Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator for Use in Submarine-Launched Missile
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-136
SSP - Mr. Mark Hrbacek -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator for Use in Submarine-Launched Missile



TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Sensors, Weapons ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Trident II D5 Life Extension 2

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 and demonstrate Remote Analog-to-Digital technologies that can be applied to Submarine- Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) systems to enable legacy analog systems to interface with modern and modular avionics, while minimizing structural impacts to the existing missile.


DESCRIPTION: Legacy ballistic missile avionics use analog signals to drive controls and receive feedback. Modernizing legacy missile systems with a digital bus will improve modularity and supportability, but requires integrating digital avionics with legacy analog control systems. Analog to Digital conversion at the analog device provides the maximum flexibility for potential avionics solutions.


Specific system requirements have yet to be determined, but the technology would enable a device to perform the following functions:

a)   Receive regulated DC power via copper wire (representative specification will be provided after award)

b)   Receive and send digital signals via interconnect

c)   Convert digital displacement command signals into analog signals transmitted to the system

d)   Monitor analog displacement sensor, convert to digital and transmit via interconnect

e)   Provide AC power to displacement sensor (1 Watt target)


The technology would be required to survive unique environments for SLBM applications including underwater launch pressure and humidity, short-duration high temperatures, mechanical flight dynamics, natural space radiation, and strategic radiation exposure. Applicable MIL-STDs include 461 for EMI, 883 for flight environments, and 2169 for EMP.


The remote unit technology will later be packaged in a form factor with two connector provisions (one for the legacy component, and the other to connect to the digital network). Some features and capabilities to consider as goals:

a)   Develop a communication network that will support multi-mode optical fiber for data communication

b)   Leverage use of existing standards for power and DC/DC converters (i.e., 48V power referenced)

c)   Use the digital side of the remote in the quality assessment and acceptance testing for the controller and displacement sensor

The following should be addressed by this effort:

•   Identify and assess potential packaging technologies that can be used for Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator o Small Form Factor (approximately 1 inch in diameter by 3 inch length)

o      Robust Fiber Cable to Remote Translator Connection

•   Identify limitations and mitigations o Data Rate (1Mbps minimum)

o      Temperature Ranges

•  Identify potential threat concerns (e.g., cyber security) and mitigations

•   Identify any potential obsolescence concerns and mitigations for a system that could have a 30 year lifespan o Material Technologies

o      Electronics Obsolescence

•   Concept of operations for various Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator approaches o Initialization

o      Circumvention and Recovery

o      Safe States

o      Test Interface

o      Built In Self Test

•   Identify if current Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware / electronics can be utilized or if custom electronics / hardware must be developed

•   Ability to survive typical missile environments (i.e., shock, vibe, vacuum, short duration <60 minutes of space radiation exposure, strategic radiation hardness)

•   Assessment of any other limiting factors or areas of concern


PHASE I: Develop a proof-of-concept solution; identify a candidate system architecture(s) to meet needs for a SLBM. Conduct a feasibility assessment for the proposed application showing changes needed in contrast to existing systems. Address, at a minimum, the capabilities/limitations listed in the Description. At the completion of Phase I, document the design and assessment Phase II consideration in a Phase II development plan.


PHASE II: Demonstrate a prototype Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator system that meets the capabilities listed in the Description. Test the manufactured prototypes in simulated flight environments and collect performance data, which may be used to characterize the capabilities of the design. Include in this task: Define and demonstrate methods to initialize Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator; provide simulated Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator operation in network environment; and demonstrate ability to maintain safety during nominal and off nominal system operation. Define and demonstrate how to detect erroneous outputs and seamlessly handle communication data dropouts.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop and demonstrate the proposed modifications to the Phase II design which may be used to create a Remote Analog-to-Digital Translator system that can be used for modernization of various aerospace weapon systems including: Trident II (D5) and future generations, submarine- launched cruise missiles, submarine-launched intermediate range missiles, and ground-based missile systems.



1.   Keys, Andrew S., Adams, James H., Patrick, Marshall C., Johnson, Michael A., and Cressler, John D. “Radiation Hardened Electronics for Space Environments (RHESE) Project.” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 24 September 2007.


2.   Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) Tutorial. TE Connectivity, 2017. en/industries/sensor-solutions/insights/lvdt-tutorial.html


KEYWORDS: Analog; Digital; Converter; Radiation; Hardened; Avionics; Legacy



Neil Choudhary






Jim Ross






Chris Moore






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