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DoD 2014.1 SBIR Solicitation

DoD 2014.1 SBIR Solicitation

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Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Special Operations Command
Program/Year: SBIR / 2014
Solicitation Number: 2014.1
Release Date: November 20, 2013
Open Date: December 20, 2013
Close Date: January 22, 2014
SOCOM14-001: Power Supply for the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)
Description: OBJECTIVE: Investigate and identify a suitable safe, lightweight power supply for the exoskeleton component of the TALOS ensemble. DESCRIPTION: The TALOS ensemble is a new initiative in USSOCOM that is intended to provide solutions for the enhanced mobility/protection/situational awareness capabilities to augment the direct assaulter. As such, the power supply for the TALOS ensemble will need to provide sufficient, dependable power to ensure rapid, unencumbered movement of the operator. Desired attributes of the power system also include light weight, low noise, and low to no thermal signature. Power sources should not require introduction of a new logistics fuel to the battlefield. The power source shall produce/store sufficient power to support a non-tethered 12 hour mission at 4-5kW per hour. The system shall be compatible with shore power (i.e. helicopter power, ship power, Forward Operating Base grid power, indigenous power infrastructure in the operational area). The power supply shall be able to utilize extraction platforms (e.g., helicopters and small craft) power to commence immediate system recharge. The power supply shall be able to scavenge power from sources found on a battlefield (i.e. power lines, car batteries, solar, 110/220VAC power outlets, etc.). The power supply shall be rechargeable and ready for the next mission within 6 hours. The size of the power source shall not exceed 15"x 10"x 5". The weight of the power source shall not exceed 15 pounds. The power source shall be nonflammable. A secondary objective of this effort is to enable Special Operations Forces wearing exoskeleton type equipment to more easily carry the weight normally carried by an operator while hiking over long distances. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to determine the optimum method/technology solution for powering the Exoskeleton element of the TALOS ensemble. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype power supply that meets the performance characteristics defined in the above paragraph entitled"Description". The prototype system will undergo both laboratory and limited field testing to assess its technology readiness, its ability to integrate with the mechanical and electrical sub-system components of the TALOS and ultimate utility for integration into the TALOS ensemble. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This technology is applicable to the commercial health/medical industry to assist in the recovery/rehabilitation of injured/physically disabled individuals or enhancement of life issues for paralyzed/disabled individuals. This technology would also be beneficial to the fire and rescue workers in increasing firefighter stamina and recovering trapped individuals at disaster sites. Highly maneuverable exoskeletons with a long duration integrated (not tethered) power supply open up new horizons for a multitude of defense, medical, and industry applications.
SOCOM14-002: Advanced Transparent Armor Materials and Manufacturing Methods
Description: OBJECTIVE: The objective of this feasibility study is to develop innovative transparent armor for Ground Mobility Vehicles (GMV) that is lighter than existing transparent armor and that is affordable. Develop innovative transparent armor that is at least 25% lighter at a given protection level and in the current space claim than current transparent armor in GMV. The cost of the innovative armor should be no more than twice the cost of a current flat panel purchased in a lot of 500 (estimated at $230.00 per panel). The flat panel technology should be scalable into a curved armor panel as well, with a projected cost of not more than 8 times the flat innovative panel in a similar size. DESCRIPTION: Compared to opaque armor, transparent armor used to make current ballistic glass is much heavier. Current advanced transparent armor is much lighter, but also much more expensive. Use of transparent armor in some form or fashion is necessitated by the need for a vehicles crew to achieve and maintain maximum situational awareness (SA). Development of new transparent solutions that provide significant weight reductions at an affordable cost will allow current vehicles to: 1) carry more payload in all vehicle classes and 2) reduce the visual signature in Non Standard Commercial Vehicles (NSCV) if it is also thinner. Additionally, the logistics burden could be reduced due to less fuel being required to operate the lighter vehicles and less weight in stocking and transporting replacement ballistic windows. Safety is also enhanced if transparent armor is applied to door panels reducing the effort needed to open during a rollover or other emergency egress situations. The transparent material for this SBIR should be capable of meeting Army Purchase Description (ATPD) 2352P focused on optimum clarity with the use of night vision goggles and resistance to environmental weathering. Controlled environmental and ballistic tests will confirm the transparent material performance. For this effort, the new transparent technology must be a direct replacement for the GMV front windshield with a weight savings goal of 25% at a target cost of no more than twice that of the current glass. The new transparent technology also needs to be scalable into curved transparent armor of similar size, with the center of the panel being 2 inches further out than the sides. Specific consideration for the curved panel needs to consider manufacturing capability, optical clarity at various view angles, and what durability or life of the curved panel would be in comparison to a similar flat panel. Current advanced transparent armor technology has shown that weight savings of roughly 50% over standard ballistic glass is achievable but the current exceptional costs of 6 to 10 times that of glass make it unrealistic for vehicle application. This effort seeks to bridge that gap by producing a significant reduction in weight, while being affordable enough to realistically field. PHASE I: Conduct feasibility (Technology Readiness Levels), affordability (cost/square feet for existing and selected material), environmental suitability (compliance with Army Purchase Description (ATPD) 2352P in terms of solar degradation, optical clarity, wear resistance, scalability (for NSCV and GMV class vehicles) and manufacturability (Manufacturing Readiness Levels) studies of the recommended transparent material in curved and flat form. Select a single optimum material to address both curved and flat applications from the feasibility studies and design a flat GMV replacement window and a size representative curved window, using the design, project weight, manufacturing cost (in 500 unit quantities). Also analyze the expected ballistic performance of the transparent material and predict the level of small arms protection it will offer. Develop a should cost assessment of manufacturing costs in 500 unit quantity lots for both curved and flat panels. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Manufacture prototypes of the transparent armor material in a standard ballistic testing configuration. Validate agreed upon ballistic, optical, Night Vision Goggle (NVG), environmental performance in accordance with ATPD 2352P (see reference). PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III military applications include replacement of any heavy ballistic glass solutions currently in GMV"s via attrition. Alternate applications include upgrades to current vehicles to increase the viewing area in a vehicle without increasing the current weight of the vehicle. Civilian sector applications include armored cars for dignitaries, business executives and monetary transport.
SOCOM14-003: Advanced Opaque Armor Materials and Manufacturing Methods
Description: OBJECTIVE: Develop a low cost, light weight armor package that has reduced visual signature while offering high protection against threats for Non Standard Commercial Vehicles (NSCV). DESCRIPTION: Modified commercial vehicles are a staple of Special Operations activities. One reason a commercial vehicle is used is to blend in with local vehicles. They serve a purpose of enabling advance mobility platforms access to sensitive or denied areas while operating undetected and/or indistinguishably from indigenous platforms. At the same time as remaining inconspicuous, it is necessary to include protection to allow the vehicle and Operators to engage in activity as needed to accomplish the mission which may include the need for an armored vehicle with mobility allowing fast movement over terrain considered impassable. Traditional armor consists of individually formed plates attached together underneath the vehicle sheet metal. This method can lead to seams and joints where ballistic coverage may be compromised. It can also add difficulty to making the vehicle look like its indigenous counterparts. This SBIR topic seeks innovative light weight armor packages for NSCVs that are low in cost, reduce vehicle visual signatures, and provide increased vehicle functionality and available space. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to develop low cost, light weight armor package alternatives that reduce visual signatures while offering high protection against threats (see reference) for NSCVs. Assess and determine viable armor solutions that can be applied to a NSCV, highlighting the manufacturing and installation processes and the system enhancements the armor solution will provide in terms of weight, space, cost, visual signature, threat performance and functionality. Comparison of the proposed solutions against current standard armoring solutions will be conducted and documented to show the pros and cons of the innovative armor in a vehicle sized application. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Develop a detailed design of the selected armor solution in an NSCV, including drawings and Computer Aided Design. Installation instructions will be created to illustrate that the solution can be retrofitted into a NSCV. Manufacture and ballistically test armor coupon prototypes to validate that the selected solution can meet the current threats the NSCV"s are designed against. Acquire a NSCV equivalent vehicle, manufacture a full vehicle kit of armor and perform a full vehicle installation of the armor kit. All projected enhancements from Phase I will be validated or updated based on the actual results identified in Phase II to quantify in detail the benefits (and any impacts) of the new system. PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Partner with the current Special Operations Forces (SOF) NSCV manufacturer to embed the armor into future SOF NSCVS. Commercially, a new armor solution with the benefits cited above would enable the SBIR contractor to partner with a current vehicle armoring company that produces privately armored vehicles with similar goals as the SOF vehicles.
SOCOM14-004: Hydrogen Generation from Water and Full or Partial Replacement of Petroleum Fuels in Diesel Internal Combustion Engines
Description: OBJECTIVE: Develop a system to generate hydrogen from water on site for use in combatant craft diesel engines to decrease dependency of Naval Special Warfare on petroleum fuels and to increase craft fuel economy and range. DESCRIPTION: Improving fuel economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing fuel costs associated with Military vehicles is a necessity given dwindling budgets and the ability to affect significant savings through operational efficiencies. One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to achieve this is through the use of alternative fuels/technology that can fully or partially replace petroleum derived fuels using existing internal combustion engine technology without extensive or costly modification. The proposed work within Naval Special Warfare Group Four (NSWG-4) is to investigate the performance, efficiency, and emission characteristics of diesel engines designed at the factory to use conventional diesel fuel exclusively, when introduced to mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen, as well as pure hydrogen. The hydrogen introduced into the engine will be generated from water on site. Targeted efficiencies include potential petroleum fuel savings of 30 to 50 percent and potential power and payload increases given the inherent complete burn of fuel. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study on the generation of hydrogen from water on site and the introduction of varying amounts of hydrogen and oxygen into the air stream of a diesel internal combustion engine at the time of induction, so that no extra injection system or additional modifications to existing engine hardware is required. Comment on the fuel consumption (efficiency), engine out Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) to be reduced by introducing small amounts of hydrogen and oxygen in the airstream of a conventional diesel engine. Identify experiments and a systematic approach to quantify the reduction in fuel consumption and harmful emissions output. Conduct experiments and laboratory studies to quantify results. Report on the electrical energy and costs required to produce hydrogen from water on site, including equipment weight and size, and compare these costs to the costs of petroleum. Report on the hydrogen applications to offer operational energy solutions that challenge the math, method and logistics associated with expeditionary maneuver to, from and within the Battlespace. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Perform testing on a prototype diesel/gas engine to be provided (loaned) by Naval Special Warfare Group Four. Generate Hydrogen from water on site and introduce varying amounts of hydrogen and oxygen into the air stream of a diesel internal combustion engine at the time of induction, so that no extra injection system or additional modifications to existing engine hardware is required. Report on energy require to produce hydrogen from water on site, engine fuel consumption (efficiency), engine out Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) to be reduced by introducing small amounts of hydrogen and oxygen to the intake airstream. Identify the optimum level of hydrogen for reducing engine out Nitrogen (NOx) levels. The testing and a systematic approach shall quantify the reduction in fuel consumption and harmful emissions output. Report on the electrical energy and costs required to produce hydrogen from water on site, including equipment weight and size, and compare these costs to the costs of petroleum. Report on the hydrogen applications to offer operational energy solutions that challenge the math, method and logistics associated with expeditionary maneuver to, from and within the Battlespace. PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Applicable to Special Naval Special Warfare combatant craft diesel engines. Commercial use application is based on improving fuel economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing fuel costs associated with commercial internal combustion engines.
SOCOM14-005: High Performance Marine Diesel Closed Coolant System for High Speed Combatant Craft
Description: OBJECTIVE: Develop a closed coolant system for the SOC-R to eliminate use of off-board, raw water to cool the engines. DESCRIPTION: SOC-R engine cooling is provided by raw water from the engine pumps and from the Hamilton jets. This raw water sometimes contains debris that clogs the engine strainers causing the engines to overheat. This is especially problematic during beaching operations when personnel transfer to and from the craft. What is needed is a closed coolant system to cool the engines without using raw seawater, thereby eliminating the need for existing strainers that sometimes clog with seaweed and other debris. The cooler shall not degrade the current capabilities of the SOC-R, such as reducing speed due to increased drag of the cooler or cavitations to the propulsion system. The cooler must be capable of surviving beaching/ grounding at low speeds without structural damage and at high speeds without major damage or loss of watertight integrity. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study for the development of a conformal, recessed cooling system to provide engine cooling. The cooler shall not degrade the current capabilities of the SOC-R. The cooler must be capable of surviving beaching and grounding at low speeds without structural damage and at high speeds without major damage or loss of watertight integrity. The cooler must not exceed 75 lbs. The feasibility study shall include a design of the cooler. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Using the design developed in Phase I, build a prototype of the cooler and install in Naval Special Warfare"s SOC-R test craft for evaluation. The test craft with cooler shall be demonstrated in operational conditions in the littoral (rolling sea) and riverine environments. The cooler(s) must demonstrate the capability to outperform exiting strainer systems in keeping the engines within normal operating temperatures. The cooler must be capable of surviving beaching and grounding at low speeds without structural damage and at high speeds without major damage or loss of watertight integrity. The cooler must not exceed 75 lbs. PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Application for a cooler for high speed combatant craft includes the 11M NSW RIB and other Navy high speed craft that operate in riverine environments. Potential application for the Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard high speed water craft.
SOCOM14-006: Low Acoustic Signature Manned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Description: OBJECTIVE: Develop active and passive noise suppression technologies to reduce the acoustical footprint of the King Air - 350ER (B - 300ER) manned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform. DESCRIPTION: Manned ISR platform operators need to strike a balance between operational factors. They must fly close enough to collect the mission data while maintaining sufficient stand-off such that awareness of their presence does not compromise their ability to collect those data. Due to cost considerations, replacement of the aircraft engine is not an acceptable solution. Rather, the innovative technology developed must minimize the acoustic signature of the King Air - 350ER (B - 300ER). PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to identify primary sources of acoustic signatures on the King Air - 350ER (B - 300ER) manned ISR platform and develop innovative active and passive noise suppression technologies to reduce the acoustical footprint of the platform. Phase I should result in the development of active and passive noise suppression technologies (examples include: innovative propeller designs and materials to reduce tip speed, modifications of or structural attachments to the exhaust, acoustic insulation materials, innovative materials at engine bay, internal engine design modifications and engine/aircraft interface designs) to attenuate/mitigate/cancel noise signature of the King Air - 350ER (B - 300ER) manned ISR platform such that the projected audible footprint on the ground is minimized. Minimize the acoustic footprint when the platform operates at relevant altitudes (7,500 feet to 15,000 feet Above Ground Level) to support potential Full Motion Video. Assume the MX-15i as the baseline sensor system. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Develop a prototype to demonstrate that the feasible active and passive noise suppression technologies discovered during Phase I are achievable. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Partner with the airframe and engine manufacturers to embed the feasible active and passive noise suppression technologies into the King Air 350ER (B 300ER) platform. All DoD Components, State and Federal agencies that use aviation platforms to conduct ISR operations can benefit from the development of noise suppression technologies.