This solicitation is now closed
GPS Reference While Submerged
Navy SBIR 2009.1 - Topic N091-091
SSP - Mr. Robert Thorne -
Opens: December 8, 2008 - Closes: January 14, 2009

N091-091 TITLE: GPS Reference While Submerged

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Strategic Systems Programs, DRPM, ACAT I

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a GPS underwater reception capability with minimal impact on submarine operations and covertness.

DESCRIPTION: The Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) submarine programs depend on optimal navigation performance to ensure mission success e.g.: Ballistic Missile Submarines (Strategic Submarine Ballistic Nuclear - SSBNs) need accurate navigation to achieve required Circular Error Probable (CEP); Guided Missile Submarines (Submersible, Ship, Guided, Nuclear - SSGNs) need accurate navigation for Special Operations Forces (SOF) delivery and recovery. Although the different platforms have different requirements for the inertial navigator, both the SSBN and SSGN platforms as well as Fast Attack Nuclear Submarines (Ship, Submersible, Nuclear SSN) platforms depend on high performance inertial navigation systems for navigation accuracy while submerged. The ability to obtain Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) quality reference while submerged will reduce the requirements and complexity of submarine inertial navigators and improve the capability of submarines to perform missions requiring precise navigation while submerged. Current technologies for obtaining GPS position while submerged typically depend on GPS antennas that are floating on the surface, either tethered to the submarine which reduces accuracy, or free floating GPS buoy pseudolites that use sonar transmission for underwater positioning via triangulation. Both approaches limit submarine operations and impact submarine covertness. Because there are no technologies known to solve this problem, this topic seeks innovative R&D approaches and technologies for providing GPS position accuracy to submerged submarines with minimal impact on ship operations and covertness.

PHASE I: Develop the mechanization for obtaining GPS while submerged that maximizes platform operational flexibility and position reference accuracy.

PHASE II: Implement the Proof of Concept mechanization developed in Phase I. Provide a demonstration of the mechanization that can be implemented on a test vessel. Evaluate and test the resulting performance in both a lab environment and at-sea.

PHASE III: Transition GPS reference while submerged technology to the SSBN (Strategic Systems Programs SP24), SSGN and SSN communities.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Improvements in indirect reception of GPS, such as GPS reception while submerged, has broad commercial applications in such markets as automobile navigation where there is multipath in cities with concentrations of urban high rise buildings and dense electromagnetic environments.

1. Kayton & Fried, "Navigation Systems", Wiley

2. Tetley, Laurie, '' Electronic Navigation Systems'', Science & Technology Books, 3rd Edition

3. ''2000 CJCS Master Positioning Navigation And Timing Plan'', Chairman Of The Joint Chief Of Staff Instruction, 6/2000

KEYWORDS: navigation; GPS pseudolite; GPS; Sonar; GPS buoy antenna; triangulation

DoD Notice:  
Between November 12 and December 7, 2008, you may talk directly with the Topic Authors to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting December 8, 2008, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
However, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the DoD's SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS (09.1 Q&A) during the solicitation period for questions and answers, and other significant information, relevant to the SBIR 09.1 topic under which they are proposing.

If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at (866) 724-7457 or email weblink.