3-inch SONAR Countermeasure
Navy SBIR 2019.1 - Topic N191-022
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - dean.r.putnam@navy.mil
Opens: January 8, 2019 - Closes: February 6, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: 3-inch SONAR Countermeasure


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS 415, Undersea Defensive Warfare Systems Program Office.

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 3.5 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.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a smaller ADC MK 4 Mod 1 countermeasure to a 3-inch diameter form factor capable of internal launch.

DESCRIPTION: The current Acoustic Device Countermeasure (ADC) Mk 4 Mod 1 is the primary SONAR countermeasure in the U.S. Navy expendable countermeasure inventory.  It is a 6.25-inch diameter, 107-inch long, 120 lb. acoustic device stowed within the external launch tubes of the submarine. A 3-inch form factor ADC Mk 4 Mod 1 meeting the existing operational and environmental requirements would provide the Navy and the Countermeasure Program decreased lifecycle costs through reduced size, weight, and handling logistics. For example, the external countermeasures currently have a 12-year storage life and two 2-year stowage limitation. A second off-load, refurbish, and reload is required. Unlike the 6-inch device that is stored externally to the submarine pressure hull in the free flood external countermeasure launchers (ECL), the 3-inch devices will be stored onboard in a benign environment. In some cases, this will allow for bringing a SONAR countermeasure capability to existing submarines without ECL capability prior to their decommissioning. This change will also allow for greater service life, increased flexibility of the load-out quantities and opportunity to use the limited number of external launch tubes for new technologies or other capabilities without those products experiencing significant costs associated with implementing outboard stowage/launchers. These new technology/capability options include a submarine launched anti-torpedo torpedo (ATT), compact rapid attack weapon (CRAW), or unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). All of these alternate payloads extend the offensive, defensive, and sensing reach of the platform.

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.

NOTE: The following statement is required if project will be classified in Phase II “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 be 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 a concept for an end-to-end redesign of an ADC Mk 4 that meets the requirements of the Description. Include in the design the details of the acoustic projector and associated driver network designs. Establish feasibility of the design through modeling and simulation. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the specifications and anticipated (i.e., modeled) performance characteristics to build the prototype in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop and build 3-5 prototypes for testing and evaluation. Perform evaluation and testing of the prototypes based on the requirements stated in the current ADC Mk 4 performance specification that includes contractor low-level subassembly performance tests. Include acoustic evaluation, both before and after mock launches from the internal countermeasure launcher facility maintained by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.  Initial testing will be the responsibility of the executing company, while follow-on testing will be the responsibility of the Navy, with the company’s assistance.

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: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use by providing follow-on prototypes (using any lessons learned from the Phase II acoustic and internal countermeasure launcher testing) and engineering support for full environmental testing, which could include storage temperature thermal cycling, lightweight shock testing, vibration analysis, and additional acoustic evaluation testing. All pertinent requirements can be appropriately provided to awardees. There is potential for some of this testing to occur in Phase II. Ultimately, within Phase III, it is desired that at least two to three prototypes will be launched from a U.S. Navy submarine to assist in the full circle environmental evaluation of the design.

A commercial application would be the launch of measurement devices from Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUVs) given the volume optimization of the launch mechanism.


1. Burdic, William S. “Underwater Acoustic System Analysis.”  Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1991. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.391242

2. Poterala, Stephen F., et al. “Processing, texture quality, and piezoelectric properties of <001>C textured (1-x)Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)TiO3 - xPbTiO3 ceramics.”  Journal of Applied Physics 110, 014105 (2011). https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.3603045

KEYWORDS: SONAR; Acoustic Countermeasure; External Countermeasure Launcher; Internal Countermeasure Launcher; Anti-submarine Warfare; Detection and Tracking


Michael Zarnetske







Daniel LaBella







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