Improvements for Continuous Active Sonar (CAS)
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace,
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS
5.0, Undersea Systems Program Office: AN/SQQ-89
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 5.4.c.(8) 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.
physics-based signal and automated information processing algorithms for
Continuous Active Sonar (CAS) to improve Detection, Classification, and
DESCRIPTION: Navy Cruisers
and Destroyers engage in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) using a variety of
methods to perform DCL of submerged threats.
CAS uses swept linear frequency-modulated signals transmitted at 100% duty
cycle to detect, classify, and localize submarines. CAS offers the benefit of
improved detection and continuous tracking relative to traditional pulsed
active sonar. In some ways, CAS is similar to Frequency Modulated Continuous
Wave (FMCW) radar and may benefit from techniques developed in the radar
community. Expert analysis of the CAS method suggests that there may be areas
where CAS DCL can be improved. CAS has some physics-based limitations, which
cause degraded performance. Variation in transmitter speed through the water
causes what is known as Doppler effect or shift. Doppler shift changes the
frequency of the transmitted waveform such that the received waveform frequency
is different from the transmitted waveform frequency, which is known as
signal-mismatch. Signal-mismatch will cause false alarms. Changes in the target
heading, bearing, and speed can cause Doppler shift in the signal. Multiple
Doppler banks in the detector partially recover signal-gain losses, but these
introduce signal-mismatch adding to degraded DCL performance. Because of the
way CAS signals are processed, these unquantified Doppler shifts can cause
range uncertainty. Range uncertainty is frequency-dependent, causing
time-varying alterations and breaks in tracks. These factors limit the
effective range of coherent update rates, complicate downstream processing, and
make it difficult for operators’ easy assessment of displayed data. Research of
current commercial sonar developments show that they utilize various forms of
active acoustic transmission and reception but do not use continuous active
Innovative physics-based automated DCL algorithms should reduce range
uncertainty by 50%, reduce signal-mismatch by 3dB, reduce false alarms by 25%,
and improve tracking. These algorithms may be in the class of front-end linear
signal processing and detection methods, back-end improvements to
classification, clustering and tracking, or methods that rely on multiple
methods used in concert.
These improvements would significantly increase CAS capability without
requiring expensive hardware changes. Additionally, these improvements would
enable streamlined processes to reduce operator workload and staffing.
The Phase II effort 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 need be, data of the same 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 for physics-based signal and automated information
processing algorithms that meet the requirements in the description. The
concept will show it can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the
Navy. Feasibility will be established through analytical modeling and
development with simulated or recorded sea data. The Government will provide
the data. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will 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 modeling and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), design,
develop, and deliver a prototype physics-based signal and information
processing algorithm for CAS performance improvement. The prototype will
demonstrate system performance through the required range of parameters given
in the description, including testing with diverse data sets. Data sets from
Cruise/Destroyer Hull Sonar and/or Littoral Combat Ship Variable Depth Sonar
(LCS-VDS) employing continuous waveforms will be used to validate the
prototype’s capabilities. The Government will provide the data. The
demonstration will take place at a Government- or company-provided facility.
Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy
production 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: Assist the Government in transitioning the technology for Navy
use in an operationally relevant environment to allow for further
experimentation and refinement. The prototype will be integrated into the IWS
5.0 surface ship ASW combat system Advanced Capability Build (ACB) program used
to update the AN/SQQ-89 Program of Record.
Commercial applications that currently utilize various forms of active acoustic
transmission and reception that could benefit from a continuous active sonar
approach include oil exploration; seismic survey; rescue and salvage; and
1. van Vossen, Dr. Robbert.
“Anti-Submarine Warfare with Continuously Active Sonar.” Sea Technology,
November 2011. http://seatechnology.com/features/2011/1111/cont_active_sonar.php
2. McDermott, Jennifer. “New
sonar designed to close technology gap.” The Day, 29 July 2010. http://www.theday.com/article/20100729/NWS09/307299479/1018
3. D’Amico, Angela and
Pittenger, Richard. “A Brief History of Active Sonar.” Aquatic Mammals, 2009, http://csi.whoi.edu/sites/default/files/literature/Full%20Text.pdf
4. Wolff, Christian.
“Frequency-Modulated Continuous-Wave Radar (FMCW Radar).” Radar Tutorial,
December 2009. http://www.radartutorial.eu/02.basics/Frequency%20Modulated%20Continuous%20Wave%20Radar.en.html
KEYWORDS: Continuous Active
Sonar; Antisubmarine Warfare; Active Sonar Waveforms; Active Sonar Detection;
Active Sonar Tracking; Active Sonar Clutter Reduction
** 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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