Release Date
August 23rd, 2023
Open Date
September 20th, 2023
Due Date(s)
October 18th, 2023
Close Date
October 18th, 2023
Topic No.


Novel high resolution distributed radar processing for littoral and open ocean environments


Department of DefenseN/A


Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023


The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking proposals for a novel high-resolution distributed radar processing technology for littoral and open ocean environments. The objective is to develop signal processing techniques that enable collaborative operation of radar platforms for detecting, tracking, geolocating, and imaging surface targets. The technology should be able to work in conjunction with legacy radar systems and enable sensing on various classes of airborne platforms operating over the ocean. The emphasis will be on signal processing techniques, geolocation, and imaging. The project will have a Phase I and Phase II, with Phase II focusing on accurate geolocation and imaging of surface targets. The technology developed in this project has potential applications in coastal monitoring, search and rescue activities, wildlife monitoring, monitoring of commercial fisheries and fleets, and monitoring of oil spills and ecological disasters. The project is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulation (EAR). The solicitation is closed, and more information can be found on the DoD SBIR website.


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software;Integrated Network System-of-Systems

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: The objective is to develop novel signal processing for distributed radar operation over open ocean and littoral regions. A team of radar platforms will operate collaboratively with the purpose (threshold) of detecting, tracking, geolocating and imaging with sufficient quality (objective) to enable classifying and identifying surface targets. Operating collaboratively means overlap of beam patterns from different platforms. It is important to be able to work in conjunction with legacy radar systems. It is anticipated that this type of processing technology could enable sensing on airborne platforms of various classes operating over the ocean.

DESCRIPTION: Develop combined distributed radar system-of-system concepts for surveillance of littoral and open ocean environments. Emphasis will be on signal processing techniques, geolocation, and imaging.

PHASE I: This is a Direct to Phase II SBIR. Offerors are expected to demonstrate relevant past experience and subject matter expertise. Offerors should list past projects and programs connect with bistatic radar.

PHASE II: Accurate geolocation over ocean is of particular interest. In addition to geolocation, it is expected that offerors will be able to perform imaging of surface targets, both for pitching and rolling inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) conditions and for ships in calm waters. Basic processing requirements are detection, short time tracking within a coherent dwell (generally less than 10 seconds), motion stabilization, geolocation and imaging. The scope of Phase II does not extend to classification or identification of images produced. Efficiency of algorithms is important in order to make use of low cost, size, weight and power (low C-SWAP) platforms. Offerors are expected to develop simulated data to prove out algorithms as part of the effort, and the government may additionally supply measured data to process.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Coastal monitoring of commercial sea traffic including container ships and tankers. Support for search and rescue activities. Wildlife monitoring including detecting when whales breach the surface. Monitoring of commercial fisheries and fleets operating in those locations. Monitoring oil spills and ecological disasters.


  1. Jakowatz, Wahl, Eichel, Ghiglia, Thompson, “Spotlight-Mode Synthetic Aperture Radar: A Signal Processing Approach”, Springer, 1996, Section 2.7, Tomographic Development of Bistatic SAR.

KEYWORDS: Bistatic Radar; Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar; ISAR; SAR; Synthetic Aperture Radar; Open Ocean Surveillance; Littoral; Brown Ocean; Blue Ocean; Geolocation