Large Instantaneous Bandwidth High Dynamic Range Digitizer
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-104
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Large Instantaneous Bandwidth High Dynamic Range Digitizer


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS 435, Submarine Electromagnetic Systems

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 large instantaneous bandwidth digitizer with bandwidth, effective number of bits and dynamic range greater than available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) digitizers with similar instantaneous bandwidths.


DESCRIPTION: The AN/BLQ-10(V) Submarine Electronic Warfare System provides critical situational awareness for the submarine platform when at periscope depth via electronic surveillance (ES) intercepts facilitated by signals intelligence (SIGINT) receivers. These receivers are comprised of radio frequency (RF) digitizers (i.e., RF front end and analog to digital converters) and sophisticated back end processing (i.e., field programmable gate arrays or graphics processing unit). With the increasingly congested and contested electromagnetic environment, the instantaneous bandwidth (IBW), effective number of bits (ENOB), and spur-free dynamic range (SFDR) of the RF digitizer are becoming increasingly critical to enable ES systems effectiveness. Today’s commercial state-of-the-art analog and narrow IBW digital receivers are insufficient to keep pace with the threat environment and cannot provide sufficient signal fidelity to enable successful down-stream processing. Current technology offers solutions with sufficient IBW or ENOB / SFDR, but does not offer a solution capable of achieving both simultaneously. The Navy is seeking technology that has the potential to improve signals intelligence receivers, which would improve electronic surveillance systems and overall situational awareness.


The Navy seeks development of a RF digitizer that is capable of achieving IBWs greater than 4 GHz. The digitizer should be capable of ENOB greater than 10 bits and SFDR greater than 70 dBc (decibels relative to the carrier) when operating in the first or second Nyquist zone. At a minimum, the digitizer should be coupled with a processor (i.e., Field Programmable Gate Array or GPU) capable of converting the raw data into an ANSI/VITA-49 compliant format to be provided by the Navy during Phase II. The RF digitizer should adhere to the 6U OpenVPX form factor, which defines maximum size, weight, power, and cooling per slot (see ANSI/VITA 65-2017). A solution requiring more than one VPX slot is acceptable.


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 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: Define and develop a concept for an RF digitizer capable of achieving the threshold performances objectives defined in the Description. Perform modeling and simulation to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept with respect to expected performance, size, weight, power consumption, and cooling considerations. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, would include the initial layout and description to preface the prototype development in Phase II.


PHASE II: Develop, fabricate, and deliver one prototype RF digitizer. Refine the base design to demonstrate the performance objectives defined in the Description are met via a benchtop test at a minimum. Provide an interface control document detailing aspects such as mechanical, electrical, and control interfaces. Prepare a plan to transition the technology to the Navy under the Phase III.


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 Navy to adapt and transition the technology to the AN/BLQ- 10(V) through PMS435 Submarine Electromagnetic Systems Program Office. Adapt the technology to integrate with the rest of the electronic warfare system. This technology has the potential to improve many other military systems across multiple agencies.

Beyond the military, this technology could be of use to the radio frequency measurement community. REFERENCES:

1.  Mukhanov, O. A., et al. "A superconductor high-resolution ADC." IEEE Transactions on Applied

Superconductivity, Vol. 11, no. 1, March 2001, pp. 601-606. doi: 10.1109/77.919417


2.   Kumar, M. and Varshney, S. "A 4.2GS/s 4-bit ADC in 45nm CMOS Technology." 2013 IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PrimeAsia), Visakhapatnam pp. 24-28. doi: 10.1109/PrimeAsia.2013.6731172


3.   Drake, P.M. and Rabuka, D.. “Recent Developments in ADC Technology: Preclinical Studies Signal Future Clinical Trends.” BioDrugs, December 2017, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp. 521-531.


4.   Rylov, S. V., Bunz, L. A., Gaidarenko, D. V., Fisher, M. A., Robertazzi, R. P., and Mukhanov, O. A. "High resolution ADC System." IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, June 1997, Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 2649- 2652. doi: 10.1109/77.621783


5.   Moslemi, M. and Babayan-Mashhadi, S. "A novel power-efficient architecture for high-speed flash ADCs." 2014 22nd Iranian Conference on Electrical Engineering (ICEE), Tehran, 2014, pp. 247-250. doi: 10.1109/IranianCEE.2014.6999541


KEYWORDS: Large Bandwidth; High Dynamic Range; High Resolution; Wideband Digitizer; Digital Receiver; RF Digitizer



Robert Dougenik






Matthew Alberg






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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