Navy seeks to apply RFID technology to undersea navigation and obstacle avoidance for UUVs

January 9, 2011 - via Military Aerospace

BETHESDA, Md., 9 Jan. 2011. U.S. Navy researchers are looking into applying passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to underwater navigation -- particularly for unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) applications.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD) in Bethesda, Md., issued a sources-sought notice (solicitation number N00167XXXXXXX) last week for the Passive Radio Frequency Identification Technology/Hardware program.

NSWCCD researchers are particularly interested in identifying passive RFID reader and tag technology for real-time or near-real-time repeatable position location, orientation, coverage, and obstacle avoidance capabilities for remotely operated vehicle (ROV) crawler, or other technology operating on underwater surfaces for periods as long as weeks or months in pier-side harbor applications.

RFID technology for the program must provide detection that is sufficiently distinct and rapid for hardware or on-board software processing, NSWCCD officials say. Suitable RFID technology also must be small-enough for pier-side applications, resist the effects of shock and vibration, use less than 30 Watts of power.

RFID technology for the program also be attachable and operable on steel or aluminum, but operate while covered by marine paint, algae, barnacles, and other bio-fouling growth, and resist the effects of periodic cleaning with brushes.

Companies interested should respond with 10-page papers to NSWCCD no later than 31 Jan. 2011 -- three weeks away. Send papers by e-mail to the NSWCCD's James Howell at, or by post at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Attn: Mr. James E. Howell, Code 6340, 9500 MacArthur Blvd., West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700.

For questions or concerns, contact James Howell by phone at 301-227-5178, or Laura Rider by phone at 301-227-5821. More information is online at

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Author:John Keller