Government Contracting

Since 2001, Inertial Labs has continued to pursue and be selected for government contracts where precision aiming and navigation systems are needed. Over the last 20 years, Inertial Labs has been awarded numerous SBIR and BAA contracts leading to three programs of record and twice labeled an SBIR success story.

Current and Previous Contracts

RIF BAA Contract (W15QKN-18-C-0071) — Completed

Under the US Army’s Rapid Innovation Fund program, Inertial Labs is currently contracted to complete 22 prototype OptoWOMTM devices designed to replace devices intended to operate as a replacement to the gyro-compass-based pointing devices presently used in the US Army’s Mortar Fire Control System Dismounted (MFCS-D) for its 120mm mortar.  The current pointing device being used by MFCS-D costs more than $60K and requires extensive shock absorbers to operate on the system.  The shock absorbers alone cost $25K and weigh 60 lbs.  The Inertial Labs’ OptoWOMTM developed for this contract currently costs $15K, weighs 2 lbs, and doesn’t require any shock absorption.

A full navigation system within the unit is one key feature implemented in the RIF OptoWOMTM unit beyond that done previously for the DOTC effort referenced below unit beyond that done previously for the DOTC effort referenced below is a full navigation system within the unit.  So the OptoWOMTM is a full navigation system that accepts input from the US Army’s DAGR and military GPS. It also provides vehicle navigation data for the vehicle that carries the mortar system to its emplacement location.  Additionally, this provides a highly accurate true north reference during dynamics that testing has shown the ability of OptoWOMTM to achieve 2mils true north pointing accuracy during operation.

DOTC Ordinance Technology Base Agreement (2018-324) — Completed

Under the US Army’s Defense Ordinance Technology Consortium, Inertial Labs is contracted to complete advancements to our OptoWOMTM product to implement infrared (IR) camera technologies within OptoWOMTM.  The incorporation of IR camera technology provides the ability to operate with optical tracking capabilities at night, equally as effectively as during daylight hours.  Additionally, Inertial Labs will complete enhancements for the OptoWOMTM for specific utilization on 81mm mortars within the US Army’s Weaponized Universal Lightweight Fire Control System (WULF).  The resulting system will comprise different components housed within a custom-designed and fabricated housing.

Under this contract, Inertial Labs has produced five prototype OptoWOMTM’s and is completing an additional 11 units.  Although differing from what will be made through these proposed efforts, there will be extensive benefits for our proposed actions that come directly from Inertial Lab’s efforts under their DOTC contract.  The development of IR camera technology will be fully covered under the DOTC contract.  Also, enhancements realized on the 81mm mortar platform will likely benefit the 120mm mortar platform.

SBIR Phase III contract (W900KK-17-C-0058) — Current

Under this contract, identified as Next Generation MILES, Inertial Labs performs a detailed analysis and characterization of the US Army’s current live training systems – the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) – provided by several suppliers. The work involves characterizing the different systems and deriving common architectures and specification requirements to increase interoperability and flexibility for the government going into the future with these systems. Additionally, the efforts involve considerations for future enhancements to the existing systems to increase the effectiveness and scope of what can be achieved in live force-on-force training exercises.

Although not directly related to our immediate efforts within this proposed scope, the end customer for this contract is the Project Manager for Training Devices (PM TRADE) within PEO STRI. For years, one of the future goals for live force-on-force training has been the ability to implement indirect fire weapons better into live force-on-force training. Indirect fire weapons such as mortars and artillery are practically non-existent in live force-on-force training exercises. When included, their inclusion does not include realistic operations as the Army currently has no means to perform the tasks necessary to track engagements and determine their success or failure during the exercise. Laser systems cannot be used for mortars as they require a direct line of sight to the target within a given range. As such, it is known that a technology must be introduced that provides the ability to understand the weapon’s pointing and its location to determine its ballistics for use in live training accurately.

Completion of our efforts within the scope of this project will result in a pointing device for the 120mm mortar that would allow the Army to incorporate the 120mm into live training on their Tactical Engagement Simulation System (TESS) programs. Inertial Labs periodically updates PM TRADE on our ongoing efforts with a realization that PM TRADE is another likely transition partner for our technologies.

SBIR Phase III contract (W911QX-12-C-0035) — Completed

Under this completed contract effort, Inertial Labs completed the developments necessary to advance its OptoWOMTM to TRL-6.  With funding coming from a combination of sources, including PM TRADE, ARL HRED STTC, Picatinny Arsenal Mortars, and Common Fire Control, the OptoWOMTM was completed and demonstrated on several occasions within
the training community and in the tactical operations community.  The OptoWOMTM was subjected to live fire on 81- and 60-mm mortars and was a component of the Weaponized Universal Lightweight Fire Control (WULF) system that underwent TRL evaluation in September 2016.  The system was evaluated to TRL-6 under a successful user jury conducted at Ft. Benning. 

Additionally, as part of our overall development efforts under this contract, Inertial Labs developed extensive personnel navigation and orientation technologies for use on small arms weaponry.  The project, termed MORPHEUS, was funded in large part by ARL HRED STTC with the intent of developing a gun module that could provide the following functionality:

  • Track the position and orientation of the gun for live force-on-force engagements;
  • Provide an ability to collect data from various sensing technologies on the gun for both data logging and transmittal purposes;
  • Provide wireless data transmission over a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network of all gun sensor data.

The system included embedded inertial navigation using the Inertial Labs Position and Orientation Fusion Filter with inputs from inertial sensors, magnetometers, barometers, camera, onboard laser transmitter/receiver, and GPS for position and orientation tracking.  Additionally, Inertial Labs developed a means for tracking position under GPS-denied conditions, developing a mechanism to identify personnel movement while holding the weapon.  By creating a tool to determine steps and provide pedestrian dead reckoning, Inertial Labs could track position changes in periods without GPS more accurately than possible by merely integrating accelerometer and gyro data.

Inertial Labs Position and Orientation Fusion Filter

A core piece of Inertial Labs technology is its ability to fuse data from many sensor technologies to produce accurate position and orientation solutions for various applications.  To develop a system capable of adapting to the different needs within the realm of position and orientation solutions, Inertial Labs has expanded its Position and Orientation Fusion Filter (IL-POFF). 

As depicted in the figure below, the sensor fusion platform allows for virtually any relevant input into the system and is included within the filter algorithms. The final solution is provided to the end system with an open standard interface. 

Inertial Labs has worked with the following list of different technologies throughout the development of its IL-POFF fusion platform:  inertial/magnetic sensing, GNSS, barometric, Lidar, radio frequency (RF) foot-to-foot ranging, ultra-wideband RF, passive/active/natural marker optical tracking, hybrid optical tracking, solar/celestial tracking, vehicle motion sensing, wheel sensing, ultrasonic location sensing, and more. 

Inertial Labs is using its knowledge from the cumulative efforts already undertaken on previous contract efforts and its extensive commercial products experience to minimize risk in this proposed effort. 

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