Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.81K | Year: 2015
The reactor vessel coolant level is currently measured primarily by differential pressure DP) and by heated junction thermocouple HTJC) probes. The DP gauge measures only collapsed water level and not two-phase level, while the HJTC probe indicates whether or not the water level has reached the elevation of a specific probe. The HJTC probes are typically located at discrete intervals so the measurement is not continuous. Gravimeter- based instruments have the potential for providing accurate, non-invasive and continuous reactor coolant inventory measurements. ISL will develop a new, innovative sensor designed to non-invasively measure coolant inventory distribution within the reactor vessel, based upon gravitational technology. The proposed study, if it establishes feasibility of the measurement technique, could lead to a major advancement for reactor coolant inventory monitoring, greatly enhancing the reactor performance in sustainability, safety and security aspects identified in Mission Supporting Transformative Research programs. Commercially available gravimeters with state-of-the-art sensitivity will be configured to measure coolant inventory in the Oregon State University MASLWR SMR prototype test facility, under a variety of conditions. Since the gravimeter-based system is non-invasive, our experiments not require modifications of the test facility and will be run concurrently with other testing. Accurate conversion of the gravitational output signals to coolant inventory information will be verified by comparison to data produced by the coolant level instrumentation in the MASLWR facility. The measured data will be compared to numerical models produced independently, for verification. After conclusion of the testing program, optimal gravimeter configuration and design features to enhance coolant inventory measurements will be determined, and implemented in the design of a commercialized system that will be directed to SMR applications. We will work with SMR vendors such as NuScale Power, LLC, to optimize the design according to their needs and expert feedback, in order to best commercialize the technology.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015
ABSTRACT: The proliferation of digital hardware and high performance amplifiers has resulted in a high degree of signal similarity among radar systems. As a consequence, modern electronic warfare systems are facing a signal characterization and specific emitter identification problem using traditional methods. Under Phase I, ISL identified a novel multidimensional feature that is generally independent of the emitter waveform parameters. This new feature has allowed us to develop a novel solution to the problem of jamming advanced radar emitters. The overall objective of the Phase II program is the insertion of new electronic warfare (EW) techniques based on the new multidimensional feature into existing and planned EW systems including the ALQ-161. BENEFIT: The proposed SBIR program will provide the Air Force with the capability to identify and engage emerging advanced digital radar systems in complex RF environments.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.95K | Year: 2013
ABSTRACT: Radar sensors provide an important capability for combat missions involving air-to-air engagement of enemy aircraft. The main benefit of radar is the ability to detect targets at long stand-off ranges in all weather conditions. The main disadvantage is that radar transmissions are typically easily intercepted and provides a means for an adversary to both detect, track, and potentially target blue force aircraft. A new sensor system that exploits target illumination provided by commercial broadcast stations would provide an attractive air surveillance capability without the vulnerability of being intercepted that is inherent in traditional radar systems. During Phase I the feasibility of a new airborne passive radar system concept was established. Under Phase II the concept will be fully developed using a combination of simulated and experimental data collections. BENEFIT: The new system will provide the Air Force with a capability for covert air surveillance by providing a new passive RF sensor for combat aircraft that can display air target detections and tracks with militarily significant coverage and geolocation accuracy.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2012
Bistatic radar processing by airborne signals intelligence (SIGINT) and other intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) platforms affords covert, passive exploitation of adversary or own-force radar systems to improve tactical situational awareness and fused intelligence products. Traditionally these bistatic signals have been ignored or unexploited by existing SIGINT/ELINT. The bistatic signals, however, contain a rich set of radar returns from both targets and cultural and natural features (i.e., clutter) that can be used to improve emitter geolocation as well as provide covert surveillance of enemy aircraft. Exploiting the bistatic signals, however, requires both novel signal processing algorithms and advanced processing architectures that can meet the challenging computing requirements for extracting the information contained in the bistatic returns. Under a successful Phase I effort, ISL established feasibility of the bistatic processing concept by showing that advanced intelligence products can be extracted from the bistatic clutter returns in a computer with a form factor that is appropriate for integration on an airborne SIGINT collection platform. The proposed Phase II program will refine the processing concept developed in Phase I and show that it can be implemented in low-cost hardware.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2012
ISL Inc. teamed with APS and ERAPSCO in Phase I to explore the benefits of an underwater sensor that collects both acoustic and electric field (E-field) signals. Exploitation of both signals offers new possibilities for sensor cueing, data fusion, and classification. In Phase II, data were collected against actual targets, and the advantages of dual-signal data fusion was confirmed, in increased detections, false alarm reduction, vessel classification and kinematic tracking. The Phase 2.5 program will design, fabricate and test an A-size prototype of a combined E-field/acoustic sonobuoy, that is air-launchable. ISL and ERAPSCO will work together to finalize the sonobuoy design begun in Phase II, and fabricate it into an A-size prototype. The E-field electronics, mechanical electrode deployment and data communications will be integrated into a DIFAR SSQ-53 electronic and physical framework. Extensive lab and at-sea testing will be accomplished, and prototype sonobuoys will be launched against a target in a 2012 Fleet test. Finally, preliminary air-worthiness evaluations will be conducted, in preparation for final air and sea tests to be accomplished in Phase 3. At that time, the sonobuoys will be ready for air-launched intelligence data collections as their first application.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 975.86K | Year: 2012
A wide variety of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) carrying various sensors are increasingly deployed on today"s battlefield for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. These UAV platforms provide a wealth of ISR data mainly captured with video sensors. These video sensors provide considerable amounts of data for exploitation, suitable for various types of assisted and autonomous processing including target tracking, aimpoint generation, forensic analysis, and behavioral characterization. Generally the smaller UAVs do not have existing sensor models and sensor pointing direction may not be well known. These limitations make associating accurate position information with the full motion video (FMV) difficult using current techniques. Under previous SBIR funding, ISL developed the Full Motion Video Georegistration Application (FMVGA) to automatically produce georegistered FMV, i.e. a three-dimensional geoposition coordinate (latitude, longitude, and elevation) associated with every pixel of the video without the requirement for an associated sensor model or platform position information. In the proposed program, ISL will implement improvements identified by users during the evaluation process. These improvements will include 1) computational improvements, 2) application improvements to improve robustness, and 3) interface improvements. At the end of this program the FMVGA will have been evaluated in an operational setting and available for transition.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 744.56K | Year: 2012
This Phase 2 research is directed towards designing electrodes for electric field (E-field) sensing technology that will be incorporated into the design for an air-droppable, A-size acoustic/E-field combination sonobuoy (designated the"E-Buoy"). The electrodes are part of a 3-axis E-field sensing system, which also includes a pre-amplifier and an A/D circuit. Most current E-field sensors use a silver/silver-chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrode encased in conductive agar, which acts as a buffer between the electrode and the seawater. During the time it takes for these electrodes to come to equilibrium with the seawater upon buoy deployment, system performance can be degraded. The purpose of this effort is to develop a suitable electrode for employment in air-dropped buoys for ASW localization missions.. The primary tasks for this Phase are: (a) to identify whether alternative electrode types to the Ag/AgCl, primarily capacitive carbon electrodes, work better in the combination sonobuoy, (b) to determine the best way to buffer the electrodes, (c) to assess the feasibility and potential advantages of dry-storable electrodes vs. wet electrodes, and (d) to develop a prototype design for compact electrodes which can be packaged and stored within an A-size container for long periods prior to deployment, and open up automatically.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.93K | Year: 2013
ABSTRACT: The global proliferation of modern"digital"radar systems has resulted in a two-pronged crisis for traditional electronic intelligence (ELINT) emitter identification (ID) methods: (1) the sheer increase in radio frequency (RF) emitters sharing similar characteristics and of course spectrum and (2) ever increasing digitization of radar front-ends including solid state transmitters, digital arbitrary waveform generators (DAWGS), and active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs). The former exacerbates the need for higher precision SEI while the latter unfortunately makes it much more difficult to accomplish reliable SEI using classical methods. Under this SBIR program ISL will develop new SEI techniques that overcome these problems and provide the Air Force with a capability to engage emerging emitter threats in complex RF environments. BENEFIT: The proposed SBIR program will provide the Air Force with the capability to identify and engage emerging advanced digital radar systems in complex RF environments.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 739.50K | Year: 2012
ABSTRACT: Large numbers of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors spanning a number of different phenomenologies (e.g., radio frequency and optics) are currently employed in support of the global war on terror. While these sensors provide data streams that contain a wealth of valuable information for the warfighter, the growing collection capability is effectively overwhelming intelligence analysts and systems which limits the amount of intelligence that can currently be extracted from existing sensor data. It is likely that opportunities to extract additional intelligence such as high-fidelity enemy movement patterns by fusing or associating data among disparate sensor types are being lost because tools do not exist to fuse the data without significantly increasing operator workload. Thus an opportunity exists to develop new analysis/fusion capabilities that can draw from diverse information sources and associate the data thus creating intelligence from previously unrelated products. BENEFIT: The primary commercialization path for the technology developed under the proposed effort is with Department of Defense program offices developing advanced ground station capabilities that exploit data from multiple ISR sensor sources. The new techniques developed under this SBIR will allow operators to focus more of their efforts on the intelligence extraction problem such as monitoring the activities of individuals of interest as opposed to spending their time on tedious tasks such as manual association of data among sensors to identify tracks of interest
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.93K | Year: 2013
With the significant increase in mobile communications over the last decade, the communications bands have begun to encroach on the radar bands used by the military and other users. This includes the potential loss of some radar bands as well as sharing of the bands with other users which can result in degradation of both the communications and the radar performance. Techniques to mitigate this performance degradation will become increasingly vital in the coming years as the growth of wireless communication continues. This is especially critical in Europe where the wide-band 3G and 4G communications systems have allocated frequencies at 1800, 2100, and 2600 MHz. ISL"s toolbox of RFI detection and mitigation techniques are based on the cognitive radar architecture. Adapted to existing systems, these techniques provide a capability to robustly detect low levels of RFI and adapt the radar waveform to minimize interference while maintain radar system performance.