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Winnetka, CA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.71M | Year: 2014

Arete Associates has developed a compact lightweight lidar system for precision bathymetry and topography suitable for operation from a small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle. The subject of this Phase 2 SBIR is to adapt this existing system to perform submarine detection, classification, and localization. System adaptations include hardware upgrades to optimize ASW performance, implementation of optimal submarine detection algorithms into an on-board real-time processing system, and direct demonstration of the ASW capability by open ocean flights over representative submarine targets. Arete Associates has participated in virtually every program in airborne lidar for ocean remote sensing since the mid-1980s, and is the leading developer of blue-green lidar systems for the US Navy for mine detection applications such as the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS). By leveraging the operational experience with ASW lidar systems, the engineering expertise with airborne mine countermeasure systems, and the innovative designs of the compact lightweight bathymetric lidar, this SBIR provides an outstanding opportunity for the direct demonstration of the utility of a small compact lidar for real-time submarine detection and classification.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 154.05K | Year: 2016

It has long been known that analog computers can be faster and more power efficient than digital processors by many orders of magnitude. Until the 1970s analog computers were the dominant controllers in most industrial and military applications. Even today digital processors are still slower and more power consumptive than analog, but offer much more flexibility (programmability) and precision. The fist hybrid approach to combine the best of both technologies dates to 1971 where a hybrid analog/digital design solved the heat equation ten times fast than the comparable digital computer but the demonstration used discrete components and was not practical for large problems. In 2006, Cowan used essentially the same architecture but in VLSI to solve the same heat equation 100x faster and with 1% of the power of the comparable digital processor and was shown to be scalable. We propose to extend Cowans work to second order in time and incorporate the latest advances in programmability from the FPAA community to design a true programmable, hybrid processor capable of direct solution of systems of non-linear PDEs and verify via simulation the same 100x, 1% performance of Cowan. Fabrication of a VLSI chip will be the focus of Phase II.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Office for Chemical and Biological Defense | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.59M | Year: 2014

Raman spectroscopy is well suited for detecting trace surface contaminants that may indicate the presence of explosives, harmful chemical or biological agents, illicit drugs, or specific combinations of indicator chemicals used in processing nuclear materials. An example mobile Raman spectroscopy system is the vehicle mounted Joint Contaminated Surface Detector (JCSD), which uses a gaseous KrF excimer laser operating at 248 nm as the pump source; but the laser used presently in the JCSD presents significant logistical problems. The goal of this effort is to develop and build an improved all-solid-state laser that generates pulses at 236.5 nm. This effort will focus on packaging and design improvements that will improve reliability and portability. First, the optical design will be tested, analyzed, and improved to reduce sensitivity. Second, the mechanical design will be upgraded to reduce size and increase robustness. Third, the electronics will be redesigned and repackaged to reduce size. Finally, a computer control system will synchronize system components and automate laser operation.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 741.67K | Year: 2015

Arete proposes to develop, build, and demonstrate an all solid-state laser system that produces 20 mJ pulses at 473 nm and a repetition rate of 250 Hz. The laser design is based on a demonstrated high performance gain module with large mode area. The laser system is easily scalable for enhanced future capability.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2015

Detection and prosecution of naval surface and underwater mines is an increasingly important problem facing naval forces across the globe. Despite the need for strong mine countermeasure (MCM) technologies and capabilities, resources devoted to MCM have been limited in general, and are likely to remain sparse. There is therefore an urgent need to extract more actionable intelligence from the data streams of existing systems. Active sonar is the leading marine mine-hunting technology. The work proposed here aims to extend the capabilities of existing MCM systems using a combination of multi-ping processing and feature based classification to improve weak target detection and reduce the false contact rate. These algorithms will increase search rate and reduce operator review time for existing systems without the need for costly hardware upgrades. The algorithms will be capable of real-time processing on the existing PMA resources. By further exploiting existing sonar data streams this work will increase the increase the effectiveness of these critical Navy assets.

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