Low-Profile, Broadband, Shear-Mode SONAR Transducer for Deep Submergence Applications
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-066
ONR - Ms. Lore Anne Ponirakis - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-066 TITLE: Low-Profile, Broadband, Shear-Mode SONAR Transducer for Deep Submergence Applications

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Sensors, Electronics

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: Design, build and test a low-profile, high-power, low-frequency, broadband, d36 shear-mode piezocrystal transducer capable of operating at submarine depths.

DESCRIPTION: Broadband d36 shear-mode transducers operating across the 1-10 kHz band have been built and tested that are only 2.5 inches high compared with the 20-30 inch height of legacy Tonpilz transducers in the fleet. This innovation, resting on the unique properties of piezocrystals, opens an avenue for undersea vessels to externally mount SONAR arrays that would normally consume space within the hull. This topic will focus on the modeling and assembly technology needed to enable such transducers to operate under high hydrostatic pressure. The performance of the d36 shear-mode design will be compared with that of the classic Tonpilz design made with piezocrystals. This innovation opens up a whole new engineering design space as such transducers could not be made from legacy piezoceramics. Existing devices operate at depths appropriate for mine detection/classification. This project would devise and validate new designs drawing on the d36 shear-mode, but which operate at much greater depths.

PHASE I: Design an initial d36-shear-mode transducer targeting device survival/operation under high pressures (that is, at great depths) and provide a credible argument for survivability/operation at the targeted depth (ranging from submarine operating depths to Hadal depths).

PHASE II: Design, build and test prototype d36-shear-mode transducers as single elements to verify targeted depth. Assemble and test a small prototype array of such elements to ascertain array interactions.

PHASE III: The small business will design, build and test the SONAR transducers and supply them to a systems integrator for incorporation in the submarine or Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The compact, light-weight, broad-band shear mode transducer will find applications in numerous civilian underwater applications: UUV and tethered ROV guidance, sea floor exploration/profiling, sea floor module mining, oil platform inspection/repair, and the like. The enhanced energy efficiency in untethered applications will dramatically decrease operating cost by extending effective utilization times per mission.

1. "Acoustic Transducer," David J. Tol and Richard J. Meyer, Jr, US Patent No. 7,615,912 B2 November 10, 2009.

2. "Low Profile, Broad Bandwidth Projector Design Using d36 Sear Mode," R. J. Meyer, Jr., T. M. Tremper, D. C. Markley, D. Van Tol, P. Han, and J. Tian, Navy Workshop on Transduction Materials and Devices, 11-13 May 2010.

3. "Cut directions for the optimization of piezoelectric coefficients of lead magnesium niobate- lead titanate ferroelectric crystals," Pengdi Han, Weiling Yan, Jian Tian, Xinling Huang, and Huixin Pan, Applied Physics Letters 86, 052902 (2005).

4. "Piezoelectric crystal elements of shear mode and process for the preparation thereof, Pengdi Han, US Patent Application Publication Number 2006/0012270 A1 January 19, 2006.

KEYWORDS: Sonar Transducer; Shear-Mode Transducer; Lead Magnesium-Niobate Lead Titanate Crystals; Broad Bandwidth Transducer; Low-Profile Transducer; Energy-Efficient Transducer

DoD Notice:  
Between November 20 and December 19 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
not allowed starting Dec 20, 2013, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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