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Secure Battlefield Munition Communications and Angular Position Accuracy for Enhanced Lethality


OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: Control and Communications




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: To develop methods for secure battlefield communication with munitions to ensure the accuracy of angular orientation, to enhance target intercept capabilities, providing enhanced precision and lethality.


DESCRIPTION: When information is communicated between sensors on the battlefield or when information is transmitted and received between one or more nodes, it is necessary to conceal the information being transmitted. The communication between two or more nodes, requires the transmission of information and recovery of the transmitted information using radio frequency means. As a result, the transmitted sensory information, or the electronic communication between two or more nodes may be detected or jammed by an  adversary. The nodes may be a weapon platform and one or more munitions, UAVs, UAGs, fire control stations, and the like.


The initial feasibility studies have shown that information from sensors or information from two nodes or more could be inserted within the noise envelope using novel methods and be completely recovered at every receiving node, even in the presence of interference and noise and significantly better than any conventional methods.  When polarization was added to the developed method, the analysis shows a significant increase in resistance to detection, jamming and spoofing.


Such secure and communication capability between weapon platforms and other fire control platforms and munitions is critical for ensuring that the information cannot be detected, jammed, or spoofed and that the munition can be guided to its target with high precision and maximum lethality.

The technology is of particular importance for long range munitions since angular positioning errors can accumulate during their significantly longer flights, requiring correctional information communication from weapon platforms or central control stations and with the adversary having more time to detect and jam or spoof the communication information.


PHASE I: Conduct a systematic feasibility study of the proposed methods using analytical and computer modeling and simulation as well as proof-of-concept prototyping of the basic components of the system and laboratory testing to determine if they have the potential of meeting the all the requirements for use in munitions, UAVs and UGVs that are to be provided to the Phase I awardees. Manufacturability of the required hardware and compatibility with mass production technologies used in similar commercial applications to achieve low cost and highly reliable systems and the development of the required reliable and robust software must also be addressed. The Phase I effort must also provide a detailed plan for the development of concepts, along with their prototyping and testing during the project Phase II period.


PHASE II: Design and fabricate the required hardware prototype and develop the required software of the selected concepts for implementation on selected munition systems. The hardware that is to be integrated into munition must be capable to be hardened to withstand the munition firing environment. The developed hardware and software must be tested in the laboratory and in relevant environments, including in shock loading machines and in air guns. Demonstrate that such prototypes can survive in operational environments while securely communicating the sensory information within the environmental noise level so that it cannot be detected, jammed, or spoofed.  The Phase II period must also include the fabrication and delivery of final prototypes and software of the selected munitions applications.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The developed technology has a wide range of military applications for secure communication for remote sensing and targeting, including in UAVs, UGVs and remotely operated robotic systems. Commercial uses for such technology also include secure communication in highly noisy environment with low power for payloads or services using UAVs, UGVs and remotely operated robotic systems.



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KEYWORDS: APNT, guidance, secure communications, fire control, noisy environments

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