Undersea Vehicle Navigation
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-043
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-043 TITLE: Undersea Vehicle Navigation

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO SUBS PMS 485, Maritime Surveillance Systems, Distributed Sensors Group

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 inexpensive embedded navigation tracking system for a small unmanned, bottom contact, undersea vehicle.

DESCRIPTION: The Department of the Navy (DoN) is developing an undersea burial vehicle that crawls at approximately 0.5-knots along the ocean bottom burying � to �-inch (in) diameter cable up to 1-kilometer (km) long. An inexpensive navigational system is necessary to provide accurate location inputs to the vehicle controls system. Desired accuracy is plus or minus (�) 6-in along a notional 1-km track. Current navigational systems for undersea vehicles have the potential to provide this degree of accuracy but are prohibitively expensive for the targeted DoN system that is a one-time use, expendable burial vehicle.

The objective is to produce a small, low power, short operational life, highly accurate inertial navigation system for under $5K production cost. Current high accuracy systems integrate multiple sensors and systems such as Inertial Navigation System (INS) (References 1 and 2), Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) (Reference 3), and Global Positioning System (GPS) (Reference 4) to achieve high accuracy standards (References 1 and 2). GPS does not work through sea water. Optical systems require image matching, which is not available.

This SBIR is looking for innovative and inexpensive methods to track the path of the vehicle and provide position data to the navigation controller. The navigation system is size-, weight- and power-limited. It should not consume more than 20-watts continuous power for the mission and needs to fit into a 4-in cubed (i.e., 64 cubic inch) volume within the undersea vehicle.

PHASE I: The Company will develop a concept for an improved Undersea Vehicle navigational tracking and feedback system that meets the requirements as stated in the description section. The company will validate the concept and demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting the Navy needs. Feasibility will be established by analytical modeling.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II contract statement of work, the company will develop a prototype navigation tracking system for evaluation. The prototype will be implemented in a mock vehicle mission with test cable and evaluated to determine its capability in meeting Navy requirements of Undersea Vehicle Navigational Tracking and Positional System. Performance will be demonstrated through lab or at-sea testing at a range suitable for easy measurement of results. Evaluation will be conducted by comparing and validating navigation tracking results to measured results in the range over multiple lay downs.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in integrating the Undersea Vehicle Navigational Tracking and Positioning system into the targeted DoN system to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for at-sea test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The undersea vehicle navigational tracking and positioning system will be useful in any industry that needs autonomous vehicles such as the gas and oil industry, as well as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in monitoring ports and coastal waters.

1. Panish, R. and Taylor, M. "Achieving High Navigation Accuracy Using Inertial Navigation Systems in Autonomous Underwater Vehicles," OCEANS, 2011 IEEE � Spain,6-9 June 2011.

2. Walchko, K; Nechyba, M; Schwartz, E; and Arroyo, A. "Embedded Low Cost Inertial Navigation System." Florida Conference on Inertial Navigation Systems 2003.

3. "Workhorse Navigator Doppler Velocity Log." Teledyne RD Instruments. 2013. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. 1 March 2013 < http://www.rdinstruments.com/navigator.aspx>

4. Kwak, S. "Incorporation of Global Positioning System into Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Navigation." Proceedings of the 1992 Symposium on Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Technology 1992: 291-297.

KEYWORDS: Unmanned undersea vehicle navigation and control; Unmanned undersea vehicle positioning; Inertial navigation; Autonomous undersea vehicle navigation and control; Unmanned Undersea Vehicles; Vehicle Navigation

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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