Broadband Counter-Electronics Weapon (BCEW) for Long-Range Non-Lethal Vehicle/Vessel Stopping Capabilities

Navy SBIR 21.2 - Topic N212-101
MCSC - Marine Corps Systems Command
Opens: May 19, 2021 - Closes: June 17, 2021 (12:00pm edt)

N212-101 TITLE: Broadband Counter-Electronics Weapon (BCEW) for Long-Range Non-Lethal Vehicle/Vessel Stopping Capabilities

RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Autonomy;Directed Energy (DE);Microelectronics

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons

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 a compact/lightweight low-cost broadband/wideband high-power microwave (HPM) source to support intermediate force capabilities, i.e., a long-range vehicle and/or vessel engine stopping system. Provide wideband (100 MHz to 2 GHz) HPM sources with pulse widths of 1 nanosecond (ns) to 200 nanoseconds; pulse repetition frequencies of a few pulses per second to 100 kHz; HPM waveform rise times of 0.25 ns to 100 ns; Electronic Field Strengths of 1kV/meter to 100 kV/meter; polarizations of horizontal or vertical; overall system size and weight of less than 100 lbs threshold (T), 50 lbs objective (O); and a low overall system cost of < $100K (T); $50K (O); effective ranges of 100ís of meters (T) and a few kilometers (3-5km) (O).

DESCRIPTION: This SBIR topic seeks to develop a more compact and lightweight long-range counter-electronic vehicle/vessel stopping system to support long range non-lethal vehicle/vessel stopping missions; and to mitigate codified joint non-lethal weapon capability gaps. There is Service transition interest in both the Maritime (U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard) and Ground (U.S. Army and USMC) domains as each Service currently desires long-range threat vehicle/vessel stopping capabilities with significant reduced overall system size, weight, power consumption, thermal cooling and lower system costs (SWAP/C2). Existing Radio Frequency (RF) Vehicle and Vessel Stopping systems have known range and overall system size and weight limitations; the current commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions only mitigate a very small portion of the codified JROC-approved long-range vehicle/vessel stopping capability-gap [Refs 1-4]. The intended system is to replace current RF Vehicle/Vessel Stopper technologies with sizes of ~ 160 cu ft and ~1000 pounds and costs of ~$1M with a prototype wideband-based HPM source/system that is ~ 3 cu ft; 50-100 pounds and costs only $50-100K; low overall system power consumption of < 25kW of prime power. System must operate commensurate with and compliant with MIL Standard 810H environmental performance/operating standards. See Objective section for specific performance specifications required under this SBIR topic.

Specifically this SBIR topic is seeking wideband (100 MHz to 2 GHz) high power microwave sources with pulse widths of 1 nanosecond (ns) to 200 nanoseconds; pulse repetition frequencies of a few pulses per second to 100 kHz; HPM waveform rise times of 0.25 ns to 100 ns; Electronic Field Strengths of 1kV/meter to 100 kV/meter; polarizations of horizontal or vertical; overall system size and weight of less than 100 lbs (T), 50 lbs (O); and a low overall system cost of <$100K (T); $50K (O).

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 implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and Marine Corps 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 advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Develop concepts for an improved (more compact/lightweight and longer range) broadband/wideband high power microwave (HPM) source to support intermediate force capabilities, i.e., a long-range vehicle and/or vessel engine stopping system.

Demonstrate the feasibility/effectiveness of the wideband HPM source against relevant threat vehicle and vessel engine targets. Collect RF Target Susceptibility data corresponding to the sourceís RF-HPM waveform against a broad relevant set of (currently available commercial vehicle and vessel engines, e.g., COTS-available threat vehicle and vessel engine) targets. Demonstrate HPM weapon effectiveness and performance in meeting JNLWD/JIFCO/Marine Corps needs and establish that the HPM weapon concept can be employed throughout the Joint Services. Perform rigorous RF Target Susceptibility testing against a broad set of vehicle and vessel engine targets. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction and define the development of a Phase II non-lethal wideband HPM Vehicle/Vessel Stopping prototype weapon.

PHASE II: Develop a next-generation wideband HPM Vehicle/Vessel Stopping prototype weapon. The prototype will be evaluated via rigorous RF Target Susceptibility testing at both the contractorís facilities and at the Naval Surface Warfare Center - Dahlgren Division (NSWC- Dahlgren) test ranges. The JNLWD-JIFCO maintains a set of relevant threat vehicle and vessel engines at NSWC- Dahlgren. The contractorís Phase II SBIR prototype weapon will be independently assessed and evaluated at these government lab facilities with minimal cost to the performer. The objective of this independent testing is to determine the weaponís capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Marine Corps requirements for a RF-HPM Vehicle/Vessel Stopper. The full wideband RF-HPM weapons systems to include integration to a high-gain RF-HPM antenna system will be prototyped and tested. System performance will be demonstrated through the evaluation of the HPM weapon systemís ability to upset, neutralize, and kill (soft and hard) relevant threat vehicle and vessel engines. Confirm and verify the modeling and analytical methods developed in Phase I to include measuring the required full range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet the JIFCO/JNLWD/Marine Corps non-lethal vehicle/vessel stopping requirements. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Joint Service use.

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 JIFCO/JNLWD/Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Joint Service use. Develop this next-generation wideband RF-HPM weapon system for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environments, e.g., exercised in Limited Military User Assessments (LMUAs) held by various Services. Support the JIFCO/JNLWD/Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Joint Service use.

A compact Ė lightweight long range RF-HPM vehicle/vessel stopping capability has significant commercial applications beyond the DoD. Other government agencies, such as the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to include Customs and Border Patrol, have actively been researching these types of non-lethal counter-electronic effects. Local civilian law enforcement has these type of missions to support both vehicle/vessel interdiction missions as well as to mitigate vehicle/vessel-borne terrorism. Currently overall system size, weight, and cost have hindered the use of these systems by these agencies. This SBIR topic specifically addresses overall system size, weight, power consumption, thermal cooling, and overall system cost all while drastically improving RF-HPM Vehicle/Vessel Stopping weapon performance.

REFERENCES:

  1. Giri, D.V. "High-power Electromagnetic Radiators: Non-Lethal Weapons and Other Applications." Harvard University Press, 2004. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/4118005.
  2. Barker, Robert J. and Schamiloglu, Edl. "High-Power Microwave Sources and Technologies: Volume A." IEEE Press Series on RF and Microwave Technology, Wiley-IEEE Press, Edition 1, June 2001. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/book/5265060.
  3. "Directed-energy weapon." 18 July 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed-energy_weapon.
  4. Glasmacher, Mathias. "High-Power Electro-Magnetics Effector Systems for Vehicle Stopping." Diehl Defence Group; Diehl Stiftung & Co, KG, 2020. https://www.diehl.com/group/en/technology/innovation/hpem/.

KEYWORDS: Wideband High Power Microwave Sources; HPM; Broadband HPM Sources; Mesoband Vehicle/Vessel Stopping; HPM Vehicle/Vessel Stopping technologies; Non-Lethal Counter-Electronic Attack

** TOPIC NOTICE **

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