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Affordable Compact HPRF/HPM Attack Warning System


Advances in high power microwave threats pose significant dangers to critical naval electronic systems. To mitigate these dangers, a warning system is needed that will cover a broad range of potential HPRF frequencies and large dynamic range of intensities with the ability to survive and be operational under the highest intensities with low false alarm rate. The HPRF sensor should be able to provide frequency information of the attack, which may be wideband pulses (100-500 MHz, pulse widths 2 – 200 ns) or narrowband (500 MHz – 5 GHz, pulse widths 1ns-5μs). It must also measure the approximate power level as well as information about the direction to, and possible range of, the attacker to provide information for possible evasion maneuvers or potential retaliation. It is desirable to obtain HPRF geo-location information with an error of less than 5 degrees in both the azimuth and elevation/declination and provide an approximate target range. The HPRF irradiation may or not be repetitive. The system should be able to survive HPRF field intensities in excess of 50 W/cm2 without damage to the detection system (i.e. sufficiently high damage threshold). The system should be able to detect and characterize the power and frequency of current and anticipated HPRF sources being developed. Peak power and waveform measurements of the HPRF along with historical tracking of background RF irradiation/waveforms should be used to maximize the detector dynamic range and reduce the false alarm rate to levels below 1%. The system should be capable of roughly estimating the direction of attack, and estimated distance, and RF parameters so that facility decision makers can take proper action. The project is subject to technical risks in covering the broad range of potential intensities, possible frequencies and waveforms. The affordable system should be immune to the HPRF attack and have a low SWaP footprint that can be easily integrated into navy platforms (such as helos and UAVs) and their power sources without negatively impacting current system functionality such as power supplies, aerodynamics, weight-balance, and/or cargo/passenger space. PHASE I: Conceptualize, design, develop, and model key elements for an innovative HPRF Advanced Warning System (AWS) that can meet the requirements discussed in the description section with emphasis on low false alarm rate and on providing accurate direction and range of the attacker; these latter items are important to extend the present state of the art. Perform modeling and simulation to provide initial assessment of the performance of the concept. The design should establish realizable technological solutions for a device capable of achieving the desired geo-locating accuracy for the wide range of HPRF waveforms listed while being immune to the effects of the HPRF irradiation. The proposed design should be an 80% complete solution and include all sub-systems necessary for this innovative HPRF AWS. The proposed brass board system should be designed to demonstrate a path towards providing a compact solution (with low SWaP) that can be easily integrated onto air (e.g. UAVs), ground or nautical platforms. Cost analysis and material development should be included to ascertain critical needs not yet fully developed or readily available given current technology. The design and modeling results of Phase I should lead to plans to build a prototype unit in Phase II. PHASE II: Phase II will involve the design refinement, procurement, integration, assembly, and testing of a proof of concept brass board prototype leveraging the Phase I effort. The Phase II brass board prototype will be capable of providing frequency information of the HPRF source, which may be wideband pulses (100-500 MHz, 2 – 200 ns) or narrowband (500 MHz – 5 GHz, pulse widths, 1ns-5μs), and measure the approximate HPRF power level as well as provide accurate geo-location information as stated above. This brass board prototype must demonstrate a clear path forward to a full scale concept demonstrator based on the selected technology. Data packages on all critical components will be submitted throughout the prototype development cycle and test results will be provided for regular review of progress. The use of actual hardware and empirical data collection is expected for this analysis. PHASE III: The performer will apply the knowledge gained during Phase I and II to build and demonstrate the full scale functional final design that will include all system elements and represent a complete solution. The final design should be compact and ruggedized and the sensor should be platform mountable (e.g. exterior of an airborne platform such as a UAV). The device should be applicable for test range use and should be immune to the damage from HPRF. The functional final design will provide notification of attack and capture data for later analysis. The data will provide signal characterization including field strength, frequency, pulse width, and repetition rate. Additionally it will provide for angle of arrival and probable distance. The probe(s) should be immune to HPRF. Data packages on all critical components and subcomponents will be submitted throughout the final development cycle and test results will be regularly submitted for review of progress. It is desirable for the performer to work closely with NAVAIR Program Offices, e.g. PEO (U&W) PMA-263, Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical UAS and PMA-272 Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems program office to maximize transition and field testing opportunities. The initial use and desire for this final design will be to provide an Affordable Compact HPRF/HPM Attack Warning System that can be combined with existing Naval UAS or Helicopter assets in a protective configuration for future Directed Energy threats. Working with the Navy and Marine Corps, the company will integrate their prototype HPRF/HPM Attack Warning System onto an existing vehicle for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy and Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy and Marine Corps use. The company will develop manufacturing plans and capabilities to produce the system for both military and commercial markets.
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