Advanced Command and Control Architectures for Autonomous Sensing
Navy STTR 2018.B - Topic N18B-T030
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick -
Opens: May 22, 2018 - Closes: June 20, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Advanced Command and Control Architectures for Autonomous Sensing


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-266 Navy and Marine Corp Multi-Mission Tactical UAS

OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative system-of-systems approach to air vehicle command and control (C2) that facilitates a high degree of autonomy combined with highly efficient human interaction.

DESCRIPTION: Achieving higher levels of autonomy in uncertain, unstructured, and dynamic environments is critical for maritime situational awareness. Currently, many contributing elements such as decision engine technology and operator interfaces that would facilitate the desired level of autonomy exist as disparate elements yet to be integrated into a synergistic application. A variety of autonomous platform and sensor control approaches are under development. Multiple vessel classification and identification approaches are being pursued and fusion techniques are maturing to combine information to build knowledge of patterns of life and quickly identify abnormal or threatening behaviors. Key mission sets that the C2 approach should address run the gamut from participation in the Global War on Terrorism to conducting maritime security and interception operations and participating in numerous coalition operations. Increased autonomy changes the nature of operator involvement, creating significant new challenges in the areas of human-machine interaction. The Navy seeks autonomous platform and sensor systems command and control approaches that support intelligent decision-making and provide understandable and predictable behavior. Overall system architecture may leverage state-of-the-art C2 applications such as the Navy’s Minotaur Mission Processor as the basis to build in greater levels of autonomy.

PHASE I: Develop the system architecture and demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative C2 structure for autonomous operations. Provide a detailed description of the overall approach and an assessment of the underlying autonomous engine’s understandability and predictability. Develop a detailed architectural description clearly identifying all primary functional elements and the development required to sufficiently mature the approach. Prepare a software development and support plan that maximizes the flexibility of the application and its ability to be easily enhanced in the future. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype C2 application using the framework developed in Phase I. Demonstrate the capability in a representative operational airborne maritime surveillance environment.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Complete the development and testing of the application on a suitable Navy maritime surveillance platform. Transition the technology to the Navy as a software upgrade to its candidate maritime surveillance platforms. The application is generally applicable to multiple autonomous sensing systems for security, law enforcement, border protection, or exclusive economic zone monitoring.


1. Jain, A. K., Duin, R. P. W., and Mao, J. “Statistical Pattern Recognition: A Review”. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume: 22, Issue: 1, Jan 2000, pp. 4-37. DOI: 10.1109/34.824819

2. Benavoli, A., Chisci, L., Farina, A., Immediata, S., Timmoneri, L., and Zappa, G. “Knowledge-based system for multi-target tracking in a littoral environment”. IEEE Transaction on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, VOL. 42, NO. 3, November 2006. DOI: 10.1109/TAES.2006.248193

3. Duda, R.O., Hart, P.E., and Stork, D.G. “Pattern Classification”. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001, pp. xx + 654

KEYWORDS: Autonomous Sensing; Command and Control; Maritime Surveillance; Unmanned Aircraft; Radar; Patterns of Life



Ollie Allen





Greg Makrakis




These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.B STTR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.B BAA SBIR pre-release on April 20, 2018, which opens to receive proposals on May 22, 2018, and closes June 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.

Between April 20, 2018 and May 21, 2018 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. During these dates, their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed starting May 22, 2018
when DoD begins accepting proposals for this BAA.
However, until June 6, 2018, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the DoD's SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS during the Open BAA period for questions and answers and other significant information relevant to their SBIR/STTR topics of interest.

Topics Search Engine: Visit the DoD Topic Search Tool at to find topics by keyword across all DoD Components participating in this BAA.

Proposal Submission: All SBIR/STTR Proposals must be submitted electronically through the DoD SBIR/STTR Electronic Submission Website, as described in the Proposal Preparation and Submission of Proposal sections of the program Announcement.

Help: If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR/STTR Help Desk at 800-348-0787 or via email at