Compact High Speed Signal Processor
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-053
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-053 TITLE: Compact High Speed Signal Processor


ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS415, Undersea Defensive Warfare Systems Program Office

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: To develop an innovative compact, high speed signal processing method to support data fusion for torpedo defense applications that achieves the requirements of compact size, high speed processing for signal detection and assessment, power and affordability.

DESCRIPTION: Defensive systems for submerged and surface platforms rely on a variety of sensor systems. Planned and emerging missions for the Navy will increase the demand for the number of sensors and improved situational awareness. Data fusion and advanced signal processing of data from these sensor systems will play a key role supporting these new missions. The ability to process data at rates equivalent to what unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) perform at for video and other imagery will represent a dramatic increase in performance improvement for the torpedo defense systems.

Increased signal processing capacity is an urgent and constant need. Applying technological advances developed for UAVs or telecommunications to Navy platform defensive systems enables affordable performance improvement. The ability to process data in the form of radar captured video or images presents major system design challenges for developers of military platforms. However, new commercial products are easing these challenges with a variety of solutions that address the particular needs of moving image-based data at high speed and processing it for the demanding real-time needs of UAV applications (ref 1). The challenge is in leveraging or building from these technologies and applying them to the undersea environment with its unique challenges.

Mission capability will be increased through rapid integration of new and more complex sensors, and in some cases, sharing of data from these sensor systems for the first time. The deployment of multiple sensors for signal detection improves system survivability, results in improved detection performance and may provide increased coverage in terms of surveillance region and number of targets. The acquisition program is supportive of this topic because it specifically addresses commonality in signal processing among multiple systems while improving performance and capability through data fusion. Life-cycle costs will be reduced when a signal processing architecture is implemented that allows for simple upgrades in software algorithm implementations and leaves headroom for additional sensors to be added to current systems. In the past, a new, platform specific, signal processing system would have to be developed and introduced to support changes in data throughput. Data fusion would not be possible.

A suitable technology requires innovative conceptualization and design since a straightforward engineering solution is not obvious. Proposed solutions should promote a total systems approach for torpedo defense systems: this would include computationally efficient signal processing and data fusion algorithms, processor design, and integration into the proposed platforms. Solutions may be comprised of technologies or concepts developed for other military applications (such as unmanned aerial vehicles and Field Programmable Gate Arrays [FPGAs) (ref 2), mobile communication (ref 3), and other commercial applications that have yet to be included in torpedo defense systems. A successful effort will support current and near-term processing requirements and allow for data fusion among a set of unique sensor systems that vary from platform to platform. The solution should also support upgrades in sensor systems with significant growth in data throughput from acoustic data up to video imaging requirements. Proposals will be accepted for countermeasure and platform defensive applications. Systems commonality for platform defensive applications is encouraged.

PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for innovative, compact, high speed signal processing for torpedo defense applications. The feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs should include a tradeoff study and performance comparisons with legacy systems developed into a useful product for the Navy. The performance data of the legacy systems will be measured during laboratory testing conducted by NUWCDIVNPT. 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 provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the company will perform systems analysis and benchmarking trade studies to create a compact, high speed signal processor. 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 the compact high speed signal processor system. 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 also prepare a Phase III development plan to transition this technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The company will develop a compact high speed signal processor system according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use by successfully supporting processing requirements which allow for significant growth in data throughput for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: This technology would be applicable to applications involving USVs and UUVs, such as those used for oil and gas exploration, bathymetry, harbor and coastal surveillance for homeland defense, especially in high alert conditions.

1. J. Child, "Board-Level FPGA Solutions Feed Signal Processing Needs," in COTS Journal: The Journal of Military Electronics & computing, May 2013,

2. C. Lee, E. Kim, and H. Kim, "The AM-Bench: An Android Multimedia Benchmark Suite,"

3. K.T.T. Cheng and Y.C. Wang, "FPGA Based Longitudinal and Lateral Controller Implementation for a Small UAV," World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology #46, 2010,

KEYWORDS: Signal Processing; Embedded Processing; Data Fusion; Waveform Intensive Applications; FPGA; Multi-sensor Processing

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