University Call For Innovation (CFI) U0513-01 - Future Radar Waveforms

Northrop Grumman Innovation Network

Northrop Grumman, a leader in the development and manufacture of radars for defense and several other applications, requests novel concepts to improve radar waveforms. Radar waveforms have often required significant bandwidth, especially for modes such as Synthetic Aperture Radar. Example radar modes include linear frequency modulation where the frequency included in the radar pulse modulates linearly with time (further explained in Skolnik’s Introduction to Radar Systems Chapter 6). Is there a way to re-look how radar performance can be increased with more efficient spectrum and energy utilization? Is there a way to re-use existing waveforms for radar (e.g. highly compressed modern communications) waveforms to improve or extract new radar phenomonologies?

Northrop Grumman is interested in collaborating with academics that have:

  1. Revolutionary radar system concepts that meet current radar needs (electronic protection included), and can be expanded to provide improved capability.(e.g. repurposing communications waveforms)
  2. Spectrally efficient and energy efficient (peak/average power ~1) radar waveforms (Re-evaluating waveform concepts to maximize efficiency, while maximizing performance)
In either case, smaller less expensive systems are highly desirable.

Response Instructions
This CFI is limited to employees (professors, graduate students and other staff) of colleges and universities located in the United States of America, College and university personnel that have system concepts they believe have the potential to meet the requirements described above, and would like to collaborate with Northrop Grumman in this area, are encouraged to submit a 1-5 page document that includes the following:  concise description of the proposed system, expected performance, maturity (is this a concept, breadboard, prototype, or production product?), expected cost, and proposed plan to refine the concept and prove its feasibility.  We anticipate proposers will initially conduct a 6-12 month effort to document the concept in more detail, and then perform initial calculations and/or collect initial feasibility data.  Initial submissions should not include proprietary information. This challenge is now closed. The winner will be posted on the Calls for Innovation page.

Evaluation and Anticipated Funding
All responses will be evaluated by a panel of radar technical and business experts employed by Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman also reserves the right to use consultants on this evaluation that have signed an appropriate nondisclosure agreement.  There is no guarantee that Northrop Grumman will fund any of the proposals. However, Northrop Grumman plans to make at least one award for the development of novel system concepts, with an initial funding level of up to $100,000. Future funded collaborations are anticipated if the initial funded effort produces encouraging results. 

Response Deadline
This challenge closed on July 15, 2013, and the responses are being evaluated. The winners will be posted on the Calls for Innovation page.

For Assistance
Contact Northrop Grumman via email or 410-765-8302