Automated Event Logging for Improved Electronic Warfare Operations
Navy SBIR 2019.1 - Topic N191-018
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: January 8, 2019 - Closes: February 6, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Automated Event Logging for Improved Electronic Warfare Operations


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 2.0, Above Water Sensors 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 3.5 of the Announcement. 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 and demonstrate an automated Electronic Warfare (EW) event logging system for the operator display console that captures and assimilates EW emitter information to improve surface electronic warfare operator performance.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy’s surface EW systems are receiving a series of complete technology upgrades under a phased development and acquisition approach that delivers new capabilities (i.e. system hardware) to the Fleet in “block” updates. This includes the introduction of new electronic support, electronic attack, countermeasures, and electro-optic and infrared systems. Taken collectively, these updates result in a completely new, fully modernized, and greatly expanded Surface Fleet EW capability. However, the increased levels of performance and enhanced mission capabilities being deployed by these block improvements are accompanied by an increased burden on the EW operator. The EW operator now has access to more electronic support information of a greater depth than ever before. As sensor data from radar, electro-optic sensors, and even other ships is fused with the expanded Electronic Surveillance (ES) data available, the burden on the operator increases exponentially. The problem far exceeds what is encountered in normal or commercial air traffic control because the EW operator must discern and evaluate the threat presented by multiple uncooperative contacts. Operator overload and fatigue are serious problems that can be exacerbated by inefficient organization and display of information. While some of this data can be processed automatically, perhaps using machine learning or adaptive algorithms, the Navy does not want to remove the operator from the loop; the EW operator and display will remain a critical element in Surface combat. The EW human-machine interface (HMI) must be updated and enhanced along with the other system elements.

The EW operator primarily receives and maintains information on emitters detected by the ES system. Detected emitters may be persistent or fleeting. However, for each of these detection “events” the emitter information must be recognized, understood, and perhaps acted upon in real time. In almost all instances though, it is desirable for the operator to be able to log and record the event data, sometimes with the incorporation of additional information entered by the operator (the added information may be notes created by the operator or information provided by other sensors or sources). The logged and recorded information, in order to be useful, must then be made available when needed and in a format that is useful for the intended purpose. At one extreme, the information may be recalled almost immediately by the operator. At the other extreme, the saved information may be assimilated, sorted, and used at a later date (for example, for training purposes). In all cases however, the amount of effort involved in logging and recording the information and the utility of that information, once recorded, depends greatly on the quality of the HMI.

The Navy needs an event logging and recording application specifically suited to the capture and assimilation of EW emitter information at the operator console. The technology will provide maximum utility to the operator without increasing the burden on the operator. Therefore, the proposed application must demonstrate a particular understanding of the human-machine interaction present in EW operations. Innovation is sought in the visual display and organization of the data that anticipates and facilitates the operator’s needs and actions. The application should provide an ES Intercept Log that, with simple “one-click” operator direction, captures and tags emitters from the EW display, including the Emitter History Log (EHL) and Emitter Summary List (ESL). The application must record operator actions and include the facility for the operator to add and associate comments to the emitter entry.

The captured event data must be organized, stored, and made immediately available for recall when the operator requires. Information must be permanently saved and easily searchable by multiple emitter parameters (e.g., frequency, pulse repetition rate). The logged information must also be searchable by event metadata that includes time-stamp, geo-location, operator actions, and operator entered comments. The application will also include the ability to auto-populate formatted electronic intelligence (ELINT) messages for export at operator direction. The captured data must also be organized, formatted, readable, and sortable for post-mission download in Windows Excel format. The application software must facilitate information assurance compliance and be provided with a well-defined software interface for integration into the future EW operator console. The event logging software architecture should also be as modular as possible to accommodate future updates to the EW operator console.

The Phase II effort will likely require secure access to data classified at the Secret level, and NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Provide a concept for an automated event logging software application that shows it feasibly meets objectives stated in the Description. Demonstrate feasibility by a combination of analysis, modelling, and simulation. Ensure that the feasibility analysis includes predictions of operator performance during use of the application. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specification and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop, deliver, and demonstrate a prototype for an automated EW event logging software application meeting the requirements contained in the Description. Development of an associated EW display emulation capability may be needed in order to demonstrate the event logger.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Government use. Since the Phase II effort results in a prototype that is not necessarily demonstrated on a tactical system, assist in integrating the event logger software into the EW display tactical code. Assist in certification of the resulting tactical code. Assist the Government in testing and validating the performance of the resulting event logger application, as integrated into the EW console.

The core event logger software can also be customized for additional applications such as other military systems (including radar displays) and for commercial systems such as air traffic control systems.


1. Haberkorn, Thomas, et al. "Traffic Displays for Visual Flight Indicating Track and Priority Cues.” IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems 44, September 2014: 755-766.

2. Moacdieh, Nadine, and Sarter, Nadine. "The Effects of Data Density, Display Organization, and Stress on Search Performance: An Eye Tracking Study of Clutter.” IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems 47, December 2017: 886-895.

KEYWORDS: Electronic Warfare; EW Human-Machine Interface; ES Event Logging; Electronic Surveillance; Visual Display of EW; Electronic Intelligence



These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 28, 2018, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2019, and closes February 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

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