Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy Deployment System

Navy SBIR 24.1 - Topic N241-034
NAVSEA - Naval Sea Systems Command
Pre-release 11/29/23   Opens to accept proposals 1/03/24   Now Closes 2/21/24 12:00pm ET    [ View Q&A ]

N241-034 TITLE: Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy Deployment System


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 and deliver an innovative low Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C) Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy-Form-Factor Deployment System for an A-sized or extended A-sized Sonobuoy Form Factor Unit that can be easily integrated on multiple platforms.

DESCRIPTION: As underwater systems become increasingly prevalent in maritime operations, the Navy requires a means of deploying A-sized and extended A-sized sonobuoy form factor units as single and multiple payloads from various platforms including craft and vessels of opportunity. The Deployment System should be capable of deploying an encased A-Sized Sonobuoy and an encased extended A-sized sonobuoy form factor payload roughly the size of a cylinder 5.5 inches in diameter and 48 inches of length with a weight of 40 pounds. When deployed, the case (e.g., sonobuoy launch container) shall be left behind in the deployment system. Currently, there is no commercial technology that meets this requirement.

The Deployment System must be designed to be modular/reconfigurable such that it is capable of deploying 1 to 16 A-sized or extended A-sized sonobuoy form factor payloads depending on the platform’s available payload space. It must also not interfere with operations of the vessel and must be capable of deploying explosive payloads. For the purposes of this SBIR topic, deploy can mean released, launched, propelled or dropped in the water. However, the payload deploying mechanism must result in a consistent, repeatable, and safe separation of the payload.

At its maximum configurable size (16 payloads) the deployment system shall deploy each payload at a minimum distance of 3 plus or minus 0.5 meters. At its minimum configurable size (1 payload), the deployment system shall deploy each payload at a minimum distance of 0.5 plus or minus 0.1 meters.

At its maximum configurable size (16 payloads), the deployment system must be capable of integrating on the deck of a vessel with a maximum footprint of 238 inches by 70 inches, a deck load of 3,400 pounds and electrical power of 28 VDC at 25 A supplied by the vessel. Coordination with NAVSEA will be critical to understanding the most current available space(s) aboard other platforms, crafts and vessels of opportunity, as well as any weight/power restrictions on the Deployment System.

The Deployment System must be simple enough in design to allow for sustained operations and must be capable of at least 100 deployments before repair or refurbishment with high reliability and little maintenance down time for 24 hour/7 day surge periods. The Deployment System must also include a communications interface. While a communications package is not part of this topic, the deployment system should be capable of interfacing with a data communications system. The interface is intended to provide a mechanism for future unmanned or autonomous deployment. The system shall adhere to all applicable environmental standards of the latest version of MIL-STD-810, such as shock, vibration, electromagnetic interference/emission, etc.

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 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq., National Industrial Security Program Executive Agent and 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 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 during the advanced phases of this contract IAW the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), which can be found at Title 32, Part 2004.20 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Reference: National Industrial Security Program Executive Agent and Operating Manual (NISP), 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq. (1993).

PHASE I: Develop a concept for an innovative Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy Deployment System that meets the requirements specified in the Description. Demonstrate the feasibility by modeling and simulation, analysis, and/or laboratory experimentation, as appropriate.

The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop and deliver a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the Navy’s requirements. Perform detailed analysis, and live demonstration in a test environment as part of the evaluation. Provide detailed technical documentation of the design, including an interface control drawing and interface specification, to allow successful transition of the product.

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

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the transitioning the technology to Navy use through system integration and qualification testing of the Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy Deployment System. If successful, the Modular and Scalable Extended-Sonobuoy Deployment System could be applied to other Navy platforms.

In addition to such DoD applications, the communication system could be used in commercial oil, gas, and oceanographic sensing applications.


  1. Doerry, Dr. Norbert and Koenig, Dr. Philip. "Modularity and Adaptability in Future U.S. Navy Ship Designs," presented at MECON 2017, Hamburg Germany, November 21-23, 2017.
  2. Doerry, Dr. Norbert H. and Koenig, Dr. Philip. "Framework for Analyzing Modular, Adaptable and Flexible Surface Combatants," SNAME Maritime Convention, Houston, TX, October 25-27, 2017.

KEYWORDS: Deployment System; Low SWAP-C; Surface Vehicle, sonobuoy, A-sized sonobuoy; Easily Integrated; Reconfigurable; Sustained Operations


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the Navy Topics in the DoD 24.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its Navy 24.1 SBIR Topics pre-release on November 28, 2023 which opens to receive proposals on January 3, 2024, and now closes February 21, (12:00pm ET).

Direct Contact with Topic Authors: During the pre-release period (November 28, 2023 through January 2, 2024) proposing firms have an opportunity to directly contact the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the specific BAA topic. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on January 3, 2024 no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed unless the Topic Author is responding to a question submitted during the Pre-release period.

SITIS Q&A System: After the pre-release period, until January 24, 2023, at 12:00 PM ET, proposers may submit written questions through SITIS (SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System) at by logging in and following instructions. In SITIS, the questioner and respondent remain anonymous but all questions and answers are posted for general viewing.

Topics Search Engine: Visit the DoD Topic Search Tool at to find topics by keyword across all DoD Components participating in this BAA.

Help: If you have general questions about the DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk via email at [email protected]

Topic Q & A

1/2/24  Q. Is there a maximum vertical footprint for the deployment system?
   A. No, there is no specified set maximum vertical footprint. The vertical footprint is up to the offeror to propose, consistent with the description provided in the BAA topic.
1/2/24  Q. What is the maximum launch frequency of the sonobuoys?
   A. There is no specified set maximum launch frequency.
1/2/24  Q. Will the sonobuoys be launched from the aft of the vessel or from the side vessel?
   A. The orientation of the deployment is up to the offeror to propose, consistent with the description provided in the BAA topic.

[ Return ]