TITLE: Low Cost Persistent
Environmental Measurement System
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA 290
Maritime Surveillance Aircraft
OBJECTIVE: Develop an
air-launched persistent ocean environment measurement system that is capable of
gathering and transmitting water column information at a low cost per profile.
DESCRIPTION: In order to
properly model sensor performance, accurate year-round ocean environment data
is required. Currently either a ship is deployed to make profile measurements
or an expendable buoy is launched from an airborne platform to make a single
profile measurement. Both of these methods are costly, on the order of
thousands of dollars per measurement.
A persistent, profiling system is required to gather high-density measurements
of the ocean environment. If a single system can perform hundreds of profiles
over the course of many months, the cost per profile would be on the order of
tens of dollars vs the current thousands of dollars. The Navy is well equipped
to air deploy A-sized buoys anywhere in the world and therefore the profiling
system will need to be rugged enough and of the proper form factor to be
certified for airborne buoy launching systems. In general, the envelope of the
system cannot exceed 4 7/8 inches in diameter and 36 inches in length, and the
system must weigh less than 40 pounds. An example of the launch envelope and
environmental factors for an existing air-launched A-sized buoy can be found in
Due to the diverse nature of the Navy’s sensor systems, a variety of
environmental measurements are required, and therefore a modular approach
should be taken when considering the incorporation of multiple instruments into
the profiling vehicle. The profile measurements currently of high interest are
temperature, pressure, salinity, and diffuse attenuation coefficient.
The depth profile, from near surface to 1,000 feet, measurement of interest is
directional acoustic background noise, in the range of a few Hertz to a few
kilo-Hertz. However, the priorities and needs will evolve over time and will
require a flexible architecture so that individual sensors can be replaced with
minimal non-reoccurring expenses.
Finally, the data taken by the profiling vehicle will need to be recovered
remotely, and using Iridium or another worldwide communication system,
processed and delivered to the Navy. A web-based methodology would help keep
the per profile cost to a minimum.
PHASE I: Develop and
demonstrate a system concept for an air-launched, persistent ocean environment
measurement system that can remotely deliver profile measurements from near
surface to 1000 feet to the Navy. Identify technological and reliability
challenges of the design approach, and propose viable risk mitigation
strategies. Develop modular measurement approach to ensure current and future
flexibility. The Phase I effort will include the development of prototype
plans for Phase II.
PHASE II: Design, fabricate,
and test a prototype system and demonstrate open-water measurement capability
with at least two different measurement types based on the design from Phase
I. Work with the Navy to certify the prototype design for air-launch
capability [Ref 1].
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Produce multiple copies of the low-cost, persistent measurement
system; produce multiple copies of the system with sensor variants; conduct
in-situ testing and deliver data products. There are several potential
commercial applications for this technology. The commercial fishing industry
could use this tool to track ocean conditions favorable to the type of fish to
be netted. The climate and weather prediction industry could use this tool to
track evolving ocean conditions, a key factor for their analyses.
1. MIL-S-81478C Military
Specification for AN/SSQ-57A http://everyspec.com/MIL-SPECS/MIL-SPECS-MIL-S/MIL-S-81478C_24751/
Unmanned Undersea Systems." Defense Science Board Report, Oct 2016. http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/2010s/Next-Generation_Unmanned_Undersea_Systems.pdf
KEYWORDS: Profile; Buoy;
Persistent; Ocean Measurement; Water Column; Modular
** TOPIC NOTICE **
These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 29, 2017, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2018, and closes February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.
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