ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are asking industry to develop enabling technologies for next-generation propulsion for crewed submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) that will be quieter and more efficient than ever before.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., issued a solicitation (HR001122S0046) on Wednesday for the Advanced Propulsor, Experimental (APEX) project.
Areas of interest include enabling technologies in hydro-dynamics, hydro-acoustics, mechanical engineering, naval submarine architecture, electro-mechanical, and other disciplines. Details are classified.
U.S. military experts constantly are looking for new propulsion technologies for manned and unmanned submersibles to operate in dangerous areas amid ever-more-sophisticated enemy sonar systems.
Today's submarines are quieter than ever before, and are difficult to detect and track even with the most advanced sonar systems. Still, it's a cat-and-mouse game for submarine designers to keep their vessels quiet enough to evade current- and next-generation sonar technologies.
DARPA researchers are looking for submarine propulsion technologies related to efficiency, signature, mechanical design and limits, and operational considerations.
The project's phase 1A base will last for one year, and will consider theoretical propulsion designs and identify knowledge gaps. Phase 1B option will last for nine months, and will work toward defining one APEX design approach, then refine the design. The three-month phase 1C option will refine the design.
DARPA researchers are asking each interested company to submit one full proposal for phases 1A, 1B, and 1C. Companies should upload unclassified proposals no later than 27 Sept. 2022 to the DARPA BAA website at https://baa.darpa.mil.
Email questions or concerns to the DARPA APEX BAA coordinator at [email protected]. More information is online at https://sam.gov/opp/20f87528a2b54aceb4a4469d5ffb20df/view.