Request for Research Project Proposals #2: United States Coast Guard

MSRDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP) are please to release a new Request for Research Project Proposals (RRPP).

Any questions about the proposal or process are due to the MSRDC’s Business Development Team at BusDev@MSRDConsortium.org by Friday July 19, 2019 at 5:00pm.

Note: Your institution must be a member of the Consortium before applying to this announcement.


Project Title: Improving Leeway Drift Data for the USCG Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) 

Project Number: W911SR-14-2-0001 RPP-1913

Introduction & Background 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP). The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is DHS’s primary research and development (R&D) arm. S&T manages science and technology research, from development through transition, for the department’s operational components and the nation’s first responders. S&T’s engineers, scientists and researchers work closely with industry and academic partners to ensure R&D investments address the high-priority needs of today and the growing demands of the future.  

SAROPS is the software used by the USCG for maritime search planning. SAROPS is a Monte Carlo based simulation that uses thousands of simulated particles generated by user inputs. SAROPS has the ability to handle multiple scenarios and search object types and accounts for meteorological and oceanographic conditions (e.g. wind speed, currents, wave height, etc.). Searching for a drifting object in the maritime environment requires the determination of search areas. Search and Rescue (SAR) Units receive a recommended search pattern that accounts for the relative motion between the search unit and the drifting object.  

Scope/Program Goals

Representative research questions of interest to USCG (not listed in priority order):  

  • How can the USCG improve its’ estimation of leeway of search objects?  
  • What are the most accurate measurement/mathematical techniques/approaches that can be applied for determining actual leeway drift?  
  • What mathematical models (Commercial off-the-shelf/Government off-the shelf) are available that can best estimate leeway drift for implementation by the USCG Rescue Coordination Centers (RCC)?  
  • How can the USCG validate older leeway measurements (data over 50 years old)?  
  • How can the USCG best understand the sensitivity of search success to variances in estimated leeway drift?  
  • How does uncertainty in leeway rate or divergence angle change the search area?  

Technology Readiness Levels (learn more)

  • Technology Readiness Level 1: Basic principles observed and reported
  • Technology Readiness Level 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • Technology Readiness Level 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • Technology Readiness Level 4: Component and/or breadboard validation in a laboratory environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in a relevant environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 7: System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 8: Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • Technology Readiness Level 9: Actual system proven through successful mission operations

About the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 

The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, and our goal is clear – keeping America safe. 

About the Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate 

Technology and threats evolve rapidly in today’s ever-changing environment. Researchers test non-hazardous training aids in large crowd settings. The Science and Technology Directorate’s Explosives Detection Canine program helps detection canine teams identify new explosive compounds through non-hazardous training aids and increase their proficiency through realistic self-assessment and training events across the country. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) monitors those threats and rapidly capitalizes on technological advancements, developing solutions and bridging capability gaps at a pace that mirrors the speed of life