Wideband Acoustic Signature Capability for Next Generation Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Training Target
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-050
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-050 TITLE: Wideband Acoustic Signature Capability for Next Generation Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Training Target

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS404, Undersea Weapons Program Office

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 a transducer system that will provide the wideband acoustic signature required for the next generation small diameter expendable mobile training target that will satisfy the training needs of all current and potential users.

DESCRIPTION: Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training is significantly more effective when air, surface, and sub-surface platforms and their ASW sonar crews train in the operational environment in which they would locate enemy submarines. Training against live submarines is costly and most often not available. Mobile ASW training targets fill this critical training need. Naval forces need to be trained with new and sophisticated technologies that simulate real world conditions and scenarios to effectively counter future undersea threats. A next generation small diameter mobile ASW Training Target which emulates realistic threat signatures is in the development stage. It must encompass low cost, a relatively small size, maximum achievable bandwidth and source level. The transducer suite is the most significant challenge in developing this target. As transducer size decreases, particularly the diameter, it becomes considerably more difficult to achieve the bandwidth and source levels required to emulate such signatures. The goal of this SBIR is to achieve large bandwidth and source level via unique, innovative designs incorporating a small size transducer.

The current mobile target systems are of the 21 inch diameter heavyweight variety, such as the Mk30 Mod 1 target (ref 1). The Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Training Target (EMATT) does not provide the acoustic signature spectrum and level for the current requirement (ref 2). The EMATT diameter is 4.85 inches, which is a limiting factor for signature generation. The next generation target will be larger in diameter than the EMATT yet smaller than the heavyweight 21 inch, accommodating the latest transducer technology. The Navy�s intent is to receive innovative technologies from the small business in order to provide the design, development and integration of a transducer system that would accommodate low cost virtues but provide the acoustic capabilities analogous of the heavyweight ASW target.

The small business should explore systems within the threshold maximum outside diameter (OD) of 12.75 inches and propose alternate smaller diameter versions with an objective of a suite to fit in a 6 inch OD target. A path to fit the proposed transducer system into a 4.875 inch diameter form factor is also of interest. The major areas of consideration are small diameter, low cost, maximum frequency cover, and maximum source level. The goal is the capability to replicate the threat signature performance of the mobile training target, Mk 30 Mod 1.

Current technology has advanced beyond the transducer types in use by the heavyweight ASW targets. Various known unique designs promise substantial improvement over the current device capabilities. Identifying or referencing such designs is intentionally omitted here to preclude appearance of a preferred candidate solution. Descriptions of underwater acoustic design and operational considerations are given in references 3 and 4. Consideration should be given to minimize the size and cost with the maximization of frequency coverage and source level.

PHASE I: The company shall define and develop concepts for a candidate wide band transducer system that provides the acoustic response over the low frequency and sonar band spectrum. The company shall determine the feasibility of the candidate transducer system to meet the topic description and shall provide design data and analysis to substantiate it. The company should consider how the candidate transducer system can be integrated into an advanced ASW mobile training target.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I the company will develop a wide band transducer system prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting Navy requirements for a wideband transducer system. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will develop 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 to its intended platform for Navy use. The company will develop a wideband transducer system for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and quantify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: An innovative design which provides a highly efficient, cost effective, minimum size transducer should find broad application with other users such as sonobuoys, underwater communications, other undersea mobile systems, and oceanographic systems.

1. United States Navy Fact File, "Mk 30 Mod 1 Anti-Submarine Warfare Target," Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D), Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. 6 Dec 2013. <http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=50&tid=100&ct=2>

2. United States Navy Fact File, "Mk 39 Expendable Mobile Anti-Submaring Warfare Training Target," Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D), Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. 3 Dec 2013. <http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=50&tid=300&ct=2>

3. C. H. Sherman and J. L. Butler, "Transducers and Arrays for Underwater Sound," New York, New York: Springer, 14 Nov 2011.

4. O. Wilson, "Introduction to the Theory and Design of Sonar Transducers," Los Altos, California: Peninsula Publishing, 1 June 1989.

KEYWORDS: Mk 30 Target; ASW training target; broadband underwater transducer; compact underwater transducer; broadband active sonar; high-efficiency sonar transducer

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