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April 21, 2006

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Harris Acoustic Products Awarded Another SBIR

The Department of Homeland Security has recently awarded Harris Acoustic Products a $100,000 Phase-I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract. The Phase-I contract is for the development of a buoy deployed sensor system that will track and provide advanced warnings on unidentified small vessels heading towards the US shores. Such vessels have to be detected while they are still in the open oceans and the situation needs to be assessed in a timely manner before the boats can blend in with coastal traffic. To be cost effective, the proposed passive acoustic detection system will be able to operate unattended for a long period of time and avoid a single point of failure. The system will be able to operate either in a stand-alone mode or as a node of a distributed system. To provide redundancy, relevant information will be communicated both by satellite and networked radio modems. During Phase-I, basic configuration of such a system will be established along with best methods to detect small vessels in an automated manner within a period of six months.

The present award is the fifth SBIR Phase-I award to Harris over the last three years. Other Harris SBIR sponsors are US Department of Agriculture, US Navy and the National Science Foundation. Harris is also working on a Phase-II SBIR grant by National Science Foundation. Collaborating with other industry partners and Academia, Harris is committed to develop new and innovative acoustic products and the current award is another step in that direction.