade to the Harpoon platform. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The algorithms developed would be applicable to non-military radar systems such as those used by the FAA and U.S. Coast Guard.. There is also a potential to use these algorithms in a collision avoidance system for automobiles.

  References:   1. Gonzalez, Rafael C. & Woods, Richard E. (1992). Digital Image Processing. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. 2. Theodoridis, S. & Koutroumbas, K.(2009). Pattern Recognition. Burlington: Academic Press 3. Skolnik, M. (2008). Radar Handbook, 3rd Edition. 4. Skolnik, M. (2002). Introduction to Radar Systems. MacGraw-Hill. 5. Stimson, G. (2000). Introduction to Airborne Radar 2nd Edition

Keywords:  Harpoon Weapon System; Guidance Control Unit; Target Selectivity; Track While Scan Algorithm; RF Seeker; Surface Warfare

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