Air force 16. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions

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The SAR sensor transceiver needs to be <5 lbs (modular, replaceable), designed for multi-use (both airborne- and ground-based SAR/ISAR applications/platforms) with a required resolution (range & cross-range) of 4-6 inches with a dynamic range of at least 60dB. Typical operating parameters for this type of sensor is for measurement slant ranges of .1-10 Km at altitudes of 0-10,000 ft. Prime power (DC) for the sensor package should be approx. 80-100W range.

The technology to design and develop miniature SINGLE POLARIZATION, X (8-12 GHz) and Ku Band (16-18 GHz.) SAR sensors has been demonstrated by Sandia National Labs (see 'miniSAR' references) and further miniaturization has been realized by systems such as the IMSAR 'NanoSAR' (C & X-Band). This effort is unique in developing and demonstrating the capability to perform dual-polarized, high-resolution SAR measurements at Ka (34-36 GHz.) and W-Bands (94-96 GHz.) with a miniaturized transceiver module and to calibrate the system for RCS measurements. The technical challenges will be in developing planar dual-polarized antenna(s) as well as miniature Ka & W-Band transmitter/receiver components. Higher frequency MMW sensors provide increased gain for the same size lower frequency antenna and need less RF power to achieve the required performance. Dual-pol antennas also provide additional capability to discriminate man-made objects from clutter (ATR). Developing both features advances current state-of-the-art for MMW seeker/sensor systems. SAR algorithms, digital signal processing and data collection software/hardware can be leveraged from existing miniSAR and NanoSAR types of systems and adapted for required motion compensation and image focusing.

PHASE I: Feasibility design for miniaturization of MMW SAR (primarily antennas and transceiver components) and methods to adapt current C, X and Ku-Band, single polarization SAR sensor technologies specific to development/demonstration of a dual-polarized MMW (Ka & W-Band) miniature SAR sensor(s) including design trade-offs (cost, weight, power, resolution, data processing, imagery, etc.).

PHASE II: Design and develop miniature MMW SAR sensors. Demonstration of MMW SAR/ISAR imaging capability (Ka & W bands) and data collection.

Delivery of prototype MMW Sensor hardware and data collection system with quick-look imaging capability.

Phase II measurement platforms for a miniature MMW SAR Sensor should include both airborne- (manned and unmanned) and ground-based (such as boom-lifts, fixed towers, linear rails and cable systems) to meet T&E requirements.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military: Ka and W Band SAR/ISAR sensors for tgt/background/clutter measurements for smart weapons (i.e., SDB-2, JAGM, ARGUS) and tactical ISR on light-weight, low-cost UAV/UAS.
Advances MMW ATR algorithm dev. Commercial: Remote sensing, SAR imaging, environmental monitoring (crops, spills, etc.}.


1. "Results of the Sub-Thirty-Pound, High-Resolution 'miniSAR' Demonstration," Dale Dubbert, April Sweet, George Sloan, Armin Doerry, Sandia National Labs, Albuquerque, NM. SPIE, D&SS, Apr. 2006 #6209-12.14.

2. "FPGA's Role in the Development of Synthetic SARs," Dale Dubbert. George Sloan, Armin Doerry, Sandia National Labs, Wireless Design Magazine 03/04.

3. "Miniature Radar Developed for Lightweight Unmanned Aircraft," William Matthews, Defense News, 18 Mar 2008.

4. "NanoSAR C" IMSAR Data and Specification Sheet, 20.

5. ScanEagle A Data and Specification Sheet, Boeing/Insitu, 2014.

6: Penguin B Data/Specification Sheet v2.0, UAV Factory, 2015.

Soft copies of references are available by contacting Topic Author (

KEYWORDS: millimeter-wave, MMW, synthetic aperture radar, SAR, miniature UAV sensor


TITLE: Cryo-Vacuum FTS using COTS Parts for Sensor Responsivity Measurements


OBJECTIVE: Develop a cryo-vacuum rated Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) system for use as a narrow-line infrared source for imaging sensor responsivity measurement characterization in space simulation test facilities.

DESCRIPTION: Determination of the spectral response of space- and air-borne imaging systems is critical to understanding the performance of systems designed for missions involving the discrimination of thermal targets. Narrow-line infrared radiometric source technology is needed to provide a sufficient spectral resolution test capability for use in cryo-vacuum space simulation facilities where space-borne and air-borne imaging systems are tested. This capability is also needed for on-board calibration validation for flight hardware. Instruments using monochromators or circular variable filters have issues with sufficient resolution, spectral continuity (require multiple gratings or filter segments), cost, size, and/or complexity of moving parts. These issues can create size, weight, and power (SWAP) impacts to the detriment of the low radiometric background of a LWIR calibration facility.

Innovative solutions are needed that can package existing Fourier transform spectrometer technology into a compact cryo-vacuum configuration that makes use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The integration of these components should be accomplished in a manner such that modification and repair (hardware, software, firmware, etc.) can be accomplished by the user in a straightforward manner without removal of the device. The system must operate in a step-scan mode in sync with the system under test (SUT), and operate over the spectral range from 1 to 20 µm with a spectral resolution of 4 cm-1. The system should use external input/output signals such as: TTL signal indication that stable mirror position conditions are met (i.e., ready for SUT data acquisition status), TTL input signal to trigger movement to the next mirror position, TTL output signal indicating completion of a scan.

The prototype system should have the capability of scanning small regions about the interferogram centerburst to allow for SUT integration level checks. The prototype needs to communicate with the test facility control system and record instrument status change events (aperture setting, interferometer mirror position, etc.) correlated to the facility provided IRIG-B timing signal. The internal light source should be properly shielded to prevent stray light leakage into the test space chamber. The system should be equipped with either remote or autonomous interferometer alignment. The relative spectral irradiance across the output beam cross section should be uniform. The total band pass integrated output power should be 5 mW with the FTS configured for 4 cm-1 spectral resolution. Spectral stability must be greater than 0.5 percent (one Sigma). The Phase I should demonstrate 8 cm-1 spectral resolution from 1 to 14 µm with a minimum output spectral power of 0.1 µW/cm-1 across the spectral region of 2 to 14 microns. The system design must be user-serviceable and operate in a cryo-vacuum environment at 20 K and 10-6 Torr. The Phase II should demonstrate 4 cm-1 spectral resolution from 1 to 20 µm with an output power of 0.2 µW/cm-1 across the spectral region. The prototype system should be user-serviceable and operate in a cryo-vacuum environment at 30 K and 10-6 Torr. Priority will be given to cryo-vacuum operation and ease of use rather than exactly meeting the resolution, spectral range, equal spectral spacing, and power specifications.

PHASE I: Demonstrate a proof-of-concept narrow-line infrared FTS source as stated in the description.

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype narrow-line infrared FTS source as stated in the description.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Enhanced spectral test capability for military and commercial airborne and space-borne sensors.


1. Kaplan, S.G., Woods, S.I., Jung, T.M., and Carter, A.C., “Cryogenic Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer from 4 to 20 Micrometers,” SPIE Proc. Vol. 7739, 77394D-8 (2010).

2. Kaplan, S.G., Woods, S.I., Jung, T.M., and Carter, A.C., “Calibration of IR Test Chambers with the Missile Defense Transfer Radiometer,” SPIE Proc. Vol. 8707, 870709-12 (2013).

3. Lagueux, P., Chamberland, M., Marcotte, F., Villemaire, A., Duval, M., Genest, J., and Carter, A., “Performance of a Cryogenic Michelson Interferometer,” SPIE Proc. Vol. 7082, 7082Q-11 (2008).

4. Lowry, H. S., et al., Test and Evaluation of Space and Airborne Imaging Sensor Platforms in the AEDC Space Sensor Test Chambers, AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 48, No. 6, November–December 2011.

5. Range Commanders Council Telecommunications and Timing Group, “IRIG Serial Time Code Formats,”

KEYWORDS: cryo-vacuum, Fourier transform spectrometer, infrared, relative spectral response, sensor testing, space simulation


TITLE: High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) Magnets


OBJECTIVE: Develop high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets to replace low temperature superconducting (LTS) magnets to increase performance and reduce operational cost of a supersonic magnetically levitated rocket sled.

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force has developed a magnetically levitated rocket sled system with a sled that traverses a guideway. The system is known as the Holloman Maglev Track (HMT). The HMT uses a rocket-propelled sled that carries LTS magnets along copper plates fixed in a concrete guideway to create the levitation forces required to control the flight of the sled. Sled velocities have been demonstrated up to 900 feet/second and are projected to be supersonic. The LTS magnets require liquid helium cooling. The cooling process is complex, which drives significant design complexity and adds weight to the HMT system. Recent advances in technology have the promise of providing HTS magnets (liquid nitrogen cooled) that could replace the LTS magnets with 10 to 40-plus percent improvements in both operational cost and magnet weight. Somewhat fragile but technologically mature copper-oxide HTS, or robust but technologically immature iron-based HTS may offer material solutions for use in HTS magnets. Levitation forces should be achievable that would allow system heave and sway restoring forces of approximately 10,000 pounds/inch. An LTS magnet should be a direct replacement for an HTS magnet allowing testing and subsequent employment on the existing Maglev rocket sled. Use of government equipment, materials and facilities will not be required for this project, but use of government data from HTM testing will be required for this project.

PHASE I: Research advances in superconducting materials in last decade and identify candidates. Develop models of materials and cryogenic environment to assist Phase II work. Material testing may assist in selection. Study exposure of supersonic travel velocity & associated acceleration & vibration level on Maglev test vehicles. Develop plans to integrate materials & cryogenics into a Maglev-style magnet.

PHASE II: Design and fabricate a prototype HTS magnet, including all electrical, mechanical and cryogenic interface and support equipment, for use on an existing HMT sled.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military: Use to levitate rocket sleds at the Holloman Maglev Track.
- Medical industry could use high temperature magnets since operational cost should be significantly lower than magnets currently used in MRIs.
- Commercial rail system that is less costly than current technology.


1. "Superconductivity at 27 K in tetragonal FeSe under high pressure," Mizuguchi, Y. et al, Cornell University Library (2008).

2. "Materials science challenges for high-temperature superconducting wire," Foltyn, S. R. et al, Nature Materials 6, 631 - 642 (2007).

3. "Advances in second generation high temperature superconducting wire manufacturing and R&D at American Superconductor Corporation," Rupich, Martin W. et al, Superconductor Science and Technology Volume 23 Number 1 (2010).

4. "High-Performance High-Tc Superconducting Wires," Kang, S. et al, Science Vol. 311 no. 5769 (31 March 2006).

5. “Recent Increases in Hypersonic Test Capabilities at the Holloman High Speed Test Track and Design of a Magnetically Levitated Test Track Capability,” Minto, David W. & Bosmajian, Neil, AIAA Progress in Aeronautics and Astronautics Series, Advances In Hypersonic Ground Test Facilities (2002).

KEYWORDS: high temperature, superconducting, magnet, Maglev, cryogenic, supersonic


TITLE: High Speed Extraction of Hyperspectral Images within a Plume Radiation Database Structure


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 and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon,

OBJECTIVE: Develop high speed (real-time) techniques to extract hyperspectral images from plume signature databases.

DESCRIPTION: Hyperspectral image databases of plume radiation, derived from physics-based numerical simulations which are combined with empirical measurements, are currently utilized by the DoD sensor community in developing warning sensors and countermeasures and to provide representative scenes for testing operational sensors in hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) facilities. Such databases employ image compression techniques to keep the database size tractable. However, near real-time image extraction is limited to a nearest neighbor method, requiring densely placed database nodes and the related increase in database size, to minimize errors in the extraction process. Image interpolation techniques, being evaluated for use within the image extraction process are currently formulated to work with uncompressed images, significantly slowing down the image extraction process.

This effort seeks to develop a coupled image compression/image interpolation technique that will allow for the real time extraction and manipulation of hyperspectral images. Special emphasis is needed to modify/morph the extracted axisymmetric plume imagery to account for angle-of-attack influences that result in plume bending. Plume bending results in a significantly different signature dependence on aspect angle than plumes with their axis aligned with the missile velocity vector. Accurately representing this aspect angle dependence and concomitant image appearance is important to missile warning sensor algorithms. Innovative approaches that use hardware acceleration such as multi-core CPUs and GPUs to enable rapid image extraction with compact databases size are desirable.

PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of image interpolation algorithms in compressed signature imagery database extraction environment. Develop an approach for morphing axisymmetric imagery to account for plume bending. Develop a theoretical framework to appropriately account for the influence of angle of attack, Mach number, and altitude on the bent plume appearance. Extract 256 x 256 images at 50 Hz.

PHASE II: Develop a real time implementation of the algorithms developed under Phase I. Characterize the performance of modern hardware and assess the accuracy of the algorithm on realistic image databases. Extract 256 x 256 images at 400 Hz, which means the interpolation process must run at 1,000 Hz.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This technology will have utility for a wide array of hyperspectral imagery being used for tactical and strategic scene generation and hardware in the loop simulations.


1. Simmons, M.A. “The Integration of CFD Modeling and Simulation into Plume measurement Programs,” AIAA 99-2255, Presented at the 35th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA, June 20-24, 1999.

2. Feather, B. K., Fulkerson, S. A., Jones, J.H., Reed, R.A., Simmons, M. A., Swann, D. G., Taylor, W. E., Bernstein, L. S., “Compression Technique for Plume Hyperspectral Images,” SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5806, 1 June 2005.

3. Miles, R.D., Thorwart, M.J. and Taylor, M.W., “Applications of Image Morphing Technology to Exhaust Plume Radiance Maps and Flowfields,” PST TR-112, 33rd JANNAF EPTS, Monterey, CA, December 2012.

KEYWORDS: hyperspectral imagery, radiometric signatures, hardware in the loop, image compression, image interpolation


TITLE: Rapid Assessment of Structural Vulnerability


OBJECTIVE: Develop software to rapidly determine residual strength of damaged aircraft structures and create structural vulnerability probability of kill tables.

DESCRIPTION: In support of Air Force live fire test programs, many pre/post-test analysis damage scenarios are simulated using finite element tools, such as LS-DYNA. This analysis includes damage from a variety of damage mechanisms including blast, Hydrodynamic Ram (HRAM), fragmentation, thermal (fire, directed energy, laser, etc.), as well as any combination of these mechanisms. LS-DYNA simulations are also used for design of experiments (DOE), range safety, and test apparatus design before the test; and model validation and simulated excursions after the test. Because of computational time and resource limitations, simulations are frequently limited to partial (cropped) structures and, as a result, it is difficult to load these structures realistically after damaging them to determine residual strength (a key performance parameter). In LS-DYNA, damage can be accurately determined from complex threats on complex targets but the timescale is on the order of milliseconds. For a full aircraft wing with fuel, computational runs often require 24-72 hours running on 32-64 processors for each damage and load scenario. While it is possible to determine residual strength, the time scale for such simulations is seconds. Completing runs within a reasonable amount of computer resources requires modeling simplifications or assumptions. For thermal events that occur over minutes, the problem of achieving an effective model simplification is exacerbated.

Similarly, vulnerability analysis, used by analysis of alternative (AoA) studies for design and by war game (campaign, mission, and engagement) simulations for accurate kill removal assessment, face a similar problem in order to generate useful structural probability of kill (PK) tables. What is needed is a way to rapidly determine the probability of global failure given local damage at many shotline locations and orientations. Given a defined aircraft structure, the goal is to assess thousands of shotlines (each with different damage conditions) per day.

Simulation software is needed to rapidly determine the effects of any combination of local damage mechanisms on the global failure of large aircraft structures (wing, fuselage, tail surfaces, control surfaces, etc.). This topic would develop, implement, and demonstrate software that can convert pre/post -test analysis simulation inputs (e.g., LS-DYNA explicit finite element simulation inputs) to a simpler form and then rapidly determine the residual strength of the structure after damage. Such software would be able to rapidly apply damage to a variety of locations and determine residual strength, deflection, and generate structural PK tables for vulnerability assessment tools such as the FASTGEN (Fast Shotline Generator) and COVART (Computation of Vulnerable Area and Repair Time). While execution of this topic does not necessarily require use of Government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities, such services may be made available upon contractor request. Examples include on-base office space with desktop PCs and networking, assess to the DoD Supercomputing Resource Center, and (if available) test data supporting software verification and validation.

PHASE I: After nine months prepare a plan-of-action necessary to develop software capable of rapidly determining residual strength of damaged aircraft structures and creating structural vulnerability probability of kill tables.

PHASE II: Execute the software development plan-of-action. Design software capable of rapidly determining residual strength of damaged aircraft structures and creating structural vulnerability probability of kill tables. Prepare and perform software risk reduction. Verify and validate this software using load-to-failure test data.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military Applications: Aircraft design, Aircraft testing allowing damaged aircraft performance assessment and test extrapolation, and Aircraft Operations planning.
Commercial Applications: Commercial aircraft testing and large engine debris analysis.


1. Baker, W. (1973). Explosions in Air. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC). Retrieved from

2. Kinney, G. G. (1995). Explosive Shocks in Air (2nd Edition ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag. LSTC. (2015).

3. "LS-DYNA Keyword User's Manual”, Volume 1.

KEYWORDS: M&S, modeling, simulation, vulnerability, assessment, aircraft, structure, flight, failure, load, blast, fragment, thermal, damage


TITLE: IRIG Data Recorder Validation


OBJECTIVE: Research and develop an innovative simplified approach to validate telemetry data recorders in accordance with Range Commanders Council (RCC) Inter-Range Instrumentation Group 106 (IRIG-106), Chapter 10 standards (Ch. 10).

DESCRIPTION: The test and evaluation (T&E) range community needs an innovative simplified software/hardware toolset to verify the performance parameters of digital recorder systems and recorder memory modules to test IRIG compatibility and standard compliance to increase interoperability.

The purpose of this topic is to develop an innovative simplified validator system that tests any data recorder and recorder memory modules for compliance with Ch.10. Compliance with Ch. 10 should ensure interoperability between different commercial vendors and military users. The current tools, both hardware and software are limited in capability to test all Ch. 10 paragraphs and are proprietary.

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