Optimized Higher Power Microwave Sources
Navy STTR 2019.A - Topic N19A-T001
MCSC - Mr. Jeffrey Kent - jeffrey.a.kent@usmc.mil
Opens: January 8, 2019 - Closes: February 6, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Optimized Higher Power Microwave Sources



ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate

OBJECTIVE: Develop a compact, highly efficient high-power microwave (HPM) L-band and S-band source with hardened subsystems and tubes to enable the Radiofrequency- High-Power Microwave (RF-HPM) system to produce sufficient directed energy to stop vehicle and vessels engines.

DESCRIPTION: This STTR topic is seeking to develop two sets of compact, robust/mobile, highly efficient multiple or single frequency and waveform agile HPM source designs. One of these HPM sources will operate in the L-Band frequency range (0.5 to 1.5 GHz), and the other in the S-Band frequency range (2.0 to 4.0 GHz). Waveforms in these two frequency bands, at sufficient Effective Radiated Power (ERP) at the target, have proven to be effective counter-electronic HPM directed energy weapons, which interfere with the electronics on-board vehicle and vessel engines in such a way as to stall/stop these engines. Therefore, these HPM weapons have military utility for RF Vehicle Stopping, RF Vessel Stopping, and neutralization of other relevant targets where electronics are on board. The final system design should be optimized for long range vehicle and/or vessel engine stopping, with or without waveform agility (multiple frequencies). The final system design should also be optimally driven and designed to produce higher overall system output power that’s greater than conventional HPM sources (> 30MW for L-Band and > 10 MW for S-band sources) in the same or smaller overall form-factor (SWAP/C2) as conventional HPM sources. These final designs, can also result in two separate optimized HPM systems (i.e., one in the L-Band and one in the S-Band) or a single multi-frequency (short or long pulse), with pulse repetition rate of 100 - 300 Hz. [Ref 2].

This STTR topic’s concept and follow-on prototype seek to increase the peak power out of a new HPM (e.g., magnetron) tubes designs, and increase waveform/frequency agility in order to stop vehicle and vessel engines at greater ranges via HPM counter-electronic effects on the targeted engines while maintaining current conventional HPM System MTBF. As this is a directed energy weapon system, the design shall project a collimated/focused beam of HPM energy on to the target with an effective spot-size and with a real-time agile gimballed system and a low-light level/thermal imaging weapon sight be able to “acquire” the target and then be able to “hit the target” and keep the HPM energy on a moving vehicle or vessel target. This HPM energy with an effective “power on target” shall neutralize vehicle and vessel engines and by keeping this energy on the targets, be able to keep the vehicle engines stopped. This “hold down” capability shall not exceed the safe permissible exposure limits (PEL) as established by DoD Instruction 6055.11 [Ref 3]. The proposed system will integrate this single or multiple frequency HPM source into a small compact form-factor (see performance specifications provided below). These higher power HPM sources and their associated peripheral systems will include the following capabilities/performance specifications:

1. A compact RF-HPM source design with a minimum ERP of 30-40 MW in L-Band and 10-15 MW in S-Band
2. An effective vehicle stopping ranges in excess of 300 meters and an effective vessel stopping range of 100 meters
3. Pulse widths from short pulse widths of tens of nanoseconds at pulse repetition rates of greater that 150 Hz to long pulse widths of 100s of microseconds at pulse repetition rates of greater than 100 Hz
4. An overall system size and weight, with the antennas, under 150 ft3 and 3000 lbs (at 30-40 MW) in L-band and 25 ft3 and 750 lbs (at 10-15 MW) in S-band
5. Beam spot-size with an effective “power on target” shall be no larger than1/2 the width of the target at range.
6. RF-HPM source design with higher system output power with system mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) of > 3000 hours (commensurate with current L and S-band HPM sources)
7. Power consumption shall be optimized for overall system SWAP/C2 and can be supplied by compact gas generators, batteries, or via a hybrid generator/battery system.

PHASE I: Develop a conceptual design for an optimized set of HPM Vehicle and Vessel Stoppers that operate in either the L or S-Bands or both and meet or exceed the design performance specifications in the Description. Determine the technical feasibility of the concept design and model key elements that can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps through analytical modeling and simulation to provide initial assessments of the concept performance. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that addresses technical risk reduction as well as military suitability issues, such as overall system size, weight, power consumption, thermal cooling, and system cost.

PHASE II: Develop a full-scale vehicle and/or vessel stopper prototype that can be employed from a conventional DoD small tactical vehicle such as Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV or a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR). Evaluate the prototype to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan. Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters mentioned in the Description, including numerous deployment cycles. Use evaluation results to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Marine Corps use.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Joint Service and Marine Corps use. Develop additional RF-HPM Vehicle and Vessel Stopper prototype demonstrators, optimized for additional small tactical DoD platforms to include other small military vehicles, vessels, and unmanned systems. Evaluate and determine each design’s operational effectiveness and added capabilities achieved in an operationally relevant environment. Support the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD)/Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Joint Service to include Marine Corps use.

Vehicle and vessel stopping operational needs are common to many other U.S government agencies as well as for civilian law enforcement such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (specifically Secret Service and Customs and Border Protection), Department of State (DoS), Department of Justice (DoJ),)—all of which desire this long-range capability [Ref 1]. This need has strengthened recently given the weaponization of vehicles by terrorist organizations and groups. The ability to non-lethally interdict a threatening incoming vehicle and/or vessel has utility in many security checkpoint and crowd control applications to include several municipal applications.


1. “Joint Operating Environment 2035.” DoD Joint Staff; dated 2016.

2. Current NSWC-Dahlgren RF-HPM Vehicle Stopper Design Brief, 2017.

3. DoD Instruction 6055.11. “Protecting Personnel from Electromagnetic Fields”. Change 1, 10/10/2017. http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/605511p.pdf?ve

KEYWORDS: High Power Microwaves; Radio Frequency; Directed Energy; Vehicle Stopping; Vessel Stopping; Non-Lethal Weapons


David Law







Firas Nureldin







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