CESARS to develop electro-optical shipboard defense to protect ships from missiles, boats, and UAVs

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., 29 April 2015. U.S. Navy researchers are ready to launch a program to develop an electro-optical shipboard defense system to protect surface warships from anti-ship missiles, fast attack craft, fast inshore attack craft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Apr 29th, 2015
CESARS to develop electro-optical shipboard defense to protect ships from missiles, boats, and UAVs
CESARS to develop electro-optical shipboard defense to protect ships from missiles, boats, and UAVs
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., 29 April 2015. U.S. Navy researchers are ready to launch a program to develop an electro-optical shipboard defense system to protect surface warships from anti-ship missiles, fast attack craft, fast inshore attack craft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Officials of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) laboratory at Stennis Space Center, Miss., have issued a presolicitation (N00173-15-R-SE04) for the Combined EO/IR Surveillance and Response System (CESARS) program. A formal solicitation could be released as early as next week.

CESARS combines two research initiatives -- the Shipboard Panoramic EO/IR Cueing and Surveillance System (SPECSS); and Multispectral EO/IR Countermeasures for Advanced Threats (MEIRCAT).

Together these two technology capabilities are intended to provide comprehensive shipboard defense against optically guided anti-ship missiles, attack boats, and attack drones.

SPECSS includes an enhanced electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) countermeasure and situational awareness capability. It perform wide field-of-view target detection and tracking, and cues MEIRCAT high-resolution sensors.

Related: Navy considers 360-degree multispectral persistent surveillance for surface ship defense

MEIRCAT, meanwhile, performs target re-acquisition, tracking, classification, identification, 3-D ranging, threat assessment, countermeasures execution, and countermeasures effectiveness monitoring (CMEM). It will offer multi-band capability against many different targets in one engagement.

The combined CESARS program will use modular, open-systems hardware and software architectures that are scalable to different platforms. Its interface specifications, data formats, and source code, will be non-proprietary and government owned.

With this in mind, the overall system design approach will capitalize on common imaging components and technologies in a flexible design expected to reduce maintenance and repair costs, as well as to provide a simple and effective approach to upgrade the system as newer technologies become available, Navy researchers say.

The overall CESARS system also will provide video data acquisition, dissemination, recording, processing, and display; high-resolution classification, identification, and tracking in several optical wavebands; integrated, precise, and real-time, active and passive fine tracking and ranging in several wavebands; enhanced countermeasures capability; and provide precise 3-D ranging and countermeasures monitoring to the shipboard combat system.

The CESARS program calls for industry contractors to develop the SPECSS and MEIRCAT systems independently. The Navy will handle integrating the two for shipboard integration. Non-proprietary hardware and data interchange standards will help exchange data among the two systems.

Related: How vulnerable are U.S. Navy vessels to advanced anti-ship cruise missiles?

The upcoming solicitation will ask industry to develop five separate products: the SPECSS camera; SPECSS processing; MEIRCAT high-resolution cameras; laser sources; and MEIRCAT hardware, software, integration, and testing.

One more 33-to-45-month cost plus fixed-fee completion type contracts will be awarded next fall.

For questions or concerns contact the Navy's Eric Sogard by phone at 228-688-5980, or by email at eric.sogard@nrlssc.navy.mil, or Ryan Wheelock by phone at 228-688-5434 or by email at ryan.wheelock@nrlssc.navy.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/ONR/Code3235/N00173-15-R-SE04/listing.html.

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