Delphinus Prototype

S²MARTS Project No. 22-03


Coming Soon Notice: 22 February 2022 at 12:00 PM ET

Innovator NETWORX: 3 March 2022 at 2:00 PM ET


Thursday, March 3, 2022

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Event registration is now closed

Join your fellow NSTXL innovators for this 30-minute event, introduce your organization and its capabilities, and learn what others are doing in support of this opportunity.

This virtual teaming program facilitates discussions about how participants can contribute to a team through member capabilities. Participants are encouraged to continue the conversation after the event by joining the opportunity teaming board on NSTXL Community.


The Department of the Navy (DoN) is seeking prototype support in maritime systems of expendable unmanned systems with subsystem integration.

Unmanned systems and commercial components are becoming commonplace and readily
available for a multitude of applications. Candidate component technologies that are
available for design and integration to satisfy ONR’s vehicle requirement include currently
available vehicle housing materials, batteries, controllers, interfaces, and best practices.

It is expected that current high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) or Commercial Off The
Shelf (COTS) material designs may meet some technical objectives, but will require varying
levels of modifications to:

• Mechanical design and housing (e.g., containment, pressure rating, sealant and water tightness, and deployment mechanism)
• Electrical design (e.g., power density for battery operation, controller for subsystems and health status, and on/off/sleep functionality)
• Modularity and integration (e.g., incorporation of RF subsystems and antennas)
• Hardening/ruggedization for a maritime application

The key objectives of the Delphinus Prototype include overall mechanical and electronic
compatibility with modular payloads, inclusive of Neptune and other payloads to be
integrated that will be provided as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). The GFE will
maintain original design parameters and form factor to meet Size, Weight, Power, and Cost
(SWAP-C) objectives, such that GFE payloads can be modular and interchanged. Delphinus
will provide flexibility for integration and procurement of a vehicle that can be deployed and
incorporate a modular payload. Delphinus will include design flexibility to identify and
develop alternative designs for other form factors and deployment mechanisms. A balance
between performance/capability and cost is desired to provide an expendable vehicle that
can be affordably fielded in quantities sufficient to make employment feasible.

The Delphinus project’s period of performance will be defined based on the performer’s proposed schedule, but is currently estimated to be complete within 48 months for the entire effort.