SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-140 (Navy)
Title:  Bistatic Radar Receiver/Processor
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Sensors, Electronics

Acquisition Program:  PMA-290, EP-3E Joint Airborne SIGINT Architecture - ACAT III
 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:  Develop a highly automated digital signal processor (DSP) that receives and processes bistatic radar emissions and displays on an airborne platform.
  Description:  Bistatic radar processing by airborne Signals Intelligence/Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (SIGINT/ISR) platforms affords covert, passive exploitation of adversary or own-force radar systems to improve tactical situational awareness and fused intelligence products. The system design should have high Radio Frequency (RF) and/or processing gain, wide field-of-regard (360 degree optimal), be capable of being configured via software/firmware to duplicate victim radar’s external operating parameters, thereby emulating victim radar’s receiver functions, and displaying targets and clutter illuminated by victim radars. Innovative design will be required provide technical solution to seemingly contradictory requirements for high system sensitivity with concurrent very wide field-of-regard, and ability to display relatively small RCS targets useful ranges. Additionally, proposed system must be able to automatically correct inherent bistatic cardioid range distortion to provide a range corrected (circular) display. Initial interest is for a system designed for use onboard an aircraft flying up to 180 nm away from the victim radar and capturing the victim radar’s target return picture (curvature of the earth and terrain masking considered), as well as Radar Cross Section (RCS) vs Range dependency considered. System must be able to automatically achieve parameter synchronization (RF/Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF)/Pulse Width (PW)/SCAN/SCAN RATE) with selected victim radar and display radar targets. Proposed designs contain provisions for input of additional digital/analog signals/data, such as Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) data, for simultaneous display with bistatic radar data (spare channel inputs). 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 I: Determine technical feasibility of automating the capture and display bistatic radar signals, and optimizing primary bistatic performance parameters.
  PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate prototype bistatic radar system with optimized sensitivity and ability to integrate additional signals using simulated signals and targets.

  PHASE III: Define emitters to be exploited and develop display ranges versus RCS versus radar Effective Radiated Power (ERP) tables for those emitters. Transition technology to appropriate platform. Expected Navy transition platforms include P-8, EP-3E, EP-X. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Commercial Vessel Navigation Backup (ability to use coastal and/or harbor radars to provide additional weather and radar/navigation information), Counter-Drug Enforcement (provides for covert means to track vessels of interest without alerting target vessels to the presence of Counter Drug Forces.).

  References:   1. Willis, N. J. (2005). Bistatic Radar. Raleigh: SciTech Publishing, Inc. 2. Willis, N. J., & Griffiths, H. D. (2007)Advances in Bistatic Radar. Raleigh: SciTech Publishing, Inc. 3. Skolnik, M. I. (2008) Radar Handbook (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Professional

Keywords:  Bistatic Radar; Receiver/Processor; High Sensitivity; Passive Radar Exploitation; SIGINT; Auto-Range Correction

Questions and Answers:
Q: Discussions with the TPOCs indicated that some issues mentioned by this solicitation (such as parameter synchronization) have already been solved. Is that correct?
A: It is well known that bi-static radar was created during World War II, so, yes, much is known about the technical and mathematical requirements to enable a remote, range-corrected display of bistatic targets/clutter illuminated by geographically removed radar emitters. Much of this technology was analog in nature and achieving a useful bistatic display was a tedious, man-intensive process. While parameter synchronization may have been solved for analog systems, part of this topic's challenge is to replicate those solutions in digital architectures minimizing, operator involvement.

The thrust of this topic is to automate and digitize as much of the known bistatic solution as possible, and to be able to digitally preserve bistatic clutter maps for further processing. In addition to automating and digitizing most of the overall process and display functions, this topic further seeks innovative means to improve intercepted signal quality/sensitivity, and optimize the system's field-of-regard while achieving range-corrected clutter maps that will lend themselves to further analysis.

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