Affordable Compact HPRF/HPM Attack Warning System
Navy SBIR FY2015.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2015.2
Topic No.: N152-116
Topic Title: Affordable Compact HPRF/HPM Attack Warning System
Proposal No.: N152-116-0184
Firm: SA Photonics
120 Knowles Dr.
Los Gatos, California 95032
Contact: Dave Pechner
Phone: (408) 376-0989
Web Site:
Abstract: High Power Microwave (HPM) sources are readily available which can generate high energy microwave pulses which can disable or damage electronic systems. These attacks occur without an explosion or any other type of external indication, thus knowing an attack has occurred requires a dedicated sensor to provide warning prior to a disable/damage event. Specific platforms that are especially vulnerable are low flying rotorcraft, ground and surface vessels, and even military and government complexes. To address this need, SA Photonics has developed our Wideband Agile Threat Sensor (WATS). The system consists of multiple completely passive HPM probes connected by fiber optic cable to an electronic processing system. Our HPM probe possesses wide frequency range, excellent low end sensitivity to detect weak HPM, and an extremely high damage threshold. Our electronic receiver utilizes our wideband compressive sensing receiver technology that allows the entire frequency range to be sensed instantaneously, with no scanning time and no possibility of missed signals. In addition, the receiver is able to detect very narrow impulse signals that would be missed by envelope detection approaches. All signal characteristics are maintained allowing for full signal characterization to be performed as well as TDOA based source localization algorithms.
Benefits: Many military platforms and infrastructure are vulnerable to HPM attacks. While there have not been any large scale publically announced HPM attacks, it is only a matter of time. Thus, there is a need to be able to detect such attacks, and if possible, take actions to avoid damage to property or life. SA Photonics WATS is a complete HPM attack detection system, able to detect and classify all varieties of HPM waveforms. In addition to detection and notification of HPM attacks, WATS provides source location information as well as storage of captured data for post-mortem analysis. The passive optical probes with fiber optic interconnect make WATS suitable for both airborne platforms as well as large ground based building complexes.