Submarine Radar Vulnerability Reduction
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-033
Topic Title: Submarine Radar Vulnerability Reduction
Proposal No.: N131-033-0463
Firm: Rock West Solutions, Inc.
8666 Commerce Avenue
San Diego, California 92121
Contact: Keith Loss
Phone: (858) 537-6260
Web Site:
Abstract: Submarine masts include optical sensors that provide the crew hemispherical viewing capability at the surface. There may be multiple optical sensors distributed circumferentially around the mast. These masts can include treatments to reduce their radar cross section (RCS). The optical windows for the sensors introduce facets and other reflecting features to the cylindrical masts which in turn cause significant spikes in the RCS of the mast when viewed from angles near normal to the each of the windows. We propose a novel method to reduce the RCS spikes caused by the optical sensors using existing absorbers treatments and common materials without requiring layered coatings to the optics aperture itself. The treatment concept holds strong promise that it will not degrade the performance of the optics unacceptably. Once proven for submarine optical apertures, this treatment can be adapted to electro-optic apertures on other platforms such as aircraft, ships and ground vehicles.
Benefits: The proposed treatment concept will reduce the RCS of a submarine mast with integrated optical apertures, thereby reducing its probability of detection and increasing the ability of the crew to achieve mission success. The treatment will also not degrade the performance of the optical sensor to an unacceptable extent ensuring that the sensors still provide the situational awareness originally intended. By using existing RF absorbing materials along with common other materials, the treatment can be developed with low risk, and high probability of achieving a robust integrated solution to this challenge. The proposed solution is not limited to submarine masts. It may be also applied to EO sensors on aircraft, surface ships and ground vehicles.