Shipboard "Non-Emitting" Target Imaging and Identification System
Navy SBIR 2016.3 - Topic N163-139
SPAWAR - Mr. Shadi Azoum - [email protected]
Opens: September 26, 2016 - Closes: October 26, 2016


TITLE: Shipboard "Non-Emitting" Target Imaging and Identification System


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Sensors

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMW 120 Information Operations / Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Programs of Record

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 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation. 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 a compact system capable of identifying non-RF emitting targets at long range in both day/night operations from a ship-based platform. Ranges of interest are >150NM for airborne targets and >25NM for targets operating at or near the ocean surface. Desired target resolution should be approximately 10cm to support target identification.

DESCRIPTION: Maritime non-RF emitting targets are notoriously difficult to identify with sufficient resolution to allow for identification, even in clear weather conditions. While many commercial Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) devices are available, none readily address military requirements for ‘positive identification’ of small watercraft, Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV), and the proliferating variety of small form factor autonomous systems.  Small boats are particularly problematic due to the necessity to differentiate and identify civilian craft (“White Shipping”) from military, state sponsored Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) craft, terrorist, criminal and other waterborne threats and vessels of interest.  In addition, gliding missiles that do not emit a thrust signature are of grave concern.

This topic seeks innovative research leading to the development of a ship-based long-range day / night imaging system, able to provide sufficiently high resolution at range to allow for identification of non-RF emitting sea and air borne targets operating in clear weather conditions. The resolutions required for this system may necessitate large apertures to contend with atmospheric effects; e.g. blurring, warping, scintillation, attenuation and/or multi-path clutter, but any solution offered must be feasible to operate in a typical navy combatant environment; e.g., Littoral Combat Ship, (LCS) Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG), Aircraft Carrier (CVN), etc.

Applicable systems may employ any number of technologies; e.g. optical, radio-frequency, infra-red, etc., but must address the particular technological risks for the technique selected.

Any solution offered must be feasible to operate in a typical shipboard environment. Maximum volume goal for transmit / receive system equipment should be no more than 0.75m cubed, where support electronics may be off boarded. On board Size Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints must adhere to current power, cooling, installation, etc. requirements for use aboard navy ships, specifically 3 phase 120 volt, 60 Hz power.  Unit offered can also be portable / battery powered. Solutions requiring chill water cooling / higher voltage requirements are discouraged, but will be considered.  Non-RF emitter systems must address the risks with optical, infra-red, millimeter wave power requirements at long range, resolution requirements, and atmospheric blurring, warping, scintillation etc. effects. Proposed systems must fit the SWaP constraints for the total system.’

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 Security Service (DSS).  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 DSS and SPAWAR 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: Perform design analysis to identify non-RF emitting ‘dark targets’ at the resolutions and ranges specified above. The effort will address how the recommended system will mitigate degrading effects inherent to the system chosen. The Phase I deliverables include a preliminary design recommendation and a final report.

PHASE II: Fabricate a demonstration prototype of the Phase I recommended system. The products of Phase II should include the tested prototype hardware system (including the software), where testing will involve the prototype image / identification of both cooperative and non-cooperative targets in a Navy furnished facility using Navy furnished data where required.  The selected vendor will also provide a prototype test report and a final report.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop a plan to: 1.) fabricate a single technology demonstrator unit, 2.) create a multi-unit (> 100) manufacturing process and, 3.) develop a marketing plan for the production ready system. Carry out the necessary engineering, system integration, packaging, and testing to field a robust, reliable system. Assist transition of technology to industry for marketing to defense community.  Private Sector Commercial Potential: The private sector potential could be significant and, as was true for Global Positioning System (GPS), difficult to fully bound or quantify. The ability to resolve objects at distance in small form factors has potential applications in multiple domain areas: e.g., law enforcement, environmental / zoological science, entertainment industry, recreation use, etc.


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KEYWORDS: Dark targets; Passive targets; Non-RF emitting targets; Target imaging and identification; High resolution imaging and identification; RADAR systems; Advanced optical systems; EM Emission / Absorption spectroscopy and image identification.


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Between August 26, 2016 and September 25, 2016 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) 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
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