Development of High Temperature Sensor Windows for Hypersonic Applications

Navy SBIR 22.1 - Topic N221-084
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Opens: January 12, 2022 - Closes: February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est)

TOPIC Removed

N221-084 TITLE: Development of High Temperature Sensor Windows for Hypersonic Applications

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR);Hypersonics

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace Environments;Materials / Processes;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 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 a hypersonic-capable electro-optic (EO)/infrared (IR) seeker window and integration design that is capable of withstanding harsh hypersonic conditions, while minimizing the impact to system Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP).

DESCRIPTION: The emergence of new capabilities in hypersonic vehicles requires development of hypersonic-capable materials and sensors. Hypersonic vehicles experience temperatures in excess of 1100° C and encounter elevated levels of shock and vibration. These conditions introduce a complex problem set for integrating seeker systems onto hypersonic vehicles. The U.S. Navy is interested in the development of an Infrared (IR) seeker window and attachment design that can be integrated to a hot structure thermal protection system (TPS). The window design must consider aerothermal effects of the window and attachment structure including mechanical and electrical functionality of the IR window material and the TPS attachment design. The IR seeker window and attachment design will require validation testing including, but not limited to, wind tunnel and/or arc jet testing. The IR window and TPS attachment design should demonstrate feasibility into a full scale flight system by maintaining SWaP parameters. SWaP parameters will be provided upon contract award due to program specific distribution guidelines. Manufacturability and material consistency of the IR window material should be considered during design selection.

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 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 design concept that demonstrate knowledge and expertise with IR material performance and testing. Demonstrate knowledge of hypersonic TPS aerothermal environments and system integration concepts into a flight system. Analysis shall be performed to demonstrate feasibility on hypersonic flight systems. Furthermore, the effort should create a ground test plan for Phase II activities. 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: Focus on developing a prototype of the EO/IR window design produced in the Phase I and outlined in the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW). The effort should also focus on procuring EO/IR materials for test and evaluation. High fidelity analysis including aerothermal and thermostrucutral impact to the window, attachment structure, and surrounding TPS will be conducted. Testing will take place in contractor selected facilities to validate design. Phase II Options, if exercised, will allow additional ground testing to further mature the design and mitigate risk. If deemed feasible within the scope of the Phase II effort, test and evaluate the design in a sounding rocket campaign.

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: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. The final product shall be a prototype and design package outlining the EO/IR window and attachment method. The final design is in consideration for being transitioned into the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic weapon system. A suitable material solution and attachment method is required for the future system to implement seeker technologies to enhance guidance, navigation and control. Material solutions may also be applicable for future hypersonic commercial vehicles and relevant technology.

This technology can be transitioned to other Navy and Air Force hypersonic and ballistic weapon systems for integration of next generation seekers.


  1. Park, James; Arida, Marvin-Ray; Ku, Zahrun; Jang, Woo-Yong; and Urbas, Augustine. "High-temperature Material Characterization Multispectral Window." Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XV, Volume 10179, 3 May 2017.
  2. Hingst, Uwe and Koerber, Stefan. "IR window design for hypersonic missile seekers: thermal shock and cooling systems", Proc. SPIE 4369, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII, (10 October 2001).
  3. Hargraves Jr., Charles H. and Martin, James M. "Infrared sensor and window system issues", Proc. SPIE 1760, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials III, (14 December 1992).

KEYWORDS: Electro-Optical Materials; Seeker Systems; Hypersonics; Optics; Material Integration; Thermal Protection System Windows


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

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