Navy surveys industry for technologies able to detect sea mines quickly from helicopters

PANAMA CITY, Fla., 4 Nov. 2012. U.S. Navy researchers are conducting a market survey to find companies able to design and build a prototype wide-area helicopter-mounted underwater mine-detection system that can tell the difference between explosives and turtles, seaweed, and other sea life within seconds of detection.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division in Panama City, Fla., issued a sources-sought notice (N6133113QJT01) Wednesday to find companies about to build, and simulate a helicopter mine sensor that finds sea mines quickly over large ocean areas.

Companies responding should be able to support airborne mine-hunting technology from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 through 6 with a system prototype demonstration in a realistic environment.

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Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure ranging from one to nine to assess the maturity of evolving technologies. TRL level 1 refers to basic-research technology, while TRL 9 refers to fully mature technology either deployed or ready for deployment. TRL level 4 to 6 refers to technology ranging from component validation to prototype demonstration.

Companies interested should respond no later than 31 Jan. 2013 with presentations of the company's knowledge and skills; understanding of scientific challenges and technology tradeoffs; and past experience.

E-mail presentations to the Navy's Thomas Fanning at, and include the company's size and other pertinent information. For questions or concerns contact Fanning by phone at 850-234-4708.

More information is online at

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