TITLE: Ruggedized High
Speed Optical Fiber Network Connector for Next Generation Submarine
Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems
Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS435-
Submarine Electromagnetic Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a
ruggedized connector for use with commercially available high-speed switches
and network interface cards that is low cost, maintains high data rates,
operates in harsh environments, and has high mean time between failures to be
utilized by Next Generation Architecture (NGA).
DESCRIPTION: The focus of
this topic is to increase the durability of Fiber Optic (FO) high-speed network
connectors Quad Small Form –factor Pluggable (QSFP+) in harsh military
environments (submarine environmental qualification test). The connector should
have cost and support data rates comparable to COTS products but survive in
harsh environments, and have higher mean time between failures than COTS.
As a part of the Submarine Electronic Warfare (EW) Next Generation Architecture
(NGA) multi-layered system approach, a high-speed optical network is required.
Currently, the architecture utilizes commercially available Ethernet (10 GbE,
40 GbE, and 100 GbE) and 56 Gbps Infiniband interfaces.
All current high-speed
optical network connection methods suffer from an identical vulnerability
point: they all utilize a very fragile conversion and transport mechanism in
the form of FO cables and fragile interface connectors (Quad Small Form –
factor Pluggable – QSFP+) that may not survive the rigors of installation and
operation aboard undersea platforms.
The Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP+) connector is a compact,
hot-swapped transceiver used for telecommunication applications. It interfaces
with a network device motherboard; such as a switch or router, to a fiber optic
or copper networking cable This type of connector is prevalent in the
high-speed backbone of the Electronic Warfare Next Generation Architecture (EW
The commercial QSFP+ connector has certain failures, which have to be
mitigated. The Electrical Interface and Pin-Out (edge of the transmitter) is
exposed, and during normal handling, the connection with a 38-pin edge is being
damaged causing the transceiver to fail. As previously mentioned, the
transceivers are fragile components and when dropped, the Electrical Interface
and Pin-Out can easily be damaged causing the interface to malfunction. More
failures are anticipated when the QSFP+ connector is being operated under
shocks, vibration and electromagnetic interference (EMI) environment [Reference
The Phase II and Phase III efforts will likely require secure access, and
NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and
facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require
access to classified information. If required, data of the dame level of
complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work.
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
contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA 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 advance
phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Develop an
innovative concept to prevent connector failure in the high-speed backbone of
future submarines EW systems operating conditions due to harsh environment,
such as, shock, vibration, and EMI. Develop a concept for advanced networking
interface that meets the requirements as stated in the topic description.
Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept through modeling analysis and
testing and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useful
product for the Navy. The Phase I Option, if awarded, must include the initial
design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in
Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the
results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), develop and
deliver a prototype rugged connection interface for evaluation to determine its
capability in meeting the performance goals and the Navy requirements for a
Next Generation Architecture EW Networking Layer for submarine. System
performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or
analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous
deployment cycles. Using evaluation results, refine the prototype into an initial
design that will meet Navy requirements. Prepare a Phase III development plan
to transition the technology to Navy 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: If successfully demonstrated in Phase II, support the Navy in
transitioning the technology for Navy use. Develop a Next Generation EW Rugged
Interface Connection for submarines for evaluation to determine its
effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Support the Navy for
test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.
Commercial use of this technology includes telecommunications applications in
electronic devices, particularly transferring high data through-puts for a
dense environment. These systems use the data to be transported across a
network fabric for further processing.
1. Department of Defense Test
Method Standard “Mechanical Vibrations of Shipboard Equipment.” MIL-STD-167-1A.
2. "Cisco 40-Gigabit
QSFP+ Transceiver Modules Installation Note." Cisco Systems, 03 Oct. 2012.
3. Xiang, Haifei, Song, Jian,
Iiu, Fengman, Gao, Wei, Li, B. and Wan, Lixi. "Failure analysis and test
for high speed packaging, HDMI packaging and QSFP packaging." 2010 11th
International Conference on Electronic Packaging Technology & High Density
Packaging, Xi'an, China, 2010, pp. 1158-1161.
4. Ammendola, R. et al.
"High speed data transfer with FPGAs and QSFP+modules." IEEE Nuclear
Science Symposium & Medical Imaging Conference, Knoxville, TN, 2010, pp.
KEYWORDS: Quad Small
Form-factor Pluggable; QSFP+ connector; High Speed Network Interface; Digitized
Spectrum; Infiniband Interfaces; High Speed Network Transceiver.
** 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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