GPS Alternative for Reentry

Navy SBIR 21.1 - Topic N211-100
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs - Mr. Michael Pyryt -
Opens: January 14, 2021 - Closes: February 18, 2021 (12:00pm EDT)

N211-100 TITLE: GPS Alternative for Reentry

RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Nuclear Modernization

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics; Nuclear Technologies; Weapons

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: Perform research to identify position sensing solutions for times in endoatmospheric flight where Global Positioning System (GPS) is unavailable in a denied flight environment to improve navigation and fuzing. Reliance on GPS is not considered an acceptable option for use in tactical environments.

DESCRIPTION: Navigation and fuzing capability of reentry bodies improves by aiding the inertial system with external location information. There are times where GPS is unavailable and denied solutions are of increasing interest to the strategic community.

Proposals are solicited that address the following capabilities:

• Evaluate suitable technology for position observability in times of flight when GPS is unavailable in denied and GPS jammed/spoofed environments

• Develop concept implementation for <4-minute atmospheric reentry

• Design, build, lab test system prototype

• Improve fidelity of selected system design and perform lab test

• Assess other limiting factors and areas of concern

Proposed solutions should support the following:

• Radiation-Hardened Electronics (suitable for exo-atmospheric space environments including the South Atlantic Anomaly)

• System operation for up to 6-minute reentry time

• Reliable system dormancy of at least 25 years

• Capable leverage/use of existing power supply or the specifications and requirements of an alternative power solution

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 implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). 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 project as set forth by DCSA and SSP 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 advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept of a system able to provide accurate position observable to aid a current tracking technology in the place of GPS within the following parameters:

- Accurate to within 20 feet

- Accurate at sea level to 400,000 feet altitude

- Accurate at speeds up to at least Mach 4

Present the solution concept with the following support documentation through the Concept Development phase which should build confidence that the system can naturally mature in line with customer (Navy SSP) expectations to be ready for engineering development:

- Technology Assessment

- Operational Analysis

- Feasibility Experiments

- System CONOPS

- Functional Decomposition

- Functional Block Diagram

- Functional and Physical architecture

- Expected Performance

The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Mature the proven concept into the engineering development phase and build a prototype or engineering unit. Create a test profile for laboratory testing, and display system performance capability. Provide deliverables that should include but are not limited to:

- Subsystem Definitions

- Component Specifications

- Component Test Results

- System Integration Interfaces

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Demonstrate flight worthiness of prototype and produce a Flight Test Article, ready for integration into next higher assemblies. Support future production of units if the solution is selected to be incorporated into a larger system.

For commercial markets the satellite industry would be able to benefit from this technology.


  1. Russell, J.S.; Ye, M.; Anderson, B.D.O.; Hmam, H. and Sarunic, P. "Cooperative Localization of a GPS-Denied UAV Using Direction-of-Arrival Measurements." IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, vol. 56, no. 3, June 2020, pp. 1966-1978. doi: 10.1109/TAES.2019.2942704
  2. Pierrottet, D.F.; Amzajerdian, F.; Hines, G.D.; Barnes, B.W.; Petway, L.B. and Carson, J.M. "Lidar Development at NASA Langley Research Center for Vehicle Navigation and Landing in GPS Denied Environments." 2018 IEEE Research and Applications of Photonics In Defense Conference (RAPID), Miramar Beach, FL, 2018, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.1109/RAPID.2018.8508958

KEYWORDS: GPS Alternatives; Navigation; SAASM; LIDAR; Inertial Aiding; Hypersonic; Radiation-Hardened Electronics


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 21.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its 21.1 SBIR BAA pre-release on December 8, 2020, which opens to receive proposals on January 14, 2021, and closes February 18, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Direct Contact with Topic Authors: During the pre-release period (Dec 8, 2020 to January 13, 2021) proposing firms have an opportunity to directly contact the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the specific BAA topic. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on January 14, 2021 no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed unless the Topic Author is responding to a question submitted during the Pre-release period.

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