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Call for FY 2022 Undersea Signal Processing White Papers


The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Undersea Signal Processing Program team supports basic and applied research within academia, industry and federal laboratories. Awards typically support two- to four-year projects at $70,000 to $500,000 per year. The program encourages all investigators seeking new awards or renewals to send a one- or two-page planning letter before submitting full proposals.

  • The submission deadline is close of business on Friday, November 19, 2021.
  • ONR will review your letters and respond via email no later than Friday, December 17, 2021.
  • Solicited proposals will be due no later than Friday, January 28, 2022.
  • Projects selected for funding will be awarded in May 2022.

The program is soliciting ideas for new projects aimed at improving the Navy’s ability to conduct anti-submarine warfare by exploiting active and passive acoustics. Letters proposing basic and early applied research will be considered under the Fundamental Research Program. Signal processing technologies of special interest are detailed below.

Active Sonar Signal Processing Fundamental Research Program

  • Novel classification feature extraction techniques for clutter characterization and reduction
  • High duty cycle sonar systems; improved classification and localization performance, direct blast mitigation
  • Exploration of cognitive / artificial intelligence concepts for active sonar systems
  • Exploitation of environmental knowledge in signal and information processing algorithms

Passive Sonar Signal Processing Fundamental Research Program

  • Effective towed array passive signal processing under high flow noise conditions
  • Basic research in detection and estimation theory, especially data adaptive techniques
  • Basic and applied research in machine learning theory accounting for the unique challenges of sonar signal processing. Of particular interest are new features and reduced algorithm complexity with high detection probabilities and low false alarm rates
  • Optimal combination of information produced by disparate sensors, integration times, bandwidths and ranges
  • Acoustic path determination using mounted and towed sensors
  • Computationally efficient implementation of signal processing algorithms
  • Long-term association, classification, tracking and localization of intermittent contacts

White Paper Requirements

Planning letters must:

  • Indicate submission to one of the above programs.
  • Clearly and concisely describe the nature and objectives of the proposed effort.
  • Describe the technical approach you will use to accomplish your project’s objective.
  • Indicate the amount of time needed to conduct the research.
  • Provide an estimated budget broken out by year, including ship time and class of ship required.
  • Include a one or two-page resume of the lead investigator, which does not count towards the two-page limit described above.

White papers should summarize what research will be performed, why it is useful, why it is timely, and offer its potential application in current or planned naval systems. Do not include long citation lists, copies of journal papers or copies of conference articles. Letters must contain the principal investigator’s name, current telephone number, postal and e-mail addresses. In addition, intent to send the same or a related white papers to other Office of Naval Research teams must be noted to help coordinate reviews.

White papers that are too long, do not include a budget, or contain draft annotations (such as Microsoft Word documents with "track changes" turned on) will be rejected without review.

White papers will be evaluated based upon current and future naval needs, scientific merit, principal investigator(s) qualifications and the project's transition potential. Based on the program team's evaluation, ONR will either encourage or discourage submission of a full proposal. Full proposal submissions, whether encouraged or discouraged, will receive full consideration.

Send white papers to:

Undersea Signal Processing Team
Office of Naval Research, Code 321US
875 North Randolph Street, Suite 1083
Arlington VA 22203-1995

E-mail to both: