Call for FY 2018 Undersea Signal Processing Planning Letters

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Undersea Signal Processing Program team supports basic and applied research within academia, industry and federal laboratories. Awards typically support two- to four-year projects at $70,000 to $500,000 per year. The program encourages all investigators seeking new awards or renewals to send a one- or two-page planning letter before submitting full proposals.

  • The submission deadline is close of business on Friday, September 28, 2018.
  • ONR will review your letters and respond via email no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2018.
  • Solicited proposals will be due no later than Friday, December 14, 2018.
  • Projects selected for funding will be awarded in April 2019.

The program is soliciting ideas for new projects aimed at improving the Navy’s ability to conduct anti-submarine warfare by exploiting active and passive acoustics. Letters proposing basic and early applied research will be considered under the Discovery and Invention Program. Signal processing technology of special interest is detailed below.

Active Sonar Signal Processing Discovery and Invention Program

  • Novel feature extraction techniques for clutter type classification and target/clutter discrimination for pulsed or high duty cycle systems
  • High duty cycle sonar systems; improved localization performance, direct blast mitigation
  • Exploitation of context to improve detection, classification and localization performance

The Active Sonar Signal Processing D&I program may also support a few one year projects in FY18 that are at a higher technical risk than those typically executed under the program. These projects would be a quick-look at new or unconventional signal processing approaches applied to active sonar for anti-submarine warfare. The goal of the project would be to demonstrate potential DCL improvement that could justify continued development under the program.

Passive Sonar Signal Processing Discovery and Invention Program

  • Effective towed array passive signal processing under high flow noise conditions
  • Basic research in detection and estimation theory, especially data adaptive techniques
  • Basic and applied research in machine learning theory accounting for the unique challenges of sonar signal processing. Of particular interest are new features and reduced algorithm complexity with high detection probabilities and low false alarm rates
  • Optimal combination of information produced by disparate sensors, integration times, bandwidths, and ranges
  • Acoustic path determination using mounted and towed sensors
  • Computationally efficient implementation of signal processing algorithms
  • Long-term association, classification, tracking and localization of intermittent contacts

Planning Letter Requirements

Planning letters must:

  • Indicate submission to one of the above programs.
  • Clearly and concisely describe the nature and objectives of the proposed effort.
  • Describe the technical approach that will be investigated to solve the problem.
  • Indicate the amount of time needed to conduct the research.
  • Provide an estimated budget broken out by year, including ship time and class of ship required.
  • Include a one or two-page resume of the lead investigator, which does not count towards the two-page limit described above.

Planning letters should summarize what research will be performed, why it is useful, why it is timely, and offer its potential application in current or planned naval systems. Do not include long citation lists, copies of journal papers or copies of conference articles. Letters must contain the principal investigator’s name, current telephone number, postal and e-mail addresses. In addition, intent to send the same or a related planning letter to other Office of Naval Research teams must be noted to help coordinate reviews.

Planning letters that are too long, do not include a budget, or contain draft annotations (such as Microsoft Word documents with "track changes" turned on) will be rejected without review.

Planning letters will be evaluated based upon current and future naval needs, scientific merit, principal investigator(s) qualifications and the project's transition potential. Based on the program team's evaluation, ONR will either encourage or discourage submission of a full proposal. Full proposal submissions, whether encouraged or discouraged, will receive full consideration.

Send planning letters to:

Undersea Signal Processing Team
Office of Naval Research, Code 321US
875 North Randolph Street, Suite 1083
Arlington VA 22203-1995

E-mail to both:

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