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Enhanced De-Interleavers for Submarine Electronic Warfare Support (ES) Systems


OBJECTIVE: The objective is to develop innovative algorithms and techniques to automatically detect, classify, and uniquely identify emitters exhibiting multi-dimensional agilities, extremely wide band RF distribution, high time bandwidth coherent characteristics, and solid state power amplifier technologies. DESCRIPTION: As the submarine"s electronic operational environment becomes increasingly complex and dense, the AN/BLQ-10 (the submarine Electronic Warfare (EW) system) cannot provide accurate data to the Electronic Warfare Support (ES) operator. The automatic functions of the system are not keeping pace with the new technology in emitters being fielded. This forces the operator to spend the majority of his time processing, verifying accuracy, correlating, and trying to provide timely operational information to decision makers. Consequently, ES operators are drawn from their primary responsibilities of ship safety, self protection, and 360 degree situational awareness to a more time consuming effort of signal recognition and analysis. De-interleaving is the process of taking random RF energy as it is received by the ES system and sorting the energy into cluster/groups so that all the received energy from individual emitters is separated out into their individual components. De-interleaving is the process used to ensure all pulses being used to identify an emitter actually come from the same emitter and are not being intermingled with other emitter pulses. Submarine ES operators need de-interleaving techniques that can deal with the rapid proliferation of extremely complex emissions. These new target sets are agile in multiple dimensions simultaneously, can exhibit random / pseudo random characteristics in all parameters, and are demonstrating a trend to lower peak power transmissions yet maintaining extremely capable detection properties through coherent integration. The complex electronic environment of today demands newer algorithms to be able to detect, classify, localize, and uniquely identify the current extremely agile emitters and the new solid state radars. Current State of the Art capabilities for de-interleavers do not address these new emitter types. State of the Art for the detection and classification of LPI emitters is the PENNANT/SHAWNA capability and it cannot handle these new emitter classes. It is extremely capable against first generation coherent emitters, but the second and third generation coherent emitters are too complex for the current capability to classify and identify them. For the current generation of radars that are demonstrating agilities on a pulse by pulse basis, the traditional delta Tau de-interleavers are inadequate. These emitters change their parameters so frequently that the current state of the art algorithms cannot adequately detect, classify or identify them. The Navy is seeking de-interleavers that do not require a priori knowledge of the emitters to be able to automatically detect, classify, and uniquely identify the extremely complex emissions of today and tomorrow. This must be performed in real time while operating in extremely dense littoral mission areas. Specific items that will need to be addressed: 1) Radars that can change Pulse Repetition Interval (PRI), Pulse Width (PW), Frequency (RF) on a pulse by pulse basis. 2) Radars that can change their Intra-Pulse Characteristics on a Pulse by Pulse basis. 3) Radars that can change their Inter-Pulse Characteristics on a Pulse by Pulse basis. 4) Radars that are very low power (less than 200 Watts peak transmit power). 5) Radars that are extremely low power (less than 10 Watts Peak transmit power). 6) Real time processing of a dense environment (greater than 5 Million pulses per second in a 10 millisecond burst; and greater than 2 million pulses per second at a sustained rate) 7) Pulse widths varying from 10 nanoseconds to 10 milliseconds wide 8) Frequency agility greater than 400 MHz wide 9) Emitters exhibiting phase coded RF properties. The current capabilities of the AN/BLQ-10 are severely handicapped by the proprietary nature of the individual subsystem (Early Warning receiver (EWR), Radar Wideband (RWB), Radar Narrowband (RNB), Specific Emitter Identification (SEID), Advanced Processing Receiver (APR), Automatic Direction Finding (ADF) and Improved Communication Acquisition and DF (ICADF)) and the age of the systems involved (ADF is greater than 20 years old and RWB and RNB are each greater than 15 years old). These systems do not have the capability of de-interleaving today's complex emitter sets. There are currently no current techniques available to perform the de-interleaving of these complex emitters of today's operational environment. The NAVSEA PMS435 need is to develop new de-interleavers that can automatically detect, classify and uniquely identify these new complex emitters, allowing the operator to spend his time performing ship safety and self protection vice signal analysis and classification. These new algorithms must be open architecture in nature and easily extensible as future radars create new requirements. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and the contractor will need to be prepared for personnel and facility certification for secure access. PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for autonomous algorithms to de-interleave extremely complex radar emissions in real time that meet the requirements identified above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in de-interleaving these emitters in extremely dense RF environments with a very high degree of accuracy (>90% correct reports) for operators within the requirements described above. Demonstrate the feasibility of technology development to achieve the objective. Develop and evaluate breadboard concepts of key technology components. Prepare a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key developmental milestones and identify risks and risk mitigation efforts. PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, develop a working prototype of the selected concept. Evaluate the prototype in the laboratory to prove the ability of the concept to meet performance goals established in Phase I and Phase II development plan. Based on the results of the evaluation, finalize the concept into a preliminary design. Develop a detailed plan and method of implementation into a full-scale application. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the small business will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use should a Phase III award be made. The small business will implement the Phase III plan developed in Phase II and will prepare a manufacturing plan for the technology. The small business will be expected to make the necessary teaming arrangements with the manufacturers of the components used in end product. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The US Coast Guard and Homeland Defense have a need (requirement) to be able to detect and classify these next generation Solid State Radar systems. Advanced Signal Processing Techniques are needed in the commercial communications fields. Advanced de-interleaving techniques can be used by communication companies to allow for more users to occupy the same frequency spectrum via more complex spreading techniques.
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