Minotaur Alternate Radio Command and Control Operations Using Ultrahigh Frequency Data Mode

Navy SBIR 23.1 - Topic N231-024
NAVAIR - Naval Air Systems Command
Pre-release 1/11/23   Opens to accept proposals 2/08/23   Closes 3/08/23 12:00pm ET

N231-024 TITLE: Minotaur Alternate Radio Command and Control Operations Using Ultrahigh Frequency Data Mode

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): General Warfighting Requirements (GWR); Networked C3

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 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 an architecture that can disseminate Line-of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond (LOS) Internet Protocol (IP)-Based Tracks via existing ARC-210 Gen5/6 Radios via the Ultrahigh Frequency (UHF) Transport Layer.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy requires common, Ultrahigh Frequency (UHF) communications dissemination and sharing capability that will allow extended range data sharing and dissemination of Minotaur Family of Services (MFoS) data products at the forward edge/operating area of our Multi-Agency Platforms. This SBIR topic seeks to enable Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) to achieve Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) across multi-services/Agency/Domain (USN, USMC, USCG, and CBP), enabling Level of Interoperability (LOI) 3 Command and Control of other Platform’s Sensors.

1. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Model will be used for the conceptual framework to describe the functions of the Minotaur Alternate Radio C2 Operations (MARCO) networking system. The effort needs to support the following use cases to achieve Joint interoperability across multiple platforms:

Node-to-Node Mode: MFoS data products need to be shared between MFoS equipped Platforms via UHF Frequency data channels enabling Full Kill-Chain Execution from Sensor to Shooter.

2. Communications Relay Mode (LOS): Establish Line-of-Sight (LOS) communications relay across multiple nodes to allow for Over-the-Horizon data dissemination using existing ARC-210 radios to distribute MFoS data.

3. SATCOM Mode (BLOS): Establish Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) communications to accommodate both data providers and consumer roles using existing ARC-210 radios to distribute MFoS data as well as other data sources.


Proposed solutions should enable Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) to achieve Joint All Domain Command & Control (JADC2) across multi-services/Agency/Domain (USN, USMC, USCG, and CBP). Additionally, this will enable Level of Interoperability (LOI) 3 Command and Control of other Platform’s sensors.

Technical considerations should include, but not be limited to:

1. Data Rate – Measure how much/little data can flow from node to node. Minotaur has a Quality of Service (QoS) data throttling capability that we will leverage to show how much Minotaur data we can share between nodes for Kill Chain execution. Threshold = > 9 kbps, Objective = > 115 kbps

2. Data Latency – Measure time it takes for data dissemination from point A to point B. Threshold = < 2 Seconds, Objective = < 1 Second from Minotaur Platform to Minotaur Platform (Using Minotaur Remote over UHF)

3. Data Integrity – Measure Packet loss between nodes. Threshold = > 95%, Objective = > 99% for 6 minutes in a permissive environment.


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 and Security Agency (DCSA) formerly Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and NAVAIR 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 and demonstrate the feasibility of a conceptual design/architecture that will support dedicated UHF C2 communications between two or more aircraft platforms through both LOS and BLOS Physical Layers. Leveraging modeling and simulation simulate Radio Frequency (RF) connections and data message transfer of Minotaur messages to include, but are not limited to, (Based on Bandwidth) track position, classification, speed, altitude, and track quality. An additional objective is to show external control of Minotaur platform sensors using UHF Data mode. The technology should be in compliance with Quality Management and Software Design standards, such as ISO 9001, and DEVSECOPS are desired to ensure future interoperability with the Navy’s Naval Operational Architecture (NOA). The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: A lab based demonstration will show aircraft node-to-aircraft node Minotaur Data transfer (both directions), sensor control of an Electro-Optical camera using the Minotaur Interface Control Document (ICD), and exchange of MFoS data (both directions) between a ground node and an aircraft node. The AIS data exchange should be demonstrated over the UHF data network. Laptops installed with MFoS software will be provided as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) for aircraft and ground nodes.

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: Continue the development of the MARCO Software Product to include LOS and BLOS Physical Layers while supporting both classified and unclassified data transport, and address defects from Phase II.

The demonstration will include three or modes simultaneously, two aircraft and one ground, ensuring stability of the aircraft-to-aircraft Minotaur Data transfer (both directions) and exchange of MFoS data (both directions) between a ground node and an aircraft node. The sensor control of an Electro-Optical camera using the Minotaur Interface Control Document (ICD) and AIS data exchange should be demonstrated over the UHF data network is required.

All Minotaur equipped platforms will be able to leverage MARCO’s capabilities for data dissemination and sharing. Multi-Agency Platforms will leverage MARCO’s capabilities.


1.       Sagduyu, Y. E., Shi, Y., Ponnaluri, S., Soltani, S., Li, J., Riley, R., Banner, C., & Heinen, G. (2018). Optimal Network-Centric Planning for Airborne Relay Communications. IEEE Systems Journal, 12(4), 3450-3460. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8252697

2.       Department of Defense. (2006, February 28). DoD 5220.22-M National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (Incorporating Change 2, May 18, 2016). Department of Defense. https://www.esd.whs.mil/portals/54/documents/dd/issuances/dodm/522022m.pdf

3.       Technical Committee ISO/TC 176. (2015, September 15). Quality management systems – Requirements. International Standard ISO 9001. wqc-portal.pwa.co.th/attachment/topic/88/ISO_9001_2015.pdf

4.       Chief Information Officer. (2019, August 12). DoD enterprise DevSecOps reference design. Department of Defense. https://dodcio.defense.gov/Portals/0/Documents/DoD%20Enterprise%20DevSecOps%20Reference%20Design%20v1.0_Public%20Release.pdf


KEYWORDS: Dissemination; Interoperability; Network; UHF; Communications; Transport Layer

TPOC-1: David Gerda

Phone: (216) 200-1916


TPOC-2: Michael Mozzo 

Phone: (301) 904-5076


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the Navy Topics in the DoD 23.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at www.defensesbirsttr.mil/SBIR-STTR/Opportunities/#announcements for any updates.

The DoD issued its Navy 23.1 SBIR Topics pre-release on January 11, 2023 which opens to receive proposals on February 8, 2023, and closes March 8, 2023 (12:00pm ET).

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