TITLE: Technologies to Defeat Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDís)

TECHNOLOGY AREA: Weapons; Countermine/Mines

ACQUISITION SPONSOR: Marine Corps Systems Command

OBJECTIVE: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDís) continue to threaten US forces as they conduct overseas operations. This solicitation seeks to identify new ideas for detecting the presence of such devices and/or negating their effectiveness.

DESCRIPTION: There is no concise definition of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDís) beyond the general notion that they may be fabricated from war surplus ordnance, triggered via homemade means, and placed at fixed locations in anticipation that the intended target will eventually pass within range. Device placement is generally based on ease of concealment, and the likelihood that an appropriate target (frequently a US military vehicle) will pass close by. For devices that are detonated upon remote command, the ease with which the target area can be observed is also a likely consideration. This solicitation seeks novel technical approaches toward any of the following general concepts, including but not limited to:

  • Field collection and analysis of forensic and biometric evidence associated with IED fabrication and/or use
  • Detection of the act of IED placement
  • Detection of monitoring or observation activities associated with potential IED locations
  • Pre-characterization or pre-treatment of an area in a manner that makes subtle changes associated with IED placement more readily detectable.
  • Detection of unique chemical signatures associated with explosive molecules and byproducts
  • Disrupting the triggering mechanism within the IED
  • Activating the triggering mechanism within the IED for deliberate pre-detonation
  • Electromagnetic jamming or interference with the wireless transmission of detonation commands
  • Electromagnetic emulation of wireless detonation commands for deliberate pre-detonation
  • Destruction of electronic components associated with IED triggering or the transmission of detonation commands via directed electromagnetic energy

PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility of the salient physical principal of the proposed approach in a laboratory environment. Conduct a theoretical effectiveness analysis of the proposed concept modeling the probability that the proposed concept could achieve its claimed benefits (or portions thereof) given the pertinent uncertainties of a realistic operational environment.

PHASE II: Design and construct an engineering prototype to be demonstrated at the end of this phase. The prototype will be sufficiently refined so that effectiveness of the embodied concept toward countering IEDís can be evaluated in simulated encounters with representative surrogate IEDís or components. During this phase, the theoretical concept effectiveness analysis from phase I would be refined into a prototype effectiveness analysis using measured performance parameters of the prototype device.

PHASE III: Refine the prototype developed in phase II so that it can be fabricated and evaluated in small numbers by operational forces. At this point the prototype should be sufficiently representative of the final product that all operational benefits, consequences and tradeoffs associated with full deployment can be clearly quantified via field trials. During this phase, limited numbers would be fielded with operational forces for evaluation and feedback. Prior to the completion of this phase, the prototype effectiveness analysis from phase II would be further refined into an operational effectiveness analysis by incorporating the pertinent observations and variables derived from field trials. These field trials would constitute the basis for additional modifications as well as any subsequent procurement decision.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: Depending on the specific technology, some approaches may share applicability with law enforcement and security operations.

REFERENCES: The best source of current information on this topic is the Internet, via commercially available search engines.

KEY WORDS: Explosive detection, Mine detection, Electronic countermeasures


POC: Clifford W. Anderson

PHONE: (703) 696-4485

EMAIL: anderscw@onr.navy.mil

Why propose this topic: This topic addresses a persistent operational challenge faced by US forces deployed overseas. Consequently, DoD leadership has declared the resolution of this issue to be among their highest priorities. Although there is already considerable technical effort throughout the DoD addressed toward this specific subject as well as other closely related issues, this small business solicitation is intended to further enhance the possibility that yet additional novel solutions may be identified.

Category: Advanced Development