Innovative Millimeter Wave Positioning System for Collision/Obstacle/Brown-Out with Sense and Avoidance
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-061
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Innovative Millimeter Wave Positioning System for Collision/Obstacle/Brown-Out with Sense and Avoidance


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics


ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA266 Navy and Marine Corp Multi-Mission Tactical UAS


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 an Ultra-Low SWaP, minimal aperture projection, 360 degree coverage millimeter wave Collision/Obstacle/Brown-Out with Sense and Avoidance system (COBOSA) capable of tracking one or more objects with centimeter accuracy in both range and velocity suitable for employment on an airborne platform.


DESCRIPTION: In both manned and unmanned aviation, onboard sensors including radar, with autonomy and hazard identification ability, are necessary for avoiding collisions with other aircraft and ground obstacles. In manned aviation, even an experienced pilot in brown-out and dense fog can lose situational awareness. Radar systems in use today have limitations and visual cues can help mitigate those limitations. Current antennas systems for this application are usually large and single-function. The Navy seeks technology to address those concerns through the development of a Low SWaP millimeter wave COBOSA system with centimeter accuracy for application on airborne platforms. Potential applications for this system include a landing system augmentation solution, close proximity formation flying solution, sense and avoid sensor solution, and operations under degraded visual environment (DVE) conditions. COBOSA should provide a fast scanning, antenna/radar system for obstacle avoidance, from 5 ft. away from aircraft out to 1 nautical mile (NM), and high-resolution detection of ground obstacles like large rocks, power wires, trees, buildings, and other aircraft with a minimum nominal update rate of 100 Hz. The system should consider utilizing design elements that include Low Probability of Detection/Low Probability of Intercept (LPD/LPI), adaptive power, and electronically scanned antenna arrays. In addition, the proposed solution should include a detailed propagation model that would predict multi/wide band propagation effects to aid in accuracy and multi-sensor registration. The system needs to function in degraded visibility conditions (including brown-out) and light rain, and should provide cueing for detected hazards at a nominal 100 Hz update/refresh rate with a nominal latency of less than 1 millisecond plus the Signal in Space radar round trip propagation time. To support the sense and avoid function, the system would be required to meet applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) specifications such as RTCA DO-366 [Ref 4].

The desired physical and environmental characteristics of the fully developed solution may include the following:


Qualification testing to include MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-704F, and MIL-STD-461G Operating temperature -40°C to +71°C

Weight 15 lbs. or less

Airborne operation to 60,000 ft. 350 cubic inch volume



PHASE I: Develop a conceptual prototype and perform any lab hardware demonstrations that show the COBOSA concept is feasible. Present a clear plan for Phase II COBOSA prototype development that is backed by solid analysis and cost estimates. Include all technical challenges to realize this objective. Validate the approach through modeling, simulation, and experiments to assess the technical feasibility and characterize performance. Develop a Phase II plan.


PHASE II: Further refine the approach from Phase I and develop a working prototype predicated on the feasibility results of Phase I. This should include testing to verify, refine, and validate the models and approach from Phase I. Incorporate the COBOSA sensor(s)/system with a Government-provided collision avoidance software suite (with algorithms), referred to as AACUS. Include transition costs, maturation efforts required, and any technical challenges to realize this objective. Develop a Phase III transition plan to integrate the capability on candidate platforms.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support integration and demonstration of technology into airborne platforms. Perform final testing that would include demonstrating the suitability of any hardware and software for application into an airborne environment.


Much of the technology developed under this effort can be leveraged by the private sector for use in aviation and public safety applications such as commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), General Aviation, Remote

Inspection, and Search and Rescue.



1.   Zhou, Gang. “Automobile Anti-collision Millimeter-wave Radar Signal Processing.” 7th International Conference on Intelligent Human-Machine Systems and Cybernetics, 2015.


2.  Turk, Ahmet Serdar, Keskin, Ahmet Kenan, Uysal, Husamettin, Kizilay, Ahmet, and Demirel, Salih. “Millimeter Wave Short Range Radar System Design.” 2016 IEEE Radar Methods and Systems Workshop, September 27-28, 2016, Kyiv, Ukraine.


3.   Seidel, C., Schwartz, I., and Kielhorn, P. "Helicopter collision avoidance and brown-out recovery with HELLAS". Proceedings. SPIE 7114, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications II, 71140G, 2 October 2008.


4.   RTCA DO-366 “Minimum Operation Performance Standards (MOPS) for Air-to-Air Radar for Traffic Surveillance.” store


5.   Lee, J., Kang, M., Oh, J. and Lee, Y.H. "Space-Time Alignment for Channel Estimation in Millimeter Wave Communication with Beam Sweeping." IEEE Global Communications Conference: Singapore, 2017.


6.   Wang, Y., Zhang, Z., and Li, H. “Universal Quickest Sensing of Spectrum Change in Millimeter Wave Communications: A Data Driven Approach.” IEEE Global Communications Conference: Singapore, 2017.


7.   “ITU Radiocommunication Assembly (Rec. ITU-R PN.837-1 Characteristics of Precipitation for Propagation Modelling).” ITU, 1994.!!PDF-E.pdf


8.   RTCA DO-365 "Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Detect and Avoid (DAA) Systems." store


KEYWORDS: Collision Avoidance; Millimeter Wave; Brown-Out; Sense And Avoid; Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System; Radar



John Propst





David Kyser





Greg Makrakis





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These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.2 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.2 BAA SBIR pre-release on May 2, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on May 31, 2019, and closes July 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

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