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Maneuver Level Laser Target Designator


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Human Systems, Sensors, Weapons, Air Platform, Battlespace


The objective of this topic is to develop a maneuver level laser target designator (M-LTD) for use with the emerging class of small, precision guided munitions, organic to maneuver level SOF units (squad, team, platoon, etc.) that is out of the threat Semi Active Laser (SAL) countermeasure wave length.


With the emergence of man portable SAL and image guided precision weapons and with the Size Weight and Power (SwaP) challenges associated with Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 3733 compliant Laser Designators, a new class of laser target designators (LTDs) is required to enable small, handheld and/or rifle mounted designators to engage maneuver level targets (personnel, light vehicles, small structures, etc). The government requires that the designator be separated from STANAG 3733 designators by a different wavelength to prevent conflict or confusion on the battlefield and, more importantly, so that the LTDs cannot be countered by threat SAL countermeasures. The desired designator will be restricted for use with the new family of maneuver level small precision munitions and will have a laser coding system other than Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) encoding. The intent of the requirement is for the government to use forms of laser coding other than PRF and employing a new laser wavelength, so that the threat from SAL countermeasure will be ineffective on the battlefield.


Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled "Description".

The objective of this SOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study ("Technology Readiness Level 3") to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with SOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.


Develop, and demonstrate a prototype laser target designator system that was determined to be among the most feasible solutions during the Phase I feasibility study. The testing and demonstration will contain scenarios, environments, and test objectives to demonstrate program and operational objectives.


This Laser Target Designation system could be used in a broad range of military applications, to include small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) platforms, small unmanned ground vehicle (UGVs) as well as human platforms, in both an overt and covert applications. The fundamental capability to use a laser to cue an image tracker on another platform to lock on an track a target would have broad application to tagging surveillance and tracking by law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.



[6] DoD Instruction 6055.15 (DoD Laser Protection Program).

[5] MIL-STD 1425A (Safety Design Requirements for Military Lasers):

[4] Military Handbook 828C (Range Laser Safety):

[3] ANSI z136.1, z 136.4, z136.6 (Safe Use of Lasers, NOTAL):

[2] 21 CFR 1040 (Performance Standards for Light Emitting Products):

[1] MIL-STD-810G Method 519.6 Gunfire Shock:

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