Active Sonar Interference Avoidance Planning
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-039
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-039 TITLE: Active Sonar Interference Avoidance Planning

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 5.0, Undersea Warfare Systems.

RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative sonar planning tool for automating Active Sonar Interference Avoidance Planning (ASIAP) to optimize management of sonar parameters.

DESCRIPTION: Currently, Navy strike groups employ multiple active sonar systems to detect threat submarines [Ref 1]. These sonar systems increasingly compete for the same frequency spectrum resulting in signal interference, which increases false alarms and the likelihood of false detection.

Current ASIAP Systems require planning for air sensors, shipboard sonar, and submarine sonar. Algorithms exist to plan avoidance of mutual interference frequencies, but not for other ASIAP variables such as interference level, ducting, slope range scale, and ping history. New decision algorithms and processes are required to allow the warfighter to plan sonar deployment that goes beyond current legacy separation of frequency schemes.

Active sonar operations in littoral waters against small, quiet submarines need a hierarchy of Mutual Interference (MI) reduction techniques that can be evaluated automatically (or interactively) to determine the optimum setup, spacing, and relative orientation for combined search performance. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is intuitive to the search the planner would also be helpful. The program office is interested in this topic because it will improve mission capability and performance and because it has the potential to reduce manning costs.

Efficient use of ASW sonar systems will minimize deployment of expendable and fixed sensors that provide no value to threat detection and classification. A standard user interface design can lower Navy manning costs through reduced training time and increased operator performance. Training and operational efficiencies will be provided by use of intuitive Graphical User Interface that has common controls with other sonar system displays. This topic can be especially beneficial for the Undersea Warfare Decision Support System (USW-DSS) and to the Aircraft Carrier, Tactical Support Center (CV-TSC) programs in reducing mutual interference, which will reduce the likelihood of false detection and false alarm rates, thus improving the overall chances of mission success.

PHASE I: The company will develop a concept for an active sonar planning tool that meet the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provide performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for an active sonar planning tool. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop an active sonar planning tool according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy acceptance.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The technology developed in this effort has potential applicability in Acoustic industries such as fish finding, seismic instrumentation, and ultrasonics, and in non-acoustic industries such as telecommunications to optimize location and implementation of networks.

1. Hill, J. R. Anti-Submarine Warfare. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1985.

2. Unruh, Stephen D, Aughenbaugh, Jason and Gelb, James, "Mutual interference signal processing for active sonar." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, October 2011; 130(4), page 2410

KEYWORDS: Sonar, Active Sonar Interference Avoidance Planning (ASIAP); sonar interference; sonar propagation; mutual interference (MI); separation of frequency; sonar waveform recommendation

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