Montana State University

S2 Corporation and MSU jointly announce contract to provide wideband sensor capability to U.S. Navy

March 23, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Kris Merkel, president and CEO of Bozeman-based S2 Corp., (left) and Zeb Barber, director of MSU’s Spectrum Lab, stand in one of S2’s labs. BAE Systems, a global leader in defense and aerospace, has awarded a $4.5 million contract to S2 Corp. MSU’s Spectrum Lab, a long-time partner with S2 Corp., is a subcontractor for some of the work. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN ― S2 Corporation and partner Montana State University’s Spectrum Lab have received a $4.5 million, three-year subcontract from BAE Systems of Nashua, New Hampshire, to develop a next-generation electronic warfare technology demonstrator for the Office of Naval Research.

The technology is a radio frequency sensing and signal processing solution that will quickly detect, locate and identify radio frequency transmitters. Known as the Full-Spectrum Staring Receiver, FSSR, the technology enables near-instantaneous battlespace situational awareness, emitter tracking, threat warning and countermeasure cueing. Conventional threat warning systems are not able to deliver the high level of coverage and responsiveness that FSSR will provide.

S2 Corporation has been awarded a subcontract for $4.5 million over the next three years, and will be subcontracting to its partner, MSU, for $763,000. For this effort, S2 Corporation and MSU bring their wideband sensor expertise, and leverage proprietary photonic crystal signal processing technology to perform extreme wideband radio frequency spectrum analysis, direction finding and event cueing. The system is called the Extreme Bandwidth Analyzer and Correlator, EBAC.

“This is a great example of MSU-developed technology transferring to local private industry and making an impact to the nation’s defense capabilities,” said Zeb Barber, director of the university’s Spectrum Lab, a research center working across physics and engineering to advance research, training and technology development.

With the FSSR capability and the EBAC at the core, U.S. Navy ships will be constantly aware of threat emitters over a very broad span of the electromagnetic spectrum. This effort is part of the ONR’s Electronic Warfare Discovery and Invention Program, which seeks to develop and demonstrate a broad range of next-generation electronic warfare systems that exploit, deceive or deny enemy use of the electromagnetic spectrum while ensuring the spectrum’s unfettered use by friendly forces.

“I am particularly excited by this research effort, because it integrates a number of electronic warfare technologies that have been advanced by ONR-funded efforts dating back to 2008,” said Peter Craig, electronic warfare program officer for ONR. “Even more gratifying is that it brings together the talents of researchers from academia, industry and the government in a coordinated effort that will benefit not only the Navy but the entire Department of Defense community.”

In addition to S2 Corporation and MSU, other members of BAE Systems’ FSSR team include University of Colorado Boulder, Purdue University, HRL Laboratories and the Naval Research Laboratory.

Contact: Kris Merkel, president and CEO, S2 Corporation, (406) 922-0334, merkel@s2corporation.com; Zeb Barber, director of MSU's Spectrum Lab, (406) 994-5925, barber@spectrum.montana.edu