Navy chooses two companies to research cryogenic superconducting technologies for SIGINT
SAN DIEGO, 15 July 2016. Two U.S. research companies are helping the U.S. Navy develop breakthrough cryogenic super-cooled superconducting RF and microwave technologies for future tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems.
Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific in San Diego announced contracts this week to Out of the Fog Research LLC in Mountain View, Calif., and to Hypres Inc. in Elmsford, N.Y., for the Emerging Cryogenic devices, Electronics, and Systems program.
Cryogenics refers to electronics that are super-cooled with liquid helium. Superconducting RF and microwave technologies require this kind of electronics thermal management. Superconducting electronics offer zero electrical resistance and can operate at dangerously high temperatures because of their efficient conduction.
Superconducting systems are some of the most efficient RF and microwave systems known, and are particularly useful for advanced and complex RF systems like SIGINT, electronic warfare (EW), and advanced radar systems.
For the Emerging Cryogenic devices, Electronics, and Systems program, scientists at Out of the Fog and Hypres will focus on research and development in five areas:
-- cryogenic RF systems including signals detection, conditioning, conversion, processing, and storage in the analog, mixed-signal, and digital domains;
-- advanced cryogenic RF chain components like RF filters and amplifiers, advanced cryogenic signal processing components like A/D and D/A converters, and advanced cryogenic core digital and quantum memory technologies for military RF receiver systems like SIGINT;
-- emerging cryogenic RF technologies that use superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) configured as RF arrays;
-- small-scale cryogenic sensor packaging that operates at or below 77 degrees Kelvin for use in the direct detection of incident electromagnetic radiation; and
-- tactical SIGINT and other military systems.
Experts from the two companies will concentrate on cryogenic RF systems, and advanced cryogenic core digital and quantum memory technologies that use SQUID technology, tactical signals intelligence systems, and other military platforms.
Contracts to the two companies are for three years, with two one-year options that could bring the contract durations to five years each.
Out of the Fog won a $53.4 million Emerging Cryogenic devices, Electronics, and Systems contract that with options could reach as much as $91.4 million. Hypres won a $40.4 million contract that with options could reach as much as $67.7 million.
During the course of the Emerging Cryogenic devices, Electronics, and Systems program, Out of the Fog and Hypres will compete for task orders. The companies will do the work in San Diego, Mountain View, Calif., and Elmsford, N.Y., and should be finished by July 2019. Option periods could extend the contract through July 2021.