Celestial Navigation System for Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessels

Navy SBIR 22.2 - Topic N222-111
ONR - Office of Naval Research
Opens: May 18, 2022 - Closes: June 15, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N222-111 TITLE: Advanced Manufacturing of Piezoelectric Textured Ceramic Materials

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials / Processes;Sensors

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 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: Develop a low cost and high yield manufacturing method to fabricate textured piezo-ceramics for low frequency and high power underwater projector applications.

DESCRIPTION: Recent development of lead based piezoelectric textured ceramics, which have electromechanical properties between those of conventional PZT and relaxor crystals, has shown promise of improving acoustic transducer performance, relative to Navy Type III PZT. These materials have a high texture fraction (> 98%), a high d33 (> 600), and a loss factor of less than 10-2. The unique properties of textured ceramics have made it a material candidate for several Navy compact sonar systems, such as A-size sonobuoys. Given that sonobuoys are expendable sensors that require low per unit cost and high rates of production, it is in the Navy’s best interest that the cost of manufacturing textured ceramics is comparable (< 2X) to that of traditional PZT. This SBIR topic aims to support the emerging innovations in ceramics manufacturing with the potential to result in a high rate and high yield textured piezoelectric ceramics production line with a per unit cost comparable to traditional ceramics manufacturing.

PHASE I: Demonstrate with models, simulations, analyses or laboratory test results the viability of developing, through innovations in manufacturing processes, a 2X improvement in expected material yield for PZT ceramic material. The selected materials must be suitable for use in systems that use Navy Type III lead zirconate titanate. The improvement in expected yield should be measured relative to the vendor's current expected yields in production quantities. Develop a Phase II plan for implementing and demonstrating the proposed innovations into a prototype production system.

PHASE II: Develop the proposed prototype and demonstrate its viability for laboratory scale small batch production. Develop a plan for implementing the method at pilot scale production and demonstrating scalability from laboratory/benchtop results.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Successful development of this innovation is expected to increase incorporation of textured ceramic materials into Navy and commercial applications, such as sonar systems and medical devices, requiring high output or broadband piezoelectric devices.


  1. Moriana, Alain D. and Zhang, Shujun. "Lead-free textured piezoceramics using tape casting: A review." Journal of Materiomics, Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2018, pp. 277-303. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352847818300984
  2. Levassort, Franck;Pham Thi, Mai; Hemery, Henry; Marechal, Pierre; Tran-Huu-Hue, Louis-Pascal and Lethiecq, Marc. "Piezoelectric textured ceramics: Effective properties and application to ultrasonic transducers." Ultrasonics, Volume 44 Supplement, December 2006, pp.e621-e626. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16782147/
  3. "Textured Ceramics: From Lab Experiments To A Viable Technology." (Original article: "Texture-engineered ceramics – Property enhancements through crystallographic tailoring" DOI:10.1557/jmr.2017.207) Penn State Materials Research Institute Focus On Materials. https://www.mri.psu.edu/mri/newspubs/focus-materials/advanced-manufacturing/textured-ceramics-lab-experiments-viable
  4. Walton, Rebecca L.; Kupp,Elizabeth R. and Messing, Gary L. "Additive manufacturing of textured ceramics: A review." Journal of Materials Research, Volume 36, 2021, pp.3591–3606. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1557/s43578-021-00283-6

KEYWORDS: piezoelectric; textured ceramic; transduction; affordable; PZT; acoustic projector; SONAR


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.2 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at rt.cto.mil/rtl-small-business-resources/sbir-sttr/ for any updates.

The DoD issued its 22.2 SBIR BAA pre-release on April 20, 2022, which opens to receive proposals on May 18, 2022, and closes June 15, 2022 (12:00pm est).

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