Submarine Navigation in a GPS-Denied Environment
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-032
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-032 TITLE: Submarine Navigation in a GPS-Denied Environment

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS435, Submarine Electromagnetic Systems

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 an innovative approach to allow position fixing via existing outboard submarine sensors or new inboard sensors.

DESCRIPTION: GPS information is used to accurately localize position during navigation. In the event GPS information is not available, an alternate solution is desirable to allow for accurate position fixing. The goal of this effort is to provide the submarine an alternate method for accurate geo-positioning when GPS is unavailable. Current practices rely on GPS signals received by sensors in the submarine antenna and basic navigational techniques (ref 1).

The solution is preferred to make use of existing sensors � imagers, antenna, gyroscopes, etc., with only limited allowance for new associated inboard hardware support equipment (6 to 8 inches in a 19 inch diameter rack that could be located inside the submarine hull which allows for more flexibility).Solutions using existing available information from the fielded masts will always be more desirable.

This SBIR topic seeks innovative ways to calculate position either within the constraints given above or through newly developed approaches. Examples such as, but not limited to, the magnetic fields (ref 3), astronomical observations (ref 2), and lighting are all examples of desirable solutions. Use of active transmissions is not acceptable.

PHASE I: The company will determine the feasibility of concepts for a non-GPS based above water submarine navigation method. The company will determine the optimal solution for achieving the performance goals based on testing/analytical modeling and technical risk analysis.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II contract statement of work, the company will develop a scaled prototype (either software demonstration or sensor for proof of concept). The prototype will be evaluated to determine its position accuracy. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology through the Navy�s Advanced Processor Build (APB) or Technology Insertion (TI) process. The company will integrate the architecture into a prototype where it will be evaluated against requirements in a realistic scenario. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: GPS localization is used extensively in commercial applications such as trucking, mapping, shipping, and potentially in the future, air traffic control; were GPS signals to be unavailable, there would be great impact on systems using position In addition, electromagnetic interference may limit use of GPS signals in some environments. Given the huge commercial market in GPS devices, there is clearly opportunity for alternate solutions to position fixing.

1. Gonzalez, Andres R. "Navigational Algorithms." Google Sites. 9 Jan 2013,

2. Optimal Estimation of a Multi-Star Fix, C. De Wit. NAVIGATION, Vol.21 , No. 4, Winter 1974-75, pp 320-325.

3. Texeira, Francisco C., "Novel approaches to geophysical navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles" Proceedings of the Workshop on Marine Robotics 2013, December 10, 2012,

KEYWORDS: GPS-denied; passive navigation; geolocation; stellar imaging; geographic localization; global positioning

DoD Notice:  
Between December 12, 2014 and January 14, 2015 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting January 15, 2015 , when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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