Multifunction-Multimodal Airborne Radar in Maritime/Littoral Environments
Navy SBIR 2018.2 - Topic N182-120
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick -
Opens: May 22, 2018 - Closes: June 20, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Multifunction-Multimodal Airborne Radar in Maritime/Littoral Environments



ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-290 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Design and develop a new multifunction-multimodal airborne radar architecture for the maritime/littoral surveillance mission.

DESCRIPTION: Advances in solid state transmitter technologies, multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) radar techniques, wideband digital radio frequency (RF), digital arbitrary waveform generators (DAWGs), and high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) have afforded an opportunity to broaden the scope of traditional radar functions and modes. From a hardware and HPEC perspective, it is now possible, theoretically, to perform a multitude of new and enhanced functions and modes including communications, electronic intelligence/signals intelligence (ELINT/SIGINT), electronic support measures (ESM), electronic attack (EA) and electronic protection (EP).

Airborne maritime and littoral surveillance radar in contested environments is facing an increasingly sophisticated set of threats due to ever evolving adversarial tactics and a global proliferation of enabling RF and HPEC technologies. Unfortunately, basic airborne surveillance radar modes and waveforms are not sufficient to meet this emerging challenge. A “back to the drawing board” approach is required to regain significant technical advantage.

This SBIR topic aims to leverage the aforementioned enabling RF and HPEC technologies to develop enhanced new modes and multifunctionality. Of particular interest are approaches that leverage adaptive space-time waveform diversity and MIMO operation for enhanced target identification and periscope detection, high-bandwidth communications, low probability of intercept (LPI) radar operation, and advanced EA/EP. New passive RF modes and functions desired include integrated ELINT/SIGINT, including rapid emitter geolocation and specific emitter identification (SEI), ESM, and passive radar using emitters of opportunity. Lastly, enhancements to existing modes are also sought including advanced synthetic aperture radar/inverse synthetic radar (SAR/ISAR), wide area surveillance (WAS), and periscope detection.

Work produced in Phase II may become 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 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 project 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 IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Develop a concept for a basic multifunction/multimodal airborne radar architecture for maritime/littoral surveillance. Develop key specific new modes and functions as described above that are consistent with the surveillance mission of the AN/APY-10 radar. Include a baseline set of quantitative implementation requirements that will form the basis for further development in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.

PHASE II: Produce a prototype architecture. Further develop, demonstrate, and validate the new multifunction/multimodal architecture for maritime/littoral surveillance consistent with the AN/APY-10 radar. Specifications for a radar system consistent with the AN/APY-10 will be provided, if needed, to the Phase II awardee. Analyze performance validation using both simulated and measured data sets. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy and potential commercial use.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The new multifunction/multimodal radar architecture will be integrated and tested within existing and developed integration labs. Flight testing will occur on a representative aircraft. Transition developed technology to appropriate platforms and commercial entities. MIMO and multifunction RF architectures could be utilized for commercial RF applications to efficiently utilize single apertures. Commercial communication industries such as cellular telephone, land mobile, and SATCOM would benefit from this development.


1. “NAWCWD team achieves automatic target recognition milestone.” NAVAIR News Release, December 4, 2014. NAWCWD Public Affairs, China Lake, CA.

2. Shannon, J. and Moser P. “A history of U.S. Navy periscope detection radar sensor design and development.” DTIC Report AD1003753, Dec. 31, 2014.

3. Trizna, D. “Statistics of low grazing angle radar sea scatter for moderate and fully developed ocean waves”. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, December 1991, Vol. 30, pp. 1681-1690. doi: 10.1109/8.121588

KEYWORDS: MIMO; Radar; Sensing; Multifunction; Multimodal; Apertures



Richard Egan





Philip Mock




These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.2 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.2 BAA SBIR pre-release on April 20, 2018, which opens to receive proposals on May 22, 2018, and closes June 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.

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