DoD 2017.A STTR Solicitation
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/sttr2017A/index.shtml
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
- A17A-T001: Atomic Layer Deposition of Highly Conductive Metals
- A17A-T002: High Efficient Flexible Perovskite Photovoltaic Modules for Powering Wireless Sensor Nodes and Recharging Batteries
- A17A-T003: Photonic Nanostructures for Manipulation of High Energy Coherent Beams
- A17A-T004: Functional Additive Manufacturing for Printable & Networkable Sensors to Detect Energetics and Other Threat Materials
- A17A-T005: Mid-Infrared Chip-scale Trace Gas Sensors
- A17A-T006: Mid-wave Infrared Laser Beam Steering
- A17A-T007: High Dynamic Range Heterodyne Terahertz Imager
- A17A-T008: 3D Tomographic Scanning Microwave Microscopy with Nanometer Resolution
- A17A-T009: Mechanochemical Sensing and Self Healing Solution to Detecting Damage in Composite Structures
- A17A-T010: Scientific Data Management via Fast Dynamic Summarization
- A17A-T011: Synthetic Biology Toolkit for Bioconversion of Food Waste
- A17A-T012: High Performance Armor via Additive Advanced Ceramics
- A17A-T013: Scalable Manufacturing of Functional Yarns for Textile-based Energy Storage
- A17A-T014: Biosensor for Detection of Synthetic Cannabinoids
- A17A-T015: Sealed Container Content Identification
- A17A-T016: Method for Locally Measuring Strength of a Polymer-Inorganic Interface During Cure and Aging
- A17A-T017: Dismounted Soldier Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) System Initialization
- A17A-T018: Novel Robust IR Scene Projector Technology
- A17A-T019: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to Improve Maneuver of Robotic/Autonomous Systems
- A17A-T020: Bioaerosol Detector Wide Area Network
- A17A-T021: Anticipatory Analytics for Environmental Stressors
- A17A-T022: Biomechanical Rat Testing Device to Validate Primary Blast Loading Conditions for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- A17A-T023: Field Verification of Micro/Ultra Filtration
- A17A-T024: Additive Manufactured Smart Structures with Discrete Embedded Sensors
- AF17A-T001: Fast Response Heat Flux Sensors and Efficient Data Reduction Methodology for Hypersonic Wind Tunnels
- AF17A-T002: Sensors for High Pressure and Temperature Hypersonic Testing Facilities
- AF17A-T003: Improved Calibration of Sensors and Instruments used for Measurement of High Speed Flow
- AF17A-T004: Physics-Based and Computationally Efficient Combustion Chemistry Modules with Acceptable Uncertainty for Air Force Relevant Hydrocarbon Fuels
- AF17A-T005: Alternative Methods for Creating a Sodium Guidestar
- AF17A-T006: Three-sided Pyramid Wavefront Sensor
- AF17A-T007: Automated 3D Reconstruction and Pose Estimation of Space Objects Using Ground Based Telescope Imagery
- AF17A-T008: Unified sensor for atmospheric turbulence and refractivity characterization
- AF17A-T009: Learner Engagement and Motivation to Learn Assessment and Monitoring System
- AF17A-T010: Flexible Broad-band Optical Device
- AF17A-T011: Blended Reality Solution for Live, Virtual, and Constructive Field Training
- AF17A-T012: Development lightmap rendering technology to advance infrared simulation capabilities for training applications
- AF17A-T013: Spectrum Localization for Improved Situational Awareness
- AF17A-T014: Reliable Aerothermodynamic Predictions for Hypersonic Flight for High Speed ISR
- AF17A-T015: Design Analysis Methodology for Topology Optimization of Thermally Loaded Structures
- AF17A-T016: LWIR Thermal Imager for Combustion Process
- AF17A-T017: Methodology for Optimization of Bodies Subjected to Loads Produced by Chaotic Flows
- AF17A-T018: Adaptive and Smart Materials for Advanced Manufacturing Methods
- AF17A-T019: High Strain Composite Testing Methodologies
- AF17A-T020: Diagnostics for Multiphase Blast
- AF17A-T021: High speed, multispectral, linear polarization display
- AF17A-T022: Plasmonic Metamaterial Approach to Infrared Scene Projection
- AF17A-T023: Practical Application of Molecular-Scale Modeling to Problems at the Grain Scale and Larger
- AF17A-T024: III-Nitride Ternary Alloy Substrates for UV(A/B/C) and UWBG Development
- AF17A-T025: Structural profile disruption effects for high-velocity air vehicles
- AF17A-T026: Midwave Infared (MWIR) Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) Thermal Monitoring
- AF17A-T027: Target Tracking via Deep Learning
- AF17A-T028: Quantum Sensor for Direction Finding and Geolocation
- AF17A-T029: Fast Optical Limiters (OL) with Enhanced Dynamic Range
- DHA17A-001: Medical Electro-Textile Sensor Simulation
- DHA17A-002: Smart Morphing Medical Moulage
- DHA17A-003: Principled Design of an Augmented Reality Trainer for Medics
- DHA17A-004: Non-invasive Telemetric Assessment of Gut Microbiota Activity in Situ
- DHA17A-005: Wireless Non-Invasive Advanced Control of Microprocessor Prostheses and Orthoses
- DHA17A-006: Medical Device to Assess the Viability of Tissue Prior to Skin Grafting
- N17A-T001: Electro-Optic Transmissive Scanner
- N17A-T002: Multi-Phase Flame Propagation Modeling for Present and Future Combustors and Augmentors
- N17A-T003: Ignition Modeling for Present and Future Combustors and Augmentors
- N17A-T004: Complex-Knowledge Visualization Tool
- N17A-T005: Reduce Order Airwake Modeling for Aircraft/Ship Integration Modeling and Simulation
- N17A-T006: Efficient Mid-Wave Infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers with Room-Temperature Wall-Plug Efficiency over 40%
- N17A-T007: Innovative Packaging to Achieve Extremely Light Weight Sensor Pod Systems
- N17A-T008: Mitigation or Prevention of Aging Effects in Hydrocarbon Missile Fuels
- N17A-T009: Prediction of Rotor Loads from Fuselage Sensors for Improved Structural Modeling and Fatigue Life Calculation
- N17A-T010: End-User Speech Recognition Support Tools for Crew Resource Management Training Systems
- N17A-T011: High Density Capacitors for Compact Transmit and Receive Modules
- N17A-T012: Innovative Material Handling System for the Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB) Class Ship
- N17A-T013: Low Cost Magnetic Sensor for Mine Neutralizer Identification and Charge Placement
- N17A-T014: Advanced Material System for Reduced Wave Slam Energy in Combatant Craft
- N17A-T015: Development of Explosive Non-Acoustic Sensing on Remotely Operated Vehicles for Littoral Threat Characterization in Complex Seabed Environments
- N17A-T016: Improved Infrared Imaging with Variable Resolution Achieved via Post-Processing
- N17A-T017: Learning Centered Technology and Innovative Instructional Methods for Anti-Submarine Warfare University
- N17A-T018: Volumetric Atmospheric Modeling from Point Measurements or a Single Profile
- N17A-T019: Reduced Cavitation, High Efficiency Outboard Propulsors for Small Planing Craft
- N17A-T020: Phase-Change Materials for Tunable Infrared Devices
- N17A-T021: Multi Modal Video Summarization
- N17A-T022: Data Extractor for Event Pattern Archiving
- N17A-T023: Degraded Synthetic Training
- N17A-T024: Adaptive Optics for Nonlinear Atmospheric Propagation of Laser Pulses
- N17A-T025: Innovative Collaboration for Unmanned Aerial and Dissimilar Systems
- N17A-T026: Improved High-Frequency Bottom Loss Characterization
- N17A-T027: Energy Efficient, Non-Silicon Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
- N17A-T028: Automatic Detection of Hydrothermal Vents
- N17A-T029: Multi-vehicle Collaboration with Minimal Communications and Minimal Energy
- N17A-T030: Advanced Laser Based Processing System for Metal Additive Manufacturing
Atomic Layer Deposition of Highly Conductive Metals
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) techniques have established the ability to grow conformal, defect free films over large areas, atomic layer by atomic layer. While many dielectric, semiconductor, and metal materials have been deposited with ALD, the metals with the highest electrical conductivity have not been demonstrated in a reproducible manufacturing environment. The objective of this solicitation is to demonstrate ALD deposition of a very thin (<10 nm thick), highly conductive, continuous layer of silver, copper, gold, or aluminum on a dielectric substrate.
DESCRIPTION: Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is used extensively in the semiconductor industry for the growth of high permittivity, ultra-thin dielectrics . In addition to precise control of the film thickness, ALD provides conformal deposition on extremely high aspect ratio geometries . This combination of features has motivated research in other nontraditional applications of ALD, in particular electromagnetic designer surfaces consisting of multilayers of different materials for specific applications . For example, optical filters composed of multilayers of dielectrics with a large contrast in the index of refraction have been fabricated for bandpass filters and antireflection coatings . The ability to coat arbitrary surface geometries with ultrathin films and laminates will allow for specified electromagnetic properties from the visible to microwave and has enormous potential for military and commercial applications. While ALD has been very successful at depositing nearly one hundred different materials it has been difficult to deposit metals having the highest electrical conductivity. The significant problem is the nucleation sites on the surface in which the metal deposition process starts with small metal islands. These islands grow in size as the deposition process continues and eventually the islands coalesce at the percolation threshold and the metal film experiences a huge increase in the conductivity. Ultrathin films of silver, copper, gold, and aluminum have a percolation threshold on the order of 10 nm for traditional sputter, thermal, and electron beam deposition techniques. While post annealing dielectric films at high temperatures tends to increase the uniformity of the films, annealing has a negative result on metal films due to the surface tension of metals . Metal/dielectric multilayers have been used to make what has been termed transparent metals [6, 7]. The photonic band gap approach to metal/dielectric multilayers allows for a specific passband to be opened at a desired frequency range and for all other regions of the spectrum to be blocked. This type of material has wide ranging application for laser protection, sensor protection, and microwave shielding while retaining the ability to have high transparency in a spectral region of choice. The ability to achieve extremely high transparency depends on the ability to make continuous metal films of 10 nm thickness or less. For applications in the visible, silver and gold are the preferred metals due to the low losses in that spectral range. Copper and aluminum work well for longer wavelengths. Of these four metals, gold is the most robust to environmental factors and contamination. Oxide and sulfide formation can be problematic for copper, silver, and aluminum and these issues will need separate attention in the ALD process. There has been some success in ALD deposition of copper especially on metallic surfaces . However, depositing copper on an oxide surface has nucleation problems similar to other techniques such as sputtering . Recently, innovative surface chemistry in conjunction with plasma assisted ALD was demonstrated to produce gold films on borosilicate substrates .
PHASE I: Demonstrate the ability to grow a single continuous film of silver, copper, gold, or aluminum on a dielectric substrate with a percolation threshold of less than 10 nm thickness. The measured properties of the film should include optical transmittance, four point probe conductivity, and direct measurement of the film thickness.
PHASE II: Demonstrate the ability to grow a multilayer metal/dielectric laminate containing at least 3 metal layers that have individual thicknesses of 10 nm or less. The measured properties of the film should include optical transmittance, four point probe conductivity, and microwave transmittance, and a direct measurement of the film thickness.
PHASE III: Demonstrate a working ALD system that can deposit single or multilayer metal/dielectric films onto dielectric substrates including 3D printed materials for applications in filtering, shielding, conductive surfaces, and electromagnetic signature control.
1: S.M. George, "Atomic Layer Deposition: An Overview," Chem. Rev., 110, p. 111 (2010), DOI: 10.1021/cr900056b110.
2: G. Pardon, H. Gatty, G. Stemme, W. van der Wijngaart and N. Roxhed, Al2O3 dual layer atomic layer deposition coating in high aspect ratio nanopores," Nanotechnology, 24, p. 11 (2013).
3: D. Riihel, M. Ritala, R. Matero, M. Leskel, "Introducing atomic layer epitaxy for the deposition of optical thin films," Thin Solid Films, 289, p. 250 (1996), DOI:10.1016/S0040-6090(96)08890-6.
4: A. Szeghalmi, M. Helgert, R. Brunner, F. Heyroth, U. G'sele, and M. Knez, "Atomic layer deposition of Al2O3 and TiO2 multilayers for applications as bandpass filters and antireflection coatings," Applied Optics, Vol. 48, p. 1727 (2009).
5: R. J. Warmack and S. L. Humphrey, "Observation of two surface-plasmon modes on gold particles, Phys. Rev. B 34, 2246 (1986).
6: M.J. Bloemer and M. Scalora, "Transmissive properties of Ag/MgF2 photonic band gap," Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 1676 (1998
7: M. Scalora, M. J. Bloemer, A. S. Pethel, J. P. Dowling, C. M. Bowden, and A. S. Manka "Transparent, metallo-dielectric, one-dimensional, photonic band-gap structures," J. Appl. Phys. 83, 2377 (1998).
8: L.C. Kalutarage, S.B. Clendenning, and C.H. Winter, "Low-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of Copper Films Using Borane Dimethylamine as the Reducing Co-reagent," Chem. Mater., 26, p. 3731 (2014), DOI: 10.1021/cm501109r.
9: Z. Li, A. Rahtu, and R.G. Gordon, "Atomic Layer Deposition of Ultrathin Copper Metal Films from a Liquid Copper(I) Amidinate Precursor," Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 153, p.787 (2006).
10: M.B.E. Griffiths, P.J. Pallister, D.J. Mandia, S.T. Barry, "Atomic layer deposition of gold metal," Chem. Mater. 44 (2016).
KEYWORDS: Atomic Layer Deposition, Ultrathin Film, Transparent Metal, Metal/dielectric Multilayers, Thin Film Laminates, Nucleation, Metal Island Film
High Efficient Flexible Perovskite Photovoltaic Modules for Powering Wireless Sensor Nodes and Recharging Batteries
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Design, fabricate, and demonstrate flexible perovskite solar modules (12"x12") providing efficiency greater than 20% under AM 1.5G standard solar spectrum with stability under up to 50°C of temperature and up to 80% of humidity. Demonstrate the modules for direct powering of wireless sensor nodes and battery recharging operation for wearable electronics relevant to defense platforms.
DESCRIPTION: Wireless sensor nodes are becoming ubiquitous in the battlefield environment for the detection of chemical and biological agents, acoustic waves, etc. as well as for electronic health monitoring and tracking inventory of remotely deployed weapons systems. However, the finite capacity of exiting energy sources has become a major limitation in deploying them for unattended operations for a long duration. Therefore, it has led to an increasing demand for harvesting energy from the environment. However, diffused light spectrum is the only environmental energy source available for efficiently powering the nodes. Diffused light becomes a promising source in this case for powering the sensors and transferring the data to a workstation. Furthermore, field infantry electronics such as radios, GPS, night vision systems, and fire light require soldiers to carry a lot of spare batteries in addition to the body armor, weapons, food, and water. A tremendous impact on the total load can be made if a soldier uniform can be designed to harvest the freely available energy from the environment such as solar energy to continuously recharge the main battery. Although foldable solar blankets currently used in the battlefield provide the capability to charge the batteries under sunlight, they often take hours to collect enough power for charging. The current market for photovoltaic devices is dominated by crystalline silicon solar panels with typical efficiencies of ~15 - 20%, and the fragile properties of silicon solar panels limit their application on wearables and complex curved surfaces, especially in diffused low light conditions such as in cloudy weather. Flexible solar modules based upon amorphous Si (a-Si), CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS), and GaAs materials are commercially available, but with limited efficiencies (~10 - 15%). The complex growth conditions of these materials not only lead to high cost but also present a significant challenge in their large-scale production. Furthermore, slight increase in temperature also tends to reduce the bandgap of the semiconductor materials leading to significant degradation of performance. Therefore, the flexible photovoltaics needed for the defense platforms that meet the deployment and operational requirements demand new technologies. The emergence of organometal perovskite solar cells (OPSC) fabricated by solution-casting light absorbers has provided the opportunity for the development of low cost and high performance flexible modules. The typical structure for OPSC is similar to a p-i-n heterojunction solar cell with several unique features: (i) Small bandgap and large light absorption coefficient yields large amount of photo-generated electrons and holes. (ii) Short light absorption length (~200 nm) requires only very thin layers of perovskite for light harvesting. (iii) High electron-hole mobility and large electron-hole diffusion lengths make them excellent candidates for photovoltaic applications. (iv) The low-temperature solution-based processes to prepare the perovskite allow the integration with flexible plastic substrates and other photovoltaic devices. At present only limited results have been reported in the literature on performance of perovskite solar modules. All studies have focused on small lab-scale (~0.1 cm2) prototypes. Translating the lab-scale perovskite solar cells into low-cost large-scale production process is one of the major challenges in the development of perovskite solar modules. Therefore, the objective is to address this technology gap in the design and fabrication of perovskite photovoltaic modules for the intended integration. Flexible modules may need to incorporate re-designed cell architecture to make them compatible with the synthesis process required for the flexible substrates (eg. 3D printing processes). Printing and casting processes may need to be developed for perovskites to allow layering with precise dimensions and desired interfacial characteristics. Investigations may also need to be conducted on multiple compositions under various environmental conditions to determine the optimum window for the module operation relevant to the wireless sensors and wearable electronics applications. Field testing may also need to be conducted to determine the failure and aging mechanisms of the modules, and strategies should be proposed to resolve the environmental degradation issues.
PHASE I: Complete the design of the architecture for a flexible perovskite module with an efficiency greater than 20% for wearable energy harvesting and wireless sensor nodes application and develop the fabrication procedures. Designs should include realistic material parameters. The flexible photovoltaic fabrication technique should be based on a low-temperature process. Analyze cost-competitive roll-to-roll printing process for mass fabrication of the flexible photovoltaic module. Provide preliminary experimental results on the feasibility of the proposed module architecture including bandgap-voltage offsets.
PHASE II: Develop a low-cost inorganic p-type semiconductor to replace the spiro-OMeTAD and integrate with the module architecture developed in Phase I. Address the hysteresis, thermal and humidity challenges and demonstrate a method to improve the lifetime. In addition to the heterojunction-induced built-in electric field as driving force to separate and transport the photo-excited electron-hole pairs, demonstrate the role of other effects in improving the efficiency. Demonstrate the wireless sensor node operation utilizing adequate size modules for a specific targeted defense application. Integrate the fabricated module up to 12 x12 area with a wearable and demonstrate the battery recharging capability under normal environmental conditions.
PHASE III: Demonstrate continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of the developed modules and integration with the wearables and sensor nodes. Optimize the power conversion efficiency for flexible perovskite solar modules, the module geometries (such as stripe width, gap size, module length), and stability under various environmental conditions and strain. Develop packaging layers to provide adequate protection over the intended lifetime of the application. Focus should be on integrated product development and not on just the power source.
1: Dong, Y. Fang, Y. Shao, P. Mulligan, J. Qiu, L. Cao, and J. Huang, Science, Vol. 347, pp. 967-970 (2015).
2: W. Chen, Y. Wu, Y. Yue, J. Liu, W. Zhang, X. Yang, H. Chen, E. Bi, I. Ashraful, M. Grtzel, and L. Han, Science, Vol. 350, 944-950 (2015).
3: M. Yang, Y. Zhou, Y. Zeng, C.-S. Jiang, N.P. Padture, and K. Zhu, Adv. Mater., Vol. 27, 6363-6070 (2015).
4: X. Zheng, B. Chen, C. Wu, and S. Priya, Nano Energy, 17, 269-278 (2015).
KEYWORDS: Energy Harvesting, Wireless Sensor Nodes, Perovskite Solar Module
Photonic Nanostructures for Manipulation of High Energy Coherent Beams
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: This STTR effort seeks to investigate novel approaches using multilayered hybrid 2-dimensional nanostructures as passive coatings and evaluate their interactions with high energy lasers.
DESCRIPTION: As part of the continuous transformation of the US Armed forces to be endowed with new, advanced and effective military capabilities it is an unequivocal paradigm to eradicate, minimize and mitigate vulnerabilities from them as well. The development of protection and hardening mechanisms against directed energy weapons such as high energy lasers are necessarily critical requirements for the progression of effective countermeasures . High energy lasers (HELs) possess certain unique attributes such as speed of light response, precision strikes, reduced collateral damage, and potentially low cost per kill. They have the potential to cause damage or disable electronic components, sensors, optics, and structural components of advanced armaments, thereby disabling their effectiveness in completing intended missions. Many approaches, including chemical lasers, fiber lasers, solid state lasers, and free electron lasers, are available to build HELs, and many impediments to their deployment are steadily being overcome. Commensurate with the advances in HELs as directed energy weapons, it is imperative that parallel advances are required for protection against them, as well as to achieve an asymmetrical advantage over the adversaries. This topic endeavors, in particular, to research schemes for understanding fundamental high energy laser interactions with exploratory photonic material structures and designs.
PHASE I: Investigate novel approaches using multilayered hybrid 2-dimensional nanostructures as passive coatings and evaluating their interactions with high energy lasers. In particular, the aim is to design photonic designs of 2D metallic/inorganic/organic materials wherein disorder in the structure may be used to affect significant extinction and/or reflection of high energy coherent beams. In this regard, photonic glass with and without self-similar structures (fractals) could be advantageous as an additional variable to manipulate the incident radiation. At the end of Phase I, areas for further detailed investigation during Phase II should be identified.
PHASE II: Detailed physics based models will be developed for understanding the material interactions with high energy radiation using disorder in multilayered hybrid 2-dimensional nanostructures. Non-linear materials, photonic band structure designs, nanoporous compositions, self-similar structures, etc., can be considered as part of the design space. The design will also consider the effects of variables such as the angle of incidence, beam quality and polarization effects, if any, of the incident radiation. It can be assumed that the radiation is in the visible to near IR wavelength range with target irradiances in the range of tens to hundreds of kilowatts per cm2. Thin film material structures may be supported on appropriate substrates that take into account mechanical, thermal and other constraints. Fundamental material attributes will be developed for comparing the efficacy of the various nanostructure designs. Designs should be driven by final implementable solutions. The deliverables at the conclusion of the Phase II effort would include a fundamental understanding of the material interactions with high energy lasers.
PHASE III: Phase III will entail further research and refinement of the designs of Phase II along with modeling and simulation towards advancing the knowledge of material interactions with high energy lasers. The effort through all the phases will be coordinated with the stakeholders in all the three services which will facilitate definition of the requirements and transition of the technology. Strategic partnerships will be developed to further the commercialization potential of the technology.
1: Defense Science Board Task Force on Directed Energy Weapons, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington D.C. Dec. 2007.
2: A. F. Koenderink and W. L. Vos,Optical properties of real photonic crystals: anomalous diffuse transmission, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 22, 1075-1083, 2005.
3: J.A. Bossard, L.Lin and D.H. Werner Evolving random fractal Cantor superlatttices for the infrared using a genetic algorithm, J. R. Soc. Interface 13, 0975, 2015.
4: V.M. Shalaev, ed. Optical properties of nanostructured random media. Vol. 82. Springer Science & Business Media, 2002.
KEYWORDS: Low Nanostructures, Photonic Designs Of 2D Metallic/inorganic/organic Materials, Self-similar Structures, Material Interactions With High Energy Lasers
Functional Additive Manufacturing for Printable & Networkable Sensors to Detect Energetics and Other Threat Materials
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: Explosive & chem-bio (CB) sensors are necessary to provide situational awareness and early warning against threat events from homemade explosives and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), to protect personnel and assets in missions ranging from integrated base defense to forward operating bases and reconnaissance. The Department of Defense is interested in reducing costs, labor, and footprint while enhancing situational awareness and early warning to compress the time from threat event to commander decision. Small, low-cost, autonomous sensors are needed for modular, self-scaling, persistent, layered" surveillance networks. There is a desire to develop a sensor in a functional form similar to a smoke alarm. A smoke alarm exists in a small package and can run for more than a year on a single 9 volt battery. Low power and low profile are very desirable characteristics. Recent innovations in additive manufacturing and smart materials are expected to enable innovative sensor concepts and designs that enhance sensitivity, selectivity, increase monitoring performance and coverage at reduced costs, size, weight, power, with integrated printed communication architecture. Integrated printed communication hardware will provide a path forward to inexpensive networking of energetic & CB sensors, with sensors and communications hardware integrated onto a single monolithic structure. A design in which the sensor and communications are printed or placed onto a monolithic structure will provide surge" capabilities. Currently, threat sensors, along with communications and power supplies, are stockpiled in advance, adding to an already overburdened logistical stream. The ability to rapidly manufacture on-demand" will provide rapid, reliable replacement of sensing elements to DoD personnel without the need for large stockpiles of materiel. There may even be the possibility of providing manufacturing capabilities in the field. Some current technologies that detect and identify explosive & CB threats involve technologies that are expensive and difficult to maintain. Examples include LIDARS, FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectrometers), Ion Mobility Spectrometers (IMS), molecular assays. Alarm (presumptive) states can be given by sensors that provide element analysis (AP2C), M8 paper, colorimetric arrays and immunoassays. IMS technology has been incorporated into a handheld ion mobility spectrometer that has seen recent improvements in size/weight reduction, but still requires logistics support for lithium ion battery replacements. The initial outlay for M8 paper is very low, but when used to monitor an area over time, has a high labor load for replacement and visual inspection.
DESCRIPTION: Explosive & chem-bio (CB) sensors are necessary to provide situational awareness and early warning against threat events from homemade explosives and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to protect personnel and assets in missions ranging from integrated base defense to forward operating bases and reconnaissance. The Department of Defense is interested in reducing costs, labor, and footprint while enhancing situational awareness and early warning to compress the time from threat event to commander decision. Small, low-cost, autonomous sensors are needed for modular, self-scaling, persistent layered" surveillance networks. There is a desire to develop a sensor in a functional form similar to a smoke alarm. A smoke alarm exists in a small package and can run for more than a year on a single 9 volt battery. Low power and low profile are very desirable characteristics. Recent innovations in additive manufacturing and smart materials are expected to enable innovative sensor concepts and designs that enhance sensitivity, selectivity, increase monitoring performance and coverage at reduced costs, size, weight, power, with integrated printed communication architecture. Integrated printed communication hardware will provide a path forward to inexpensive networking of energetic & CB sensors, with sensors and communications hardware integrated onto a single monolithic structure. A design in which the sensor and communications are printed or placed onto a monolithic structure will provide surge" capabilities. Currently, threat sensors, along with communications and power supplies, are stockpiled in advance, adding to an already overburdened logistical stream. The ability to rapidly manufacture on-demand" will provide rapid, reliable replacement of sensing elements to DoD personnel without the need for large stockpiles of materiel. There may even be the possibility of providing manufacturing capabilities in the field. Some current technologies that detect and identify explosive & CB threats involve technologies that are expensive and difficult to maintain. Examples include LIDARS, FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectrometers), Ion Mobility Spectrometers (IMS), molecular assays. Alarm (presumptive) states can be given by sensors that provide element analysis (AP2C), M8 paper, colorimetric arrays and immunoassays. IMS technology has been incorporated into a handheld ion mobility spectrometer that has seen recent improvements in size/weight reduction, but still requires logistics support for lithium ion battery replacements. The initial outlay for M8 paper is very low, but when used to monitor an area over time, has a high labor load for replacement and visual inspection.
PHASE I: Use additive manufacturing to develop an energetic & CB threat sensor that has a very small profile and can operate using very little power. The system should be able to run for an entire year using a single 9 volt battery, similar to a smoke detector. Develop five (5) printable sensor designs using additive manufacturing methods and materials that can detect and discriminate between homemade explosives such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine (HMTD) or simulants thereof, such as ditertiarybutylperoxide, and CB threats such as methyl salicylate, ethanol, ammonia, and acetic acid. Design concepts can include one fiber/patch/print per analyte or can include multiple detection capabilities within a single fiber/patch/print. A design concept may include using printed structures and materials to exclude and narrow selections through pathways down or along the sensor to enhance selectivity. The design concepts should also be developed to address sensing sensitivity and selectivity. Designs should address rapid, on-demand-type additive manufacturing that has the potential to reduce stockpiling of sensor elements while still maintaining the ability to rapidly respond to a surge" in demand. Monolithic designs that incorporate sensing elements, communications, and power are desirable. Concept and design simulations should demonstrate a detection Objective (O) of 5-10 parts per billion (ppb), detection Threshold (T) 5-10 parts per million (ppm), time to detection of 1-5 seconds from time analyte contacts the presenting surface face, low power requirements that would enable 9v battery life of at least one year, a payload weight (including battery) of less than 5-10 grams (suitable for micro-UAS payload or helmet/uniform patch), an integrated reporting communication capability (e.g., a printed RFID tag). A low cost testing apparatus should also be developed to characterize sensor performance against challenge analytes. Concepts that include self-calibration approaches for autonomous, low/no power, self-check are desirable. Offerings that include novel, non-commercial materials (e.g., specialty inks) should include an assessment for maturity and availability of the materials (technical and procurement risk assessment). Offerings that include the predictive design simulations and/or an early feasibility print with preliminary characterization test data are considered of high value. Proposals offering to do a market survey" as the sole Phase I task to identify candidate technologies for down selection and a design developed in Phase II will be considered non-responsive.
PHASE II: Fabricate prototype sensors based on the Phase I design and findings. Characterize the sensors and demonstrate performance metrics listed in Phase I. Identify key performance metrics needed that can be used to guide further sensor development. Some example metrics may include, but are not limited to, rheological properties, viscosity, dielectric properties, resistance/impedance. The Final Report should include (1) engineering and materials designs (2) methods and processes used to make materials, (3) fabrication/printing methods used, (4) test report, testing methods, data collection and data analysis, (5) approaches and risks for manufacturing scale-up, maturity and technical risks, (6) anticipated production costs for sensors and the relevant component materials and inks, (7) lessons learned. Deliverables should include 5 complete sensor sets and Final Report.
PHASE III: Further research and development during Phase III efforts will be directed towards refining deployable sensors based on results from modeling and testing conducted during the Phase II effort and integrating them into Army and Joint Service persistent surveillance networks and layered sensing networks. Improvements to communications features will be a focus so that the sensors can meet U.S. Army CONOPS and end-user requirements.
1: Michael G. Campbell, Sophie F. Liu, Timothy M. Swager, and Mircea Dinc, Chemiresistive Sensor Arrays from Conductive 2D Metal-Organic Frameworks," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137 (43), pp 13780-13783
2: Srikanth Ammu, Vineet Dua, Srikanth Rao Agnihotra, Sumedh P. Surwade, Aksah Phulgirkar, Sanjaydumar Patel, and Sanjeev K. Manohar, Flexible, All-Organic chemiresistor for Detecting Chemically Aggressive Vapors," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012, 134, pp 4553-4556
3: E. Skotadis, Jun Tang, V. Tsouti, D. Tsoukalas, Chemiresistive sensor fabricated by the sequential ink-jet printing deposition of a gold nanoparticle and polymer layer," Microelectronic Engineering, 2010, 87, pp 2258-2263
4: Valery R.Marinov, Yuriy A. Atanasov, Adeyl Khan, Dustin Vaselaar, Aaron Halvorsen, Doughlase L. Schulz, Douglas B.Chrisey, Direct-write vaport sensors on FR4 plastic substrates," IEEE Sensors Journal, June 2007, VOL 7, No. 6, pp 937-944
5: Richard J. Roush and Susan L. Roush, Airborne hazard detector", U.S. Patent Number 6895889, May 24, 2005
6: S.Y.H. Tang and J.T.S. Chan, A review article on nerve agents", Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 9 Number 2, pages 83-89, April 2002.
7: Kimberly A. Barker and Christina Hantsch Bardsley, Blister Agents, in Toxico-terrorism: Emergency Response and Clinical Approach to Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Agents," Robin McFee and Jerrold Leikin (editors), pages 261-268, McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007.
8: Michael Schwenk, Stefan Kluge and Hanswerner Jaroni, Toxicological aspects of preparedness and aftercare for chemical-incidents", Toxicology, Volume 214, Issue 3, Pages 232-248, October 2005.
9: C.K. Cowan and P.D. Kovesi, Automatic sensor placement from vision task requirements" in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 407-416, May 1988.
10: R.R. Brooks, C. Griffin, and D.S. Friedlander, Self-organized distributed sensor network entity tracking", International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, Volume 16, number 3, pages 207-219, 2002.
KEYWORDS: Chemical Biological Warfare Agent, Homemade Explosives (HMEs), Vapor, Aerosol, Sensor, Detection, Identification, Selectivity, Sensitivity, Low Cost Sensors, Additive Manufacture, 3D Printing, Conducting Polymers, 2D Materials, Graphene, Colorimetric, Molecular Printing
Mid-Infrared Chip-scale Trace Gas Sensors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: To develop trace gas sensors on a chip with mid-infrared laser based spectroscopy techniques such as absorption spectroscopy with a broad wavelength span of 3-15 microns and sub-ppm sensitivity.
DESCRIPTION: Mid-infrared trace-gas sensing in the molecular fingerprint region is a rapidly developing field with a wide range of applications including detection of explosives and hazardous chemicals, control of industrial processes and emissions, breath analysis for medical diagnostics, and environmental and atmospheric monitoring. Mid-infrared spectral range (3-15 micron wavelength) hosts fundamental vibrational-rotational transitions of virtually any chemical compound. These transitions are strong and characteristic of molecular structure which allows performing chemical detection and identification of chemical and biological compounds with high sensitivity and specificity. Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) have dramatically affected the field of trace-gas sensing by providing narrowband tunable continuous-wave room-temperature emission in the entire mid-infrared spectral range [1,2]. Currently, mid-infrared trace gas sensing systems based on based on ring-down spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, or photoacoustic spectroscopy are developed around bulky gas cells and free-space optics . However, these systems require relatively large and expensive optical elements. These systems have significant size and weight that place constraints on their applications in the field, particularly for airborne or handheld platforms. Additionally, the use of free-space optics makes these systems inevitably sensitive to stress and vibration. Recently, several groups demonstrated integration of QCLs, photodetectors, and optical cells on the same solid-state platform [4,5] using plasmonic  or dielectric  waveguides. Unlike systems based around free-space optics, integrated-photonics gas sensors are expected to be light, highly compact, and inherently robust to vibrations and physical stress. Dielectric platforms based on silicon or germanium materials  may offer low optical loss and high effective propagating distances for mid-infrared light to produce an equivalent of a multi-pass cell within a solid-state platform. Slow-light-enhanced mid-infrared sensing has been demonstrated recently in silicon-on-sapphire platform with 10 ppm sensitivity using an 800 micron long photonic crystal waveguide . However, silicon-on-sapphire system is not suitable for operation in the entire mid-infrared band (3-15 microns) and monolithic integration of light sources and detectors with the passive photonics platform is required to enable a compact trace gas sensing system that is robust to vibrations and physical stress. Suitable approaches therefore need to be developed to integrate sources, detectors, and waveguides on a single photonic platform and enable monolithic mid-infrared chip-scale trace gas sensors operable in the entire 3-15 microns spectral range for the detection of chemical warfare agents, explosives, narcotics and other chemicals of interest to Army. All electronics, while not necessarily on the same chip, must be packaged into a compact handheld, or field-portable unit.
PHASE I: Propose a packaged design that can detect a selected gaseous substance or substances of interest to Army at sub-ppm levels by mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy in the 3-15 micron wavelength range, with all components including light source, detector and sensor transducer integrated on the same chip. Two example analyte gases desired to sense in Phase I would be methane and ammonia gas (3.3 and 6.1 micron absorption lines) for dual-use Army and civilian sensing applications. Preliminary experimental data showing the feasibility of the proposed approach will be needed to validate transition to Phase 2.
PHASE II: Deliver a packaged handheld prototype mid-infrared spectrometer, with the integrated light source, detector and sensor, to Army detecting at least 3 selected substances of interest to sub-ppm levels by mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy in the 3-15 micron wavelength range. The gaseous analyte examples given for Phase I (methane and ammonia) should be expanded upon to demonstrate feasibility across the entire range. Examples of substances desirable to detect includes (or simulants of the substances) nerve and blister agents such as Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), Soman (GD), Vx (VX), S-Mustard (HD), etc. and explosives such as RDX, PETN, TNT, HMX, Ammonium Nitrate, etc.
PHASE III: Further research and development during Phase III efforts will be directed towards a final deployable design, incorporating design modifications based on results from tests conducted during Phase II, and improving engineering/form-factors, equipment hardening, and manufacturability designs to meet the U.S. Army and end-user requirements. Potential commercial applications include detection of dangerous and greenhouse gases in the environment, contraband and narcotics for use in Homeland Security applications.
1: Y. Yao, A.J. Hoffman, and C.F. Gmachl, "Mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers," Nature Photon. 6, 432 (2012).
2: J.M. Wolf, S. Riedi, M.J. Suess, M. Beck, and J. Faist, "3.36 µm single-mode quantum cascade laser with a dissipation below 250 mW," Opt. Express 24, 662 (2016).
3: A. Kosterev, G. Wysocki, Y. Bakhirkin, S. So, R. Lewicki, M. Fraser, F. Tittel, R.F. Curl, "Application of quantum cascade lasers to trace gas analysis," Appl. Phys. B 90, 165 (2008).
4: D. Ristanic, B. Schwarz, P. Reininger, H. Detz, T. Zederbauer, A.M. Andrews, W. Schrenk, and G. Strasser, "Monolithically integrated mid-infrared sensor using narrow mode operation and temperature feedback," Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 041101 (2015).
5: Y. Zou, K. Vijayraghavan, P. Wray, S. Chakravarty, M.A. Belkin, R. T. Chen, "Monolithically integrated quantum cascade lasers, detectors and dielectric waveguides at 9.5 µm for far-infrared lab-on-chip chemical sensing,"CLEO Technical Digest, paper STu4I.2 (2015).
6: Y. Ma, G. Yu, J. Zhang, X. Yu, R. Sun, and F.K. Tittel, "Quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy based trace gas sensors using different quartz tuning forks," Sensors 15, 7596 (2015).
7: J. P. Waclawek, H. Moser, and B. Lendl, "Compact quantum cascade laser based quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy sensor system for detection of carbon disulfide," Opt. Express 24, 6559 (2016).
8: Y. Zou, S. Chakravarty, P. Wray, R. T. Chen, "Mid-Infrared holey and slotted photonic crystal waveguides in silicon-on-sapphire for chemical warfare simulant detection," Sensors and Actuators B 221, 1094 (2015).
9: R. Soref, "Mid-infrared photonics in silicon and germanium," Nat. Photon. 4, 495 (2010)
KEYWORDS: Mid-infrared, Absorption Spectroscopy, Integrated Photonics, Trace Gas Sensing
Mid-wave Infrared Laser Beam Steering
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: The development of a monolithic beam steerable mid-wave infrared laser with average power output exceeding 10W.
DESCRIPTION: Current infrared countermeasures systems are advancing in terms of utilization of more compact mid-IR lasers known as quantum cascade lasers. However, such systems are still somewhat bulky in their use of gimbaled mounts requiring mechanical beam steering. Opportunities exist to explore the development of a midwave-IR (3-5 micron) monolithic beam steering laser chip which would be many orders of magnitude more compact, less expensive, and have higher performance. Monolithic beam steering is coming of age with wide-spread interest of beam steerable ladar using silicon photonics, but those have been directed to wavelengths in the near infrared. Mid-wave infrared lasers are advancing in terms of power output and reliability to over 1 W per laser (room temperature, continuous wave). In addition some applications only require pulsed formats which allow for significant laser cooling between pulses, aiding in reliability. Also, integrated photonics is producing results in silicon based systems for ladars on chip for future collision avoidance for automobiles. The development of Sb-based type I diode lasers and III-V quantum cascade lasers has progressed to the point that such monolithic arrays can be pursued to achieve much faster and agile beam steering for several applications [1, 2]. Several approaches should be possible to achieve the results from wafer bonded lasers [3, 4] to silicon or germanium integrated photonics platforms to directly steerable arrays in III-V materials. High power single mode VCSELs could also be made from mid-IR laser heterostructures . One such approach has been demonstrated with significant beam steering using tunable photonic crystal effects .
PHASE I: Using a proposed monolithic design, show evidence of feasibility of all major elements including both the laser sources and the proposed beam steering photonics. Rudimentary demonstration of mid-wave IR lasers useful for reaching 10 W average power should be made along with designs and feasibility studies showing wide-angle and high-speed electronic beam steering of up to +/- 90 degrees at scan rates exceeding 1 kHz.
PHASE II: Fabrication and testing of the full monolithic beam steering microchip system. Optimization of the laser sources power and coupling efficiency to the beam steering apparatus should be pursued along with the design, implementation, and testing of the wide-angle beam steering devices. Goals for this phase include the achievement of up to +/- 90 degrees and 10 W average power (pulse length should be no shorter than 1 ms) at scan rates over 10 kHz.
PHASE III: Mid-infrared lasers have uses in many military applications and advanced beam steering capabilities with high-speeds add to the potential application areas. Examples include surveillance, imaging, communications, and countermeasures. Dual use applications may include the remote sensing of chemicals, explosives, narcotics, and other warfare agents.
1: Leon Shterengas, Rui Liang, Gela Kipshidze, Takashi Hosoda, Gregory Belenky, Sherrie S. Bowman, and Richard L. Tober, Applied Physics Letters, 105, 161112 (2014).
2: J. D. Kirch,1 C.-C. Chang,1 C. Boyle,1 L. J. Mawst,1 D. Lindberg III,2 T. Earles,2 and D. Botez, Applied Physics Letters, 106, 061113 (2015).
3: D. Ristanic, B. Schwarz, P. Reininger, H. Detz, T. Zederbauer, A.M. Andrews, W. Schrenk, and G. Strasser, "Monolithically integrated mid-infrared sensor using narrow mode operationand temperature feedback," Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 041101 (2015).
4: Y. Zou, K. Vijayraghavan, P. Wray, S. Chakravarty, M.A. Belkin, R. T. Chen, "Monolithically integrated quantum cascade lasers, detectors and dielectric waveguides at 9.5µm for far-infrared lab-on-chip chemical sensing," CLEO Technical Digest, paper STu4I.2 (2015).
5: Kazuyoshi Hirose, Yong Liang, Yoshitaka Kurosaka1, Akiyoshi Watanabe, Takahiro Sugiyama and Susumu Noda, Nature Photonics, Vol. 8, 406-411, May (2014).
6: Yoshitaka Kurosaka, Seita Iwahashi, Yong Liang, Kyosuke Sakai1, Eiji Miyai, Wataru Kunishi, Dai Ohnishi, and Susumu Noda, Nature Photonics, Vol. 4, 447-450, July (2010).
KEYWORDS: Mid-wave Infrared, Laser Beam Steering, Integrated Photonics
High Dynamic Range Heterodyne Terahertz Imager
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Design, construct, and deliver an imager operating in the 1-5 THz region with a frequency tunable source, a high dynamic range heterodyne receiver, and wavelength-scale spatial resolution.
DESCRIPTION: The Army has a need for high spatial resolution non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of non-conductive materials that cannot be effectively imaged with ultrasound or x-ray technology [1-3]. The use of terahertz frequencies (0.3 THz to 10 THz) for NDE is desirable because it allows non-contact, operator-safe, high-resolution imaging of materials that would otherwise be opaque to visible and infrared frequencies: polymers, ceramics, semiconductors and electrical insulators. While there are many suppliers of time domain terahertz NDE imagers, these systems are relatively complex due to the optical down conversion from infrared to terahertz frequencies. The inefficient down conversion process is ameliorated by coherent detection resulting in peak signal to noise ratios of 60 dB. While these systems produce pulses with frequency content from 50 GHz to 3 THz, the lossy samples act as low pass filters effectively limiting pulses to < 500 GHz of frequency content, which reduces spatial resolution. As an alternative, high-power far-infrared gas lasers, which produce ~50 mW of average power at 2.5 THz, have been demonstrated in heterodyne imaging using Schottky diode detectors . Using a source laser and a second, local-oscillator laser resulted in signal to noise ratios of 110 dB. The drawbacks to this system are the cost, the complexity of the optical alignment, and the constraint to operate at discrete frequencies of the lasing gas. A promising alternative approach to terahertz imaging involves the use of terahertz Quantum-Cascade Lasers (QCL), which may be combined with a Schottky diode detector for heterodyne imaging. For heterodyne imaging, two semiconductor QCLs, which have demonstrated power levels of 10's of mW [5-7], are required to emit at slightly offset frequencies, with one serving as local oscillator (LO) and the other as the Signal. The Signal and LO are combined in a reference detector and offset frequency locked. In a separate beam path, the Signal is passed through an object, and then is combined with the LO on a second Schottky detector. Further down-conversion of the intermediate frequency (IF) signal allows lock-in detection, amplification, and recovery of the phase and magnitude of the reference and transmission/reflection through the object. Because of the dual requirements for high dynamic range and wavelength-scale spatial resolution, the focused Signal may be raster scanned through the object quickly, with the objective of rendering a near video frame rate scene (30 frames per sec (fps)) that captures the imagery of the target object in real time. Cryogenic operation of the QCLs is acceptable, preferably if cooled by a closed cycle system not requiring the supply of external cryogens.
PHASE I: Design a heterodyne terahertz imager with high dynamic range (> 90 dB) frequency tunable in the 1-5 THz region with wavelength-scale spatial resolution and capable of near video frame rate operation (30 fps). The source need not span the entire spectral region, but it must be frequency tunable. The design must specify the source, detector, and image acquisition technologies, the spectral tuning range, the anticipated dynamic range, the imager's field of view, the spatial resolution, and the expected frame rate. The ideal imager will operate in both transmission and reflection modes.
PHASE II: Construct, characterize, and optimize the performance of the heterodyne terahertz imager designed in Phase I, exhibiting high dynamic range (> 90 dB) frequency tunability in the 1-5 THz region with wavelength-scale spatial resolution and capable of near video frame rate operation (30 fps). The complete, proof-of-concept imager will be delivered at the end of Phase II along with a working graphical user interface for displaying, manipulating, and enhancing the image.
PHASE III: Advance the technology readiness level of the proof-of-concept delivered in Phase II to an affordable, packaged, marketable, high resolution imager that may be used by a broad commercial market for non-destructive testing of non-conducting objects. In addition, frequency tunability and a sensitive heterodyne receiver will allow the development of depth-resolving three-dimensional imagers using frequency modulation continuous wave (FMCW) radar techniques.
"Advanced Photonix Awarded $1.4 Million Contract for Handheld Terahertz Scanner," (Advanced Photonix, 2015), http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/advanced-photonix-awarded-14-million-contract-for-handheld-terahertz-scanner-300021296.html.
N. Palka, and D. Miedzinska, "Detailed non-destructive evaluation of UHMWPE composites in the terahertz range," Optical and Quantum Electronics 46, 515-525 (2014).
C.-P. T. Chiou, F. J. Margetan, D. J. Barnard, D. K. Hsu, T. C. Jensen, and D. J. Eisenmann, "Nondestructive characterization of UHMWPE armor materials," (2011).
P. Siegel, and R. Dengler, "Terahertz Heterodyne Imaging Part II: Instruments," International Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves 27, 631-655 (2006).
B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, "High-power terahertz quantum-cascade lasers," Electronics Letters 42, 89 - 91 (2006)
A. W. M. Lee, Q. Qin, S. Kumar, B. S. Williams, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, "High-power and high-temperature THz quantum-cascade lasers based on lens-coupled metal-metal waveguides," Optics Letters 32, 2840 - 2842 (2007).
M. Wienold et al., Real-time terahertz imaging through self-mixing in a quantum-cascade laser. Appl. Phys. Lett. 109, 011102 (2016
KEYWORDS: Terahertz Imaging, Heterodyne Receiver, Quantum Cascade Laser
3D Tomographic Scanning Microwave Microscopy with Nanometer Resolution
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop near-field scanning microwave microscopy hardware and software to enable 3D tomographic imaging of the structural and electromagnetic properties of electronic and biological materials with nanometer spatial resolution.
DESCRIPTION: Near-field scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) is a new atomic-scale scanning probe capable of penetrating below the sample surface up to one micrometer in depth. Compared to optical, x-ray or electron microscopy, SMM is highly non-invasive because the energy of microwave photons is only on the order of 10 µeV. Therefore, the technique can potentially be very useful in imaging the structural and electromagnetic properties for a wide range of electronic and biological materials with high electrical and spatial resolution, and provide unique insights into their fundamental characteristics. To date, sophisticated probes and complete systems have been offered, and different probe calibration and data analysis approaches have been proposed, and promising results have been demonstrated. For example, SMM has been used to image the quantum Hall edge states in graphene and topological insulators, and for biological applications, to investigate the effect of fullerene nanoparticles on breast cancer cells. The high sensitivity of SMMs can also potentially enable direct imaging of ion channel and nanoporation in a cell membrane. Furthermore, recent demonstration of SMM operating in liquid environment will open up even more opportunities in biology and medical science. In addition to the aforementioned advances, SMM offers the unique capability of penetrating into the sample-under-test in a non-invasive and non-contacting manner. This feature allows imaging of sub-surface structures, and open the possibility for 3D tomography with nanometer resolution. The tomographic potential of SMM has been demonstrated in proof-of-principle experiments. In these experiments, broadband or multi-frequency microwave radiation was used to probe different sample depths. Despite these promising results, 3D tomographic SMM systems for consistent and reproducible characterization are still not available. The goal of this project is to develop reliable and user-friendly SMM systems with 3D tomography capability. This will still require major improvements in both hardware and software.
PHASE I: Define system architecture both in hardware and software which shows feasibility of obtaining 10 nm resolution in all three spatial dimensions. Include determination of optimum system frequency, bandwidth, and data analysis in frequency domain vs. time domain. Determine advantages of operating at higher frequencies such as millimeter-wave and terahertz frequencies for improving system performance. Perform 3D electromagnetic designs of the probe structures to be integrated with system. At least one of the probe designs should be compatible with liquid environment. Investigate innovative micro-machining techniques for realizing the probe designs. Explore new software algorithms for 3D image reconstruction.
PHASE II: Implement designs including both hardware and software from Phase I to construct an SMM with 3D tomography capability. Demonstrate reproducible characterization of biological or electronic samples with 3D resolution 10 nm or less. Collaborate with biomedical or electronic researchers to demonstrate the 3D advantage of the technique. Modify the hardware and software as needed and document the modifications.
PHASE III: High-resolution and non-invasive 3D microscopic tools for biomedical and electronic scientific research, industry applications and defense systems. Applications include characterization of semiconductor, metal, organic films, etc., and detection of counterfeit integrated circuits. Beyond material characterization, it also provides unique capability for identification of chemical/bio agents and biomolecules.
1: J. Lee, C. J. Long, H. Yang, X. D. Xiang, and I. Takeuchi, Atomic resolution imaging at 2.5 GHz using near-field microwave microscopy," Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 97, pp. 183111-1-183111-3, 2010.
2: K. Lai, W. Kundhikanjana, M. A. Kelly, Z.-X. Shen, J. Shabani, and M. Shayegan, Imaging of Coulomb-driven quantum Hall edge states," Phy. Rev. Lett., vol. 107, no. 17, pp. 176809-1-176809-5, Nov. 2011.
3: M. Farina, F. Piacenza, F. De Angelis, D. Mencarelli, A. Morini, G. Venanzoni, T. Pietrangelo, M. Malavolta, A. Basso, M. Provinciali, J. C. Hwang, X. Jin, and A. Di Donato, "Broadband near-field scanning microwave microscopy investigation of fullerene exposure of breast cancer cells," IEEE MTT-S Int. Microwave Symp. Dig., San Francisco, CA, Jun. 2016, pp. 1-4.
4: M. Farina, A. Di Donato, D. Mencarelli, G. Venanzoni, and A. Morini, "High resolution scanning microwave microscopy for applications in liquid environment," IEEE Microw. Compon. Lett., vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 595-597, Nov. 2012
5: M. Farina, A. Di Donato, T. Monti, T. Pietrangelo, T. Da Ros, A. Turco, G. Venanzoni, and A. Morini, "Tomographic effects of near-field microwave microscopy in the investigation of muscle cells interacting with multi-walled carbon nanotubes," Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 101, no. 20, pp. 203101-1-203101-4, Nov. 2012.
6: P. J. de Visser, R. Chua, J. O. Island, M. Finkel, A. J. Katan, H. Thierschmann, H. S. J. van der Zant, and T. M. Klapwijk, "Spatial conductivity mapping of unprotected and capped black phosphorus using microwave microscopy," 2D Mater., vol. 3, pp. 021002-1-021002-6, Mar. 2016.
7: L. You, J.-J. Ahn, Y. S. Obeng, and J. J. Kopanski, "Subsurface imaging of metal lines embedded in a dielectric with a scanning microwave microscope," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., vol. 49, pp. 045502-1-045502-11, 2016.
KEYWORDS: Sensors, Electronics; Battle Space Environment
Mechanochemical Sensing and Self Healing Solution to Detecting Damage in Composite Structures
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Engineer and utilize mechanochemical reactions to initiate a molecular response to macroscopic force and/or deformation in polymeric materials, and to provide an active reinforcement mechanism within composite materials for stress-sensing and self-healing capabilities.
DESCRIPTION: Lightweight materials such as laminated composites and polymer materials are being increasingly used in the aerospace industry mainly due to their high strength and high stiffness to weight ratios. In existing military helicopters, such as the UH-60, composites are used to build the main rotor blade, the tail rotor flexbeam spar, and several major airframe components . Composite structures are susceptible to degradation due to prolonged use, exposure to severe service environment, fatigue, sand abrasion as well as operator abuse and neglect . The failure of polymeric materials and composites begins on a molecular level when local strains contribute to chain slippage or rupture leading to a loss of structure or modulus. Polymers under repeated cycles of mechanical stress will eventually experience chain slippage and bond breakage, which can initiate micro-cracks that propagate and lead to mechanical failure. Conversely, in biological materials, where molecules and tissues are mechanochemically activated, a repeated cycle of mechanical load and/or molecular-scale damage causes muscle fibers to strengthen through active reinforcement and growth processes. This topic calls for unique approaches to facilitate mechanochemical reactions induced by bonds bending, flexing, and/or rupturing within a polymer chain (i.e., either force-induced or damage-induced mechanisms) that will initiate stress sensing and damage resistance/mitigation. The goal is to have molecular mechanochemical responses facilitate a constructive response to a destructive force. Recent studies have shown that fluorescent or photochromic dyes can highlight hard-to-detect damage in composite structures by chemically incorporating force-activated molecular units directly into the polymer, matrix, or interphase material. When sufficient force is applied in the proper orientation, strain responsive molecules respond with a change in chemical activity at the molecular scale (i.e., change in absorbance, light emission, change in charge, activation/deactivation of a catalyst, etc.) that is often reversible. This topic seeks a novel mechanochemical-based composite material design that is able to detect and actively mitigate early stages of microscopic damage such as delamination, fiber fracture, and interfacial debonding autonomously. This topic seeks a mechanochemical solution to sensing and repairing macromolecular damage in polymer matrix materials. It is anticipated that this could be achieved through the use of mechanochemically active molecules to trigger chemical reactions in response to macroscopic stresses and strains, and also allow that these same molecules could initiate active reinforcement and self-healing to mitigate structural damage.
PHASE I: Design a mechanochemical-based composite material system that can detect molecular-scale damage prior to failure. Successful efforts are expected to: 1) characterize and predict the relationship between macromolecular and intermolecular forces, 2) leverage mechanochemical interactions and design composites to exploit these to respond to and mitigate the early stages of structural damage and mechanical deformation, 3) demonstrate and quantify the stress-sensing and/or self-healing response in novel stimuli-responsive composites, and 4) estimate the extent of damage detection and mitigation/healing under typical operating and loading conditions.
PHASE II: Fabricate a mechanochemical-based composite material system that can detect and mitigate sub-micron-scale damage. Successful efforts are expected to: 1) demonstrate the ability to detect and track damage at a length scale one order of magnitude smaller than complementary commercially available damage detection techniques (i.e., optical, ultrasonic, thermal, penetration, radiography, eddy current, microCT, etc.), and 2) manufacture test pieces or articles suitable for full-scale testing and demonstration.
PHASE III: Scale the manufacturing process for producing novel mechanochemical-based composites and products. An embedded materials solution capable of self-sensing and self-healing would be of great benefit to the U.S. Military and commercial aircraft platforms for increased reliability, reduced maintenance costs, and enhanced durability and resistance to damage.
1: Smith HR (2013) Army adopts stronger, lighter composite materials. Available at: www.army.mil/article/107563/Army_adopts_stronger__lighter_composite_materials (accessed 25 April 2015)
2: Drwiega A (2013) Future Vertical Lift: An Overview. Available at: www.aviationtoday.com/rw/military/dod/Future-Vertical-Lift&thinspAn-Overview_79167.html#.VTvMsZPM-M4 (accessed 25 April 2015)
3: Gourley SR (2013) Joint Multi-Role (JMR): The Technology Demonstrator Phase Contenders. Available at: http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/joint-multi-role-jmr-the-technology-demonstrator-phase-contenders/ (accessed 25 April 2015)
4: Hall A, Haile MA, Yoo JH, Haynes R and Coatney M, Structural Health Sensing of Damage Precursors using Magnetostrictive Particles Embedded in Composite Structures", Proceedings for American Helicopter Society, 70th annual Forum and Technology Display, 20-22 May 2014, Montreal, Canada.
5: J. Larsen, et al., Opportunities and Challenges in Damage Prognosis for Materials and Structures in Complex Systems," AFOSR Discovery Challenge Thrust (DCT) Workshop on Prognosis of Aircraft and Space Devices, Components and Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb 19-20, 2008.
6: Sun BN, Hou HS and Hsiao CC (1988) Analysis of crack-induced-craze in polymers. Engineering Fracture Mechanics 30(5):595-607.
7: Haile MA, Chen TK, Sediles F, Shiao M and Le D (2012) Estimating crack growth in rotorcraft structures subjected to mission load spectrum. International Journal of Fatigue 43:142-149
8: Makyla, K. Muller, C. Lorcher, S., Winkler, T., Nussbaumer, M., Eder, M., Bruns, N., Fluorescent Protein Senses and Reports Mechanical Damage in Glass-Giver-Reinforced Polymer Composites", Advanced Materials, Vo. 25, N 19, (2013) 2701-2706.
KEYWORDS: Embedded Materials Solution, Early Stages Of Damage Detection, In-situ Structural Health Monitoring
Scientific Data Management via Fast Dynamic Summarization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop new algorithms to accurately, compactly, and efficiently summarize large amounts of data on existing petascale and future exascale systems. These will be used to (i) minimize communication/data movement by passively coordinating statistical data compression across nodes, (ii) find anomalies in data in real time by supporting fast likelihood estimation for data as it is generated, and therefore, (iii) perform on-the-fly data curation, reduction, analysis and visualization across nodes.
DESCRIPTION: In both DoD and industry, unprecedented amounts of data are being generated from many sources, including sensors and simulations. In DoD-related R&D and on High Performance Computing (HPC) machines both owned by DoD and used in support of DoD R&D, data-driven discovery and data-management are critical areas requiring significant algorithmic developments and the creation of libraries and tools that can be used in a transformational way across many disciplines. Current big-data challenges are further exacerbated by the not-so-distant arrival of exascale scientific computing, which promises both capabilities for study in new data regimes, but also increased technical challenges in scientific data management. Improvements in data management will do more than enable better utilization of exascale machines, they may help make exascale machines feasible. Power requirements to operate HPC machines generally increase as processor and memory density increase; algorithmic methods for data summarization may reduce the amount of memory required per processor core, decreasing density requirements and thus power requirements. To support the type of massive parallelism desired for exascale systems, new global mechanisms for managing data movement and overall data summarization must be developed. In addition, the quantity of data generated by such a system requires that those new mechanisms be efficient with respect to memory usage, data movement, and computational complexity. In particular, all data management algorithms must efficiently process, analyze, and then summarize/reduce the supplied data in a single pass, while simultaneously minimizing data movement in the process. We seek real-time algorithmic techniques, incorporated in new algorithms capable of accurately, compactly, and efficiently summarizing large amounts of data on existing petascale and future exascale systems. Recent fundamental understanding has been achieved in parallel methods for constructing multiscale data partition trees , fast estimation of network state performance , reduced basis methods applicable to data compression [3,4], and data movement costs at the device level . Summarizations that are now possible with this understanding hold the possibility of helping (i) minimize communication and data movement by passively coordinating statistical data compression across nodes, (ii) find anomalies in data in real time by supporting fast likelihood estimation for data as it is generated, and therefore, (iii) serve as a general platform for real time data summarization, reduction, analysis, and visualization across nodes. The developed data summarization and related algorithms will form the basis of a library/middleware layer that can be practically used on existing petascale and future exascale systems. This library will: (i) help developers utilize fast statistical estimation and summarization algorithms within next-generation computer software that is likely to have a reduced amount of memory available per core; (ii) provide real-time summarizations of data, possibly non-intrusively, so that a re-searcher can interact directly with simulations performed using existing software; (iii) allow fast statistical analysis of total system data (with error estimates); and (iv) facilitate summarization of data with minimal communication costs. We anticipate that in this project, the library described above will be developed within the context of one or several application areas. This/these application area(s) are at the discretion of the proposer.
PHASE I: In Phase I, the following shall be accomplished: a) Survey existing fast parallel methods for constructing multiscale data partition trees across system cores. Investigate suitability for implementation on different hardware architectures, such as Intel Xeon Phi, Nvidia GPU, and other processors. b) Investigate and recommend efficient algorithms for merging local data summarizations into a single accurate global data summarization of all simulation data on the system, with minimal data movement. c) Investigate and recommend appropriate fast compression technique(s), with error estimates/guarantees. d) Investigate and recommend appropriate fast methods for data reduction, anomaly detection, and visualization which will enable user monitoring of data summarization (and thus of the simulation) in real time. e) Conduct proof-of-concept computations of each of the above within an application area of the proposer's choice, to demonstrate the general suitability of the recommended approaches.
PHASE II: In Phase II, the following shall be accomplished: a) The fast parallel techniques for multiscale data partition trees investigated in Phase I will be developed and implemented for at least two different processor architectures. b) The data summarization algorithm(s) developed in Phase I will be implemented. Additional workload due to data movement will be measured and reported under various run-time tasks and conditions. c) The fast compression techniques investigated in Phase I will be developed and implemented. Performance under various run-time tasks and conditions will be measured and reported. Comparisons between actual and theoretical performance will be reported and sources of discrepancy will be investigated and explained.. d) The fast methods for data reduction, anomaly detection, and visualization for user monitoring of data summarization investigated in Phase I will be developed and implemented. e) The final portable version of the software will be made available to interested government parties for assessment and use. f) Interested users in academia and private industry will receive access to the software under appropriate licensing agreements. g) Theoretical and numerical results of the study will be published in the peer-reviewed literature. h) A comprehensive set of software documentation will be prepared and made available to users. i) A long-term program for maintenance and subsequent improvement of the software will be created. j) The company will set up a support service for both existing and new users capable of addressing installation issues and correcting bugs. This will include creating a web site with the latest news, FAQs, user' forum, etc.
PHASE III: The technology developed under this topic will be provide an effective real time summarization capability for streaming data in the application area(s) selected. It will generate reduced bases that can be used to solve problems of interest of interest, enabling the potential reduction in memory-per-core for exascale systems. The firm will follow-up on appropriate marketing opportunities in industry and licensing opportunities in academia from collaborations and contacts developed during earlier phases. Government retains rights to the delivered product and will utilize on problems of interest in its DSRC-managed HPC systems. The end state of this project will be exascale computers (industrial, university, govt-DSRC) whose existence have been enabled by the lower power densities at the component level, in turn enabled by improved, more efficient and reduced data movement from these data summarization techniques at the middle-ware level. The end state includes new sysadmin and user capabilities for calling and visualizing summaries of data and data movement during run time. The end state will include predictive and engineering design applications such as synthetic biological simulations and designs at multiscale levels, enabled through the faster and more efficient passing of summarized data at the component level.
1: W. K. Allard, G. Chen, and M. Maggioni. Multi-scale Geometric Methods for Data Sets ii: Geometric multi-resolution analysis. Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, 32(3):435-462, 2012.
2: P. Balachandran, E. Airoldi, E. Kolaczyk, Inference of Network Summary Statistics Through Network Denoising, Statistical Machine Learning, arXiv:1310.0423, 2013
3: M. Barrault, Y. Maday, N.C. Nguyen, and A.T. Patera. An 'empirical interpolation' method: Application to efficient reduced-basis discretization of partial differential equations. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, Serie I, Vol. 339, 667-672, (2004)
4: D.B.P. Huynh, D.J. Knezevic, A.T. Patera. A static condensation reduced basis element method: Complex problems, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Vol 259, 197-216 (2013).
KEYWORDS: Scientific Data Management, Data Summarization
Synthetic Biology Toolkit for Bioconversion of Food Waste
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop a Clostridium molecular toolkit that enable engineering of Clostridium species (spp.) to convert food waste to fuel or other intermediates of value to reduce waste removal costs and to improve sustainability in the field.
DESCRIPTION: The Army has an urgent need for low-energy, portable solutions for bioconversion in an end-deployment field. Bioconversion can be used to produce fuels and materials, or to remove waste. There is a clear demand for bioconversion: at forward military bases, basic commodities such as gasoline can cost up to $400 per gallon due to delivery costs . In addition, significant waste is generated at forward bases of which 87% are carbon-sources convertible to energy, averaging approximately 7 pounds per day - conversion of this waste would save up to $3500 per year per soldier  and significantly reduce waste removal costs. While waste-to-energy technologies are under development to conduct limited bioconversion, these technologies are typically combustion-based and suffer from high equipment needs and significant energy usage. In addition, waste-to-energy technologies are unable to efficiently handle sources of diluted carbon without pretreatment. Specifically, food waste composes the majority of solid waste generated (19%), but also has the highest moisture content (54%) . Microbes can be used for bioconversion of food waste through fermentation technology  to either biofuels worth $200-400/ton converted or specialty chemicals and materials such as plastics or enzymes worth $1000/ton converted . Species of Clostridium have been explored for bioconversion such as Clostridium acetobutylicum , Clostridium beijerinckii , and Clostridium tyrobutyricum , among others. Clostridium is a particularly attractive target for its ability to make butanol, hydrogen, and valuable intermediates. However, Clostridium species have been minimally engineered due to the lack of characterization on the organism's regulatory regions and genetics, and the difficulty of growing and genetically engineering the organism. This project seeks to further characterize parts (i.e. biologically functional units) to allow for the synthetic biological engineering of Clostridium, as has been done extensively for model organisms such as E. coli and yeast . The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a toolkit for the engineering of Clostridium for the application of bioconversion of food waste. If successful, these toolkits will allow the construction of efficient Clostridium-powered fermentations.
PHASE I: Develop assays to isolate and test transcriptional and translational regulatory regions, such as promoters and ribosome binding sites in Clostridium spp. that can produce higher-order compounds (butanol, ethanol, hydrogen, or other valuable intermediates to the Soldier in the field) from carbohydrates (or food waste simulant). The assays should use host derived transcriptional and translational machinery and can be cellular, or cell-free extract based and should be easily extensible to other organisms. The Phase I effort should include a proof-of-principle of the functionality of the assays, and demonstrate expression of non-host derived enzymes using a subset of at least 5 native regulatory elements with differential responses. Native or recombinant multi-enzyme pathways shall be identified where improved transcriptional and translational control will allow for modulation of metabolic output based upon internal and/or external cues.
PHASE II: Demonstrate the functionality of the assays by producing an expanded parts list of tested functional regulatory regions which are responsive to external and/or internal cues, and construct two of the identified pathways in Phase I in Clostridium spp. using the information obtained from the toolkit. Demonstrate that the genetic elements and circuits function, as designed, in the organism through demonstration of altered protein expression. Demonstrate transcriptional and translational control (via protein expression levels or metabolic output) in the engineered Clostridium using internal or external cues. Demonstrate that engineered Clostridium strains are able to convert food waste into the desired final products more efficiently (>100%) than a non-engineered strain in batch fermentation at an equivalent residence time. Assess scalability and cost-effectiveness of the engineered conversion process and reproducibility as a function of relevant food waste composition and benchmark it against the existing chemical-based technologies. Determine feasibility for ancillary beneficial processes (e.g. generation of potable water and removal of organics from food waste) as a function of the bioconversion process. Assess waste-to-energy conversion in terms of processing parameters (e.g. food waste composition, residence/conversion time, bacterial wash-out/replenishment schedules, etc.). Demonstrate functionality of the engineering toolkit for one or more additional bacteria including but not limited to other Clostridia spp., spore forming bacteria and/or extremophiles. The final deliverable of this effort includes: 1) a list of functional regulator regions and synthetic circuits if used, 2) engineered Clostridium strains, 3) design specifications/parameters for the food waste batch fermenter, 4) scalability and cost analysis, and 5) lab-scale feasibility (as a function of altered protein expression or metabolic outputs) of extending engineering toolkit to at least one other relevant bacterial system.
PHASE III: The Phase III work will produce a refined genetic engineering toolkit for translation to a host of anaerobic/aerobic bacteria for engineered metabolic outputs based on variable food-derived waste inputs. The toolkit will support the commercially-viable, environmentally responsible design and development of a biologically-based food waste conversion process that can be integrated into an existing or new waste-to-energy conversion system for fielding within forward operating bases to mitigate complications in meeting fuel/energy and water demands. The waste-to-energy system will facilitate a cost-effective, efficient means for the conversion of food waste into higher-order compounds for generation of bioenergy (biofuels, biohydrogen, etc.) to operate generators, lights, vehicles, etc. in addition to other valuable co-products (e.g. potable water). Waste-to-energy systems also have dual-use applications within the civilian sector for efficient municipal waste products. Furthermore, the toolkit would be a basis for engineering other microorganisms, in addition to the novel Clostridium strain, that produce commercially-viable metabolic byproducts. The biologically-derived waste-to-energy solution must be cost effective and commercially competitive compared to existing chemical-based conversion systems.
1: L. M. Powell, "Converting Army Waste to Fuel: Mobile Integrated Sustainable Energy Recovery," 13th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference pp. 5-6, Jan. 2005.
2: "US Army Central (USARCENT) Area of Responsibility (AOR) Contingency Base Waste Stream Analysis (CBWSA)," pp. 1-53, Apr. 2013.
3: M. D. Servinsky, S. Liu, and E. S. Gerlach, "Fermentation of oxidized hexose derivatives by Clostridium acetobutylicum," Microbial Cell Fact 13 2014.
4: E. Uckun Kiran, A. P. Trzcinski, W. J. Ng, and Y. Liu, "Bioconversion of food waste to energy: A review," Fuel, vol. 134, pp. 389-399, Oct. 2014.
5: H. Huang, V. Singh, and N. Qureshi, "Butanol production from food waste: a novel process for producing sustainable energy and reducing environmental pollution," Biotechnology for Biofuels 2015 8:1, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 1, Sep. 2015.
6: J. JO, D. LEE, D. Park, and J. PARK, "Biological hydrogen production by immobilized cells of Clostridium tyrobutyricum JM1 isolated from a food waste treatment process," Bioresource Technology, vol. 99, no. 14, pp. 6666-6672, Sep. 2008.
7: C. A. Voigt, Synthetic Biology, Part A: Methods for Part/Device Characterization and Chassis Engineering. 2011.
KEYWORDS: Clostridium, Food Waste, Bioconversion, Low Energy, Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering, Fermentation, Cell-free
High Performance Armor via Additive Advanced Ceramics
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: To develop, improve and demonstrate newly introduced additive manufacturing (AM) technology capable of producing advanced material components consisting of alumina, silicon carbide and/or boron carbide and validate its use in high performance applications such as armor components.
DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Army's initiative for body armor that can be tailored to the dismounted soldier in a short timeframe, as well as being a more cost effective solution, has placed increasing pressure on traditional manufacturers of advanced materials. Traditional custom armor manufacture requires specially fabricated tooling. Because of this, custom components in small quantities are cost prohibitive. In addition to the cost, long lead times on the order of several months are the norm. These large upfront costs and long lead times associated with traditional manufacturing has generated increasing interest for the AM market due to its low cost, customizable nature. With AM's many superior qualities there are drawbacks that still exist, which has limited its widespread adoption. Among these drawbacks, poor material performance is of primary concern. With the layer-by-layer building method used with AM processes, mechanical strength metrics such as density, flexural strength, and Knoop hardness are often very low in comparison with traditionally-manufactured armor ceramics. Also, materials used with AM processes must be engineered for use with a specific AM process which often results in long term research efforts. To address these material challenges, an AM process that can produce high geometric complexity parts with very high mechanical performance is of great interest. In order for the AM process to be commercially feasible, high deposition rates are required for fast component throughput. A solution of this nature has the possibility of expanding armor protection methods as well as allowing the dismounted soldier to fabricate custom armor articles from behind enemy lines, giving them a tactical advantage. The advanced materials that are of interest are alumina, silicon carbide, and boron carbide. Alumina ceramic (AL2O3), a general purpose material, will be the material initially used to compare parts fabricated via the AM process and traditional manufacturing due to its lower cost and ease of processing. Upon successful validation of the AL2O3 AM parts using metrics such as density, flexural strength, as well as dynamic analysis including Hugoniot shock response characterization, the silicon carbide (SiC) and boron carbide (B4C) materials will be investigated. The SiC and B4C materials, which are used in armor ceramic applications due to their excellent strength to weight properties, are the intended materials to be used for replacement of current traditionally manufactured armor components. Once initial feasibility is proven through the testing metrics mentioned above, comparison of these materials to traditional B4C armor will take place in the same manner as the testing of AL2O3. The advanced materials developed under this effort will have a broad range of applications within the military and commercial sectors. The aerospace / defense industries, along with the nuclear sector are areas that could benefit from advances made within this project. Development of a high performance AM process for advanced materials would provide a solution to commercial markets seeking an equal performing replacement to traditional manufacturing. The AM process would also significantly lower cost for custom and short run production situations due to the elimination of tooling associated with traditional manufacturing methods.
PHASE I: Develop an additive manufacturing process for advanced materials which uses materials including alumina, silicon carbide, or boron carbide. The system should be capable of producing a near-net shape, highly dense unfired (green) advanced material preform. The green preform must not contain any type of infiltrant in order to maximum the mechanical performance of the fully sintered part. The requirements of the process are such that the deposition rate is 30 grams per minute of an advanced material feedstock to facilitate rapid part fabrication. The components fabricated will be subject to quasi-static, dynamic, and in-situ characterization and logged in an ARL armor mechanisms database. The AM components will be compared to traditionally manufactured armor ceramics on mechanical performance metrics such as density, flexural strength, and hardness. Successful completion of this phase is realized when the AM components performance metrics are within 5% of traditional manufactured armor. The deliverables for Phase I will include process development documentation as well as material development documentation and characterization.
PHASE II: Optimize the material development of boron carbide through further characterization and in-situ ballistic testing. The AM system shall be streamlined such that a degree of control over the microstructural properties of the fabricated component can be exhibited. Control of the material's microstructure is of importance as it can have a significant influence on the ballistic performance of the armor component. Manipulation of the microstructure may be accomplished through layer-to-layer orientation control and bonding parameters, printer feedstock powder particle distribution, as well as individual layer thickness. These parameters affect critical material properties such as density, flexural strength, and Hugoniot shock response characteristics which are the same metrics used to evaluate traditional armor components. Upon completion of Phase II, fully dense advanced material components should be capable of displaying similar mechanical and ballistic performance to that of traditionally manufactured advanced material ballistic protection. If the developed process warrants, a material integrity detection system shall be integrated to ensure fabricated component integrity. The AM components will be compared to traditionally manufactured armor ceramics on mechanical performance metrics such as density, flexural strength, hardness, as well as fragmentation behavior observed through low velocity impact testing. Upon matching or exceeding traditionally manufactured performance metrics, in-situ ballistic testing would take place to evaluate projectile erosion/fragmentation mechanics. Successful completion of this phase is realized when AM component performance meets or exceeds traditionally manufactured armor in both static analysis as well as in-situ ballistic testing. Deliverables for Phase II will include process development documentation, material development documentation including feedstock formulation, and a prototype additive manufacturing system capable of producing high performance advanced material components.
PHASE III: The AM advanced materials developed under this effort will be used in a broad range of applications within the military and commercial sectors. Immediate applications within the military sector include rapid manufacturing capability of ceramic plate inserts (also known as SAPI) on body armor and protective structures at forward operating bases. This capability will significantly reduce the lead times, potential collateral damage, and extremely high cost compared to traditionally manufactured ceramics. The developed process will have an impact in the commercial sector in areas such as aerospace, medical, and alternative energy due to the lower component cost coupled with higher design complexity. This technology would be adopted to industry through various industry researchers representing a number of commercial sectors, i.e. the automotive industry, that are seeking suitable technologies to complement or replace traditional advanced ceramic manufacturing. Finally the AM ceramic materials, because of their lower barrier of entry in terms of cost, will be integrated additional markets which are currently unknown.
1: Tyrone L. Jones, Jeffrey J. Swab, Benjamin Becker, "The First Static and Dynamic Analysis of 3D Printed Sintered Ceramics for Body Armor Applications," 40th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites, January 201
2: Benjamin Becker, "Additive Changes to Advanced Ceramics," Ceramic Industry, April 2014, pp. 12-14.
3: Lisa Roberson, "Local startup company uses 3-D printing for Armor," Chronicle Telegram, March 16, 2016, pp. D8.
4: Tyrone L. Jones, "Investigation of the Kinetic Energy Characterization of Advanced Ceramics," April 2015, ARL-TR-7263, APG, MD.
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing, 3-D Printing, Rapid Fabrication, Advanced Materials, Body Armor, Alumina, Silicon Carbide, Boron Carbide
Scalable Manufacturing of Functional Yarns for Textile-based Energy Storage
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Design scalable manufacturing processes that produce yarns that can store energy and can be knit or woven into wearable textiles capable of storing energy.
DESCRIPTION: New high-performance electronic and 'smart' textile technologies with advanced functionalities (e.g., sensing, physical actuation) are being developed although many functional applications are limited by the availability of low cost, integrated energy storage technologies. Scalable, inexpensive manufacturing processes that produce yarns capable of storing energy are required for new breakthroughs within the wearable electronics sector. In addition to energy storage, functional yarns must also be knitted and woven into comfortable/wearable materials that are capable of wicking moisture and allowing full range of motion in ways that are similar to common athletic wear. Other desirable attributes for textile-based energy storage are that the technology solution(s) should be electrochemically stable, charge and discharge rapidly, and maintain requisite power density for thousands of duty cycles and/or for the life of the garment. To produce the requisite amount of functional yarn, manufacturing processes must be capable of producing kilometers of energy storage yarns that maintain desirable mechanical attributes both for knitting/weaving and, ultimately, yield sufficient yardage of wearable textile materials to be relevant for implementation. Finally, the energy storage technology should not leach toxic chemicals (e.g., electrolytes or nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes) during normal wear, nor during laundering of fabrics. Furthermore, gentle laundering should not disable the energy storage device.
PHASE I: Develop manufacturing processes that are capable producing pounds of yarn (tens of kilometers of yarn) that are capable of storing energy a specific capacitance over 25 mF/cm. Additionally, yarns must have mechanical properties that allow them to be knitted and/or woven into flexible fabrics. Resultant fabrics must maintain mechanical properties suitable to be worn (e.g. textiles should withstand bending without major loss of performance).
PHASE II: Demonstrate manufacturing throughput produces enough yarn to produce at least one hundred square yards of fabric capable of store energy and a specific capacitance over 50 mF/cm. Energy storage yarns must have mechanical properties that are suitable for industrial knitting and weaving machinery. Resulting fabrics must be flexible and capable of crumpling without showing major loss of energy density. Fabrics should also be demonstrated to be capable of withstanding laundering without major loss of energy density.
PHASE III: This product would be used in a broad range of military and civilian applications where wearable textiles with integrated electrochemical power sources could power functionalities ranging from light emitting diode to sensors, and actuators.
1: Kristy Jost, Genevieve Dion, and Yury Gogotsi, "Textile energy storage in perspective", J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 10776-10787.
2: Shengli Zhai, H. Enis Karahan, Li Wei, Qihui Qian, Andrew T. Harris, Andrew I. Minett, Seeram Ramakrishna, Andrew Keong Ng, and Yuan Chen, "Textile energy storage: Structural design concepts, material selection and future perspectives" Energy Storage Materials, 2016, 3, 123-139.
3: Ruirong Zhang, Yanmeng Xu, David Harrison, John Fyson, Darren Southee & Anan Tanwilaisiri (2015) Fabrication and characterization of smart fabric using energy storage fibres, Systems Science & Control Engineering, 3:1, 391-396, DOI: 10.1080/21642583.2015.1049717
KEYWORDS: Electronic Textiles, Energy Storage, Functional Yarn, Capacitor
Biosensor for Detection of Synthetic Cannabinoids
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: Develop a drug identification kit that utilizes biomolecular receptor-ligand interactions to detect the presence of cannabinoids.
DESCRIPTION: Illicit drug use is a widespread problem within the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Defense is regularly tasked with identifying unknown illicit substances in difficult and demanding environments. There are devices currently available for detecting the presence of drugs in samples; however, these devices are typically bulky and require a high level of training, making them inoperable in field environments. Furthermore, current methods rely on identifying known compounds based on chemical structures, allowing new compounds to evade detection. One illicit drug class that is becoming a significant problem in the U.S. Armed Forces is synthetic cannabinoids, which imitate the effects of the cannabis component THC (1). Synthetic cannabinoids pose a unique concern because there are many derivatives available; when one synthetic cannabinoid is identified and regulated, known chemicals can be modified to produce derivatives that are undetectable. Illicit drugs act as ligands for receptors within the human nervous system (2) and many classes of drugs, including synthetic cannabinoids, act on a single receptor type. The goal of this topic is to utilize biomolecular receptor-ligand binding interactions to produce a biosensor to determine whether any molecule with an affinity for a cannabinoid receptor (CB1 or CB2) is present in a sample (3-5). This solution has the potential to be able to detect multiple synthetic cannabinoid derivatives with the same biosensor. Furthermore, the solution would be based on a binding event as opposed to recognition of a specific chemical structure of a drug, eliminating structural dependency and allowing for the detection of emerging compounds. The proposed solution should be portable (i.e., <5 pounds), easy-to-use, stable over a long period of time, inexpensive to operate, rugged, operable in a wide range of field conditions, and require minimal training to operate. The proposed solution must meet the performance (sensitivity and specificity) of currently available test methods and reduce the operator/analysis steps. Desired sensitivity is within "real world" range, detecting cannabinoid compounds at nanogram to milligram levels, with accuracy levels in the 90-95% range. Furthermore, the biosensor should require a small amount of sample and ensure environmentally safe disposal of any testing materials.
PHASE I: Develop, test, and/or demonstrate a biosensor platform utilizing a cannabinoid receptor (CB1 or CB2) that allows for detection of the presence of synthetic cannabinoids. Conduct preliminary testing of specificity and sensitivity. Develop a prototype concept capable of achieving the performance requirements listed in the description above.
PHASE II: Incorporate the biosensor platform from Phase I into the prototype design from Phase I. The prototype must be able to detect a minimum of three (3) synthetic cannabinoid derivatives (e.g., JWH-018, 5F-AMB) and a minimum of (3) natural cannabinoids (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol). Demonstrate detection of cannabinoid compounds in the nanogram to milligram range with a minimum accuracy level of 90%. Determine the reproducibility and limits of detection of the system. Demonstrate reliable operation under a range of operating and storage conditions. Demonstrate the prototype in a realistic field environment.
PHASE III: The proposed technology has a broad range of potential uses in civilian and military settings. The biosensor platform can be transitioned to various other classes of drugs and can be used by intelligence operations, law enforcement, and first responders.
1: Loeffler, G., Hurst, D., Penn, A., & Yung, K. (2012). Spice, bath salts, and the U.S. military: the emergence of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and cathinones in the U.S. Armed Forces. Military Medicine, 1041-1048.
2: Lambert, D. (2004). Drugs and receptors. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 181-184.
3: Turner, A. (2013). Biosensors: sense and sensibility. Royal Society of Chemistry, 3184-3196.
4: Vigneshvar, S., Sudhakumari, C., Senthilkumaran, B., & Prakash, H. (2016). Recent Advances in Biosensor Technology for Potential Applications - An Overview. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
5: Patel, S., Nanda, R., Sahoo, S., & Mohapatra, E. (2016). Biosensors in Health Care: the Milestones Achieved in Their Development towards Lab-on-Chip Analysis. Biochemistry Research International.
KEYWORDS: Biosensor, Cannabinoid, Receptor
Sealed Container Content Identification
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: To develop a compact and rugged, computer-aided device for use by chemical-biological defense forces that is capable of identifying the contents of liquid-filled containers while making contact with the container or at short stand-off without having to drill or otherwise penetrate the container.
DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense (DoD) has the need for a ruggedized, handheld device supported by a compact (smartphone or similar) platform that will permit battlefield chemical-biological defense forces to rapidly and non-invasively assess the contents of liquid filled containers. These containers could include bottles, cans, artillery shells, industrial containers (to include 55 gallon drums), or storage barrels made of glass, plastic, or metal of various thicknesses. Research was conducted nearly two decades ago to address this need using a swept-frequency acoustic interferometry (SFAI) system among other approaches. Although testing of prototype units was encouraging, the technical approach never transitioned to operational or commercial usage. The DoD seeks to leverage research investments in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and testing and other related fields over the past two decades to pursue a solution to this need. A parallel effort to the acoustic interferometry system resulted in the current commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Ortec instrument that utilizes a neutron spectroscopy approach. Solutions that utilize nuclear materials and/or nuclear radiation will not be considered under this topic. Solutions must be oriented on the development of automatic algorithms and related technologies so the user does not need to perform data interpretations in battlefield settings. Solutions will address challenges associated to varying wall thicknesses of the containers and mixtures contained within the containers. The portable device should be powered by existing, rechargeable batteries and capable of continuous operation for a minimum of one hour without having to change or charge the batteries.
PHASE I: Develop a computer-aided technology system design that meets the stated objectives listed above. Demonstrate a pre-prototype system on a laptop or smaller platform that can automatically identify at least six liquid chemicals (chemical agent simulants, explosive simulants, and common toxic industrial chemicals and fuels) within sealed containers within 1 minute and with a 90% probability of success. In addition, demonstrate proof-of-concept with a 2- or 3-component mixture. Identify additional automated algorithms and/or technologies that could be implemented in the Phase II prototype system.
PHASE II: Develop a prototype, computer-aided chemical identification system on a ruggedized, handheld device supported by a compact platform (smartphone or similar) that will meet the requirements defined above and permit usage in battlefield settings. Demonstrate the device to identify the 100 likely chemical agents and precursors along with over 20 common non-hazardous liquids in glass, plastic, and metal containers in less than 1 minute and with a 95% probability of success. In addition, potential surface interferents (dirt, corrosion, etc) should be considered. IF the device must be trained for a library of chemicals, then the device should indicate with a 95% probability of success when it is tested on a liquid that is included in the 'trained' database and a 90% probability of success in identifying that the liquid is an unknown, not in the 'trained' database.
PHASE III: The proposed technology has potential use across the Department of Defense to assess the contents of sealed, liquid-filled containers and thus speeding the assessment of required responses. In addition to being highly valuable to the chemical and biological defense community, the same device can be utilized by first responders to evaluate and confirm container contents.
Sinha, Dipen N., and Gregory Kaduchak (2001) Noninvasive Determination of Sound Speed and Attenuation in Liquids, Modern Acoustical Techniques for the Measurement of Mechanical Properties, Vol. 39. Academic Press, September 2001.
Ortec (2015) PINS3-CF Brochure, www.ortec-online.com/download/PINS3-CF.pdf.
Sinha, Dipen N., Kendall N. Springer, Wei Han, David C. Lizon, and Shulim Kogan (1997). Applications of swept-frequency acoustic interferometer for nonintrusive detection and identification of chemical warfare compounds, Los Alamos National Laboratory Report No. LA-UR-97-3113, December 1, 1997.
KEYWORDS: Ultrasound, Electromagnetics, Nondestructive Evaluation, Nondestructive Testing, Chemical Identification
Method for Locally Measuring Strength of a Polymer-Inorganic Interface During Cure and Aging
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a method to locally measure quality of the interface in an adhesive system (metal substrate/polymeric resin) during resin curing and during aging under hot/wet conditions.
DESCRIPTION: Surface treatment processes dominate the durability of interfaces in adhesively bonded joints, fiber reinforced composites, and polymer encapsulated electronics in military and commercial applications. 1. These surface treatments may include abrasion (e.g., grit-blasting), chemical etching, polishing, chemical functionalization (e.g., with coupling agents), and they are used to control the wettability, chemical functionality, and morphology of the interface between an inorganic substrate (e.g., aluminum) and an adhesive/polymer encapsulant (e.g., an epoxy resin with a diamine curing agent). The wettability, chemical functionality and morphology all influence (1) the initial strength of the interface during curing of the polymer, and (2) the long-term durability of the bond under hot/wet conditions experienced in theatre. The durability of these bonds is often dictated by the ability of the interface of the cured polymer system to resist moisture infiltration and the corresponding degradation of the adhesion between the adhesive and substrate (e.g., bond breakage, corrosion). 2. Furthermore, local defects are known to provide points of stress concentration that can locally serve as the "weakest link" in the polymer system, leading to premature failure. 3. Despite the central importance of the surface treatment in these systems, there is currently no commercially available method for locally (<100µm) measuring the quality of the polymer-substrate interaction (1) during curing (initial strength) and (2) during aging under hot/wet conditions (e.g., in liquid water at 60ºC). There are, however, a few existing techniques that can likely be modified for such measurements including: modulated microscopy techniques, surface forces apparatus techniques, and small-scale mechanical testing techniques. Modulated scanning probe measurements using lock-in techniques could potentially be used to monitor contact stiffness in situ. Additionally, the surface force apparatus technique has been developed to the point that it can be used to monitor adhesive forces within various liquid environments, making it an option as well. Finally, micron-scale mechanical testing, which was developed for solder testing may be applicable as well. Thus, we seek development of novel techniques or novel use of existing instruments that can be used to measure the quality of the interface (e.g., adhesion, interfacial shear strength, contact stiffness, or some other acceptable metric) both during curing and over time (after cure) under hot/wet conditions. Such a method would allow for demonstration of the utility of new surface treatments, allow for simulation of local defects, and provide a means of evaluating strategies to mitigate defect formation.
PHASE I: The offeror(s) shall develop a technique to monitor the change in the interface quality during polymer curing. The offeror(s) shall demonstrate the use of this method to measure interface quality during room temperature and heated (>50ºC) curing of a model substrate/resin system. The suggested model substrate is aluminum oxide, and the suggested model resin is a stoichiometric cure of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A and Jeffamine® D230 - see properties in Tables 3 and 4 of Lenhart et al . The offeror(s) shall also develop a technique using the same instrument to measure the change in the quality of the interface of this same model substrate/resin system as a function of time in the presence of liquid water at the interface in separate tests at room temperature and at 60ºC for at least one week each.
PHASE II: The offeror(s) shall implement the method developed in Phase I to investigate the influence of multiple factors on initial strength of the interface and the durability (hot/wet testing) using the chosen model system. These factors will include: (1) surface roughness (RMS roughnesses of ~10nm to ~1µm), (2) chemical treatment (e.g., etches in various acids), (3) functionalization (e.g., silane coupling agents like 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and 3-glycidoxypropyltriethoxysilane). The offeror(s) shall extend the use of the method to determine the influence of localized defects (e.g., large/sharp surface asperities or air bubbles). The offeror(s) will validate their results against lap-shear tests according to ASTM D1002-10 using the same resin and a comparable substrate. In addition, the offeror(s) will demonstrate the utility of the technique on substrates used in other systems of interest to the military that require polymer encapsulation. Examples include substrates similar to those encountered in glass-fiber reinforced composites (e.g., silicon oxide), and substrates in electronics applications (e.g., indium tin oxide).
PHASE III: The offeror is expected to aggressively pursue opportunities to market the method developed herein for use in evaluating and testing adhesives, surface treatments, coupling agents, passivation methods, and substrate preparation methods for adhesive systems, fiber reinforced composite applications, and electronic encapsulants in both military and commercial applications. Of particular interest is the establishment of an industry-wide standard method (e.g., ASTM or equivalent) for predicting the success or failure of proposed changes in surface preparation methods in meeting military specifications.
1: Jensen, R. E.; McKnight, S. H.; Quesenberry, M. J. Strength and Durability of Glass Fiber Composites Treated with Multicomponent Sizing Formulations; Laboratory, U. S. A. R.2002.
2: Bradley, W. L.; Grant, T. S. The effect of the moisture absorption on the interfacial strength of polymeric matrix composites. Journal of Materials Science 30 (21), 5537-5542.
3: Hobbiebrunken, T.; Fiedler, B.; Hojo, M.; Tanaka, M. Experimental determination of the true epoxy resin strength using micro-scaled specimens. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 2007, 38 (3), 814-818.
4: Sills, S.; Overney, R. M.; Chau, W.; Lee, V. Y.; Miller, R. D.; Frommer, J. Interfacial glass transition profiles in ultrathin, spin cast polymer films. Journal of Chemical Physics 2004, 120 (11), 5334-5338.
5: Israelachvili, J.; Min, Y.; Akbulut, M.; Alig, A.; Carver, G.; Greene, W.; Kristiansen, K.; Meyer, E.; Pesika, N.; Rosenberg, K.; Zeng, H. Recent advances in the surface forces apparatus (SFA) technique. Reports on Progress in Physics 2010, 73 (3).
6: Kwon, S.; Lee, Y.; Han, B.; Asme. Advanced micro shear testing for solder alloy using direct local measurement; Amer Soc Mechanical Engineers: New York, 2003. p 537-542.
7: Bain, E. D.; Knorr, D. B.; Richardson, A. D.; Masser, K. A.; Yu, J.; Lenhart, J. L. Failure processes governing high-rate impact resistance of epoxy resins filled with core-shell rubber nanoparticles. Journal of Materials Science 2015, 51 (5), 2347-2370.
KEYWORDS: Surface Treatments, Composites, Manufacturing Processes, Fabrication, Surface Chemistry, Coupling Agent, Durability, Adhesion
Dismounted Soldier Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) System Initialization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate techniques and algorithms to accomplish the initialization of Dismounted Navigation Systems while en route within a tactical vehicle permitting the transition from the vehicle to the fight completely without the need to manually calibrate or initialize the navigation system. Currently military Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers can take a few minutes to acquire satellites and the alignment of Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) up to four minutes, which must occur outside the vehicle, in plain sight, all while standing completely still.
DESCRIPTION: This topic will enable automatic initialization and calibration of the dismounted soldier PNT system to occur within the tactical vehicle while en route, by providing techniques and algorithms that make use of information available from the vehicle's navigation, GPS, IMU, vision and other systems, and by using collaborative navigation techniques using information from other vehicles and other dismounted soldiers' navigation systems. The developed algorithms and techniques will enable continued OPTEMPO (not delaying the mission) and will not add to the size, weight, power, or cost of the soldier system.
PHASE I: The vendor will develop a system architecture and conduct necessary tradeoff studies proposed by the vendor that contributes to the architecture and prove feasibility of the proposed approach. It is encouraged that the vendors demonstrate this technology using the CERDEC Warfighter's Integrated Navigation System (WINS) as a testbed for demonstration in Phase II.
PHASE II: Design and build the prototype modifications to a dismounted navigation system performance for demonstration in several varied environments (benign open terrain, wooded site, urban, and in GPS challenged environments). The prototype may include the use/modification of devices already installed on the vehicle or provision of a minimal set of equipment for installation within the vehicle for use while en route to the mission location. It is encouraged that the vendors demonstrate this technology using the CERDEC Warfighter's Integrated Navigation System (WINS) as a testbed for demonstration in Phase II.
PHASE III: The vendor will commercialize the system. Military application of this topic is directly applicable to the dismounted soldier via the Assured PNT program, subprogram Dismounted PNT. Commercial applications of this technology would be also directly applicable to First Responders (fire fighters, police, security, and other emergency units).
1: Vision-aided Inertial Navigation with Unknown Camera-IMU Calibration, Tue-Cuong, Dong-Si and Anastasios I. Mourikis, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Riverside, 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
2: Vision and IMU Data Fusion: Closed-Form Solutions for Attitude, Speed, Absolute Scale, and Bias Determination, Agostino Martinelli, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS, VOL. 28, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2012
3: Patent Application, Number US8718935 B2, Navigational system initialization system, process, and arrangement
KEYWORDS: Positioning, Navigation, PNT, Dismounted Soldier, Inertial, GPS, Vision-aided
Novel Robust IR Scene Projector Technology
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: The IRSP system will project accurate, dynamic, realistic infrared scenes of various targets that will provide repeatable test and evaluation (T&E) of sensors employing state-of-the-art infrared imaging technology.
DESCRIPTION: Infrared scene projectors are a highly reliable and cost effective method for the laboratory and field testing of infrared sensors. As the field continues to mature, there is a need for more adaptable scene projectors, for operation in broadband, including all the IR wavelength regimes (SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR). A variety of new scene projection technologies are being developed that can provide a more efficient, robust alternative to resistive array projectors. The Sensors and Countermeasures labs at I2WD EWAGS Division require Scene projection technology to test and evaluate systems and develop new techniques for threat detection and countermeasure. Investment into further maturing these novel scene projector designs to meet our needs for a robust and ruggedized application is critical in enabling full capabilities for development, analysis and test. Quantum Dots (QDs) are nanometer-sized particles, usually made of semiconductors, metals, or dielectrics with unique optical, electronic and chemical properties, depending on their size and shape. The small size of these particles is of the same size as the extent of the electron wave-function in the material, causing electrons to be localized/confined. This leads to an increase in bandgap energies of the materials. As a result, Quantum Dots exhibit a shift of optical absorption and emission properties to higher energies compared to their bulk values. This shift is tunable by controlling particle size. The localization of the electrons and holes in the QD increases the efficiency of these optical transitions making QDs more efficient optical materials. Quantum Dot materials can be suspended in various colloidal solutions and literally be "printed" onto a "color conversion layer" that can be attached to a COTS high performance LCD display. The quantum dot materials can be controlled such that the light emitted from the standard display causes the dots to emit in the Infrared Spectral bands of interest, which is a game changer for lower cost, and robust IR Scene Projection technology. This technology can be expanded to allow for multiple color MWIR displays, all tunable to specific wavelengths of interest. This highly supports future 2-color and multi-spectral scene projector technology which can support future sensor and countermeasure system laboratory efforts. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are light producing semiconductors. Super-lattice Light Emitting Diodes (SLEDs) is a periodic structure containing multiple layers of these diodes. SLEDs are grown using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on group III-V material substrates. They are fabricated into arrays with wet-chemical etching, gold metallization, and Silicon Nitride isolation. Selectivity of emission bandwidth and peak emission wavelength of SLEDs are achieved by bandgap engineering. These devices exhibit fast rise/fall time providing higher frame rates and have a high radiative efficiency, offering the potential for higher apparent temperatures. Improvements to the existing two color SLED technology would lead to multiple IR emission bands, higher apparent temperature, increased dynamic range, faster frame rates, and improved thermal performance. This also highly supports the future 2-color and multi-spectral scene projector technology progression efforts. The combination of these two approaches bridges the gaps in the IR continuum, allowing for a more complete range of operation, which provides the basis for more thorough testing and less chance of technological gaps when facing forward technological progression.
PHASE I: Study feasibility of novel scene projection approaches, tuned specifically toward single and dual color MWIR scene projectors. Materials, efficiency, manufacturability, stability, and ruggedness on a flight motion table are all considerations. Specific designs and test results for mature implementation of new scene projector will result.
PHASE II: As informed by Phase I, build a prototype single or dual color MWIR scene projector. These prototypes would include any software items needed to test and develop IR models and scenes using this technology, which can then be used to stimulate IR sensors and countermeasure systems.
PHASE III: These projectors, once productionized, can support multiple Government test labs throughout DoD as well as Programs of Record.
1: "TPE-II INAS/GASB SUPERLATTICE LEDS: APPLICATIONS FOR INFRARED SCENE PROJECTOR SYSTEMS", Dennis Thomas Norton, Jr. Physics in the Graduate College of The University of Iowa. December 2013 http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5031&context=etd
2: "MICRODISPLAYS: Infrared scene projector provides realistic threat scenarios". JULIA RENTZ DUPUIS. 07/25/2009. http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2009/07/microdisplays-infrared-scene-projector-provides-realistic-threat-scenarios.html
KEYWORDS: Infrared Imaging, Infrared Imaging Scene Projector, Threat Detection, Sensors, Quantum Dots
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to Improve Maneuver of Robotic/Autonomous Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: The goal of this topic would be to improve off-road autonomous mobility in military environments as mentioned above using relatively low-cost or COTS sensors while combining them with novel memory techniques.
DESCRIPTION: Recent advancements in sensors and processing have significantly improved the capabilities of autonomous ground vehicles, particularly in the commercial market. The military environment poses several unique problems to Robotic Autonomous Systems (RAS) including incomplete or insufficient map data, dynamically changing terrains, and Global Positioning System (GPS)/communications denied environments that could increase the time to complete a mission or cause mission failure. Novel processing algorithms that include machine learning and artificial intelligence could increase the speed of ground RAS and decrease the likelihood of mission failure. They may require "training" of the RAS through either supervised or unsupervised techniques on a representative area.
PHASE I: The vendor will conduct necessary tradeoff studies/analyses of conventional versus proposed techniques of robotic maneuver to prove feasibility and capability of the proposed approach.
PHASE II: Design and build a prototype ground or air robotic navigation system with increased capability for demonstration in several varied environments (benign open terrain, wooded site, urban, indoor, and in GPS challenged environments).
PHASE III: The vendor will commercialize the system. Military application of this topic is directly applicable to Army robotics efforts via the Assured PNT program, subprogram Mounted PNT. Commercial applications of this technology would be also directly applicable to First Responders (fire fighters, police, security, and other emergency units), hobbyists, and for telecommunications/infrastructure inspection.
1: Pieter Abbeel, Adam Coates, Timothy Hunter, Morgan Quigley and Andrew Ng, Helicopters teach themselves to do aerial maneuvers", http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/september10/helicopter-091008.html Proceedings of the 20th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, p.73-80, August 2008
2: Sergey Levine, Peter Pastor, Alex Krizhevsky, Deirdre Quillen; Learning Hand-Eye Coordination for Robotic Grasping with Deep Learning and Large-Scale Data Collection, arXiv:1603.02199, http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.0219, Mar 2016.
KEYWORDS: Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Positioning, Navigation, PNT
Bioaerosol Detector Wide Area Network
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: Develop a novel real-time fusion approach for a bioaerosol detector network with emphasis on high value target protection.
DESCRIPTION: Persistent wide area early warning and threat localization for biological warfare agents (BWAs) represents a significant technology gap for DoD. Current biothreat monitoring capabilities are selective, but expensive and were designed to be relevant for small targeted areas. Network and communications technologies have advanced over past few decades to where it is feasible to foster more cost effective approaches to widen the effective surveillance area and to enhance Force and Asset Protection through early warning situational awareness across large geographical regions. The network communication architecture and software are being matured and advanced in Industry and Consumer Electronics as evidence by Google, Amazon, online gaming, and the DARPA SIGMA program. Turning disparate sensor data into actionable information for decision makers requires rapid, intelligent access to huge data sets of real-time information. This topic is soliciting a smart-data-fusion approach for Big Data problems comprised of a variety of data types from distributed BWA sensors, triggers, and security cameras. Sensors should be networked via a "self-discovery" network. This topic is soliciting a data fusion approach to be applied to a distributed point bioaerosol detector network. Targets are aerosolized BWAs in the 10,000 ACPLA concentration range or less. The approach must demonstrate significant enhancements in confidence levels associated with lower cost, less sensitivity, and less specificity through the intelligent aggregation and usage of large detector data networks. Network level Pd of threat/non-threat should be greater than 90% with a MTBFA of 24 hours (threshold) and 168 hours (objective). The fusion architecture is ideally agnostic to bioaerosol detector datatype. However, the emphasis should be directed toward massive networking of inexpensive BWA sensors, including additional data from non-specific sensors such as surveillance cameras, etc. The anticipated deployment of the network includes forward operating bases, urban environments, large public gathering venues such as arenas or stadiums parts, and public transportation hubs. This topic addresses the new state-of-the-art in network/smart-ware communications electronics and software. This topic is a call for new mathematical algorithms and approaches to handle Very Large Disparate Data sets, and to produce actionable information in a timely and cost effective manner. An example of the approach requested can be seen in the DARPA Sigma program that requires immense, real-time data fusion from disparate sensor networks of 10,000+ sensors, along with input from crowd sourcing, and social media. While BWA point detectors with sufficient sensitivity and specificity are currently available, wide area (high volume) distributed deployment of these sensors is currently prohibitive with regard to cost and logistics. In essence, these point detectors cannot be deployed with adequate density to enable wide area early warning. New approaches based on aggregating the data from an array of distributed low-cost, low-specificity point biological sensors in an intelligent fusion network has the potential to fill this technology gap.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed network fusion approach using simulated and/or company furnished data. Data (simulated or real) should contain at least 3 different types of data with 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000 simulated and/or collected data set inputs. Demonstrate Pd of threat/non-threat greater than 90% and MTBFA of at least 24 hours. Quantify performance as it scales with the number/density of detectors and with the use of orthogonal data (e.g. the non-specific sensors). Generate requirements for the sensor network infrastructure based on the demonstrated approach. Attractive features include low-cost, low-specificity biological sensors, intelligent fusion network, interoperability via IP addressing and XML messaging, along with new mathematical methods and algorithms.
PHASE II: Demonstrate the network fusion approach using a limited network of point bioaerosol detectors and non-specific sensors in a series of representative environments. Demonstrate that the approach can be scaled up to a large number of sensor inputs (greater than 10,000). Plug-in ports to the network should be sensor agnostic. A common device driver communication protocol should be established so that the network can accept any sensor in the future. A companion Software Development Kit should be developed to enable easy device driver development so that other sensors can plug and play" into the sensor net. Validate achievement of Pd/MTBFA requirements. Deliver all hardware and software developed under this effort to the government including documented source code and manuals. Generate transition plans.
PHASE III: Research and development during Phase III efforts will be directed toward refining final deployable designs for the Bioaerosol Detector Wide Area Network. Design modifications based on results from tests conducted during Phase II will be incorporated. Manufacturability specific to the Joint Chemical and Biological Defense Program CONOPS and end-user requirements will be examined. Transition activities will include extensive field testing, sensor incorporation, and pre-production efforts, including vendor qualification and development of user documentation, manuals, and manufacturing processing and procedures. The network fusion capability, when combined with suitable low-cost point bioaerosol detectors, could be widely deployed in both DoD and DHS installations. The combined solution will not only detect but will also localize the bioaerosol, thereby providing key information for both evasion during and triage after the event. Transition activities will include extensive field testing and validation in a wide range of operational environments. If successful, the hardware and software developed under this topic could be deployed for high volume sensor networks (greater than 10,000) in both DoD and DHS installations. Installations could include forward operating bases, large public gathering venues such as arenas, stadiums, parks, and public transportation hubs. Low cost biodetection systems will have application in food safety and food processing.
1: Dieter Fox, Jeffery Hightower, and Lin Liao, Bayesian filters for location estimation"š IEEE Pervasive Computing, July-September 2003.
2: B.R. Cosofret, K. Shokhirev, M. King, B. Harris, R. Dubord, and M. Lusoto, Centralized and Collaborative Algorithms for Detection and Localization of Radiological Threats in Urban Environments", International Symposium on Spectral Sensing Research, June 21-24, 2010.
3: M.J. King, B. Harris, M. Toolin, R. M. DuBord, V.J. Skowronski, M.A. LuSoto, R.J. Estep, S.M. Brennan, B.R. Cosofret, and K.N. Shokhirev, An Urban Environment Simulation Framework for Evaluating Novel Distributed Radiation Detection Architectures", IEEE-HST 2010, Submission No. 28, September 2010.
5: Zhang Honghai and Jennifer C. Hou, Maintaining Sensing Coverage and Connectivity in Large Sensor Networks", Ad Hoc & Sensor Wireless Networks, vol. 1, pp. 89-124, March 3, 2005.
6: Adwitiya Sinha and Daya Krishan Lobiyal, Performance evaluation of data aggregation for cluster-based wireless sensor network"š Human-centric Computing and Information Sciences, vol. 3, no. 1, pp.1-17, 2013.
7: T.P. Lambrou, C.C. Anastasiou, C.G. Panayiotou, and M.M. Polycarpou, A Low-Cost Sensor Network for Real-Time Monitoring and Contamination Detection in Drinking Water Distribution Systems", IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 14, no. 8, pp 2765-2772, 2014.
KEYWORDS: Wide Area Network, Biothreat Detection, Large Data Sets, Large Sensor Network, Sensor Fusion
Anticipatory Analytics for Environmental Stressors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a data analysis platform to explore linkages between environmental stress and security. The objective is to develop a platform that can integrate geospatial and temporal data for a range of environmental stressors while contextualizing them with information about local communities including properties such as coping capacity, adaptive capacity, and resilience. The platform should enable linkages between environmental stressors and security outcomes including conflict, political instability, and population displacement. This platform should be implementable as a community tool that can be easily integrated into existing Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) systems and analyses to support military reach-back, training, and planning within Combatant Commands and Army Service Component Commands.
DESCRIPTION: Environmental stresses such as droughts, floods, storms, earthquakes, wildfires, pest infestations, volcanic eruptions, and infectious disease vectors are often key contributing factors to defense interventions, including humanitarian response, counter insurgency, and border control. The frequency, severity, and co-occurrence of such stresses appear to be increasing relative to past experience. Phase I planning activities need to incorporate systematic monitoring and forecasting of environmental stress and their impacts on security outcomes over multiple time scales ranging from hours to decades. While data on environmental stresses and security outcomes (e.g., conflict, political instability, supply chain disruptions, internal displacement, and external migration) are improving, these data are from disparate sources, have widely varying formats and structures, and are updated on different schedules. Tools to analyze such data in an integrated manner for predictive purposes are also lacking. Those that exist are typically not available as shared community resources. To address these challenges, we require both conceptual and technical innovations. The conceptual innovations are to develop theoretical frameworks regarding linkages between environmental stressors and security outcomes that can be quantitatively tested in both forensic and predictive contexts. The technical innovations required are to build a data harvesting, integration, and analysis platform that can support the development and deployment of anticipatory models linking environmental stressors with security outcomes, and make this platform available as a shared community resource.
PHASE I: Develop an analytical framework for tracing multiple environmental stressors through their impact on human activity and key security outcomes. Demonstrate ability to harvest and integrate multiple classes of data in order to anticipate any disruptions and likely outcomes in at least one of the following sectors: agriculture, energy or public health. Forecasts should be at least at the subnational level and over monthly time scales. Framework must be implemented in a proof of concept software tool, with a design for scaling analysis to both decadal and daily time scales and local (county-level) resolution.
PHASE II: Develop open-source framework for quantitative analysis of the impact of multiple environmental stressors on social vulnerability, potential for conflict, and mass migration. Framework must support anticipatory models for disruptions at local and national scales from weekly to seasonal time scales and include impacts in multiple sectors. Provide validation of the framework based on historical analyses of previous environmentally-driven disruption, social adaptation, and political change.
PHASE III: Corporations have many of the same needs to monitor and forecast environmental stressors as the military due to concerns about supply chains, market behavior, and political change. This provides significant commercial potential in addition to that of supplying the defense need.
1: National Research Council (2013). Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis. John D. Steinbruner, Paul C. Stern, and Jo L. Husbands, Editors; Committee on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Social and Political Stresses; Board on Environmental Change and Society; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. DOI: 10.17226/14682
2: Defense Science Board (2011). Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security
KEYWORDS: Environmental Security, Data Analytics, Socio-hydrology, Climate Change, Vulnerability, Conflict Anticipation
Biomechanical Rat Testing Device to Validate Primary Blast Loading Conditions for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop a biomechanical surrogate of a rat model that can accurately measure shock overpressure conditions. This surrogate device will be used in live-fire testing as well as many different types of experimental shock tubes in laboratories to gauge the fidelity of the experimental technique in simulating field conditions. The device will also measure the actual biomechanical loading experienced by the experimental animals so that the research results of that particular laboratory can then be cross-correlated across different test conditions and research groups.
DESCRIPTION: Blast induced neurotrauma (BINT) has been recognized as a major medical problem among US service members. As high as 20% of the total 1.6 Million deployed members may be potentially suffering from TBI, especially mild TBI. This number is likely to grow significantly as the returning warfighters assimilate into the general population and experience the continuing long-term sequelae of mild TBI, ranging from post-concussion syndrome to possible neurodegenerative diseases. This blast type of loading is expected to continue in the near future due to the asymmetrical nature of warfare in urban conditions. DOD, VA and other government agencies have sponsored many projects to understand the origin of, to identify the mechanisms of, and to offer prognostic, diagnostic, therapeutic solutions to this blast induced mild TBI. Large volumes of data on experimental animal models (mostly rats) on BINT are being published with a range of biological, biochemical, and biomedical observations. However, the data cannot be collated or correlated with each other, since the biomechanical loading condition of the rodents are very different among the various laboratories and not consistent. Thus, despite the heavy investments from the DOD and significant research effort expended on the topic, no substantive progress has been made. Each of the results by themselves may be useful but collectively there is no progress, as cross-laboratory validation of input conditions is currently not possible. This proposed idea of developing a biomechanically accurate rat model, which can precisely measure the loading conditions for each and every experimental animal model will allow correlation and cross-validation of research outcomes of different studies (remove that deficit). Blasts during explosions generate shock waves that can be precisely measured in terms of blast overpressure-time loading pulse. Such a pulse is characterized by a very sharp increase in overpressure within a microsecond followed by an exponentially decaying pressure with duration of a few milliseconds. Using the right shock wave measuring pressure transducer with at least a 1 MHz frequency, the device can characterize the pulse. The pulse measured should be a pure shock wave described by a Friedlander wave with overpressures in the range of 30-450 kPa and duration of 3-7 msec. Outside of these ranges, even if it is a pure shock wave, it is not field-relevant to cause mild TBI. The device shall be anthropometrically accurate in terms of shape, size, weight and weight distribution. The device shall accurately measure both pressure and acceleration pulse at different points in the rat. The device shall also be capable of being placed in most of the experimental set ups used by different researcher as an assessment tool. Currently, blast experimental animal models are tested in: live-fire testing; compressed-gas blast tube; small explosion shock tube; and combustion shock tube. These tubes vary from about half an inch circular tubes to 29 in square sections-range from 3 feet in length to 40 feet. Experimental rats are placed in metallic or wired cages, hung in baskets, simply suspended from the top, or placed at the end of a long rod or securely placed on aerodynamic rigid plates and oriented in line with, or normal to or at angle to shock waves. The proposed surrogate device shall be able to be placed in all the above conditions and should be capable of repeated exposures to the range of pressure and durations along with possible jet winds.
PHASE I: Design a concept for a rat testing device that can measure the actual biomechanical loading conditions in experimental blast injury animal models. In this phase, various geometric, material and manufacturing constraints for the device will be defined to meet the test conditions for use in live-fire and shock tube experiments. The number and type of measurement tools (e.g. pressure sensors, their locations, attachment methods) and accompanying electronics (hardware, software, data acquisition devices, video images,) and software needed to achieve proper calibration of the device will be identified. The calibration procedure and the ability to identify non-ideal biomechanical blast conditions will be delineated. Phase I deliverables will include: - Development of the specification for the rat test device - Computer model (e.g. 3D CAD drawing) of the device showing various part drawings, measurement tools, locations and wiring diagram - Sample working model of the device (e.g. 3D printer) - Innovation points and the various methods to improve the use of the device under a variety of loading conditions
PHASE II: Fabricate the rat testing device using the actual specification developed in Phase I. Using the right number and type of pressure and acceleration sensors, correlate the measured values with those computed theoretically (e.g. ConWep). Conduct tests in a well-calibrated shock tube model where both static and dynamic pressures are known a priori. The tests shall span the range of pressure from 30 kPa to 450 kPa in increments of 30 kPa and duration of 3 msec, 5 msec and 7 msec. The rat model should be easily secured similar to the live rat model in experiments. The device should be rugged enough for repeated (multiple) testing and should allow for non-ideal jet wind loading conditions. Develop, test and demonstrate that the prototype rat test device can be deployed in actual conditions to measure and identify the right biomechanical loading conditions, or, at the very least, accurately determine what the conditions were that the animal models were subjected to thus facilitating cross-comparison of the results from (other) laboratories.
PHASE III: In this phase, funds may be sought from the private sector for further development and production of test devices for use in various laboratories as well as for shock tube manufacturers. The device can also be used by government, academic or commercial sector researchers in developing better shock tubes or fine tune their tubes based on test results. The device, along with the instrumentation, hardware/software and test protocols can be patented and commercially licensed for use. It is also expected that the awardees may extend this concept and device to other injury models.
1: James H. Stuhmiller, Blast injury: Translating research into operational medicine, Borden Institute, https://blastinjuryresearch.amedd.army.mil/index.cfm?f=application.publications
2: Firas Kobeissy et. al, Assessing Neuro-Systemic and Behavioral Components in the Pathophysiology of Blast-Related Brain Injury, Frontiers in Neurology, 10.3389/feneur.2013.00186, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3836009/
3: A. Sundaramurthy et. al, A parametric approach to shape field-relevant blast wave profiles in compressed-gas-driven shock tube, Frontiers in Neurology, 10.3389/fneur.2014.00253, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4251450/
4: R. K. Gupta et. al, Mathematical Models of blast-induced TBI: Current status, challenges and prospects, Frontiers in Neurology, 10.3389/fneur.2013.00059, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667273/
KEYWORDS: Blast Injury, Shock Tubes, Traumatic Brain Injury, Animal Models, Test Devices, Assessment Tools, Mechanical Surrogates
Field Verification of Micro/Ultra Filtration
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Design a novel approach and deliver a device that will verify micro/ultra filtration for expeditionary water purification systems.
DESCRIPTION: The Army seeks a simplified, real-time, inline monitoring of product water from military mobile water treatment systems to verify low pressure water treatment processes to enable the Army to accomplish two operational energy mission objectives: 1) allow easy scale down of water treatment systems for use in expeditionary water supply operations, and 2) reduce the fuel required for water treatment of stable, fresh water sources (i.e. allow by-pass of the reverse osmosis treatment). Since the required application is process control, identification is not as important as the knowledge that potentially viable microorganisms made it through treatment processes that were designed first to exclude them by size and then to disinfect them. Objectively, a small size configuration would support special operations that may prefer to exploit water sources with limited or no purification, however, most purification equipment will have its own generator and not be of man-portable size. The technical approach must lead to a device that is rugged and supportable in remote areas worldwide. The best approach uses sensor measurements or measurement techniques that have not been applied to water monitoring. Real-time can be considered less than 1 hour, however, time and sensitivity are relative to the best available performance for the information the device will provide, for example, it is a significant achievement to certify less than 1 e. coli per 100ml in less than 8 hours.
PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility of measurement algorithm comprising a statistically robust number of samples of tap water spiked with a pathogen surrogate relevant to your measurement method. Verify measurement precision and repeatability by comparing the results to analysis conducted using the appropriate reference method from the current edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (i.e. send some duplicate samples out for individual analyses by a commercial water test lab). Analyze to estimate operating cost per hour assuming device used 20 hours per day. Perform analysis and test to address any fundamental environmental and transport durability issues for the proposed design. Perform analysis and test to determine expected precision/sensitivity and time per measurement.
PHASE II: Deliver a complete sensor prototype or a probe (subsystem) that can integrate into existing commercial and military sensor suites to complete a sensor prototype. The sensor prototype should be capable of communication with an external data logger. Delivered prototype must be suitable for 3rd party and Army laboratory testing and field demonstration, but design does not need to be finalized, nor is military standard durability required. Clear operational manuals do not require military format. If choosing to integrate the probe (subsystem) into an existing military sensor suite, assume the military will perform integration. Test integrated prototypes to the criteria of Phase I with standard preparations and collected water and with both surrogate materials and real pathogens.
PHASE III: Final solution is a quick-connect autonomous inline system but a kit that accepts batch samples may be suitable. The sensor platform should be self-calibrating with duration of at least one month before recalibration is needed. The most supportable design would utilize commonly available supplies, common communication protocols and not directly interface with the controls of the water purification system. The Army can integrate the technology developed under this STTR into the mobile water purification systems being developed to answer Acquisition requirements and upgrade current systems. Water utilities could insert the technology developed under this STTR in facilities to improve quality control.
1: U.S. Army Public Health Command - TB MEDD 577 SANITARY CONTROL AND SURVEILLANCE OF FIELD WATER SUPPLIES http://phc.amedd.army.mil Note: This fully explains all field military operations that concern this topic author.
2: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, a joint publication of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). http://www.standardmethods.org/ Note: This reference is the benchmark for all analyses and source of approved methods for regulatory compliance.
3: Complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act", US Army Public Health Command Technical Guide 179. Available to public online at: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/Pages/Library.aspx?Series=PHC+Technical+Information+Paper Note: section 4.4 Microbial Contaminants refers to military and civilian overlap.
4: Filtration in the Use of Individual Water Purification Devices," US Army Public Health Command Technical Information Paper #31-004-0211. Available to public online at: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/Pages/Library.aspx?Series=PHC+Technical+Information+Paper Note: This is an excellent primer of filtration processes.
KEYWORDS: Water, Water Quality Monitoring, Pathogen, Filtration, Water Purification, Sensor, Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration
Additive Manufactured Smart Structures with Discrete Embedded Sensors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Development of a hybrid additive manufacturing / 3D printing method capable of printing polymer and/or metallic smart structures with embedding electronic devices, such as sensors, accelerometers, antennas, tracking systems, etc.
DESCRIPTION: The Army desires to enhance the effectiveness and survivability of our ground systems by embedding sensors and electronics into both metallic and polymer structures. These sensors will be able to add health monitoring functionalities, threat detection, and improved communications. The goal is add these capabilities without no visual signatures, which would suggest that electronics devices are embedded. The purpose of this STTR is to explore the use of emerging Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques to increase manufacturing flexibility and produce more effective metallic and polymer structures. Technology will support a wide range of military applications, such as autonomous vehicles and bridge structures. Additive Manufacturing (AM) describes technologies that fabricate 3-dimensional objects by progressively building up material. Typically, successive layers of material are deposited under computer control to form an intended object. The term AM encompasses many approaches and includes the concepts of 3D Printing, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing, additive fabrication, and printed circuit boards. While these technologies are long established state-of-art fabrication technologies, little work has been done to look at interrupting the fabrication process and adding secondary operations such are machining, printed electronics and allowing pick & place of selected electronics. The technology will need to integrate temperature/vision sensors, closed feedback control, and precise CNC movement.
PHASE I: Perform proof-of-concept analysis and experiments that demonstrate the feasibility of a hybrid AM technology: -Demonstrating the feasibility of using the AM technology to process the chosen structural materials by fabricating laboratory test coupons that possess the required material properties and represent a path to producing the target components. -Demonstrating the feasibility of producing simple polymer component geometries with embedded electronics -Identifying the key process parameters that need to be controlled and optimized in order to develop an effective method that can be transitioned into a qualified operation. -Develop process needed to manufacture metallic structures
PHASE II: Expand the scope of the Phase I exploration to study AM technologies suitable for manufacture of both large scale Metallic and Polymer structures with a wide range of internal electronics. A robust prototype AM system will be produced under the Phase II. Work should include a review of requirements and the development of the system design relevant to a chosen application. The project should then proceed to acquire or build the necessary components and fabricate the prototype AM system in line with the design. Method studies should be performed to explore the prototype systems fabrication of test coupons and representative parts using the MMC. The prototype AM system should be improved in the course of the method studies to incorporate results of the research. Method development should be verified through materials analysis of test coupons that confirm and improve the theoretical basis for the method. Materials tests that are appropriate for the target application should be developed and used to validate the performance of the technology. Coupons will have a rough size of 12 inches wide, 12 inches long, and a height of 6 inches. Phase II deliverables include the prototype AM system, 6 test coupons and a detailed final report describing the testing implementation and results, and scale-up observations. The report must also contain detailed procedures for casing material synthesis/fabrication and scaling.
PHASE III: With a successful Phase II demonstration, the contractor shall determine the capabilities for process control and the development of a strategy for qualification. Additionally, the contractor shall integrate and test the solution on several vehicle platform and demonstrate a path to commercialization and certification. Initial applications focus on the deployment novel vehicle and bridging components. Commercial applications are widespread, including personal and medical devices. Focus will be on Structural health monitoring/sensing.
1: Siggard, Erik J., et al. "Structurally embedded electrical systems using ultrasonic consolidation (UC)." Proceedings of the 17th solid freeform fabrication symposium. 2006.
2: Bourell, D. L., et al. "A brief history of additive manufacturing and the 2009 roadmap for additive manufacturing: looking back and looking ahead." Proceedings of RapidTech (2009): 24-25
3: Love, Lonnie J., et al. "The importance of carbon fiber to polymer additive manufacturing." Journal of Materials Research 29.17 (2014): 1893-1898.
4: D. Espalin, D. W. Muse, F. Medina, E. MacDonald, and R. B. Wicker, 3D Printing multi-functionality: structures with electronics," International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
5: MacDonald; R. Salas; D. Espalin; M. Perez; E. Aguilera; D. Muse; R. Wicker, "3D Printing for the Rapid Prototyping of Structural Electronics," Access IEEE, no.99, pp. 1-12, 2013.
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing, Additive Fabrication, 3D Printing, Direct Digital Manufacturing, Layered Manufacturing, Embedded Sensors / Electronics, Hybrid Additive Manufacturing, Printed Electronics
Fast Response Heat Flux Sensors and Efficient Data Reduction Methodology for Hypersonic Wind Tunnels
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop robust sensors and an efficient data reduction methodology to obtain temporally and spatially resolved surface temperature and heat flux measurements on test articles in blowdown and continuous hypersonic wind tunnels
DESCRIPTION: The Air Force needs robust surface heat flux sensors that provide spatially resolved surface temperature and heat flux measurements on test articles in blowdown and continuous hypersonic wind tunnels. Such measurements are needed to fully understand the state of the boundary layer and provide high quality transitional and turbulent heat transfer data for designing hypersonic vehicles and validating computations of the same flows. Critical areas where heat flux measurement are needed include leading edges with small radii from 5 mm to 15 mm, control surfaces, and vehicle base. The thin film sensors that have been successfully used in impulse facilities  have yet to be successfully deployed in blowdown hypersonic wind tunnels which have a total run time between 0.5 and 5 seconds. Blowdown facilities require sensors that minimize surface hot spots and provide an improved durability to erosion since test times in blowdown facilities are typically between 10 and 1000 times longer than in impulse facilities. The longer test time also implies that multidimensional heat conduction effects can be present in areas with large lateral temperature gradients such as leading edges. The sensors and data reduction methodology need to provide both surface temperature and heat transfer in standard stainless steel test articles and account for lateral heat conduction and temperature dependent thermal properties. The frequency response needs to be above 500 kHz to characterize flow instabilities and turbulent spots. High frequency measurement of 2nd mode instabilities have been successfully performed with Atomic Layer Thermopile (ALTP) sensor [2, 3] and survivability on probes and heat shields has been demonstrated in blowdown wind tunnels . However, ALTP sensors have a large footprint which prevents close sensor spacing and measurements in area of small surface curvature. The new sensors need to provide multiple point measurements on small leading edge radii where multidimensional conduction effects can be significant over the test period. For leading edges, substrate materials with a lower thermal conductivity such as MACOR might be acceptable, but sensor integration must provide well defined boundary conditions for data reduction. The sensors must sustain surface temperatures as high as ~1000 K which is a requirement for leading edges in typical blowdown hypersonic tunnels and over the test article surface in continuous hypersonic tunnels. In continuous tunnels, heat transfer measurements are performed by injecting the test articles for multiple short duration segments (with retraction and cool down periods). However, the sensors must sustain prolonged hypersonic flow during force-and-moment testing (aerodynamic test segments) during which the test article surface temperature approaches the flow recovery temperature. In Phase 1, proposers shall evaluate the sensor requirements and perform numerical or analytical design studies. In addition, a prototype sensor and data reduction methodology shall be developed. Finally, the proposers shall perform primary bench top calibrations and small scale testing on a well-defined test configuration subjected to a well-characterized hypersonic flow. In Phase 2, proposers shall further refine the sensor design and implement an efficient data reduction methodology. Detailed static and dynamic calibrations shall be performed to demonstrate the sensor frequency response and absolute heat transfer precision and accuracy. Finally, the proposer shall demonstrate the sensor ruggedness, precision, accuracy and frequency response in a representative hypersonic flow environment in a pertinent experimental facility.
PHASE I: Evaluate the sensor requirements, perform numerical/analytical design studies, and develop prototype sensors, test article and data reduction algorithms. Perform preliminary bench top calibrations and testing in a small scale hypersonic facility under a well characterized flowfield.
PHASE II: Develop sensors and efficient data reduction methodology. Demonstrate and deliver sensors, signal conditioning hardware, data reduction, and documentation to a pertinent hypersonic experimental facility. Demonstrate the sensor ruggedness, precision, accuracy and frequency response in a representative hypersonic flow environment in a pertinent experimental facility
PHASE III: Validated sensors and data reduction software may be offered to government, universities, and industry.
1. Timothy Wadhams, Michael Holden, Matthew Maclean, Charles Campbell, Experimental Studies of Space Shuttle Orbiter Boundary Layer Transition at Mach Numbers from 10 to 18, AIAA Paper 2010-1576
2. Tim Roediger, Helmut Knauss, Boris V. Smorodsky, Malte Estorf, Steven P. Schneider, Instability Waves Measured Using Fast-Response Heat-Flux Gauges, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 266-273, 2009
3. Michael A. Kegerise, Shann J. Rufer, Unsteady Heat-Flux Measurements of Second-Mode Instability Waves in a Hypersonic Boundary Layer, AIAA Paper 2016-0357
4. Eric Marineau, Daniel Lewis, Michael Smith, John Lafferty, Molly White, Adam Amar, Investigation of Hypersonic Laminar Heating Augmentation in the Stagnation Region, AIAA Paper 2013-308
KEYWORDS: Heat Flux Sensor, Temperature Sensor, Hypersonic Flow, Hypersonic Wind Tunnel, Turbulence In Hypersonic Flows, Boundary-layer Transition, Heat Conduction
Sensors for High Pressure and Temperature Hypersonic Testing Facilities
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Design and develop temperature, pressure, and gas mixture composition measurement systems that will survive in harsh (2000 psi and 4000 Ã‚°F) test facility flow environments.
DESCRIPTION: Hypersonic ground test facilities used in the development of high-speed flight systems currently lack a comprehensive suite of pressure, temperature, and gas mixture composition sensing systems that are able to survive long durations (5+ minutes) in high pressure (2000 psi) and temperature (4000 Ã‚°F) environments. Current systems are typically actively cooled with complex water cooling systems. Water-cooled nickel and copper devices are typically employed; however, these require frequent replacement which can be costly from both material and labor standpoints. This approach leads to systems that are prohibitively expensive which limits usefulness and precludes smaller research programs from acquiring robust instrumentation suites to comprehensively evaluate the test medium. As a result, ground test programs reduce the fidelity of their instrumentation systems which could result in increased risk to future flight test programs due to the lack of sufficient ground test data. Improvements in both sensor material and installation are required to minimize sensor replacement necessary due to oxidation and wear. Sensors that do not require water cooling would be desirable. Lower cost pressure, temperature, and gas mixture composition sensing systems will allow programs to acquire the instrumentation suite necessary to evaluate the ground test facility test medium at higher levels of resolution. The higher resolution will allow test programs to determine the impact of baseline facility flow quality and test induced flow disruptions (e.g., inlet distortion) on scramjet system performance prior to flight test. Phase 1 will develop pressure, temperature, and gas mixture composition (O2 concentration, especially) sensing systems capable of withstanding 2000 psi and 4000 Ã‚°F environments in a laboratory environment. Phase II will continue this sensor and instrument package development then deliver and demonstrate instruments at an Air Force test facility. In Phase III, the increasing attention being given to hypersonic flight underscores the need for improved pressure, temperature, and gas composition measurement systems. The systems developed are expected to have applicability in government and commercial hypersonic ground test facilities.
PHASE I: Develop pressure, temperature, and gas mixture composition (O2 concentration, especially) sensing systems capable of withstanding 2000 psi and 4000 Ã‚°F environments in a laboratory environment.
PHASE II: Continue sensor and instrument package development then deliver and demonstrate instruments at an Air Force test facility.
PHASE III: The increasing attention being given to hypersonic flight underscores the need for improved pressure, temperature, and gas composition measurement systems. The systems developed are expected to have applicability in government and commercial hypersonic ground test facilities.
1. AIAA 1992-5105, Application of intrusive flow field probing techniques around a hypersonic lifting body at AEDC, A. Davenport, W. Strike, and J. Maus.
2. AIAA 2004-2594, Advances in Aerodynamic Probes for High-Enthalpy Applications, Heather MacKinnon, Gregg Beitel, Robert Hiers, and Daniel Catalano.
3. AIAA 2004-2592, Electroformed Diagnostic Probes for High-Temperature Gas Flows, Gregg Beitel, Daniel Catalano, Richard Edwards.
KEYWORDS: Hypersonic; High Pressure; High Temperature; Transducer
Improved Calibration of Sensors and Instruments used for Measurement of High Speed Flow
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop hardware, techniques, and standards required to improve the calibration of sensors used to measure high speed airflow.
DESCRIPTION: Scientific understanding of the multi-physics underlying the interaction of high speed flows and structural response of airframes to aerothermal effects, shocks, and high frequency flow oscillations depends on our ability to measure and model complex flow fields as they pass over and around the airframe. These airframes may vibrate, flex, and ablate during ground or flight test, leading to additional flow field perturbations and dynamical changes. While current and next generation sensors and instruments may have the ability to measure various parameters of interest for characterizing airflow and structural responses, understanding these measurements and relating them properly to physics-based models depends on accurate instrument calibration throughout the measurement period. The Air Force is looking to improve calibration capabilities for instruments that measure flow and structure behavior in high speed airflows. Of particular interest is the flow regime where aerothermal effects are present, generally at speeds of Mach 5 and higher. At these speeds, high frequency oscillations in the incoming airflow are critical to the flow development around the vehicle so improved calibration for instruments capable of making measurements up to several MHz are of high interest. Responses that address the calibration of instruments commonly employed for use in high speed wind tunnels are sought, but proposals addressing the calibration of next generation instruments may be considered for sensors that have been successfully demonstrated and ready to enter the commercial market. Although sensors that measure pressure are of high interest, sensors that measure temperature, heat flux, wall shear stress, or paints that are sensitive to temperature or pressure at high time resolution will also be considered. In some cases the sensing system may rely on external sources, such as particles for PIV or light for Schlieren, for the measurement to be made, so the calibration process may need to take source generation and uniformity into account. Calibration may also be sensitive to instrument gain, electrical junctions, line delays, and electronics temperature changes induced by sensor current changes, so comprehensive approaches are encouraged. The approach should include evaluation of the effects of known extraneous environmental inputs such as mechanical vibration and temperature as well as off-axis response when applicable. Proposers must discuss plans for testing in wind tunnels or other appropriate facilities capable of Mach 5+ in the Phase 1 proposal, although testing and detailed test plans will not be required until Phase 2. The Phase 1 proposal team must include members with the necessary expertise to conduct experimental tests safely at these facilities, discuss this expertise in the proposed approach, and demonstrate this when the credentials of key personnel. In Phase 1 proposers shall identify class of sensors and instruments, document current industry standard for their calibration, develop new or improved calibration concepts and techniques, and demonstrate, measure, and quantify potential for calibration improvements for 2 or more instruments in this class. In Phase 2 proposers shall develop calibration equipment, processes, and techniques for this class of instruments. Document calibration process and prepare it to become a new industry standard. Demonstrate and deliver NIST traceable calibration equipment, processes, techniques, data, and documentation to an Air Force facility.
PHASE I: Identify class of sensors and instruments, document current industry standard for their calibration, develop new or improved calibration concepts and techniques, and demonstrate, measure, and quantify potential for calibration improvements for 2 or more instruments in this class.
PHASE II: Develop calibration equipment, processes, and techniques for this class of instruments. Document calibration process and prepare it to become a new industry standard. Demonstrate and deliver NIST traceable calibration equipment, processes, techniques, data, and documentation to an Air Force facility.
PHASE III: Calibration equipment, instruments, and services may be offered to government, universities, and industry.
1. Dennis Berridge. Generating Low-Pressure Shock Waves for Calibrating High-Frequency Pressure Sensors. PhD thesis, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, December 2015.
2. Eric C. Marineau. Prediction methodology for 2nd mode dominated boundary Layer transition in hypersonic wind tunnels. Paper 2016-0597, AIAA, January 2016.
3. Adam M. Hurst, Timothy R. Olsen, Scott Goodman, Joe VanDeWeert, and Tonghuo Shang, An Experimental Frequency Response Characterization of MEMS Piezoresistive Pressure Transducers, Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2014: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition, GT2014, June 16, 2014, Dusseldorf, Germany.
4. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Traceability - NIST Policy and Supplementary Materials, Retrieved from http://www.nist.gov/traceability/.
KEYWORDS: Improved Instrument Calibration, Wind Tunnel, Flight Test, High Frequency Oscillations, High Speed Turbulent Flow, Structural Response, Aerothermal, Pressure, Temperature, Heat Flux
Physics-Based and Computationally Efficient Combustion Chemistry Modules with Acceptable Uncertainty for Air Force Relevant Hydrocarbon Fuels
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense, Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop physically accurate and computationally efficient combustion chemistry modules, physics and pathway-centric kinetics models; validate and improve the models and quantum-chemistry computations; quantify and reduce the module's uncertainty.
DESCRIPTION: Combustion chemistry governs the changes from high-energy-state fuel/oxidizer molecules to low-energy-state product molecules during the energy conversion process in Air Force propulsion systems. Physically accurate and computationally efficient combustion chemistry models is a critical part of physics-based modeling and simulation (M/S) tools for developing future generations of Air Force propulsion systems such as solid/liquid rockets, aviation jet engines, and hypersonic scramjets. A major challenge facing advanced model development is the prediction of combustion dynamics phenomena, such as flame blow-out, combustion instabilities and/or ignition issues, wherein the chemical time-scales may be comparable to or shorter than fluid dynamics and acoustics time-scales [1,2]. Under such circumstances, the development of accurate and efficient chemical kinetics mechanisms are of critical importance. The current state-of-the-practice for combustion kinetics models used in large scale computations such as large eddy simulations (LES) remain mostly inadequate. The vast majority of the codes and simulations utilize simplified global kinetics models that are anchored on global quantities (such as flame speed) at limited conditions. Such models are inherently incapable of capturing the rich dynamics present in non-premixed and partially premixed turbulent flames. At the other end of the spectrum are highly detailed combustion reaction models. For Air Force relevant heavy hydrocarbon fuels, these detailed models involve thousands of species and hundreds of thousands of reaction steps with even larger numbers of underdetermined model parameters. Not only are these intractable for reacting-LES calculations, the vast majority of such detailed mechanisms remain significantly un-validated for Air Force relevant conditions. To meet the challenges in both physics model representation and computation efficiency in combustion chemistry modeling, AFOSR and other agencies have been funding research in this area for many years. Recently, a promising new direction has been developed based on tracking a limited number of key/dominant reaction pathways using quantum chemistry consideration/computation and state-of-art experimental methods and diagnostics techniques. For real hydrocarbon fuels, it resulted in splitting the combustion chemical process into mainly experimental anchored pyrolysis phase followed by an oxidative phase only involving lower molecular-weight pyrolysis products, modeled by both experiments and quantum chemistry computations [3,4,5]. This topic focuses on the transition of the state-of-art, physics based, path-centric combustion chemistry models for Air Force relevant hydrocarbon fuels, leading to the development of accurate, robust and efficient computational modules with quantified and acceptable uncertainty. Proposals should consider all of the following areas in an integrated fashion: (1) Selecting state-of-art combustion chemistry models for Air-Force relevant hydrocarbon fuels and modularizing these models to be portable to and usable for available CFD codes; (2) Quantifying physical accuracy, computational efficiency, and prediction uncertainty of the developed modules using state-of-art evaluation approaches based on a set of logically defined unit-physics and canonical engineering test problems; (3) Defining the accuracy, efficiency and uncertainty targets acceptable for simulating relevant Air Force propulsion systems and identifying model gaps; (4) Defining needed experiments and quantum chemistry computations to close these gaps; and (5) Executing the previously defined experimental and quantum chemistry computations and improving the underlying combustion chemistry model to achieve the desired levels of accuracy, efficiency and uncertainty.
PHASE I: Phase I efforts are comprised of the above items (1)-(4), leading to a road map for a model/module improvement path using experiments and quantum chemistry computations to achieve the targeted physical accuracy, computational efficiency and prediction uncertainty acceptable for Air Force propulsion systems.
PHASE II: Phase II efforts focus on the above item (5), i.e., executing the required improvements using experiments and quantum chemistry computations to achieve the targeted physical accuracy, computational efficiency and predication uncertainty acceptable for modeling/simulating Air Force propulsion systems.
PHASE III: Demonstration of newly developed and validated kinetics model to canonical problems relevant to Air Force propulsion systems, in particular, involving non-stationary and off-design operation.
1. Sardeshmukh, S., Anderson, W., Harvazinski, M., Sankaran, V., Study of Combustion Instability with Detailed Chemical Kinetics, AIAA Paper, 2015 SciTech Meeting, Kissimmee, FL, Jan 2015.
2. Sardeshmukh, S., Huang, C., Anderson, W., Harvazinski, M. and Sankaran, V., Impact of Detailed Chemical Kinetics on the Predictions of Bluff-body Stabilized Flames, AIAA Paper, 2016 SciTech Meeting, San Diego, CA, Jan 2016.
3. Yang Gao, Ruiqin Shan, Sgouria Lyra, Cong Li, Hai Wang, Jacqueline H.Chen, Tianfeng Lu, On lumped-reduced reaction model for combustion of liquid fuels, Combustion and Flame 163 (2016) 437-446.
4. Sayak Banerjee, Rei Tangko, David A. Sheen, Hai Wang, C. Tom Bowman, An experimental and kinetic modeling study of n-dodecane pyrolysis and oxidation, Combustion and Flame (2015) 1-19.
5. Klippenstein, S. J., Pande, V. S., Truhlar, D. G. "Chemical kinetics and mechanisms of complex systems: A perspective on recent theoretical advances.Ã‚¬ Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136, 528-546 (2016).
KEYWORDS: Combustion Kinetics, Hydrocarbon Fuels, Pyrolysis And Oxidation, Aerospace Propulsion Systems
Alternative Methods for Creating a Sodium Guidestar
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers as a possible source to excite mesospheric sodium at 589 nm and 1141 nm to provide cheaper, more useful, and more powerful cooperative sources for adaptive optics.
DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this development is to investigate and implement novel techniques to develop single color (589 nm) and two color (589 nm and 1141 nm) Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VECSEL) for use as a sodium guidestar. A guidestar is a cooperative source in the mesosphere created by the excitation of neutrally charged mesospheric sodium metal. The sodium atoms are excited to their first excited state by 589 nm laser light. These atoms then fluoresce and create an artificial star at the edge of the atmosphere. This fluorescence is used as a cooperative beacon for large aperture telescopes' adaptive optics systems. A 589 nm guidestar is the primary excitation source for all current sodium guidestars; however, these guidestars are generally very complex with > 30 optical elements and very expensive > $1M in acquisition cost. Because of the wavelength selectability, small footprint, and simplistic design a VECSEL could provide a cheaper, less complex source for a sodium guidestar at 589 nm. Current developments of 589 nm VECSELs have focused on frequency doubling of an 1178 nm VECSEL to provide 589 nm light. Such a system would require narrow linewidth (20 MHz) and > 10W of output power. During the same development effort, an 1141 nm VECSEL source could also be grown to provide excitation of the next excited state in sodium when used with a 589 nm source. Such an 1141 nm VECSEL source could be paired with a traditional sodium laser guidestar at 589 nm or with a VECSEL guidestar at 589 nm. An 1141 nm guidestar would be utilized to create a sodium polychromatic laser guidestar (PLGS). A PLGS system would allow for the correction of atmospheric induced Tip and Tilt aberrations without the use of a natural guidestar. A PLGS VECSEL must be narrowband at 1141 nm (500 MHz) and must have an output power >10W. PLGS guidestars do not currently exist and would be a monumental increase in corrective ability for AO systems, especially for dim objects. Phase 1 of this development would involve demonstrating the technologies and growth of VECSEL chips for a VECSEL guidestar at 589 nm and 1141 nm. Phase 2 of this development would constitute laboratory prototype development and system robustness improvement. Phase 3 of this development would involve production of a facility grade laser guidestar system capable of being used with a large aperture telescope.
PHASE I: 1. Develop VECSELs emitting at 1141 nm and 1178 nm 2. Develop High Power (>10W) VECSEL emitting at 1141 nm and/or 1178nm 3. Develop high power (>10W) VECSEL emitting at 1141 nm and/or 589 nm (via SHG) 4. Develop Narrow linewidth ( < 1 GHz), tunable (5 GHz tuning), high power (> 10W) VECSELs emitting at 1141 nm and/or 589 nm (via SHG)
PHASE II: 1. Develop laboratory demonstration system of Phase 1 as a proof of concept capable of pumping sodium through use of an evacuated sodium cell 2. Develop wavelength stability, system robustness, and system concept of use on a telescope at 1141 nm and 589 nm 3. Produce a proof of concept system capable of attaching to a telescope for an on-sky test of this system at 1141 nm or 589 nm
PHASE III: 1. Deliver a working prototype VECSEL guidestar PLGS system capable of attaching to a telescope for an on-sky test of this system at 1141 nm 1. Deliver a working prototype VECSEL guidestar capable of attaching to a telescope for an on-sky test of this system at 589 nm
1. Fallahi, M., Fan, L., Kaneda, Y., Hessenius, C., Hader, J., Li, H., Moloney, J. V., Kunert, B., Stolz, W., Koch, S., Murray, J., and Bedford, R., 5W Yellow Laser by intracavity frequency doubling of high-power vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Vol. 20, No. 20, Oct (2008).
2. Ranta, S., Tavast, M., Leinonen, T., Van Lieu, N., Fetzer, G., and Guina, M., 1180 nm VECSEL with output power beyond 20W Electronics Letters vo. 49, Jan (2013).
3. Kantola, E., Leinonen, T., Ranta, S., Tavast, M., and Guina, M., High-efficiency 20 W yellow VECSEL, Optics Express, Vol 22. Issue 6, March (2014).
KEYWORDS: VECSEL Guidestar, 1141 Nm Guidestar, Sodium Guidestar, 589 Nm VECSEL
Three-sided Pyramid Wavefront Sensor
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Pyramid Wavefront Sensor (PYWFS) is a highly sensitive sensor compared to the Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWFS). We want to design and build a three-sided PYWFS as it is very difficult to build a four-sided PYWFS.
DESCRIPTION: Wavefront sensing is one of the key elements of an Adaptive Optics System. Though the Shack-Hartmann Wavefront Sensor (SHWFS) is most commonly used for astronomical applications, the high sensitivity and large dynamic range offered by the Pyramid Wavefront Sensor (PYWFS) allows us to observe in adverse seeing conditions and sense atmospheric turbulence at the sensitivity limit imposed by physics. However the person who built most of the conventional four-sided PYWFS has retired and it is mechanically easier to build a three-sided PYWFS. Through this STTR we want to test the feasibility of a three-sided PYWFS, design and build a three-sided PYWFS, develop a reconstructor for it, and compare it to the current state-of-the-art SHWFS. Successful bidders will to the greatest extent possible show: 1. Theoretical calculations to obtain wavefront gradients from a three-sided pyramid sensor. 2. Ability to develop a reconstruction algorithm to convert gradients to a reconstructed wavefront. The reconstruction algorithm shall be detailed and described. 3. Understanding of the differences between a modulated and fixed PYWFS. 3. Ability to come up with and justify a WFS performance metric, be it strehl, contrast, point spread function size and encompassed energy, or something else. 4. Ability to accurately model a three-sided PYWFS, a four-sided conventional PYWFS, and a SHWFS and demonstrate wavefront reconstruction with all three sensors. Compare the simulated performance of the three sensors 5. Ability to provide an opto-mechanical design for the three-sided PYWFS. 6. Ability to physically build a three-sided PYWFS. 7. Ability to set up a laboratory demonstration in which the three-sided PYWFS is compared with a SHWFS by using a laser/bench source. 8. Ability to integrate the three-sided PYWFS with an AFRL/RDS telescope. 9. Understanding of the cost of hardware and software, as well as the people-hours and time required to design the three-sided PYWFS and its reconstruction algorithm. 10. Ability to provide follow-on use by the Air Force under a cooperative agreement to be arranged in the future.
PHASE I: Demonstrate theoretically and through simulations that gradients can be obtained from a three-sided PYWFS from which a wavefront can be reconstructed. Formulate an optical design for the three-sided PYWFS.
PHASE II: Build a three-sided PYWFS based on the optical design presented in Phase I. Develop a reconstructor for the three-sided PYWFS. Compare the simulated performance of the three-sided PYWFS with the four-sided PYWFS, and the SHWFS. Set up a laboratory experiment to compare the performance of the three-sided PYWFS with the SHWFS. The laboratory demonstration may be done with government help. At effort close, propose cooperative agreement to make sensor available to Air Force.
PHASE III: With government help integrate the three-sided PYWFS on an AFRL/RDS telescope. Compare the performance of the three-sided PYWFS against a SHWFS with a bench source and on-sky. Provide a final report detailing the design and construction of the three-sided PYWFS, and its comparison with the SHWFS.
1. Esposito et. al. First Light Adaptive Optics Systems for Large Binocular Telescope. SPIE. 4839. 164E, Feb 2003.
2. Hadi et. al. Development of a Pyramid Wavefront Sensor. AO4ELT3.13429, May 2013.
3. Kopon, D. Enabling Technologies for Visible Adaptive Optics: The Magellan Adaptive Secondary VisAO Camera. SPIE Proc. Vol. 7439, Aug 2009.
4. O. Guyon. Limits of Adaptive Optics for High-Contrast Imaging. ApJ, 629:592“614, August 2005.
KEYWORDS: Wavefront Sensors, Pyramid, PYWFS, Reconstructor, Reconstruction Algorithm, Adaptive Optics
Automated 3D Reconstruction and Pose Estimation of Space Objects Using Ground Based Telescope Imagery
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Using a series of ground captured satellite imagery, automatically perform image registration to previous passes and simulations. Construct a 3D reconstruction of a satellite evaluating identity, pose, and configuration in less than 15 minutes.
DESCRIPTION: Using full passes of image data which show multiple satellite orientations, automatically create 3D wireframe images and automatically compare to existing models, evaluating identity, pose, and configuration change in less than 15 minutes (goal).
PHASE I: Develop an algorithm that automatically finds and matches features of satellite imagery to those of previous passes and 2D images produced from simulations. Register the images. 2D images of training satellite passes will be provided along with previous training images of the same satellite and 2D images from simulations. The automated process should function entirely on a standalone PC system.
PHASE II: Produce sparse and dense point cloud reconstructions of a satellite object. A sparse point cloud can be determined using multiple images of a satellite pass. A variety of techniques should be pursued that have the ability of performing a dense reconstruction, including shape from shading. This phase will demonstrate the ability to produce a 3D reconstruction with accuracies within 500 nrad of a satellite using a series of images.
PHASE III: Using the 3D point cloud of an object, perform a 3D registration to that of known model. This process should determine within a series of possible 3D poses, which pose is most appropriately matched to the 3D model that was derived from 2D imaging, within 15 minutes using a standalone PC.
1. Charles L. Matson, Kathy Borelli, Stuart Jefferies, Charles C. Beckner, Jr., E. Keith Hege, and Michael Lloyd-Hart, "Fast and optimal multiframe blind deconvolution algorithm for high-resolution ground-based imaging of space objects," Appl. Opt. 48, A75-A92 (2009).
2. Michael Werth, Brandoch Calef, Daniel Thompson, Kathy Borelli, and Lisa Thompson, Recent improvements in advanced automated post-processing at the AMOS observatories, Proceedings of IEEE Aerospace, March 2015.
3. David R. Gerwe and Paul Menicucci, A real time superresolution image enhancement processor, Proceedings of AMOS, Sept. 2009.
4. Daniel Thompson, Michael Werth, Brandoch Calef, David Witte, and Stacie Williams, Simultaneous processing of visible and long-wave infrared satellite imagery, Proceedings of IEEE Aerospace, March 2015.
KEYWORDS: Computer Vision, 3D Reconstruction, Digital Image Processing, Satellite Imagery, Machine Learning
Unified sensor for atmospheric turbulence and refractivity characterization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a compact electro-optics system capable of in-situ characterization of atmospheric turbulence and refractivity along the path to a space- or ground-based target without using an adaptive optics system.
DESCRIPTION: Simultaneous evaluation of laser beam irradiance characteristics at a target along with the line-of-sight sensing of atmospheric turbulence and refractivity effects is essential for the ongoing development of Air Force surveillance and directed laser energy systems. There is a growing need for remote in-situ evaluation of atmospheric turbulence, refractivity and laser beam characteristics (irradiance distribution, scintillations, beam footprint, beam wander, etc.) along the path to space or ground-based targets. This characterization should be performed by a sensing system, which utilizes for its operation solely the optical waves scattered off the target - target-in-the-loop (TIL) sensor. This implies that the target is passive in the sense that it does not contain any on board sensors. The TIL sensor may use multiple wave lengths for refraction modeling. The TIL sensor should provide currently non-existing capabilities for simultaneous characterization of atmospheric turbulence and refractivity effects which are especially important for observation of space objects at low elevation angles and long ranges (< 15 degrees in elevation and 2,000 km, and 100 km ground based targets) for surveillance. Sensor design needs to be capable of measuring atmospheric parameters consistent with the models described in References 3.
PHASE I: Develop a TIL-based sensor system concept. Using wave-optics numerical simulations at two or more wavelengths, demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed approach and evaluate expected accuracy of laser beam and atmospheric turbulence and refractivity characterization. The analysis should account for aberration factors and includes photon budget and signal-to-noise ratio evaluation.
PHASE II: Complete opto-mechanical design of the sensor prototype. Select optical and electronic components. Integrate system prototype. Develop sensing and data processing software. Perform the sensor prototype atmospheric evaluation with a stationary target over at least 10 km distance for horizontal paths and/or at 2000 km at 20 degrees elevation for space targets. Compare predictions and test results; identify differences and their causes.
PHASE III: Develop and demonstrate, over long (>100k m is preferred, 60 km is acceptable) ranges a ground-based targets and/or 2000 km range at 20 degrees elevation for space targets, an atmospheric sensing system capable of continuous monitoring of laser beam and atmospheric characterization along the dynamically changing line of sight to the space or/and ground based targets.
1. Valerie Coffey, High-Energy Lasers: New Advances in Defense Applications, Optics & Photonics News, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 28-35, 2014.
2. M. A. Vorontsov, Speckle effects in target-in-the-loop laser beam projection systems, Adv. Opt. Techn., vol. 2, no. 5“6, pp. 369“395, 2013.
3. Papers published in the Topical Conference of Optical Society of America, Propagation through and characterization of Deep Volume Turbulence, 2013-2014.
KEYWORDS: Atmospheric Sensing And Characterization, Active Sensors, Scintillometer, Directed Energy
Learner Engagement and Motivation to Learn Assessment and Monitoring System
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop metrics and a system to persistently and unobtrusively assess and track learner engagement and motivation in and across learning situations and contexts.
DESCRIPTION: Over the past several years, the prevalence of gaming approaches and environments in training and educational settings has increase substantially. One of the underlying assumptions is that gaming environments are engaging and motivating and as such they draw learners into the content more directly. This more direct involvement is supposed to lead to improved learning, retention, and transfer although there is little compelling evidence to support this assumption. However, measures and metrics for learning involvement and motivation in learning contexts vary widely in their construct orientation and the underlying multi-trait multi-method nature of the measures themselves. Given that there is a continued interest in improving contexts for learning so that they are of greater interest to learners in context, this effort will conduct research to develop construct valid measures and will develop and demonstrate an assessment and monitoring system for learners in education and training contexts. For this effort, a learning environment that is focused on one of the following contexts is of primary interest: maintenance training, space operations, unmanned aircraft operations or medical care. Successful offerors are permitted to use an environment of their choice but a focus in one of the contexts identified above is preferred to constrain the application space to one of relevance and interest to the USAF. A successful proposal will include: 1) The identification of key attributes of learner involvement, engagement, and motivation to learn and the development of subjective and objective approaches to capturing these key attributes in learners in learning contexts of interest. 2) Development and validation of a taxonomy that relates the key engagement and motivation attributes with learning environment and content presentation variables with lesser and more effective training and education outcomes. 3) Creation and validation of the measures and a measurement system that can be used to routinely, and as unobtrusively as possible, assess engagement in learning and motivation to learn. 4) Conducting comparative studies evaluating different environment and content characteristics and their impact on learner engagement and motivation. Results from these studies shall be used to revise the metrics and the assessment and monitoring system as well as to develop data driven recommendations for environment and content design and delivery.
PHASE I: Phase I will result in the identification of the key indicators and attributes of engagement and motivation to learn and any metrics identified for assessment and tracking in the environment of choice. Identify specific learning strategies that have been used to promote engagement and motivation to learn in education and training contexts similar to the one of choice. A draft specification and design for an assessment system will be produced.
PHASE II: Develop and validate a data collection, analysis and assessment system for learner engagement and motivation to learn. Identify and develop criterion tasks and at least one environment of choice in which the system can be used, evaluated, refined and validated. Instructional strategies and learning environment design characteristics will be identified and embedded in the criterion tasks. Provide an integrated system for use in future operational educational and training environments such as those identified in the topic description above.
PHASE III: The phase III effort will integrate the system developed during phase II into representative operationally relevant learning environments utilized by ACC or AETC to demonstrate the system in real-time. The results will be quantified and documented. The final integration will be demonstrated.
1. Brophy, J. (1983). Conceptualizing student motivation. Educational Psychologist, 18, 200-215.
2. Cannon-Bowers, J., & Bowers, C. (2010). Synthetic learning environments: On developing a science of simulation, games, and virtual worlds for training. In. S. W. J. Kozlowski & E. Salas (Eds.), Learning, training, and development in organizations (pp. 229-261). New York: Routledge.
3. Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., & Noe, R. A. (2000). Toward an integrative theory of training motivation: A meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 678 707.
4. Covington, M. (2000). Goal theory, motivation, and school achievement: an integrative review. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 171-200.
5. Pintrich, P.R., & De Groot, E.V. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(1): 33-40.
KEYWORDS: Student Engagement, Motivation, Training, Simulation, Learning, Learner Involvement Assessment
Flexible Broad-band Optical Device
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a flexible broad-band optical device capable of measuring optical properties.
DESCRIPTION: Recent advances in compact light sources, fiber optics, and computational optics, along with a continual advancement in spectral imaging technologies, are enabling a variety of imaging and spectroscopy methods for biomedical optics, atmospheric sensing, and environmental monitoring. These technologies have been applied to non-invasively measure oxygenation in the human brain and other tissues, detect disease states, sensitive detection of contaminates in liquid or gas samples, and diffuse reflectance based measurement of optical properties. The development of a flexible, low-cost, device capable of measuring the optical properties (including absorption and reduced scattering coefficients) will enable the completion of numerous research goals common to the Department of Defense, and within the associated industrial and research and development (R&D) base, as well as medical, environmental, manufacturing, and academic facilities. In particular, the need for broad spectral response is currently limited by single detector types within systems, or is limited by single light sources. In addition, supplementary engineering is required to adapt these systems to surface contact, liquid sample, or gas samples. This topic seeks to explore the development of material approaches for such an optical characterization system. The program will establish a solution space for system development and explore a variety of approaches to meet cost, size, and capability performance parameters. The focus will be on the transition of emerging hardware and theory to develop the next generation in basic laboratory spectroscopic capability. The system will be required to rapidly acquire data from solids (including living tissues), liquids and gases, and to obtain optical properties including the determination of absorption and reduced scattering coefficients. Capturing the dynamics of optical properties (i.e. change in absorption and reduced scattering over time) on a sub-second time scale is highly desired. Absorption and scattering properties over a wavelength range of 300nm to 2,000 nm is desired. It is highly desired for the system to be capable of determining optical properties for individual layers from samples with layered structure, such as human or animal skin. The system should be compact and lab portable, should include surface contact or system-mounted measurement options. The collection of data and extraction of optical parameters and spectral analysis are required within the system software.
PHASE I: Develop concepts for hardware & instrumentation software to enable a broad spectrum optical characterization system capable of point measurement of dynamic optical properties along with fluorescence & absorption spectra. The design will include capabilities for surface-contact measurements & should consider methods for determining optical properties of individual layers in an inhomogeneous sample.
PHASE II: Based upon the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the company will develop a prototype for evaluation by the Directed Energy Bioeffects Program or another program as specified by the sponsor. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the requirements outlined in this description.
PHASE III: Applications for this technology are biomedical optics, analytical chemistry, materials manufacturing characterization, environmental monitoring, education, and general R&D. The system will have applicability for exploratory research & engineering, guiding future product development.
1. Tanifuji, T. "Evaluation of time-resolved multi-distance methods to retrieve absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of adult heads in vivo: Optical parameters dependences on geometrical structures of the models used to calculate reflectance." SPIE BiOS. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2016.
2. A. Kim, et al., "A fiberoptic reflectance probe with multiple source-collector separations to increase the dynamic range of derived tissue optical absorption and scattering coefficients," Optics Express, 18(6), 5580-5594 (2010).
3. Ivancic, Matic, et al. "Extraction of optical properties from hyperspectral images by Monte Carlo light propagation model." SPIE BiOS. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2016.
4. K. Katrin, et al., "Ultrasensitive chemical analysis by Raman spectroscopy," Chemical Reviews, 99(10), 2957-2976 (1999).
5. Naglic, Peter, et al. "Extraction of optical properties in the sub-diffuse regime by spatially resolved reflectance spectroscopy." SPIE BiOS. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2016.
KEYWORDS: Spectral Imaging, Optical Characterization, Broad Spectral, Absorption, Scattering
Blended Reality Solution for Live, Virtual, and Constructive Field Training
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop and evaluate learning utility of a rugged, lightweight system to provide high fidelity blended reality for outdoor ground-based Battlefield Airmen LVC training.
DESCRIPTION: Live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training methods have been successfully applied to tactical fast jet and Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) domains [1, 2]. The use of simulation reduces the need for support staff, live air assets, fuel, ammunition, and volunteers. By creating a virtual simulated environment, training instructors have a flexible training framework that can support a variety of training scenarios in a way that is more cost effective than live range training. Using a simulator for training works well for pilots and JTACs, as these environments can be replicated with an indoor simulator with relatively small space. However, given the broad set of techniques and procedures associated with the battlefield airmen specialties (e.g., pararescue ), full mission profile training is very challenging within the space limitations of a confined simulator. Further, while pilots and JTACs utilize their respective equipment to interact with the environment, many of the battlefield airmen mission sets require operators to largely interact with the physical world around them. Thus, there is a need for a solution that enables LVC concepts for outdoor, ground-based full mission profile training. Unfortunately, no such method to implement this training currently exists. Such a solution would leverage simulation methods to offset the costs associated with live training while providing the best learning and training experiences to the United States' warfighters. This STTR will evaluate approaches for the development of a blended reality solution that can be used in outdoor training. We define the blended reality solution as a system that allows trainees to simultaneously interact with both the live and virtual environments. The desired approach would track location and head orientation of the training participants within the virtual space; provide for use of a head mounted, see-through display that provides an overlay of virtual world elements, such as entities or buildings, on the live-world around the trainee and include personal audio of the blended reality environment. This approach has the advantage of injecting virtual and constructive entities while allowing trainees to fully interact with their live environment. Further, the system must be lightweight and rugged, given the military end-user. The addition of auditory stimulation is desired to provide an immersive, realistic environment for trainees. The STTR will also assess and validate the training utility of the system using data-driven learning metrics. Such metrics should be automated and unobtrusive to track training effectiveness and learner engagement. The desired system will provide a framework for simulation training for personnel recovery and other ground-based warfighters. The training that will be enabled by this technology will encompass many of the tasks of a battlefield airman, such as medical care under fire, that would be difficult or costly to perform without simulation. The system should utilize LVC protocols and standards during development to allow for future system interoperability . Government furnished equipment will not be provided.
PHASE I: Conduct a detailed analysis of existing technologies that may be utilized to create a blended reality LVC solution. Conceptualize and design an innovative blended reality solution for outdoor ground-based Battlefield Airmen LVC training. Develop an initial concept design and model key elements that will be fully developed in Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop prototype and demonstrate the selected blended reality training solution from Phase I. Determine fidelity, robustness, and learning utility metrics and levels required to have an effective training system. Systematically collect operator feedback and evaluate system based on aforementioned metrics. Summarize technical achievements, metrics analysis, collected feedback, and performance tradeoff analysis decisions in a technical report.
PHASE III: Refine design based on outcomes of demonstrations, tests and customer feedback in Phase II. Transition the capability to militarily useful platforms. Produce production representative prototypes. Provide user and maintainer manuals. Develop cost and schedule estimates for full rate production.
1. Schreiber, B. T., Schroeder, M., & Bennett Jr, W. (2011). Distributed Mission Operations Within-Simulator Training Effectiveness. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 21(3), 254-268.
2. Reitz, E. A., & Seavey, K. (2014). Distributed Live/Virtual Environments to Improve Joint Fires Performance. Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (IITSEC), 2014.
3. AFI 16-1202, Pararescue Operations, Techniques, and Procedures, 3 May 2001.
4. IEEE Standard for Distributed Interactive Simulation ÃƒÃš¬Ã‚¬Å“ Applications Protocols, IEEE Standard 1278.1-2012.
KEYWORDS: Live Virtual And Constructive, Blended Reality, Battlefield Airmen, Pararescue, Training
Development lightmap rendering technology to advance infrared simulation capabilities for training applications
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop the capability to rapidly generate lightmap based models to enhance infrared capabilities in game engines/image generators to support C4ISR personnel training.
DESCRIPTION: State-of-the-art Command and Control, Computers and Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) training research requires rapid generation of synthetic virtual training vignettes to enable rapid response to requirements of the future fight. Existing efforts at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) enable generation of synthetic terrain using real-world imagery. However, these efforts only produce terrain. A critical shortcoming is the inability to render realistic infrared representations in real-time. C4ISR subject matter experts have stated that rendering physics-based sensor models, especially but not exclusively infrared, is an essential capability. A key capability required for physics-based sensor models is to develop cumulative temporal energy maps that models accumulated energy stored by a surface. This requires dynamic computation because moving entities shadow areas, allowing energy to dissipate. One potential approach to the development and implementation of physics-based sensors models is the modification of lightmap rendering technology to create temporal energy maps. State-of-the-art game engines have advanced, photo-realistic lightmap technology that affects the appearance of modeled environments. One key feature of lightmaps is the ability to customize the special effects of the light: its direction, intensity, how it reflects off what materials. These features should make it possible to render realistic infrared. However, while building terrain is a fairly fast effort even for very large areas, building lightmaps is exceptionally computationally intensive, requiring many hours for smaller tasks up to days or even weeks for more complex tasks. Conveniently, some game engines/image generators have an off-the-shelf distribution system to allow distributed builds on a High Performance Computing (HPC) system. Other novel approaches to the development of physics-based sensor models may also be considered. The scope of this effort is targeted at the development of a software to enhance real-time infrared capabilities within synthetic environments to support C4ISR training applications.
PHASE I: Research different physics-based sensor modeling methods and physics interactions, such as with materials. Develop methods of rendering infrared in image generator/game engine tools. Generate simple vignettes that demonstrate key rendering capabilities. Deliverable: A repository of images, movies, and interactive samples, demonstrating different approaches to rapidly generating realistic infrared imagery.
PHASE II: Configure and integrate the models into an existing image generation capability to support training effectiveness evaluation. Assess the capabilities of the prototype models in terms of fidelity and timeliness to meet the needs of C4ISR training. Deliverable: Configured and documented system in the C4ISR testbeds. Design and specify a stand-alone HPC infrastructure to enable local real-time energy map processing & streaming to support training RDT&E. Design document and bill of materials.
PHASE III: The immediate use case is directly applicable to the development of simulation-based training environments for the AF C4ISR domain. On the civilian side, this technology could advance the capability and fidelity of commercial gaming technologies.
1. Arnaud, R. & Jones, M.T. (2000) Image generator visual features using personal computer graphics hardware. IMAGE 2000 Conference.
2. Segl, K., Richter, R., Kuster, T. & Kaufmann, H. (2012) End-to-end sensor simulation for spectral band selection and optimization to the Sentienel-2 mission. Applied Optics, 51(4), 439-440.
KEYWORDS: Virtual Environment, Sensor Modeling, Training, Lightmap, Image
Spectrum Localization for Improved Situational Awareness
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a scalable multi-channel, multi-band architecture and algorithms capable of supporting Spectrum localization for improved situational awareness.
DESCRIPTION: Spectrum monitoring and RF source geolocation are critical tools for maintaining a situational awareness advantage in rapidly changing RF conditions. Modern urban battlefields are rich in RF emitters (friendly, hostile, and neutral) that are progressively wider band and operating across a growing range of frequencies. In response to this increasingly difficult challenge, the AFRL is seeking scalable, multi-channel architectures and supporting algorithms capable of collecting and digitizing multiple wideband antenna frontends, localizing RF emitters, classifying them, and efficiently presenting the information to the warfighter. These functions can be used to help the warfighter in scenarios that include: countering interference and jamming, monitoring RF emissions associated with suspicious activity, coordinating RF emissions among friendly users, and making jamming operations much more effective. To meet the needs of future Spectrum Localization missions, it is critical that the proposed platform limit the assumptions regarding waveforms, and sampling rates to the absolute minimum. Instead, the platform should be specified and designed from the point of view of data throughput. In addition, platform flexibility should be ensured via either flexible expansion modules or firmware upgrades. Currently, given current state-of-the-art systems, each processing element should be able to process data at a rate of >500 Gbps. In addition, at a minimum, the platform should be able to support 16 channels of with an instantaneous bandwidth greater than 1GHz. Similarly, the processing elements should be able to simultaneously handle both high input data rates and high-complexity algorithms for signal classification.
PHASE I: Develop source localization and classification algorithms and design a blueprint for a scalable architecture that supports these algorithms. Investigate SWaP and performance tradeoffs. Tradeoffs include instantaneous bandwidth, tunable bandwidth, dynamic range, number of beams / (bandwidth of beams), number of identifiable waveforms/features and system scalability.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and a multi-channel prototype platform capable of supporting at least 16 channels with an instantaneous bandwidth greater than 1GHz.
PHASE III: Develop spectral monitoring hardware and software for transition to appropriate platforms.
1. T. S. Rappaport, Smart Antennas: Adaptive Arrays, Algorithms, and Wireless Position Location, IEEE Press, 1998.
2. V. Kalinichev, "Analysis of beam-steering and directive characteristics of adaptive arrays for mobile communications", IEEE Antennas Propagation Magazine, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 145-152, 2001.
KEYWORDS: Spectrum Localization, Direction Finding, Beamforming, Classification, Scalable Processing
Reliable Aerothermodynamic Predictions for Hypersonic Flight for High Speed ISR
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop a computational tool for analysis of laminar and turbulent hypersonic external flowfields in nonequilibrium to the required fidelity (high/low) for criteria driven by considerations of computational efficiency and reliability of prediction.
DESCRIPTION: High-speed ISR missions can be extremely challenging due to the complex flow behavior that includes interactions among various nonequilibrium physical phenomena for a broad range of length and time scales. This necessitates detailed representations of coupling between turbulent flow structures, and nonequilibrium energy exchange processes, such as the vibrational relaxation (vibration-translation exchanges), dissociation, electronic excitation and radiation for the high enthalpy flows in the Mach 6-12 flight regime. High fidelity numerical simulations include use of state-to-state kinetics for modeling nonequilibrium phenomena and direct numerical simulations (DNS) and large eddy simulations (LES) for flow turbulence. Detailed state kinetics based on master equations will include multiquantum rates obtained from one or more of the sources (or models) of quasi-classical trajectory (QCT), ab initio, or others such as the forced harmonic oscillator (FHO). These tools should be scalable for implementation on massively parallel computers and capable of both (a) direct numerical simulation and (b) reduced-order simulations. Lower fidelity modeling frameworks could include reduced-order models such as Landau-Teller, two-temperature vibration-dissociation coupling models, RANS turbulence models and other physics-based modeling approaches that can significantly reduce the computational complexity associated with turbulence and reactions but still maintain reliability of predictions. These tools should be versatile enough to allow for identification of dominant physical mechanisms in a broad range of flow scenarios and should enable new model development and validation. Criteria for model selection should be developed and implemented to allow for both high and low fidelities required for reliable predictive capability in an efficient manner. An integrated framework as a software deliverable containing these tools should be able to give reliable predictions of the aerothermodynamic flow field and quantities including drag, thermal loading, and gas surface interactions. An aero-optical analysis should be included but limited to illustration of the importance of fidelity of the aerothermodynamics modeling on signal propagation through the nonequilibrium laminar/turbulent external flowfields.
PHASE I: Develop, evaluate, and demonstrate predictive tools for three-dimensional (3D) laminar, hypersonic flows for both low fidelity and high fidelity state-to-state kinetics and criteria for model selection for both high/low fidelities.
PHASE II: Develop and validate predictive tools for 3D laminar and turbulent, hypersonic flows. High fidelity approaches for reacting turbulence will be based on DNS/LES and state-to-state kinetics. Develop criteria for model selection for both high- and low-fidelity approaches for reactive turbulence and demonstrate sensitivity of aerothermodynamics on signal propagation through simple aero-optic analysis. Document, deliver, and demonstrate predictive simulation tool to AFRL.
PHASE III: Commercialize the integrated tool for prediction of laminar/turbulent, hypersonic thermochemical nonequilibrium flows suitable for high-speed ISR missions. Government customers include Air Force, Army, Navy, and NASA. Commercial interests could include Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.
1. Josyula, E., Hypersonic Nonequilibrium Flows: Fundamentals and Recent Advances, AIAA Progress Series in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Vol. 247 (2015).
2. Josyula, E., Kustova, E., Vedula, P., and Burt, J., Influence of state-to-state transport coefficients on surface heat transfer in hypersonic flows, AIAA 2014-0864. Presented at the 52nd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting (2014).
KEYWORDS: Hypersonics, Turbulence, State-to-state Kinetics, Nonequilibrium
Design Analysis Methodology for Topology Optimization of Thermally Loaded Structures
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a methodology to optimize topologies of structures exposed to high thermal loads and other important loads for the design of novel lightweight aircraft embedded nozzles and engine aft decks.
DESCRIPTION: There is demand to reduce aircraft structural weight while safely responding to a more complex array of loads, and in the context of a more integrated aircraft system. Structures for supersonic and lower speed aircraft may be exposed to high thermal loads while supporting embedded nozzles within the aircraft outer mold line or when exposed to engine exhaust downstream of the nozzle. Traditional design methods have relied on superposition of loads in a linear analysis framework. As a result, important nonlinear responses and couplings are neglected. In particular, the typical practice of increasing stiffness by increasing structural size can exacerbate problems of structural response under thermal loads due to thermal expansion . As an example of the costly failure of traditional design methods, the original aft-decks of some recent inventory aircraft have experienced cracks approximately 10 to 30 times faster than planned. Stress-based topology optimization and nonlinear thermoelastic analysis has been found to be an effective strategy for mitigating thermal loads in two dimensions for structures relevant to engine decks and embedded nozzles [1, 2]. With this general approach, structure is placed where beneficial to meeting lifetime-based design constraints and detrimental injection of structure is avoided. Minimum compliance methods have been shown to provide poor designs [1, 2]. This topic will focus on development of a topology optimization method meeting needs not addressed in previous studies: topology optimization of lightweight structures in three space dimensions; inclusion of a broad range of heat transfer mechanisms; inclusion of a broad range of load sources; definition and inclusion of multiple load cases; and optimization of structures fabricated with metals, composites, or both. To be practical, the topology optimization capability needs to compute feasible optima on a high-performance workstation or modestly sized cluster in no more than a day of wall-clock time, with faster speeds expected in building block steps testing incremental functionality. The capability should also: be applicable to domain boundaries of arbitrary shape; output configurations ready to analyze with ABAQUS for verification; and compute stresses and meet stress constraints in an accurate fashion. This topic will initially focus on demonstration of methodology in three dimensions for steady, nonlinear, thermoelastic analysis of metallic structure and the conceptualization of feasible approaches for addressing radiation heat transfer as a heat transfer mechanism coupled with the design analysis. The intent of Phase I is to identify a viable topology optimization strategy in three dimensions meeting Phase II objectives. Different topology optimization strategies have recently been surveyed . Many of these methods benefit from the ability to compute analytical sensitivities as part of a gradient-based optimization strategy. In Phase II the methodology is extended and further demonstrated. Various load cases should be considered, including non-thermal mechanical and inertial load sources, provided they are thermally dominated. Radiation and convective cooling of substructure are additional heat transfer mechanisms of interest to include in the topology optimization process. Inclusion of composite materials should expand the range of design variables and potentially alter favorable topologies.
PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate a practical topology optimization method for stress-based, thermoelastic, design of low mass fraction, metallic structures in three dimensions subjected to a prescribed, steady, heat flux. Demonstrate the feasibility for including radiation heat transfer in two dimensions.
PHASE II: Extend the topology optimization methodology to include: radiation heat transfer; composite materials; and the definition and satisfaction of multiple load cases reflecting different notional use scenarios. Develop prototype designs of representative, lightweight structures demonstrating method functionality and practicality. Implement the methodology in scalable software; verify key analysis results with ABAQUS.
PHASE III: Transition to support the preliminary design of next generation air platforms (e.g., next generation tactical air). Applicability to spacecraft (lightweight structures subjected to diurnal temperature variations or re-usable launch) and lattice design of pressure vessels (e.g., nuclear).
1. Haney, M.A., Topology Optimization of Engine Exhaust-Washed Structures, Ph.D. Dissertation, Wright State University, 2006.
2. Deaton, J.D., Design of Thermal Structures Using Topology Optimization, Ph.D. Dissertation, Wright State University, 2014.
3. Deaton, J.D., and Grandhi, R., A Survey of Structural and Multidisciplinary Continuum Topology Optimization: Past 2000, SMO, 49(1), Jan. 2014, pp. 1-38.
KEYWORDS: Topology Optimization, Thermal Structure, Air Platform, Lightweight Structure, Complex Geometry, Design
LWIR Thermal Imager for Combustion Process
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop rugged, flexible, low-loss long-wave infrared (LWIR), fiber-based thermal imaging technology for analysis of combustion systems.
DESCRIPTION: There is a need for improved high-temperature thermometry for use in the gas turbine environment. Thermocouples provide a point measurement of the flow path component temperatures. Current commercially available high temperature thermocouples are unable to measure turbine inlet temperatures in most large gas turbine engines. Existing optical pyrometry methods face their own challenges, including interference from blackbody radiation, reactive combustion gases, the partially transparent coating surfaces, and the need to correct for coating emissivity changes as a function of temperature. Multi-color pyrometry systems have been developed to address most of these concerns, but accounting for the complex optical properties of the fielded coating will require a great deal of a priori knowledge of the coating surface condition. By operating in a region in which the coating emissivity is relatively constant, a pyrometer which operates in the LWIR could enable the user to get a much more accurate measure of the coating surface temperature; however, it will require a coherent low-loss, LWIR-transmitting optical fiber bundle that is small enough to fit through a conventional optical port in the engine case. A coherent fiber bundle is an arrangement of optical fibers in a particular pattern (circular, hexagonal, etc.) that are bonded together to maintain this pattern throughout the length of the bundle. Coherent fiber bundles have been developed in the visible (0.4 to 0.9 microns) using robust silica glass fiber technology. Such bundles allow cameras to acquire images from locations unreachable to the camera due to space limitations and/or harsh environments. High-speed, high- resolution LWIR (8 to 12 microns) imaging fiber bundles are needed to transfer images from aircraft engines reachable only by probe penetrations into these high- pressure and/or high-temperature regions. Monitoring of aircraft engine temperature profiles and blade health condition will enable spotting of potential problems, such as wear and cracks, rapidly reducing maintenance cost and improving overall fleet readiness. However, the transmission of typical fiber materials (such as silica glass) drops quickly at longer infrared wavelengths. Other types of infrared glass fibers (e.g., chalcogenide) are under development that can operate in the LWIR but are relatively brittle, fragile, and tend to crystallize. New technology is required to provide inexpensive, rugged, high fiber-count bundles for routine temperature mapping and health condition monitoring in the LWIR. The goal is to develop innovative processes to produce flexible (8 cm bend radius) LWIR fiber bundles that are 2 to 10 meters in length, in a 6-mm-diameter bundle, and attenuation. Measurement specification requirements will include the capability to accurately measure local temperatures to within +/- 50 degrees F, with a spatial resolution of 0.002 square inch. The developed pyrometry system must be designed to withstand temperatures ranging from 1,500 degrees F (for the fiber bundle) to 2,000 degrees F (at the probe tip).
PHASE I: Determine the feasibility of fabricating a low-loss, stable glass fiber for the LWIR spectral range. Demonstrate feasibility of LWIR glass fibers suitable for production of flexible fiber imaging bundles.
PHASE II: Produce, demonstrate and deliver a LWIR fiber bundle capable of providing a spatial resolution of 0.002 square inch and describe path to increase number of fibers at useful diameters and lengths.
PHASE III: The Air Force has requirements for LWIR fiber bundles for studying combustions processes in systems such as turbine engines. This technology will also enable engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to validate their combustion system performance models. Other potential applications include non-contact monitoring of high-temperature ceramic coatings and structures in commercial and military propulsion and power generation systems. Real-time surface temperature monitoring could also enable commercial coaters to better monitor their process conditions and enable the development of a more robust feedback loop for their process control algorithms.
1. J.A. Davis, Development of a Water-cooled LDV Probe for Rocket/gas-turbine Engine Environments, Dissertation, The University of Alabama “Tuscaloosa (2011).
2. V. Gopal, A. Goren, I. Gannot, and J. Harrington, Coherent hollow-core waveguide bundles for infrared imaging, Opt. Eng., 43(5), pp. 1195-1199 (2004).
3. J. Estevadeordal, N. Tralshawala, V. Badami, Multi-color imaging pyrometry techniques for gas turbine engine applications, ASME 2013 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting. Vol. 2, Part 2, Article Number V002T11A007 (2013).
KEYWORDS: Thermometry, Pyrometry, Fiber Optics, Coherent Bundles, Image Guides, LWIR, Thermal Imager
Methodology for Optimization of Bodies Subjected to Loads Produced by Chaotic Flows
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop a methodology and software implementation to optimize body shape and internal structural size when exposed to unsteady loads produced by surrounding chaotic flows (i.e., turbulent and other highly unsteady flows).
DESCRIPTION: The ability of numerical methods and computer hardware to simulate flow fields has continued to improve, leading to the feasibility of very high resolution methods that reveal the chaotic nature of unsteady flows encountered by bodies at Reynolds numbers on the order of 10,000 and higher. In a similar progression of technology, capabilities have emerged to optimize the shape , and potentially the internal structure, of bodies subjected to steady flows (e.g., the optimization of wing shape in transonic flow) using gradient-based optimization. This capability has generally relied on the ability to compute sensitivities (analytical or finite difference), or derivatives, of quantities of interest (e.g., lift/drag) with respect to relevant design variables, which has been demonstrated for analysis based on the Euler or Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations . However, there is a barrier to directly applying gradient-based optimization capabilities to flow fields modeled with high-resolution techniques such as large-eddy simulation (LES) or direct numerical simulation (DNS), since the unsteady and chaotic responses produced by these techniques are not amenable to local sensitivity analysis. Owing to the chaotic nature of the responses, sensitivities computed locally can vary in sign (i.e., reflecting instantaneous conditions of objective increase or decrease). Reference  describes the fundamental challenges. Mitigating strategies that average responses over very large time records become impractical in terms of computational time and do not scale well in terms of number of design variables. It is unclear how either method works in the presence of shocks. Recent work has shown promising results for sensitivity analysis and optimization. In Reference  sensitivities of a chaotic, two-dimensional flow field produced by shedding are computed with a least squares shadowing technique. However, this technique is quite costly and perhaps not practical in three dimensions. Statistical, gradient-free methods suitable for noisy and costly-to-compute objective functions have also been explored . The Bayesian optimization approach was found to be effective for a fine-scaled chaotic flow, but for optimization of a single parameter. It is unclear how this approach will scale to dimensions of practical interest. This topic will focus on development of a practical method for optimization of bodies subjected to air loads produced by chaotic flows. Here, practical refers to the ability to obtain optimization results without significant allocations of high-performance computing time, and for problems involving 10 to 20 design variables. In Phase I, emphasis will be on demonstration of feasibility of the basic optimization algorithm in two dimensions for flows with and without shocks, while in Phase II, the methodology is extended to three dimensions and applied to more representative problems. While the methodology may involve a specific technique of flow analysis, the methodology strategy for coping with chaos should be general and not dependent on the specific choice of analysis procedure.
PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate a practical shape optimization method for two-dimensional bodies subjected to air loads produced by a chaotic flow field (arising with and without self-excited oscillations, such as shedding, and otherwise stationary flows with shocks). Demonstrate scaling to problems of 10 to 20 design variables on modestly sized computer clusters.
PHASE II: Extend the methodology developed in Phase I to three dimensions. Enrich the cases examined in Phase I to include structural coupling (e.g., structural panel or tail subject to buffeting loads) and design variables associated with the structure. Verify that the methodology remains viable following the introduction of new time scales and responses arising from structural coupling. Demonstrate for 10 to 20 design variables on larger sized computing clusters for flow fields with and without shocks.
PHASE III: Transition the optimization tool to support the preliminary design of next-generation air platforms (next gen tactical air and mobility). Private Sector Commercial Potential: Applicability to design of commercial aircraft and marine vessels.
1. Jameson, A., Efficient Aerodynamic Shape Optimization, AIAA Paper 2004-4369, Sep. 2004.
2. Nielsen, E.J. and Anderson, K.W., Aerodynamic Design Optimization on Unstructured Meshes Using the Navier-Stokes Equations, AIAA Journal, Vol. 37, No. 11, pp. 1411-1419, Nov. 1999.
3. Wang, Q., Hu, R., and Blonigan, P., Least Squares Shadowing Sensitivity Analysis of Chaotic Limit Cycle Oscillations, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 267, pp. 210-224 (2014).
4. Blonigan, P.J., Wang, Nielsen E.J., and Diskin, B., Least Squares Shadowing Sensitivity Analysis of Chaotic Flow Around a Two-Dimensional Airfoil, AIAA Paper 2016-0296, Jan. 2016.
5. Talniker, C.A., Blonigan, P.J., Bodart, J., and Wang, Q., Optimization with LES - Algorithms for Dealing with Sampling Error of Turbulence Statistics, AIAA Paper 2015-1954, Jan. 2015.
KEYWORDS: Gradient-based Optimization, Chaos, Air Platform, Sensitivity Analysis, Shedding, Large Eddy Simulation, Direct Numerical Simulation
Adaptive and Smart Materials for Advanced Manufacturing Methods
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this effort is to identify new materials that are suitable for advanced manufacturing techniques, like 3D printing, that accommodate adaptive properties with respect to mechanical, geometrical, or electromagnetic properties.
DESCRIPTION: The AF is investing in advanced manufacturing methods including areas such as additive manufacturing. While the material choices and quality associated with these methods continue to improve, there is still room for new material options. One such category that is lacking development is that of intelligent or adaptive materials. These materials have found utility in industry for their reconfigurable properties to meet geometrical, mechanical, or electromagnetic variability needs. It is necessary that this class of materials not be forgotten from emerging manufacturing practices in advanced manufacturing fields such as additive manufacturing. This STTR topic is soliciting business and institutional partnerships to research and develop materials suitable for advanced manufacturing techniques that allow for tailored material properties and sensing. Ideally the AF is interested in growing the available options for new materials that allow designers to create reconfigurable or 'SMART' components and be able to utilize emerging manufacturing methods. It should be noted that additive manufacturing is not the only technique of interest requiring these new material solutions but is the source of motivation for this topic. Adaptive materials may focus on one or many adjustable properties and may be controlled using passive or active methods. Also as these materials can be stimulated to perform a change, it is also understood that that phenomenon may also allow some printed material to act as a sensor or actuator. While this STTR is more of a basic science investigation, proposers should not forget to consider the components or environments that these materials will operate in. The space vehicles directorate, for example, develops technical solutions for satellite components. Additive manufacturing allows for a potential means of creating complex geometric parts in short schedules but these parts must be able to withstand extreme launch loads, wide temperature cycles, high vacuum, radiation exposure, and charging events without loss of function or capability. If a proposer's solution is a material that changes properties with applied electric bias, how will that material be utilized in space where deep dielectric charging occurs and may affect that material. Printed fluid channels may suffer from leakage over time as printed layers crack due to outgassing and radiation damage. These issues do not need to be solved early on, but need to be understood so that research efforts can be focused to properly develop these new materials.
PHASE I: A Phase I effort is expected to involve iterative material developments with material coupon samples and numerical analysis of adaptive properties under controlling stimuli. Proposers should work with TPOC to deliver samples early and often to capitalize on potential, but not promised, testing opportunities.
PHASE II: A Phase II effort should work toward the construction of some relevant widget based on AFRL TPOC guidance to demonstrate possible scalability and application of the designed material to meet a particular capability and space relevant environmental testing to examine how that material's function performs under different space effects.
PHASE III: Phase III would consider a flight unit for a system scheduled for future launch and may include the electronics necessary to evaluate the material on flight.
1. D. Doyle; C. Woehrle; D. Wellems; C. Christodoulou, "Environmental Concerns with Liquid Crystal Based Printed Reflectarrays in Space," in IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, vol.PP, no.99, pp.1-1 doi: 10.1109/LAWP.2016.2538085.
2. David L. Edwards and Jacob Kleiman. "Introduction: Space Environmental Effects on Materials", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 43, No. 3 (2006), pp. 481-481. doi: 10.2514/1.25314.
KEYWORDS: Adaptive Materials, Smart Materials, Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing, Space Effects
High Strain Composite Testing Methodologies
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Develop detailed testing methodologies and procedures, enabling the fundamental understanding of high strain composite structural components for critical space strain energy driven deployable architectures.
DESCRIPTION: High strain composites (HSC) have recently gained regard as a viable enabling technology within the aerospace structures community as a means to fold space and aero structures with high reliability, stiffness, dimensional stability, and low cost. HSC's currently serve as a favorable prospect in evolving deployable solar array, reflector, and instrument boom architectures. A significant challenge to widespread adoption of HSCs is the lack of established constitutive mechanics to describe behaviors observed in thin composites subjected to high strain flexural deformations”the primary load case in HSC applications. In regards to carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP), fiber failure in bending appears to occur at elevated strain levels contrary to values determined by traditional uniaxial testing approaches. It is also evident from stress-strain plots that there is an appreciable nonlinear tensile stiffening and compressive softening behavior present in the specimen when large strains are induced. The problem is that currently available test standards (i.e., ASTM) used to measure bending stiffness, strain, and failure onset of high strain composites are limited; typically resulting in lower material capacities non-representative of those observed in thin HSC's in bending. In addition, the fundamental nonlinear composite failure mechanics are not fully understood. The challenge lies in understanding the increased capacity seen in these thin composite flexures in bending; why do thin composites fail at elevated strains in bending? It is postulated that the heightened strains seen in thin flexures are attributed to tension mechanics causing an increase in local shear stiffness that stabilizes the compressive fibers by the adjacent tensile fibers. As a result, this prevents a compressive micro-buckling failure mode commonly observed in thicker composite samples [1-3]. Therefore new test protocols are needed. It is desirable to develop a complete empirical and analytical protocol to characterize the composite mechanics of a thin laminate system in a high strain flexural loading regime pertinent to HSC applications. Specifically, the determination of critical parameters for understanding failure and stiffness at the unidirectional lamina level is desired. Such knowledge is critical for members of industry to design optimized HSC driven structural architectures. Expected work includes development of detailed test methods including both fixtures and procedures, creating and validating post-testing data analysis tools using commercial codes, and a streamlined lamina and laminate characterization workflow that leads to an industry recognized test standard intended for widespread use by the aerospace community.
PHASE I: Phase I work should identify the testing approaches of interest and prove its feasibility in high strain flexural application to CFRP and GFRP composite unidirectional lamina and multi-directional laminates.
PHASE II: Refine and validate the testing methods from Phase I by conducting a complete testing and analysis campaign with focus on developing comprehensive industry recognized testing standards.
PHASE III: Identify space industry recognized testing entities and transition previously developed methodologies.
1. Thomas W. Murphey, William Francis, Bruce Davis, and Juan M. Mejia-Ariza. "High Strain Composites", 2nd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference, AIAA SciTech, (AIAA 2015-0942).
2. Thomas W. Murphey, Michael E. Peterson, and Mikhail M. Grigoriev. "Large Strain Four-Point Bending of Thin Unidirectional Composites", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 52, No. 3 (2015), pp. 882-895.
3. Michael E. Peterson and Thomas W. Murphey, "High Strain Flexural Characterization of Thin CFRP Unidirectional Composite Lamina", 31st ASC Technical Conference, 2016.
KEYWORDS: Composite, High Strain, Testing, Deployable Structure
Diagnostics for Multiphase Blast
OBJECTIVE: Develop time-resolved test diagnostics to characterize particle and gas flow in multiphase blast.
DESCRIPTION: The damage mechanisms for the multiphase blast weapons used in Close Air Support (CAS) missions are not well understood. Multiphase blast (MB) imparts momentum to a target via two mechanisms -- particulates, typically in the form of metal powder with diameter in the range of microns to millimeters, and a shock wave generated by the high explosive (HE). Development, validation, and verification (V&V) of multiphase simulation models requires accurate information about the particle flowfield and detonation product gases. The gas phase is highly turbulent and the particulate phase exhibits instabilities like jetting and clumping that change as a function of distance from the point of detonation. The objective of this program is to develop new or improved diagnostic capabilities for explosively-generated multiphase flow of particles and gas. This data will be used for V&V of multiphase flow simulations, providing an ability to reduce the number of experiments while gaining insight into the parametric simulation space. Although this topic does not preclude novel diagnostics, optically-based techniques [1-3] are attractive in that they have a wide field of view for observing instabilities and large-scale eddies. Ideally, the diagnostic would: 1) provide visualization of the particle flowfield; 2) provide visualization of the turbulent characteristics of the gas flow; and 3) provide particle and fluid velocity and acceleration, and quantifiable data for the turbulent detonation products using statistical data analysis software.
PHASE I: The contractor will design a system concept capable of visualization and analysis of particles in the micron to millimeter range and the detonation product gases. Testing to show proof-of-concept is highly desirable. The test case can be a non-explosive to reduce cost, but should be in the supersonic, turbulent flow regime. Merit and feasibility must be clearly demonstrated during this phase.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate the component technology in a prototype based on the concept developed in Phase I. The Phase II effort should include time-resolved data from the diagnostic system for an explosive event in an indoor blast chamber. The Phase II deliverable is a prototype system (consisting of hardware and software) for evaluation by the Air Force.
PHASE III: The military application is a state-of-the-art time-resolved diagnostic system for multiphase explosive events. The commercial application might include non-detonation applications  for which gas velocity, particle reaction kinetics and gas temperature are of interest.
1. Justin L. Wagner, et al., Pulse-Burst PIV in a High-Speed Wind Tunnel (AIAA 2015-1218) 2015,10.2514/6.2015-1218.
2. Charles M. Jenkins, Robert C. Ripley, Chang-Yu Wu, Yasuyuki Horie, Kevin Powers, and William H. Wilson, Explosively driven particle fields imaged using a high speed framing camera and particle image velocimetry, Int. J. of Multiphase Flow 51, pp. 73-86, 2013.
3. B.J. Balakumar, and R.J. Adrian, Particle image velocimetry in the exhaust of small solid rocket motors, Exp. Fluids 36 166Ã‚¬175, 2004.
4. R.H. Haynes, B.A. Brock, and B.S. Thurow, Applications of MHz frame rate, high dynamic range PIV to a high temperature, shock-containing jet, AIAA 2013-0774, 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition
KEYWORDS: Diagnostics, Multiphase Blast, Multiphase Explosive, Close Air Support
High speed, multispectral, linear polarization display
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop high speed, multispectral, linear polarization display capability, suitable for realistic stimulation of insect and crustacean optical systems.
DESCRIPTION: Develop high speed (exceeding 400 Hz), multispectral (UV and visible, approx. 300 nm - 650 nm), linear polarization (angle of polarization, degree of polarization) display device. Ability to provide realistic stimuli to wide field of view compound eyes (at least 2 pi steradian field of view) with adequate resolution (better than a degree) in tailorable multicolor imagery, which also displays desired linear polarization signal, with ability to specify both angle and degree of polarization, is desired.
PHASE I: Survey possible imaging device technologies; develop device concept. Demonstrate key critical areas using small numbers of detailed channels. Develop plan for full-scale device.
PHASE II: Build and demonstrate large-scale functioning device. Minimum angular size at device under test is approximately Ï/4 steradians (more is better). Show path to filling larger angular subtense.
PHASE III: Build and demonstrate prototype device, with minimum of two pi steradian field of view, equally illuminated in all parts of the field of view (no cosine fall-ff), and meeting minimum temporal, radiometric, spectral, and linear polarization display capabilities suitable for characterizing insect and crustacean vision performance. Performance requirements to provide realistic imagery to animals under test will be based on then-current state-of-the-art sensor understanding from the appropriate vision ecology research communities.
1. Belusic, G., et al. (2008). "Temperature dependence of photoreception in the owlfly Libelloides macaronius (Insecta: Neuroptera:Ascalaphidae)." Acta Biologica Slovenica 50: 93-101.
2. Ewing, T. K., et al. (2012). Development of a polarization hyperspectral image projector, SPIE. 8364, 836408.
KEYWORDS: Multispectral Display, Polarization Display, Wide Field Of View Display, Polarization Projector, Multispectral Projector, Wide Field Of View Projector, Linear Polarization Display
Plasmonic Metamaterial Approach to Infrared Scene Projection
OBJECTIVE: Develop emission control materials for infrared scene projection technology to provide a high contrast, high resolution, high apparent temperature, broad-band solution for infrared hardware-in-the-loop scene projection.
DESCRIPTION: Hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) testing of infrared guided weapons requires high fidelity infrared imagery to provide target signatures in a simulated environment using continuous projection mechanisms (avoiding pulsed techniques such as pulse width modulation, etc.). Current technology limitations from resistor arrays prevent the required higher temperature targets from being achieved. Resistor arrays also suffer from poor temporal response, having a relatively long response (rise/fall) time associated with the technology, limiting the maximum frame rate. Alternative technologies continue to be investigated to overcome these problems, but introduce additional problems including narrow-band emission, angular limitations, low efficiency and bit depth/contrast issues. Recent results from the field of metamaterials, plasmonics and photonic crystals show promise for controlling and shaping thermal emission from structured materials systems. The purpose of this topic is to investigate approaches to thermal emission control for applications to meeting the growing need for a next generation scene projector, with emphasis on the mid-wave infrared spectral region. The research objective is to identify a design approach to overcome resistor array limitations and meet the Air Force need for a next generation HITL infrared scene generator. Design goals are for a 512x512 array of pixels
PHASE I: Investigate the applicability of structured materials such as plasmonics and/or metamaterials for infrared scene generator. Establish design requirements and define a design approach to building a target scene projector. Plan a Phase II development and demonstration activity.
PHASE II: Finalize the design for a prototype hardware-in-the-loop scene generator using emission control materials. Manufacture and assess a range of small form factor emitter designs to validate models and determine optimal design approach. Build and demonstrate a projector array prototype system to demonstrate the design approach and reduce risk for production of an objective scene projector system.
PHASE III: Produce a marketable scene projection system that satisfies DoD needs for a target scene generation. Work with an experience system engineering house to package and integrate the system with a drive control electronics and perform system calibration.
1. Liu, Xianliang, Talmage Tyler, Tatiana Starr, Anthony F. Starr, Nan Marie Jokerst, and Willie J. Padilla. "Taming the blackbody with infrared metamaterials as selective thermal emitters." Physical review letters 107, no. 4 (2011): 045901.
2. Guo, Yu, Cristian L. Cortes, Sean Molesky, and Zubin Jacob. "Broadband super-Planckian thermal emission from hyperbolic metamaterials." Applied Physics Letters 101, no. 13 (2012): 131106.
3. Mason, J. A., S. Smith, and D. Wasserman. "Strong absorption and selective thermal emission from a midinfrared metamaterial." Applied Physics Letters 98, no. 24 (2011): 241105.
4. Wu, Chihhui, Burton Neuner III, Jeremy John, Andrew Milder, Byron Zollars, Steve Savoy, and Gennady Shvets. "Metamaterial-based integrated plasmonic absorber/emitter for solar thermo-photovoltaic systems." Journal of Optics 14, no. 2 (2012): 024005.
5. Lee, B. J., C. J. Fu, and Z. M. Zhang. "Coherent thermal emission from one-dimensional photonic crystals." Applied Physics Letters 87, no. 7 (2005): 071904.
KEYWORDS: Metamaterials, Infrared, Scene Projector, Target Simulator, Plasmonics
Practical Application of Molecular-Scale Modeling to Problems at the Grain Scale and Larger
OBJECTIVE: Develop practical applications of molecular-scale modeling techniques to modeling problems at much larger length scales.
DESCRIPTION: The Air Force is interested in techniques that can be used to predict properties and mechanical response for energetic materials. These techniques would enable advanced understanding of fuze well survivability and performance in modern weapon systems and allow predictions of munitions component damage, safety, and initiability during harsh environmental insult.
PHASE I: Develop theory and methods for property prediction, coupling methodologies and model validation, as specified above. They will lay initial groundwork for the resultant models and perform initial verification of the theory.
PHASE II: Develop serviceable framework for modeling and simulation that leverages the initial modeling groundwork from Phase I. Utilize this framework to make more advanced predictions and validate results against analytical predictions and experimental data.
PHASE III: Develop improved munition fuze components, energetic material formulations of munition component survivability and the applicable mission space for existing munitions. Improve commercial composites for high stress environments damage mechanisms. Improve mechanical fatigue of composite components.
1. Tadmor, E., Modeling Materials: Continuum, Atomistic, and Multiscale Techniques, Cambridge University Press 2012
2. Lee, K., Joshi, K., Chaudhuri, S., and Steward, D.S., Mirrored continuum and molecular scale simulations of the ignition of high-pressure phases of RDX, accepted for publication to the Journal of Chemical Physics
3. Rice, B.M., A perspective on modeling the multiscale response of energetic materials, Proceedings of the APS Topical Conference on the Shock Compression of Matter, 2015
KEYWORDS: Energetic Materials, Molecular Dynamics, Coarse Graining, Mesoscale Modeling
III-Nitride Ternary Alloy Substrates for UV(A/B/C) and UWBG Development
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Development of controlled, variable lattice constant Al(x)Ga(1-x)N substrates for device design flexibility in epitaxial thin films. High-quality ternary nitride substrates will enable the development of UV (A/B/C) lasers and power switching devices.
DESCRIPTION: Optical and electronic devices both rely on high quality heteroepitaxial layers for their design. In materials such as GaAs and AlAs, the growth of high quality Al(x)Ga(1-x)As on GaAs is trivial, as both GaAs and AlAs have essentially the same lattice constant. However, when the lattice constants are different, dislocations can be generated which harm the device performance. Of particular interest is the development of thick layers (e.g. a substrate) of Al(x)Ga(1-x)N, where the Al alloy composition is variable (0.25 < x < 0.75), for which no substrates are suitable. Application areas of interest would include power switching electronics in ultra-wide bandgap (UWBG) devices, UV light emitting diodes (LED) and laser diodes (LD) in the UVA, UVB, and longer edge of the UVC spectral regions. An availability of substrates for the III-N ternary alloy system, spanning all lattice constant values between AlN and InN, would promote greater flexibility and strain balancing capability for these devices without optical loss in LEDs and LDs, or reliability in breakdown voltages and performance limitations in power switching and RF electronics. Ternary III-Nitride alloys can have some form of phase separation (undesired change from a ternary alloy, such as Al(x)Ga(1-x)N to its binary constituents, AlN and GaN) through three main degradation processes: thermal decomposition, spinodal decomposition, and surface segregation. Different bond strengths between the cations can cause thermal decomposition from the ternary to its binary counterparts. Spinodal decomposition occurs when phases of materials undesirably separate due to low energy barriers. This can cause both device useful minor compositional fluctuations as well as two completely separated, more energetically favorable phases. Surface segregation is perhaps the most disruptive of natural limitations of the nitride materials system. Surface segregation can be described as the tendency for various atoms to preferentially migrate vertically along the growth front and laterally across the film during the growth of Ternary III-Nitride alloys. When used as a substrate, all forms of thermal, spinodal decomposition, and surface segregation are detrimental as the constancy of the lattice constant laterally and vertically, defect structure and surface quality are all detrimentally affected.
PHASE I: Develop single phase, Al(x)Ga(1-x)N pseudo-substrates of 0.25 < x < 0.75. Composition, uniformity, and alloy quality controlled simultaneously. 1. Diameter: = 25 mm 2. Layer thickness: = 20 µm 3. Composition: ± 3% of target (both radial and z) The layer shall be absent of spinodal decomposition or surface segregation. Delivery of 3 layers of the same alloy composition (x) shall be required.
PHASE II: Expand the technology development (of Phase I), for AlGaN ternary substrates for the following metrics: 1. Free-standing substrate, = 250 µm thick 2. 50.8 mm diameter 3. ± 2 % compositional uniformity (radial and z-direction) 4. Single phase, absent of spinodal decomposition and surface segregation. Delivery of one substrate and a final report shall be required.
PHASE III: Military Applications: High temperature power electronics, (e.g., power diodes, IGBTs, Thyristors, etc.). UV counter measures, water purification, bio-detection. Commercial Applications: UV laser diodes and LEDs for water purification, power electronics for switching, such as power MOSFETs.
1. T. Saxena et.al. Spectral Dependence of carrier lifetime in high aluminum content AlGaN epitaxial layers, J. Appl. Phys. 118, 085705 (2015).
2. E. Iliopoulos, K.F. Ludwig Jr., T.D. Moustakas, S.N.G. Chu, Chemical ordering in AlGaN alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 463 (2001).
3. S.V. Novikov, C.R. Staddon, R.W. Martin, A.J. Kent, C.T. Foxon, Molecular beam epitaxy of free-standing wurtzite AlxGa1-xN layers, J. Cryst Growth, 425, 125 (2015).
KEYWORDS: AlGaN, Ultra-Wide Bandgap, Ternary Substrate, Water Purification, UVC Laser, Power Switching, Power Electronics
Structural profile disruption effects for high-velocity air vehicles
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Localized heating may produce profile disruptions in air vehicles at high enough velocities to affect either/both structural integrity and trajectory. The topic seeks to model the effects of such disruptions over a range of velocities and conditions.
DESCRIPTION: The proposed effort studies potential damage mechanisms resulting in mission failure. Localized heating may result in holes/pockets (0.5 inch diameter or greater) and/or local structural instabilities especially at the leading edge regions of assets at high enough velocities to affect either/both structural integrity and trajectory. The topic seeks to model the effects of such disruptions on performance of air vehicles over a range of velocities and conditions. Well before burn through or back surface temperature effects on internal components, mechanical failure and/or profile disruption of structural materials may result in mission failure. For example, the induced flutter in softening or vaporized constituent materials for various boundary flow velocity profiles may amplify damage area induced by Directed Energy irradiation. Furthermore, at high enough mach numbers a simple hole/pocket, e.g., at 0.5 inch diameter or greater, may be enough to induce difficulty in maintaining trajectory. Structural fluttering and ablation can be modeled using coupled micro/macro techniques to study the effects of instabilities directly induced by irradiation and/or amplified by aerothermal heating and acoustic loads present at especially leading edge regions. A flow boundary layer is critical to structural instability simulation, as the energy and momentum transfer from within the boundary layer drive the continuing deformation and flutter of the illuminated region, extending into the original structural profile and against the protrusions as the cyclic deformation proceeds. For associated models, velocities, structural features, and damage initiation and development should be considered. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be employed to develop environment predictions, including extreme hypersonic environments; e.g., industrial developments at Dassault (France) include turbulence, high temperatures, dissociation, radiation, energy transport, and slip flows in association with the Hermes space plane in 2D and 3D , currently embedded in an industrial stabilized finite element code including Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence, Detached Eddy Simulation, higher-order elements, and chemically reacting flows as part of the European project IDIHOM (Industrialisation of High-Order Methods) aimed at bringing higher-order capabilities to industrial applications, tested by project partners e.g. on a 3D Falcon jet geometry . CFD is required for flutter prediction associated with transonic flows (shock waves, separation), especially for military applications with associated complex configurations requiring unstructured meshes . Stabilized methods for unstructured meshes applied to turbulent flows are critical for such modeling, e.g. . The aerodynamic/acoustic forces associated with development of holes/pockets will cause torques on the vehicle that especially at high mach numbers could cause loss of trajectory to target, as well as the potential for local heating effects especially in the case of associated thermal protection material systems (TPS) disruptions leading to amplified profile disruption through the structural instability mechanisms already mentioned. Material types can be any layered TPS (i.e. materials systems enhancing esp temperature environment survivability) including specifically high-temperature ceramics and and/or polymers (and may include others) appropriate to vehicles traveling at velocities where the effects will be of consequence, generally suggesting hypersonics but the range of applicable velocities is of interest so a variety of material types and velocities are possible, with higher mach number systems being most likely to be affected. The modeling can be used as well for informing countermeasures based on materials properties, adaptivity, coating protective systems, etc., which could also be part of the study. An aerospace prime contractor partner is encouraged for structural, flight control and mission-relevant details. Government-Furnished Equipment and data are not required.
PHASE I: A modeling capability should be demonstrated that will realistically lead to combining flow velocity with profile features to assess effects on structural integrity and trajectory.
PHASE II: A full analysis capability shall assess the effects of hole diameters and pockets, of various size and shape within realistic parameters, on flutter, propagating damage, and aerothermal heating of various layered material systems at especially high mach numbers, but over a range of velocity profiles as determined by the analyses and supporting data as may exist. Direct testing of model systems in wind tunnels or other relevant conditions is encouraged as may be possible.
PHASE III: Potential long range military and commercial air platforms as well as government and commercial space vehicles must survive potential disruptions at relevant conditions of velocity and temperature and relevant data and countermeasures are lacking.
1. Shiau, L. C., Lu, L. T. (1990), "Nonlinear flutter of composite laminated plates," Mathl Comput. Modelling, 14, 983-988
2. Dolvin, D. J. (2008), "Hypersonic International Flight Research and Experimentation (HIFiRE) - Fundamental Sciences and Technology Development Strategy," Paper AIAA-2008-2581, 15th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference 28 April - 1 May 2008, Dayton, O
KEYWORDS: Heating, Profile, TPS, Flutter, Trajectory
Midwave Infared (MWIR) Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) Thermal Monitoring
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop a thermal monitoring system capable of measuring the temperature profile of a MWIR QCL during operation (>100 mW) with high thermal, spatial, and temporal resolution.
DESCRIPTION: The MWIR spectral band (3-5 µm) is heavily utilized for homeland security and defense applications, including chemical sensing and infrared countermeasures. These applications require coherent light sources capable of generating >1W of optical power within cost, size, weight, and power (CSWaP) constraints. While these infrared sources have historically been either nonlinear or solid state in nature, quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) have recently shown a great deal of promise and are being integrated onto military systems, although fundamental questions about their performance and reliability still remain unanswered. A critical parameter to optimizing performance of many optoelectronic devices is thermal generation and transport. Recent studies have shown QCLs are unique types of devices in this regard in that they: (a) have considerably lower thermal conductivity than standard diode lasers; (b) have less mature facet coating, fabrication, and packaging; and (c) have a photon-electron-phonon interaction that leads to heat generation in accordance with the optical mode profile. These thermal effects are detrimental to output power, and help to explain the large performance difference between pulsed and continuous wave (CW) operation. The capability of mapping a MWIR emitting device under typical operation conditions is a critical capability that will not only help the DoD, but various other applications such as stand-off chemical effluent detection and surgical and healing optical sources. The ability to map the thermal profile of the QCL facet so far remains elusive. While thermal mapping is typically done via thermal cameras, the subwavelength nature of the facet makes this impossible for most ridge lasers, as does the high optical power emitted by the QCLs. Therefore a new measurement technique is needed, one especially capable of measuring large temperature ranges (200-600 K) at high resolution (1 K or better) with high spatial resolution (less than 1 sq. µm), over a large area (greater than 1,500 sq. µm), different emissivity values (i.e. metal, semiconductor, and dielectric), and reasonable temporal resolution (0.1 Hz refresh rates or faster). Matching this data with both simulations and measurements will significantly enhance state-of-the-art understanding of QCLs and how to improve their performance across the plethora of existing designs. No government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities will be provided.
PHASE I: Measure the facet temperature of several MWIR QCLs operating at >10 mW (pulsed or CW). Validate the experimental data using simulations, and analytically show that the desired performance can be achieved in Phase II.
PHASE II: Measure the facet temperature of several operating MWIR QCLs operating at >100 mW CW, preferably with different mounting configurations (e.g. epi-down, buried heterostructure, etc.). Demonstrate the capability to accurately measure temperature across multiple facet materials (i.e. metal, semiconductor, and dielectric). Demonstrate the ability to meet the temperature, spatial, and temporal resolution goals over at least 100 sq. µm. Produce a prototype measurement unit.
PHASE III: Demonstrate an integrated system capable of near-field mapping and thermal monitoring of a QCL to be offered as characterization equipment and/or a service to be utilized by the QCL community.
1. Law, K.K. Monolithic QCL design approaches for improved reliability and affordability. Proc. SPIE, 2013. p. 899307.
2. Sin, Y., et al. Destructive physical analysis of degraded quantum cascade lasers. Proc. SPIE, 2015. p. 93821P.
3. Bai, Y., et al., Quantum cascade lasers that emit more light than heat. Nature Photonics, 2010. 4(2): p. 99-102.
KEYWORDS: MWIR, Midwave Infrared, QCL, Quantum Cascade Laser, Thermal Mapping, III/V, Compound Semiconductor, Buried Heterostructure, Facet Coating
Target Tracking via Deep Learning
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop target tracking and reacquisition algorithms capable of learning and adapting to track high-value targets (HVT). Initial focus will be on electro-optical (EO) video with later extension to multiple intelligence (multi-INT) data sources.
DESCRIPTION: The Air Force is currently faced with new and emerging threats within highly contested environments. To be effective against these threats, target trackers must be robust to a wide variety of dynamic and challenging operating conditions often unique to these environments, such as adversaries that employ camouflage, concealment, and deception techniques to evade detection. Tracking is further complicated by the presence of typical challenges such as shadows, confusers, oblique viewing angles, slow moving targets, and move-stop-move targets. A high degree of autonomy is also desirable in order to take full advantage of potentially multiple cooperative platforms with minimal operator and analyst interaction in the presence of unreliable and intermittent communications. This motivates a combined, long-term, adaptive approach to target tracking that takes into account the complementary nature of detection, identification, and tracking, which are often viewed as related, but independent problems. The proposed solution should take advantage of the complementary nature of these problems while learning to adapt to challenging operating conditions in order to track HVTs for extended periods of time. Target reacquisition is often necessary during these extended time periods as targets may become partially to completely unobservable for unknown durations. Recent advances in deep learning have shown state-of-the-art performance in identification (IMAGENET Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge) and tracking (Visual Object Tracking Challenge) and several of these approaches have shown encouraging results on Air Force detection, identification, and tracking problems. Of specific interest, anecdotal results have shown improved tracking performance when incorporating identification algorithms into the tracking process. Synthetic or surrogate data will be provided as Government Furnished Data (GFD) for development and demonstration of the tracking capability. A baseline performance dataset will also be provided as GFD that utilizes the existing trackers developed at AFRL. This baseline will be used by contractors to demonstrate the performance improvements by the methods developed under this effort. Performance evaluation of the tracking suite will be conducted using standard tracking metrics based on guidance obtained from the COMPASE Tracker Evaluation Software Suite (CTESS) which will also be provided as GFD.
PHASE I: Address HVT tracking in EO video with consideration for extension to multi-INT in Phase II. The expected product of Phase I is an experimental algorithm suite for target tracking which will be documented in a final report and the algorithms implemented in a proof-of-concept software deliverable.
PHASE II: Extend Phase I capabilities to multi-INT data sources. Develop enhancements as needed to address performance issues from Phase I or those identified when processing the data in Phase II. Deliver updates to the software (source code) and technical reports. The expected product of Phase II is an implementation of the Phase I target tracking system, extended to a full prototype capable of ingesting and analyzing extensive imagery datasets.
PHASE III: Refine and harden the tracking software based on application to operational needs. Apply this technology to other EO/IR data that would benefit from novel tracking methods. This will increase the commercialization potential and applicability outside government facilities.
1. Nam, H. and Han, B., Learning multi-domain convolutional neural networks for visual tracking, arXiv:1510.07945, 2016.
2. Danelljan, M., Hager, G., Khan, F., and Felsberg, M., Convolutional feature for Correlation Filter Based Visual Tracking, In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision workshops, pp. 58-66, 2015.
3. Ren, S., He, K., Girshick, R., and Sun, J., Faster R-CNN: Towards Real-Time Object Detection with Region Proposal Networks, arXiv:1506.01497.
4. He, K., Zhang, X., Ren, S., and Sun, J., Deep Residual Learning for Image Recognition, arXiv:1512.03385.
5. COMPASE Tracker Evaluation Software Suite (CTESS) - Software Guide. Available from TPOC.
KEYWORDS: ISR, Image Processing, Computer Vision, Visual Tracking, High Value Target, Situation Awareness, Sensor, Machine Learning
Quantum Sensor for Direction Finding and Geolocation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Exploit the novel quantum electrodynamic properties from innovations in nanoelectronics, superconductors, meta-materials, and photonics to achieve a three-dimensional electromagnetic (EM) sensor for accurate vector sensing and geo-location of complex RF s
DESCRIPTION: Recent advances in the material properties and scaling of nano-electronics, photonics meta-materials, and superconductors have given rise as a means to achieve precision measurement of energy and sampling time in the radio frequency (RF) domain for increased accuracy of a digitally represented signal of interest. Nano-electronics, photonics, and superconductors can be designed to operate under reduced temperature environments enabling the time-bandwidth product to address greater sensitivity to distinguish signals from surrounding noise. In addition, these technologies can be configured into a three-dimensional assembly capable of complex EM sensing and signal energy vectors approaching very discreet levels. This concept of the product of small and precise delta in energy with a delta in time is a fundamental to analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog signal theory, it has only been in the last decade that conversion energy metrics have been defined as Joule per quanta and time sampling accuracy or jitter has gone below 10 femtoseconds. It is now possible to more efficiently map the electromagnetic energy of a signal of interest to the degree that the direction of energy emission and geo-location accuracy can be determined. Current instantiations of multi-dimensional sensors (E-dot and B-dot probes) are not well integrated and not constructed to conform to a three-dimensional sensing environment. The development of a compact three-dimensional EM sensor that exploit quantum electro-dynamic fundamental material properties are valuable for computational EM where sensitivity is required to delineate near and far-field RF propagation and for biomedical applications such as examining EM anomalies in the human brain passively where second order RF signal phase transitions and stochastic statistical methods have to be applied.
PHASE I: Develop analytical solutions for a three-dimensional EM sensor that exhibit quantum properties. Incorporate these properties into direction finding and geo location energy vector formulations for an enhanced representation of an RF signal with respect to time accuracy. Design a three-dimensional quantum-based EM sensor with accompanying complex EM vector signal formulations.
PHASE II: Fabricate and test a three-dimensional quantum EM sensor and accompanying vector signal processor code to demonstrate proof-of-concept functional operation. Devise controlled environment laboratory tests validating the increased sensor fidelity and accuracy as a result of the quantum sensor properties. Devise and implement representative complex RF signals for the proof-of concept lab test.
PHASE III: Ruggedize and integrate three-dimensional quantum sensor and signal processor for relevant environment testing in complex EM signal environments.
1. Narendra, S., "Through the Looking Glass Continued (III)", IEEE Solid State Circuits Magazine, VOL. 1, NO. 1, Winter 2014, pps. 49-53.
2. Bunyk, P. I., et al., "Architectural Considerations in the Design of a Superconducting Quantum Annealing Processor", IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY, VOL. 24, NO. 4, AUGUST 2014, 1700110.
3. E. Cho et al., Applied Physics Letters 106, 252601 (2015).
4. S. Cybart, et al., Nature Nanotechnology, V.10 p.598 (July 2015).
KEYWORDS: Quantum Sensors, Direction Finding, Geo-location, Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs), Single Flux Quantum Logic Circuits, Analog-to-Digital Converters, Digital-to-Analog Converters, Photonic Integrated Circuits
Fast Optical Limiters (OL) with Enhanced Dynamic Range
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Design, prototype fabrication, and testing of wide-aperture optical limiters with high laser-induced damage threshold and tunable limiting threshold. The protection from high-level laser radiation should be fast, broadband, and omnidirectional.
DESCRIPTION: Optical limiters (OL) protect sensitive optical and electronic devices from laser-induced damage. The existing passive OL utilize nonlinear optical materials transmitting low-intensity light, while blocking laser radiation with intensity exceeding certain limiting threshold (LT). The State-of-the-Art is summarized by the following characteristics (more details are in cited literature): 1) Limited non-linear optical material availability for certain wavelengths of operation and protection bandwidth; 2) Damage threshold (DT) is restricted to the LT for sacrificial limiters, requiring limiter replacement before asset becomes operational and fully protected again; 3) DT is at least 10dB above the LT for the best non-sacrificial limiters; 4) Response time can be as slow as in the millisecond range, depending on the operation wavelength regime, nonlinear material used, and the associated absorption mechanism; 5) Recovery time can be as slow as in the seconds or minutes range, depending on the operation wavelength regime, nonlinear material used, and the associated energy release mechanism. There is no recovery for sacrificial limiters. The common problem with the existing OL is that, at any particular frequency range, the choice of suitable nonlinear optical materials is very limited, or nonexistent. At the same time, the required value of the LT can differ dramatically in different applications. Another problem is that the nonlinear optical material is directly exposed to the high-level laser radiation, often causing overheating, dielectric breakdown, or other irreversible damage of the device. In other words, the LT provided by most of the known nonlinear optical materials is not far away from their DT. In recent years, several different ideas have been put forward on how to address the above problems by incorporating nonlinear optical material in a photonic layered structure. In principle, some of the proposed approaches might work, but what is needed is a practical design for Visible and Infrared wavelengths. The objective is to design, fabricate, and test OL having greatly enhanced DT and tunable LT. The optical materials used in the design should be practically available. A significant increase in the DT and the control over the LT should be achieved by proper design of the photonic structure, rather than by using exotic (practically unavailable) nonlinear optical materials. Thin-film multilayer configuration for wide aperture input is preferable. The technology may have dual use, military and commercial. OL provide continuous, uninterrupted protection of military assets on land, air, and space from high-level laser radiation. On the other hand, OL present highly enhanced saturable absorbers. They may provide, in particular, mode locking for the generation of ultrashort laser pulses. The critical requirements are: 1) Wavelengths of interest: 500 - 2000nm. A specific OL does not have to cover the entire wavelength range, but it should provide a broadband protection from laser-induced damage; 2) OL response time: <1ns; 3) OL recovery time: <1ms; 4) Low-intensity transparency is >50%; 5) For light intensity or fluence above the LT, the attenuation is >20dB; 6) The DT of the OL is at least 10 times larger than that of the nonlinear optical material used; 7) The fluence LT is below 1J/cm^2/pulse; 8) Multiple use without performance degradation exceeds 10,000 pulses; 9) Wide acceptance and protection angles; 10) OL testing should be performed using f-number optics no greater than f/10, unless a higher f-number is required by a specific application. Use of government materials, equipment, data, or facilities will not be offered and will not be required.
PHASE I: The Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of an approach to achieve the stated objectives for a particular wavelength range between 500 - 1200nm, and satisfying the other critical requirements.
PHASE II: The Phase II effort will develop at least one working prototype of the optical limiter satisfying the critical requirements.
PHASE III: A demonstration of the technology is required for the successful transition. The exact specifications will be provided based on the technology capabilities. The device must be capable of fast dynamic response, high optical powers, and fast recovery to its normal working state after the exposure.
1. B. Y. Soon, J. W. Haus, M. Scalora, and C. Sibilia, One-dimensional photonic crystal optical limiter, Opt. Express 11, 2007-2018 (2003).
2. M. Scalora, J. Dowling, C. Bowden, and M. Bloemer, Optical Limiting and Switching of Ultrashort Pulses in Nonlinear Photonic Band Gap Materials, Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 1368 (1994).
3. Y. Zeng, X. Chen and W. Lu, Optical limiting in defective quadratic nonlinear photonic crystals, Journal of Applied Physics 99, 123107 (2006).
4. E. Makri, T. Kottos, and I. Vitebskiy, Reflective optical limiter based on resonant transmission, Phys. Rev. A 91, 043838 (2015).
5. J. Vella, J. Goldsmith, A. Browning, N. Limberopoulos, I. Vitebskiy, E. Makri, and T. Kottos. Experimental Realization of a Reflective Optical Limiter. Physical Review Applied 5, 064010 (2016).
KEYWORDS: Laser-Induced Damage, Optical Limiter
Medical Electro-Textile Sensor Simulation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to create a simulator to provide what-if scenarios to aid in developing smart combat uniform sensors and technology to record electromagnetic field activity of the war-fighter. The model will be developed for Joint use and is based on the e-textile work performed by the Services; in particular the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Institute located at the U.S. Armys Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC).
DESCRIPTION: Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF), result from electrical currents. Within the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, there are many frequencies radiating from humans. For instance, infrared (IR) imaging is used to detect heat signatures of humans in otherwise dark conditions. Likewise, the human body is rich in EMFs resulting from nerve firings. However, with the exception of IR, the EMFs generated from humans are weak when compared to those from external electrical devices. Having the ability to monitor a warfighters EMF at various locations could provide valuable evidence of trauma and other conditions impacting the warfighters ability to perform normal combat operations. The logical placement of such sensors is within the domain of electro-textile combat uniforms. Currently, research into smart combat uniforms continues to advance with integration of power and data. The goal of this research is to simulate monitor and capture the signal data resulting from the human body. This will simulate advanced technologies such as conductive fibers embedded in uniforms. For this to be ultimately viable, the conductive fibers need to pick up weak EMFs. Ideally, signal processing capabilities would also be available to the warfighter to digitally filter out signals of no interest (noise). This effort is focused on the EMFs indicating from the human body and being received by conductive fibers. The conductive fibers act as an antenna and capture EMFs to depict the state of the warfighter prior to injury, and use those as a base (a quiescent state). The quiescent state would then be stored using embedded processors. Upon injury and periodically thereafter, the dynamic changes of warfighter nerve impulses or other radiating signals would be captured and recorded. These records would establish a medical record of important nerve activity before, during, and following injury. At one end of the electromagnetic spectrum, infrared radiation emanating from the human body is examined at airports to detect passengers with fevers. At the other end, electrodes attached to the skin are used to record electro-cardiographs. This research seeks to explore the electromagnetic frequency range between these two extremes to see is the human body is radiating other signals that could be used to ascertain health. The efforts deliverable should rely on signals received as a method for sensing changes to the human body. The idea is the human body is the main sensor and we seek to simulate ways to electronically read the changes through the use of conductive fibers. Previous work has described using conductive fibers for antenna  and the potential for reading signals from the human body . The research should consider unique environments such as submersion in salt water, humid, and dry environments. The effort should use an innovative approach to implement a simulator to provide a what-if assessment of current technologies for e-textiles to determine which are capable of detecting electrical signals emanating from the body without contact. Different conductive fibers are expected to receive different signals. The simulator should be extensible to model new fiber technologies as they become available. The assessments will determine size and power budgets for various technologies, along with their projected reductions. The simulations will be based on the conductive fiber combat uniform prototypes built by the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center .
PHASE I: Phase I will consist of a simulation using sensor materials to detect weak EMFs, possibly operating in the Nano-Tesla range. This work will build on using conductive fibers as possible sensors. That is, if a conductive fiber is vulnerable to EMI, use this vulnerability as a sensor. In particular those designs that are not used because of susceptibility to EMI will be explored as potential sensors. The simulation will help to refine how sensors, to include fibers as sensors, could be used within combat situations. It will test sensors at the technology level, specifically examining the signal processing requirements to include the sensors frequency range, power requirements, and size. The simulation will also use a history of past technical advances to predict future size reductions. That is, as the size of the sensor decreases, the resulting EMI detection capabilities will be analyzed. The expected results should point to technologies for detecting signals resulting from changes to the human body. These could be determined by contrasting the set of signals received before the event to those following the event. Success is determined if a difference can be computable. The second part of Phase I will establish a baseline for human generated EMF frequencies and field strengths. That is, identifying what set of signals are available than can be detected by various conductive fibers. In so doing, the simulator should be able to simulate using multiple conductive fiber technologies to receive different signals. In general, there are numerous man-made and other interference signals. Shielded enclosures such as those typically used to eliminate or suppress communication signals in support of TEMPEST reduction could be used to improve fidelity. A shielded enclosure or other innovative approach could be used to attenuate ambient noise and allow for accurate EMF measurements from various locations adjacent to the human subject. Various injuries and stress to the human body will be simulated to ascertain the best algorithms for determining the root causes. Specific questions to be answered in this phase are: What is the best approach for isolating human generated EMFs from background noise; What is(are) the best fiber as sensor technology(ies); How will the sensors transmit information through an e-textile data bus; Should the sensor include Digital Signal Processing circuity; and What are the limitations for EMF sensors in e-textiles?
PHASE II: In Phase II, Phase I results will be used to simulate signal transfer and processing. The simulator will use multiple sensor inputs to calculate background noise and correctly filter it out. The normal EMF will be simulated and signal processing algorithms will be developed to establish a quiescent state. That is, determining what signals normally radiate from the human host. Next, the best performing algorithm for determining root causes from Phase I will be tested. This phase may use a shielded EMF enclosure validate simulations and thereby establish correct baselines associated with physiological changes such as strenuous exercise, combined with the effects of water, heat, and cold.
PHASE III: The Phase II simulator and algorithms will be used to apply different conditions to explore their impacts on e-textile combat clothing as a base for validating of concept in Phase III. The warfighter uniform will be modeled using the NSRDEC prototypes developed to date, which include data bus and power conducting fibers. To validate the simulator, connection to a signal processor with the recommended sensor technologies from Phases I and II simulations will be tested and used to validate the simulation sensor technology and supporting algorithms. Phase III will also test exposure to chemical, biological, or nuclear threats; unknown attack sources. A key activity will be properly packaging the results so that the technology can be integrated into the e-textile combat uniforms researched out of the NSRDEC and developed with the support of PEO Solder. The resulting simulation, if successful, should help e-textile manufacturing in selecting conductive fibers best suited for detecting bodily generated EMF. This will facilitate commercial and military clothing designs that seek to integrate performance monitoring within the clothing worn.
1: Electro-Textile Garments for Power and Data Distribution, Jeremiah R. Sladea, Carole Winterhalter, Infoscitex Corporation, 295 Foster Street, Littleton, MA, USA 01460; Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, 15 Kansas St., Natick, MA, USA 01760.https://www.researchgate.net/public
2: Wearables at war: How smart textiles are lightening the load for soldiers, Trenholm, Richard; March 11, 2015; http://www.cnet.com/news/wearables-at-war-how-smart-textiles-are-lightening-the-load-for-soldiers.
3: Mehdipour, Aidin, et. al., Conductive carbon fiber composite materials for antenna and microwave applications, Radio Science Conference (NRSC), 2012 29th National, April 2013.
4: Salvado, Rita, et. al., US National Library of Medicine, Textile Materials for the Design of Wearable Antennas: A Survey, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3522988/
KEYWORDS: Smart Clothes, Electromagnetic Interference, Electromagnetic Fields, Wireless Sensor Networks, Electronic Textiles, Electronic Materials, Uniforms, Signal Detection
Smart Morphing Medical Moulage
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: To create advanced medical moulage technologies that can simulate an injury or pathology by morphing through a series of clinical states to provide stimulation of different senses to the trainee during a training scenario to confirm progression of the injury / pathology and/or to understand if iatrogenic errors or pathologies occurred due to treatment provided. As an example of a potential use case, a military medical specialist training for point-of-injury care might perform a lifesaving intervention and see the long-term impacts of that intervention.
DESCRIPTION: Medical moulage is used in medical training to simulate injuries or pathologies to present trainees with a variety of training scenarios. Moulage can be relatively simple such as simulating bruising for blunt trauma, entry or exit wounds, or erythema applications. However, this effort is calling upon researchers to develop advanced moulage with the ability to morph, depending on the medical simulation scenario such as the progression of a burn, a wound that has become infected, ischemia depicting decreased blood flow, or even an iatrogenic error (mistreatment, misdiagnosis). Military caregivers involved in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC or TC3) are trained to provide live saving care under fire, but do not see the long-term impacts of that care. t is hypothesized that allowing the trainee to witness the injury or pathology morph while they are performing treatment will enhance learning and proficiency, ultimately leading to better outcomes in the patient treatment. These advanced morphing moulage technologies also need to be linked to the overall physiological state of the represented patient, and how that state changes over time. As a minimum when developing this morphing moulage technology, the following should be considered: The morphing moulage will be easy to apply/remove; The morphing moulage needs to be non-staining, hypoallergenic and nonirritating; Morphing moulage will display the gross characteristics of the injury with high accuracy along the entire course of the simulated pathology; The technology should be able to simulate progressive stages of injury based on treatment, which may include iatrogenic errors; Must be able to be used on manikins, part task trainers, wearable simulated proxy body parts, or standardized patients. It must be able to stay attached for long periods of time (the duration of the scenario which could last an entire day) and during times of movement (e.g. simulating a seizure, medevac); Must be usable in different environments such as heat, cold, humidity, direct sun, rain, etc.; Reusability Maintainability Cost effectiveness Ability to collect and assess performance data Ability to control the stages of the simulation Wireless communication Ability to be integrated/interoperable with a variety of simulation technologies Human safety Technology should engage different senses [touch (temperature), smell (burned skin/infection), and sight (oozing/blood), as examples]; If sensor technology is used or other technology that transmits energy (amperage / voltage), then system needs to be designed to not cause injury particularly to standardized patients; Traumatic wounds / injuries (e.g. burns, blast, penetrating, blunt, and/or crush injuries) as well as wounds that portray infection and skin disorders (e.g. burn progression).
PHASE I: The Phase I will develop a proof of concept of the morphing moulage education tool. A justification describing the accuracy of the wound type is required. The development of the moulage will need to prove to be highly accurate in wound progression. The proof of concept will need to demonstrate the morphing moulages ability to be used on, at a minimal at least two representative models such as a full body mannequin, physical / material-based part task trainer, a wearable simulated proxy body part, or a standardized patient. Any resulting solutions must integrate seamlessly with a broad range of simulations, including all major human patient simulators on the market today. It must also show the ability to integrate with multiple part-task trainers. Finally, it must demonstrate an ability to integrate with emerging augmented reality/mixed reality training systems. The intent of this phase is to produce an initial morphing moulage design, and proof of concept that demonstrates the feasibility of the concepts described in this topic. The performer will submit a final report and provide an initial demonstration (video) describing the stage of the development, along with details of what will be further developed in Phase II. REMINDER: No Human Use Studies should be included in the Phase I research.
PHASE II: Building upon the development and lessons learned of Phase I, Phase II will focus on expanding the moulages capabilities to include "smart" integration with the systems "physiology" and with additional stimuli / senses (i.e. touch, smell, sight, or auditory). Phase II will integrate the morphing complexity to the moulage and must provide initial studies proving protection to standardized patients (examples, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, safety from energy (chemical, electrical, etc.) burns, etc.). In addition to prototypes that clearly demonstrate successful development per capabilities listed above, the performer will submit a final report that will include the current state of the development of the technology. The performer will provide analysis of the materials suggested vs. those compared or developed during research; provide analysis of synchronization of the moulage progressing through changes vs. that of the systemic physiologic status; and provide a detailed report and analysis of outcomes of use of these technologies particularly as they apply to standardized patients. The developer will provide a demonstration of the product along with details of what will be further developed in Phase III.
PHASE III: Concluding in Phase III the developer will have built a viable, commercially available morphing moulage product that can be used in a variety of simulation experiences that is easy to use and affordable, when compared to current static moulage technology. Optimization of material properties to address cost, effectiveness, and safety of the standardized patients should be pursued during Phase III. The product should include a variety of wounds that mimic wound transitions in such wounds as burns, blast, penetrating, blunt, and/or crush injuries but may also explore more chronic associated pathologies, especially within the realm of dermatology. Phase III should also consider paths to transition and commercialization. Such paths should explore various military medical training sites and acquisition programs, as well as the commercial marketplace. While point-of-injury care is a more likely candidate for both Department of Defense transition success and commercialization, higher echelons of care should be considered as well. The performer will demonstrate the product(s) at one or more potential customer sites, preferably military medical training sites.
1: Jouhari, Z., Haghani, F., & Changiz, T. (2015). Factors affecting self-regulated learning in medical students: a qualitative study. Medical Education Online, http://doi.org/10.3402/meo.v20.28694
2: Samur, S. I, (2016). Patient: performance practices in medical simulation at hospital Montfort. Vol 159. University of Toronto Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/ctr.159.010
KEYWORDS: Medical Moulage, Morph, Simulation, Wound Progression, Wound Healing
Principled Design of an Augmented Reality Trainer for Medics
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Design, prototype, and validate an augmented reality training system that provides deployed medics with refresher training on common, life-critical procedures of combat medicine.
DESCRIPTION: DoD must train military medics rapidly and well, and retrain them during and after deployment to maintain critical skills. The technologies used to provide initial training, such as instrumented mannequins, are effective in schoolhouse classrooms. It is, however, cost-prohibitive and logistically infeasible to deliver such technologies, along with the required instructors and technical support staff, to deployed medics who need refresher training. Although virtual medical simulations, delivered on personal computers, are potentially deployable, such systems lack the physical realism that medics value. Next-generation prototypes of augmented reality, biofidelic simulations show promise. These technologies provide hands-on practice and represent the anatomy and effects of student actions as projections on a physical mannequin. These simulations have the potential to build expertise, which is characterized by significant time practicing the task and use of multiple cognitive representations of the problem at hand. However, these systems do not measure or assess student skill, or adapt coaching or other training content to the medic's needs. Finally, the design of augmented and virtual reality biofidelic training technologies, while innovative and intriguing is not necessarily guided by instructional design principles or does not implement those principles in ways that demonstrably improve learning outcomes. Respondents to this topic will design an augmented reality training system that is informed by instructional design principles”for example, about which physical and visual features (affordances) of the AR environment to select and present at a given time and how to guide students interaction with these affordances. That system will provide deployed medics with refresher training concerning procedures for identifying and treating common causes of preventable death, including hemorrhage from extremity wounds, tension pneumothorax (the build-up of air in the chest cavity), and airway obstruction (Gerhardt, et al., 2012). The designed system will be efficient in its demands on the time of medics, effective in maintaining the skills of medics, and extensible for training additional medical procedures and declarative knowledge. Performers will develop a prototype of this system that is sufficiently robust to support demonstration and evaluation on these characteristics.
PHASE I: The small business and academic partner will identify two training use cases and procedure in combat casualty care; define training technology requirements that are informed by empirically based principles of high fidelity, simulation-based training design; design and develop a prototype that demonstrates the feasibility of the approach for training and assessing to at least one use case and procedure, and generate a Phase II development plan that specifies the intended instructional effects, system performance goals, a stakeholder engagement plan, validation methods, key scientific and technical milestones, and risk reduction activities.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the performers will significantly enhance the prototype system to train, assess, and provide feedback concerning a variety of procedures; report statistics concerning system use and user performance; and provide system management functions (e.g., scenario selection and configuration, security). The performers will conduct a research study to evaluate the prototype against the training and performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan. The performers will use these evaluation results to refine the prototype.
PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the performers will be expected to transition of the technology to a military Program of Record or to commercial use. Military customers may include training centers for military medics. The end product of this effort could be used in two programs of record Military Education and Training Command at Ft. Sam Houston and USMC Training Command. There is high potential for commercial application of an augmented reality medical training simulation. The primary market may be first responders in medicine, fire, and law enforcement. Additional markets may exist in corporations that perform high risk operations in areas with slow access to emergency responders, such as oil platform and mining operations.
1: Barsom, E. Z., Graafland, M., & Schijven, M. P. (2016). Systematic review on the effectiveness of augmented reality applications in medical training.Surgical endoscopy, 1-10.
2: Gerhardt, R. T., Mabry, R. L., DeLorenzo, R. A., Butler, F.K. (2012). Fundamentals of combat casualty care. In E. Savitsky & B. Eastridge, (eds.) Combat Casualty Care: Lessons Learned from OEF and OIF. pp85-120. Office of The Surgeon General, Falls Church, VA; AMEDD Center & School, Fort Sam Houston, TX; Borden Institute, Fort Detrick, MD. Found on the world wide web on 5 July 2016 at http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/book/ccc/uclachp3.pdf
3: Issenberg, B.S., McGaghie, W. C., Petrusa, E. R., Lee Gordon, D., & Scalese, R. J. (2005). Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Medical Teacher, 27(1), 10-28.
4: Magee, J. H. (2010, April). A new era in medical training through simulation-based training systems. Paper presented at the RTO Human Factors and Medicine Panel Symposium, Essen, Germany. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA592803
5: Zhu, E., Hadadgar, A., Masiello, I., & Zary, N. (2014). Augmented reality in healthcare education: an integrative review. PeerJ, 2, e469.
KEYWORDS: Augmented Reality, Intelligent Tutoring, Instructional Strategy, Performance Measurement, Coaching, Medical
Non-invasive Telemetric Assessment of Gut Microbiota Activity in Situ
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop and validate an ingestible telemetric device for the non-invasive in vivo measurement of bacterial metabolite production within the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
DESCRIPTION: Military personnel and civilians are commonly exposed to physiologic stressors that challenge health, cognitive function, and physical performance. The adverse impact of these stressors may be mediated in part through effects on the microorganisms residing in the human gut, collectively known as the gut microbiome. The metabolic output of the gut microbiome, in part, determines the net benefit or decrement of the gut microbiome to host health. Therefore, understanding how stressors, host physiology and the gut microbiome interact is critical to developing targeted strategies for optimizing human health and performance. Diet is the primary non-pharmacologic factor shaping the composition and metabolic output of the adult human gut microbiota (1), and thereby provides a tool for manipulating the health-promoting properties of the gut microbiome. Within the varied diets of most healthy humans, non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) provide the primary food source for many gut microbes. Fermentation of NDCs produces several metabolites known to directly or indirectly influence human physiology including carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane gases, and short-chain fatty acids (2). Proteins also provide fermentative substrate to gut microbes. However, in contrast to byproducts of NDC fermentation, many metabolites of protein fermentation are thought to be toxic to human cells. Relevant compounds include hydrogen sulfide gas, branched-chain fatty acids, cresols, amines, indoles, N-nitroso compounds, and ammonia (2, 3). Additionally, many nutrients from diverse food sources including fruits, vegetables, cocoa, tea, coffee, and wine are metabolized by gut microbes into bioavailable, health-modulating bioactive compounds. The inability to directly sample and quantify gut microbiota metabolism in situ represents a significant technology gap which has limited advancement in the understanding of relationships between the gut microbiota and human health. Current methods for quantifying gut microbiota metabolic activity rely on measuring metabolite concentrations in blood, urine and feces (2, 3). However, it is widely recognized that these measures are confounded by differences in absorption, transport, and metabolism, and therefore may not reflect actual production in situ. Moreover, differences in bacterial composition and substrate availability in separate regions of the human GI tract create different metabolite profiles throughout the GI tract. Due to the inaccessibility of the human GI tract to non-invasive tools, measuring these metabolite gradients is largely impossible at present, which complicates efforts to elucidate the relevance of these compounds to human health. Ingestible telemetric capsules may provide an innovative, non-invasive method for measuring microbial activity within the human GI tract. Currently, capsules for measuring environmental characteristics within the human GI tract (e.g., pressure, pH, temperature) exist and are commercially available (4). Recently, ingestible capsules for measuring gas production within the GI tract have been prototyped and tested in animals (5). This project should extend these technologies, or develop new technology, to provide innovative and novel tools for the in vivo quantification of bacterial metabolite production within the human GI tract. The minimal deliverable of this effort is a minimally-invasive device or an ingestible sensor capable of measuring gas concentrations within the human GI tract. Note that this minimal requirement necessitates that the device be approved for human use. However, the objective of the effort should be to develop an ingestible telemetric sensor capable of non-invasively measuring a panel of the aforementioned gut microbiota metabolites in vivo within the human GI tract. Developing such a device is, firstly, integral to empirically establishing a healthy baseline to which environment- or disease-mediated perturbations can be compared to ultimately advance understanding of the gut microbiomes role in health and disease, and secondly, to identify biomarkers of organ injury and/or disease. Further, this device would facilitate monitoring the efficacy of clinical, personalized interventions aiming to improve health by targeting activity within the gut microbiome. This may include monitoring and treating chronic disease states such as gastrointestinal diseases and obesity, and building resiliency in the gut microbiome to acute stressors that challenge gut health (e.g., infection, environmental and physical extremes). Finally, research enabled by this technology could pursue determining the utility of using this device, or a modification of this device, for clinical diagnostic purposes.
PHASE I: Identify technological barriers and determine the technical feasibility of developing ingestible sensors for monitoring bacterial metabolite production in the human GI tract. Should technical feasibility be established, develop an innovative plan for building the device. Desired characteristics include: small size, low power requirement, ingestible and/or facilitates ambulatory use, approved for human use, capable of measuring multiple compounds (e.g., hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, and methane gases, short-chain and branched-chain fatty acids, ammonia, amines, cresols, phenols, indoles), capable of measuring the GI environment (e.g., pH, temperature, pressure), and telemetric. Proposed work should include research into the feasibility of developing the capability and describing the overall concept. The offeror shall identify innovative technologies being considered, technical risks of the approach selected, costs, benefits, schedule associated with development and demonstration of the prototype, and define success criteria.
PHASE II: Develop, test and validate the recommended solution in Phase I, providing a device for the minimally-invasive or non-invasive in vivo measurement of bacterial metabolite production within the human GI tract. The minimum required deliverable is a prototype of the solution recommended in Phase I, and initiation of the human use approval process. In addition, the offeror shall deliver a report describing the design and operation of the device, detailing the equipment lifecycle, and including a projection of costs to manufacture, train users, maintain systems, and replenish disposable supplies. The objective of Phase II should be to obtain approval for human use in research and development, and to deliver the device itself, any electronic software required to use the device, instructions on using the device, and a report demonstrating the validity of the device. The device should be delivered/made available to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and other research entities within the DoD. Initial application of the device will include human use research aiming to advance understanding of gut microbiome-human health interactions. A draft commercialization plan should also be provided to inform Phase III requirements, and the offeror should consult the FDA during Phase II if the offeror intends to develop the device as a diagnostic tool.
PHASE III: Refine and execute the commercialization plan included in the Phase II of the proposal. Phase III may include initiation of collaborative research studies with government organizations, and/or academic and industry partners. These studies should confirm the validity of the manufactured device, and leverage the device to study gut microbiome-diet-host physiology interactions. Initial research applications will include establishing a healthy baseline of gut microbiota activity, and upon establishing a healthy baseline, monitoring the efficacy of interventions aiming to improve health by targeting the gut microbiome. This research may include using the device to develop monitoring and treatment strategies for acute gastrointestinal injury or illness, and chronic disease states (e.g., gastrointestinal diseases, obesity). Additional applications include developing personalized interventions for building resiliency in the gut microbiome to acute military-relevant stressors that challenge gut health (e.g., infection, environmental and physical extremes). Further, research enabled by this technology could be used to identify biomarkers of organ injury and/or disease. Research conducted with the device could therefore inform continued development of the device, or a modification of the device, for clinical diagnostic purposes. Commercial marketing of this device for any diagnostic or health monitoring applications may require medical device classification by the FDA. Pursuit of FDA classification is the responsibility of the contractor, and contractors are advised to begin this process as early as practical (possibly in Phase I or II), and to establish a plan for obtaining FDA approval during Phase III.
1: Scott KP, Gratz SW, Sheridan PO, Flint HJ, Duncan SH. The influence of diet on the gut microbiota. Pharmacol Res 2013;69:52-60.
2: Verbeke KA, Boobis AR, Chiodini A, Edwards CA, Franck A, Kleerebezem M, Nauta A, Raes J, van Tol EA, Tuohy KM. Towards microbial fermentation metabolites as markers for health benefits of prebiotics. Nutr Res Rev 2015;28:42-66. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501371/
3: Yao CK, Muir JG, Gibson PR. Review article: Insights into colonic protein fermentation, its modulation and potential health implications. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2016;43:181-96 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apt.13456/abstract;jsessionid=3444A05869A87B30A6F3CBD1EC6361C8.f03t01
4: Pan G, Wang L. Swallowable wireless capsule endoscopy: Progress and technical challenges. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2012;2012:841691. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2012/841691/
5: Kalantar-Zadeh K, Yao CK, Berean KJ, Ha N, Ou JZ, Ward SA, Pillai N, Hill J, Cottrell JJ, Dunshea FR, et al. Intestinal gas capsules: A proof-of-concept demonstration. Gastroenterology 2016;150:37-9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016508515015139
KEYWORDS: Gut Microbiome, Alimentary Canal, Gastrointestinal Tract, Fermentation, Metabolome, Nutrition, Telemetry, Ingestible Sensors
Wireless Non-Invasive Advanced Control of Microprocessor Prostheses and Orthoses
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a non-invasive technology to wirelessly control a microprocessor prosthetic foot or hand, or upper or lower limb microprocessor controlled orthosis. The technology must be able to be used within a prosthetic socket and extend beyond the socket for patients who do not use a socket (e.g. osseointegration) and to harness proximal information (e.g. knee, thigh, and hip information for patients with transtibial amputation).
DESCRIPTION: Due to the most recent conflicts, 52% of all casualties presented with limb injury (1) including more than 1600 amputations. It is of utmost importance that these individuals continue to receive advanced rehabilitative care, including orthotic and prosthetic devices, that allows them to achieve their functional goals, including the possibility of returning to duty. Advanced prosthetic and orthotic devices have become increasingly prevalent in the marketplace in the past 5 years. Powered prosthetic hands with multiple degrees of freedom; powered prosthetic knees and feet that return anatomical range of motion and provide power generation; and powered upper limb orthoses that assist with activities of daily living, are just a few examples. All of these devices are controlled with microprocessors through information gained from the environment (force sensors, accelerometers, etc.) and information generated by the users, typically muscle activity. That information is often not robust enough to control these devices to provide seamless user-intended control, allowing users to control their devices without thinking (2). Another advancement that is becoming reality in the United States is osseointegration. In this procedure, the residual bone is implanted with a surgical attachment which eventually becomes integrated into the bone. A prosthetic device can then be attached to an abutment of the implant from the skin, eliminating the need for a socket. A limitation, however, especially for patients with transhumeral amputation is that they can no longer use wired, socket based, myoelectric prostheses. A wireless, non-invasive system is desired that would be able to harness any available physiological information (at the level of injury or proximally) to promote user intent control a microprocessor prosthetic foot or hand, or orthosis.
PHASE I: Conceptualize and design an innovative solution for a wireless system to provide human physiological signals to commercialized microprocessor controlled prosthetics and orthotics. Designs should be able to interface with current prosthetic components (i.e. easily implemented into the users current device(s)). The specifications of the device should provide high-fidelity information of the physiological signals that are being acquired. Justification must be provided for sampling rates of other physiological signals. Specifications must also be provided on how physiological data will be handled between the signal acquisition and control of prosthetic components. The required Phase I deliverables will include: 1) a research design for engineering the device, 2) A preliminary prototype with limited testing to demonstrate proof-of-concept evidence that demonstrates the ability to harvest physiological information from users in a non-invasive way, and 3) a plan to submit a package to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other supportive data may also be provided during this 6-month Phase I effort
PHASE II: The investigator shall design, develop, test, finalize, and validate the practical implementation of the prototype system that implements the Phase I methodology for a wireless system to provide human physiological signals to commercialized microprocessor controlled prosthetics and orthotics, over this 2-year effort. The prototype should demonstrate improved functional ability and patient satisfaction beyond current prescribed devices through testing with patients with limb injuries. Final specifications of the device that contribute to ease of use (e.g. response time, donning/doffing, etc.) should be incorporated as patient reported outcomes during testing. The investigator shall also describe in detail the transition plan for the Phase III effort. The testing and practical implementation of the prototype system should be relevant to Service Members who have experienced limb trauma requiring the use of a prosthesis or orthosis. These patients are often young and have previously demonstrated Return to Duty, occupation, and other life activities requiring advanced technologies. The demonstration of prototype systems should be rigorous enough to demonstrate the abilities of the system to function in different environments and perform many different daily activities beyond the current standard of care. Investigators should have a package assembled to submit for clearance to the FDA by the end of Phase II.
PHASE III: Plans on the commercialization/technology transition and regulatory pathway should be executed here and lead to FDA clearance/approval. The small business should also consider a strategy to secure additional funding from non-SBIR government sources and /or the private sector to support these efforts. The vendor shall work with industry partners to develop a final commercial product that will allow user intent control advanced prosthetic and orthotic devices. Investigators are encouraged to work with military clinics (for example, a military treatment facility that treats patients with amputation. The three main centers are Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, San Antonio Military Medical Center, and the Naval Medical Center “ San Diego)
1: Belmont Jr, P. J., McCriskin, B. J., Sieg, R. N., Burks, R., & Schoenfeld, A. J. (2012). Combat wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2009. Journal of trauma and acute care surgery, 73(1), 3-12.
2: Tucker, M.R., Olivier, J., Pagel, A., Bleuler, H., Bouri, M., Lambercy, O., del R MillÃ¡n, J., Riener, R., Vallery, H. and Gassert, R. (2015). Control strategies for active lower extremity prosthetics and orthotics: a review. Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, 12(1), 1.
KEYWORDS: Control, Prosthesis, Orthosis, Osseointegration
Medical Device to Assess the Viability of Tissue Prior to Skin Grafting
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: To develop, design, and demonstrate new technology that will allow surgeons to precisely, quickly, and objectively assess the viability of tissue in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the debridement (excision) of necrotic tissue prior to skin grafting.
DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense has an urgent need for clinical technologies that will give surgeons the ability to assess the adequacy of burn wound excision. These technologies must be able to efficiently determine tissue viability in real time and instrumentation must be easily manipulated in a surgical environment. The current clinical standard for treatment of full and deep partial thickness burn wounds is excision of the necrotic tissue followed by split thickness skin graft [1, 2]. The purpose of the excision is to remove any tissue that might serve as an inflammatory nidus or source of infection. The goal of the surgeon is to leave a wound bed containing viable tissue to which a skin graft can adhere and integrate. The primary problem with excision is the inability to objectively assess the viability of the tissue . Although bleeding is typically assumed to mean the tissue is viable, this assessment is visual in nature and does not preclude the possibility that some necrotic tissue may be inadvertently left in the wound bed that may cause complications later. This potential problem leads many surgeons to simply excise the entire dermis down to the facial plane. Although this full excision precludes the inadvertent retention of necrotic tissue, skin grafts applied to fascia typically perform poorly as they adhere to the underlying tissue and undergo contraction, requiring additional surgeries to correct . Although there are devices and technologies available or in early stages of development that allow assessment of tissue viability [5, 6], they are inadequate for real time diagnosis and difficult to use in a surgical setting. The most successful techniques track blood flow, measuring temperatures changes or vascular patency. The two most promising techniques are Laser Doppler Imaging (LDI) and Indocyanine green angiography (ICG), however both have significant caveats . ICG requires injection of a fluorescent dye that is associated with potential severe side effects . LDI has demonstrated accurate assessment of burn severity, however limitations include long scan times and superficial resolution. Comparison of LDI to the clinical standard of visual assessment shows that LDI is only superior if the burn is more than 48 hours old . The goal of this project is to develop new technology for surgeons to assess tissue viability in real-time during excision of burned, necrotic tissue at Medical Treatment Facilities (military role of care 4). Once the technology is implemented successfully at role of care 4, the potential for fielding further forward in Field Hospitals (military role of care 3) or Medical Companies (military role of care 2) will be considered. The retention of viable tissue in the wound bed would improve long term outcomes following skin grafting and reduce the number of surgeries required for complete repair. Technical objectives to achieve the goals of this STTR topic include: Improved or equivalent accuracy of tissue viability assessment over existing methods. If the ability to assess viability is equivalent to other technologies, then such results should be paired with improvements in ease of use and/or response times. The device or equipment should be easily manipulated in a surgical setting. Large, bulky devices would not be acceptable. The device should have response times in the range of seconds, providing a visual image of easily interpretable tissue viability to the surgeon.
PHASE I: In the Phase I effort, a complete design of tissue viability technology should be formulated, and the fabrication procedures should be developed for representative device implementations that can assess markers of tissue viability (e.g., tissue oxygenation). It is expected that physical attributes such as sensitivities, dynamic range, and response time will be predicted as a function of the material and device structure. It is also expected that the field of view be no smaller than 10 x 10 inches for real-time assessment of tissue viability. The relative performance of the devices should be assessed. The Phase I effort should also include fabrication experiments and bench-marking that demonstrate an adequate capability for meeting the expected challenges in fabricating the proposed technology. Specific milestones include the ability to show real-time changes to the post-excisional remaining tissues such that a surgeon viewing the output could make determinations about whether or not to excise additional tissue.
PHASE II: In the Phase II effort, a prototype technology should be fabricated and demonstrated. The performance of the technology should be fully evaluated in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, dynamic range, and limit of detection. The Food and Drug Administration regulatory requirements vary depending on the device classification. As part of the phase II effort, the performer is expected to develop a regulatory strategy to achieve FDA clearance for the new technology. Interactions with the FDA regarding the device classification and an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), as appropriate, should be initiated. Essential design and development documentation to support FDA clearance, as described in the Quality System Regulation (21 CFR 820.30), should be capture including but not limited to design planning, input, output, review, verification, validation, transfer, changes, and a design history file. The project needs to deliver theoretical/experimental results that provide evidence of efficacy in animal models. The studies should be designed to support an application for FDA clearance.
PHASE III: During phase III, it is envisioned that requirements to support an application for device clearance from the FDA should be completed. As part of that, scalability, repeat-ability and reliability of the proposed technology should be demonstrated. Devices should be fabricated using standard fabrication technologies and reliability. The proposal should include a commercialization plan for the product that demonstrates how these requirements will be addressed. It is anticipated that there could be dual-use applications for this technology in clinical monitoring of graft perfusion and revascularization and ischemia. This technology is envisioned for use in surgical intervention for severe burn wounds in fixed medical treatment facilities. As such, the technology should have both military and civilian applications. Procurement of such technology would be at the discretion of the medical treatment facility.
1: Janzekovic Z. A new concept in the early excision and immediate grafting of burns. J Trauma. 1970;10:1103“8.
2: Pape SA, Skouras CA, Byrne PO. An audit of the use of laser Doppler imaging (LDI) in the assessment of burns of intermediate depth. Burns 2001;27:233“9.
3: Devgan L, Bhat S, Aylward S, Spence RJ. Modalities for the assessment of burn wound depth. J Burns Wounds 2006;5:e2.
4: Allen J, Howell K. Microvascular imaging: techniques and opportunities for clinical physiological measurements. Physiol Meas. 2014 Jul;35(7):R91-R141.
5: Li Z, et al. Non-invasive transdermal two-dimensional mapping of cutaneous oxygenation with a rapid-drying liquid bandage. Biomed Opt Express. 2014 Oct 1;5(11):3748-64.
6: Snowden JM. Wound closure: an analysis of the relative contributions of contraction and epithelialization. J Surg Res. 1984;37:453“63.
7: Fletcher JL, Cancio LC, Sinha I, Leung KP, Renz EM, Chan RK. Inability to determine tissue health is main indication of allograft use in intermediate extent burns. Burns. 2015 Dec;41(8):1862-7.
8: Orgill DP. Excision and skin grafting of thermal burns. N Engl J Med. 2009;360:893“901.
9: Hoeksema H, Van de Sijpe K, Tondu T, Hamdi M, Van Landuyt K, Blondeel P, et al. Accuracy of early burn depth assessment by laser Doppler imaging on different days post burn. Burns 2009;35:36“45.
KEYWORDS: Split Thickness Skin Graft, Full Thickness Excision, Necrotic Tissue, Debridement, Viability
Electro-Optic Transmissive Scanner
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop thin, light weight, low power, large aperture, electro-optic transmissive scanner.
DESCRIPTION: The US Navy is moving toward Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as new platforms for sensors and weapons. All systems to be carried by UAVs must carefully consider the size, weight and electrical power (SWAP) restrictions imposed by the UAVs limited capacities. For scanning optical sensors, such as turreted visible and infrared imaging systems, the turret itself comprises a major portion of the SWAP budget. For large aperture, low light sensors, a mechanically scanned reflective mirror is not viable due to its high weight and large power requirements, on the order of 50 pounds and 500 watts, respectively. A thin, large diameter electro-optic (EO) transmissive scanner weighing less than 5 pounds and drawing less than 50 watts would solve the weight and power problem and significantly reduce the volume (Size) required by the scanner sub-system enabling many optical sensors on UAVs. For example, a transmissive scanner for a 1 foot diameter optical aperture that is 1 inch tall (0.02 cubic feet) would replace a 1cubic foot reflective mirror scanner, a 50X volume reduction. Placed at the optical sensors input window, the EO transmissive scanner would directly transfer a portion of the +/- 45 degree total field of regard (PI/2 steradians) to the optical receiving system. Further, the agile scanner would be able to provide a stable image by correcting for platform movements during image collection. With low power control signals the scanning pointing vector would be directed to a portion of the total field within milliseconds so that the imaging system could observe the entire filed of regard multiple times per second. Both polarized and un-polarized light transmission should be considered. Initially, the visible wavelength range (400 to 700 nm) is of primary interest but there are many applications in the near infrared wavelength range as well. Total transmission should exceed 90% efficiency and apertures as large as 30 centimeters in diameter should be considered. UAV platforms experience vibration, shock and G-forces in various directions during normal operations. The final transmissive scanner solution should be capable of operating under these conditions [Ref 2]. The included references [2-5] suggest techniques to systematically control an optical wavefront, in essence steer the optical input. Note, however, that some techniques have limitations, such as polarization sensitivity or very narrow angle acceptance. This topic is striving for a more general purpose non-mechanical optical scanning device.
PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility for the development of the Electro-Optic Transmissive Scanner, as discussed in the Description section through validated modeling and simulation and identify the primary technical risks of the concept.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a working bench-top design of the Electro-Optic Transmissive Scanner. Sufficiently harden the bench-top design for testing and demonstration under moderate vibration and g-force loading (see MIL_STD-810G, Part 2). Design and develop a working prototype based on the results of the bench-top design. The working prototype must address technical risks, validate the draft specifications, and demonstrate the functionality of the overall design.
PHASE III: Document the design and capabilities of the Electro-Optic Transmissive Scanner prototype developed under Phase II. Work with the government to develop specifications and first articles that address unique as well as all other concept elements. Provide support by finalizing and validating the agile, transmissive scanner design based on the Tactical ASW LIDAR project needs. Integrate and test such that the transmissive scanner can be mated with existing or new sensor systems. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The development of light weight large aperture, transmissive scanning systems has commercial potential for fast scan applications such as terrain mapping LIDAR and remote surveillance.
1. MIL-STD-810G. (2008). Department of Defense Test Standard Method, Section 2, p514.6C1 “ 514.6C22, p516
2. A. Glushchenko, J. West. (2002). Polymer dispersed liquid crystals for fast electrically-controlled phase retarder. Polymer Preprints (Vol. 43, No 2, p. 532-533)
3. Bin Wang, Guoqiang Zhang, Anatoliy Glushchenko, John L. West, Philip J. Bos, and Paul F. McManamon. (2005). Stressed liquid-crystal optical phased array for fast tip-tilt wave front correction. Appl. Opt. (Vol. 44, No. 36, p. 7754)
4. J. Kim, C. Oh, M. J. Escuti, L. Hosting, and S. Serati, Proc. (2008). Wide-angle, non-mechanical beam steering using thin liquid crystal polarization gratings. SPIE. (VI, Vol. 7093)
5. P.F. McManamon et al. (2009). A Review of Phased Array Steering for Narrow-Band Electro-optical Systems. Proceedings of the IEEE (Vol. 97, No. 6, p 1078) -
KEYWORDS: Transmissive Scanner; Polarization Insensitive Beam Steering; Optical Phased Array; Agile Scanner; Image Stabilization; Wavefront Steering
Multi-Phase Flame Propagation Modeling for Present and Future Combustors and Augmentors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Accurately characterize the effect of liquid fuel spray on gas phase turbulent combustion and develop a physics-based spray model that can be implemented in a computationally-efficient manner to effectively balance the species, mass, momentum, and energy between a fuel spray and its turbulent combustion flow field.
DESCRIPTION: Current models for droplet burning usually fall into two categories. The first are detailed numerical integrations where the governing equations are numerically discretized, linearized, and solved [Ref 3, 4, 7, 8]. These computations are often demanding since sufficient resolution is required to approximate the gradients of temperature and composition. While these models are valuable for understanding quasi-steady burning behavior of isolated droplets, they contain far too many degrees of freedom for incorporation into a larger spray calculation, which millions of droplets (or groups of droplets) are transported. The second category of models is entirely analytical, which rely on layers of approximations to obtain a closed-form solution [Ref 5, 6]. These models are known to greatly over-predict flame radii and under-predict burn times. Intermediate semi-analytical models with temperature and composition-dependent transport properties have been developed with limited success [Ref 2]. This model should be capable of transporting species, mass, momentum, and energy to the surrounding flow at operating conditions relevant to Navy propulsion systems using JP-5, better than existing models by evaluating them with relevant experimental data. This includes using computational resources efficiently during runtime, encouraging pre-calculation of time-consuming terms, if necessary. The model must be made modular by specifying standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which enable the models to be utilized as libraries in turbulent reacting flow codes relevant to current and future Navy gas turbine engine applications of interest, such as operation envelope and system durability improvement. The interfaces must be independent of code-specific data structures in order to maintain generality and be well-documented for ease of use; this includes lists of all assumptions made and model limitations. The availability of conventional LES models, finite-rate chemical kinetics, and primary spray atomization can be assumed to exist in the turbulent reacting flow codes, but all other aspects of the droplet/spray model must be enabled through the new modules. Coordination with an Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) is recommended, but not required. OEM's may be a source for validation data as well as potential customers of this analysis tool.
PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate the feasibility of an at-runtime computationally-efficient model that can balance species, mass, momentum, and energy between an aviation fuel spray and its flow-field. Develop a plan for implementing the model via APIs with standard interfaces that are well-documented.
PHASE II: Demonstrate detailed verification and validation of the prototype of the at-runtime computationally-efficient model that can balance species, mass, momentum, and energy between JP-5 fuel spray and its flow-field by using experimental data sets. Demonstrate the model as APIs in reacting flow codes relevant to current and future Navy engine applications of interest. Deliver prototype model libraries and documentation.
PHASE III: Refine and finalize, as needed, the Phase II developed droplet/spray model, allowing the government to internally support design, performance, operability, and/or lifing analysis of naval propulsion systems, such as gas turbine engine combustors and augmentors that implement spray combustion processes. Potential sources of validation data and customers of the model libraries include gas turbine engine OEM's. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Any spray combustion application in the commercial sector will be able to apply this technology to determine bulk combustion phenomena based on local gasification rates of spray droplets. These include, but are not limited to, internal combustion engines and power generation turbine engines.
1. Neophytou, A. & Mastorakos, E., (2012). SPINTHIR: An ignition model for gas turbines [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243651
2. Sisti, J., & DesJardin, P.E., (2013). A semi-analytical, multizone model of droplet combustion with varying properties. Combustion Theory and Modelling,17 (4) pp. 657-681. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13647830.2013.791725
3. Manzello S.L., Choi M.Y., Kazakov A., Dryer F.L., Dobashi R., & Hirano T., (2000). The Burnings of Large N-heptane Droplets in Microgravity. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 28 (1), pp. 1079-1086 Retrieved from http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20020028056.pdf
4. Puri, Ishwar K. (1991). Second law analysis of convective droplet burning. Proceedings of the 3rd ASME/JSME Thermal Engineering Joint Conference, pp. 65-70. Retrieved from https://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_4078639&database=cpx&view=abstract
5. Law C.K., (1976). Unsteady droplet combustion with droplet heating. Combustion and Flame, 26 (C), pp. 17-22 Retrieved from https://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_543666&database=cpx&view=abstract
6. Law, C.K., & Law, H.K., (1977). Theory of quasi-steady one-dimensional diffusional combustion with variable properties including distinct binary diffusion coefficients. Combustion and Flame, 29 (C), pp. 269-275. Retrieved from https://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_694366&database=cpx&view=abstract
7. Jin, Y., Shaw, B.D. (2010). Computational modeling of n-heptane droplet combustion in air-diluent environments under reduced-gravity. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. 53 (25-26), pp. 5782-5791. Retrieved from https://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_134e4fb12bc5841c65M6fce2061377553&database=cpx&view=abstract
8. Xiaoyi, L., Soteriou, M.C., Wookyung, K., Cohen, J.M. (2014). High fidelity simulation of the spray generated by a realistic swirling flow injector. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. 136 (7). Retrieved from https://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_M46999411144bc4b7d56M523610178163125&database=cpx&view=abstract-
KEYWORDS: Combustion; Spray; Jet Turbine Engine; Combustor; Augmentor; Modeling
Ignition Modeling for Present and Future Combustors and Augmentors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop an analysis tool that implements a fully functional physics-based computational model to characterize the likelihood of ignition in combustors and augmentors for various configurations of flight conditions and engine hardware.
DESCRIPTION: Having the ability to predict the optimal location and energy setting of an ignition kernel in a combustor or augmentor at any/all flight conditions will, at minimum, reduce the required energy for ignition at most flight envelope conditions, extending the life of the ignition system, reducing costs to the warfighter. At best, understanding the ignition limits of a combustor or augmentor could expand the operation envelope of an aircraft currently limited by engine re-ignition, increasing the capabilities of the warfighter. Current modeling technology uses simple empirical correlations of lean blowout (LBO) to determine ignition likelihood. Empirical models [Ref. 4, 5] assume a global extinction parameter based on global conditions. These models imply a relationship between blowout physics and ignition physics that may be unfounded. The probabilistic determination of location and magnitude of delivered energy for optimal relight performance is paramount to designing a viable replacement to current ignition systems. Recent studies [Ref. 6, 7] suggest energy location relative to the cross section of the flow field may be a key factor in ignition. Examples of probabilistic phenomena may include, but are not limited to, local turbulent mixing, actual energy delivered, and plasma kernel shape variation. This analysis tool should be capable of predicting the probability of ignition at operating conditions relevant to Navy propulsion systems, which may range from below Atmospheric Temperature and Pressure (ATP) to above supercritical conditions, using JP-5 fuel better than existing models by evaluating them with relevant experimental data. The analysis tool must be made modular by specifying standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which enable the models to be utilized as libraries in turbulent reacting flow codes relevant to current and future Navy gas turbine engine applications of interest, such as operation envelope and system durability improvement. The interfaces must be independent of code-specific data structures in order to maintain generality and be well-documented for ease of use; this includes lists of all assumptions made and model limitations. The availability of conventional large eddy simulation (LES) models, finite-rate chemical kinetics, spray atomization, and spray gasification can be assumed to exist in the turbulent reacting flow codes, but all other aspects of the ignition model must be enabled through the new modules. Coordination with an Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) is recommended, but not required. OEM's may be a source for validation data as well as potential customers of this analysis tool.
PHASE I: Design and demonstrate the feasibility for the development of an ignition model to probabilistically predict the likelihood of light-off for fuels relevant to Navy. Develop a plan for implementing the model via APIs with standard interfaces that are well-documented.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate detailed verification and validation of the prototype design tool to probabilistically predict the likelihood of light-off with JP-5. Demonstrate the model as APIs in reacting flow codes relevant to current and future Navy engine applications of interest. Deliver prototype analysis tool libraries and documentation.
PHASE III: Refine and finalize, as needed, the Phase II developed ignition analysis tool, allowing the government to internally support design, performance, operability, and/or lifing analysis of naval propulsion systems such as gas turbine engine combustors and augmentors that implement ignition processes. Potential sources of validation data and customers of the model libraries include gas turbine engine OEM's. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Any combustion application in the commercial sector will be able to apply this technology to determine light-off or ignition. These include, but are not limited to, internal combustion engines and power generation turbine engines.
1. Neophytou, A., & Mastorakos, E. (2012). SPINTHIR: An ignition model for gas turbines [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243651
2. Krisman, A., E. R. Hawkes, A. Bhagatwala, M. Talei, and J. H. Chen. (2014). A Direct Numerical Simulation Investigation of Ignition at Diesel Relevant Conditions. Proceedings of 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alex_Krisman/publication/267640174_A_Direct_Numerical_Simulation_Investigation_of_Ignition_at_Diesel_Relevant_Conditions/links/5457136f0cf2bccc490f3a5b.pdf
3. Luong, M. B., Yu, G. H., Lu, T., Chung, S. H., & Yoo, C. S. (2015). Direct numerical simulations of ignition of a lean n-heptane/air mixture with temperature and composition inhomogeneities relevant to HCCI and SCCI combustion. Combustion and Flame, 162(12), 4566-4585. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010218015003181
4. King, C.R. (1957). A semi-empirical correlation of afterburner combustion efficiency and lean-blowout fuel-air-ratio data with several afterburner-inlet variables and afterburner length. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. NACA RM E57F26
5. Huelskamp, B.C., Kiel, B.V., Lynch, A.C., Stanislav, K., Gokulakrishnan, P.,Klassen, M.S. (2011). Improved correlation for blowout of bluff body stabilized flames. Proceedings of the 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum
6. Sforzo, B., Kim, J., Seitzman, J.M., Jagoda, J. (2011). Spark kernel energy and evolution measurements for turbulent non-premixed ignition systems. Augmentor Design Systems Conference. Ponte Verda Beach, FL, March 16-18
7. Sforzo, B., Kim, J., Lambert, A., Jagoda, J., Menon, S., Seitzman, J. (2013). High energy spark kernel evolution: measurement and modeling. Proceedings of the 8th US National Combustion Meeting. Retrieved fromhttps://www.engineeringvillage.com/share/document.url?mid=cpx_594c68f01509076a465M753910178163171&database=cpx&view=abstract-
KEYWORDS: Combustion; Ignition; Plasma; Combustor; Augmentor; Modeling
Complex-Knowledge Visualization Tool
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Info Systems, Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Develop a decision support tool that translates and synthesizes cognitive and learning science which is contained primarily in the academic literature, into information that is useful and usable by senior management when they make decisions about training and performance investments and acquisitions.
DESCRIPTION: Design a tool that provides investment and acquisition decision support to high level management personnel. The design should handle the management and visualization of a complex, sophisticated, and changing knowledge base related to the impact of technologies and instructional strategies on human learning and performance and address: The differential impact of high versus low fidelity simulation-based training on decision making and perceptual skill proficiency and retention, The impact of real-time instructor process feedback versus computer-based outcome feedback on proficiency acquisition, The impact of new technology and increased complexity in the operational platform on the practice time required to maintain proficiency, The impact of changes to the deployment preparation timeline (e.g., a longer than expected platform maintenance period) on proficiency (e.g., of pilots, maintenance personnel, sonar specialists, etc.), The effect of reduced training flight hours during deployment on proficiency levels. A great deal of work, including past SBIR/STTR work, has been performed to develop methods and tools for finding patterns of information in the vast web of data collected and held by the military and intelligence communities (e.g., Boury-Brisset, A., 2004). The results of that work and, in particular, methodologies that underlie the resulting tools, may be generalizable to the challenge posed by this STTR topic of searching through tens to hundreds of thousands of research reports to find the most recent cognitive and learning science related to a given funding or acquisition decision. Further challenges are to extract meaningful patterns of results, assess each patterns credibility, and determine how to treat conflicting results. These challenges may also benefit from that prior work for the military and intelligence communities. The research base mined by the tool should include relevant research results from the educational and cognitive psychology research literatures, including topics such as transfer appropriate processing, levels of processing, automaticity, skill decay, the development of cognitive efficiencies as expertise is acquired, and the development of metacognitive skill for using those efficiencies appropriately. Design a means by which the tool can give its users insight into chief findings; uncertainty and variety in the relevant research literature; research gaps; and impacts on the acquisition decision (e.g., learning benefits against short-term cost savings). Design an adaptable architecture and user-interaction framework that link the different elements of science with the types of questions outlined above. Decision makers should be given means and support for updating the tools knowledge base at an appropriate frequency and choosing from a variety of information organizational and visualization schemes. Because the research base changes over time, a decision support tool that draws from it will need to be adaptable by the decision makers who use it, not just the tools developers. It must be adaptable not just during its proposed development period, but also beyond it. It should be designed so that it can be adapted to interface with new information sources and new bodies of relevant research and to search for new types of research patterns. The tool should furthermore be extensible to support decisions about human-systems acquisition programs in general and decisions involving the introduction and use of new technologies within complex cognitive work domains, where proficiency and performance may be impacted. The developer will have rights to proprietary techniques and/or mechanisms they build into the system that allow the system to be evolved.
PHASE I: Develop a proof-of-concept and demonstrate the proposed tools ability to synthesize relevant data using representative and special use cases and provide basic concepts of how information will be visually presented. Obtain feedback on the concepts usefulness, understandability, and usability from senior personnel responsible for investment and acquisition decisions.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I effort, iteratively develop and evaluate the tools architecture, user interfaces, functionality, and products. Ensure training science is represented accurately and in ways that take into account stakeholder time constraints, goals, and priorities. Provide naturalistic evaluation results that characterize the tool in terms of its usefulness, usability, and understandability, and demonstrate that stakeholders can use and adapt the tool to meet key needs independently of a software developer.
PHASE III: Further refine the tool based upon testing and early user experience and improve as necessary. Transition the Complex-Knowledge Visualization Tool to the acquisition community users via PMA-205. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The decision support tool is applicable to decision making in all complex domains in which a large and growing body of research exists and should be consulted to achieve smarter decision making about funding and policy. Example private-sector domains include the environment, education, economics, healthcare, and workplace safety. Private companies could use a tool such as the one proposed in this topic to support decisions about new technologies and research to pursue. The tool could also be used to communicate with stakeholders about complex information related to a wide range of decisions.
1. Ericsson, K. A., Charness, N., Feltovich, P. J., & Hoffman, R. R. (Eds.). (2006). The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (pp. 683-703). NY, NY: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://www.cambridge.org/nu/academic/subjects/psychology/cognition/cambridge-handbook-expertise-and-expert-performance
2. Boury-Brisset, A. (2004). Ontological approach to military knowledge modeling and management. Paper presented at the RTO IST Symposium on Military Data and Information Fusion, held in Prague, Czech Republic, 20-22 October 2003, and published in RTO-MP-IST-040.
3. Kirchhoff, C. J., Lemos, M. C., & Dessai, S. (2013). Actionable knowledge for environmental decision making: broadening the usability of climate science. Annual review of environment and resources, 38(1), 393-414. Retrieved from http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/77662/
4. Ruppert, T., Dambruch, J., KrÃ¤mer, M., Balke, T., Gavanelli, M., Bragaglia, S., Chesani, F., Milano, M. & Kohlhammer, J. (2015). Visual Decision Support for Policy Making: Advancing Policy Analysis with Visualization. In Policy Practice and Digital Science (pp. 321-353). NY, NY: Springer. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=de&user=cZcfjuQAAAAJ&citation_for_view=cZcfjuQAAAAJ:8k81kl-MbHgC
5. Succar, B. (2009). Building information modelling framework: A research and delivery foundation for industry stakeholders. Automation in construction, 18(3), 357-375. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/170356/Building_Information_Modelling_framewor
6. Welp, M., de la Vega-Leinert, A., Stoll-Kleemann, S., & Jaeger, C. C. (2006). Science-based stakeholder dialogues: Theories and tools. Global Environmental Change, 16(2), 170-181. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwiBmv-P_KXOAhVEziYKHQOEA2wQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hnee.de%2F_obj%2FF7DE8626-C861-4DEE-A801-6BE1023023E5%2Foutline%2F03.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHvjbrn8xPQ8CZUVIrhWxxNnd9Qzg&sig2=lrP7RPDv4qqWBVcxxB3G4Q&bvm=bv.128617741,d.eWE-
KEYWORDS: Decision Support; Science-based Decision Making; Facilitation Of Stakeholder Understanding; Scientific Knowledge; Visualization; Knowledge Management
Reduce Order Airwake Modeling for Aircraft/Ship Integration Modeling and Simulation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop efficient and accurate real-time reduced order modeling (ROM) methods for four-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predicted ship airwake data. Develop user friendly tools to process CFD datasets to create ROMs and to implement ROMs in shipboard simulation in a plug and play manner.
DESCRIPTION: NAVAIR employs computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to create high fidelity ship airwake models for integration with real-time six-degree-of-freedom aircraft simulation models for shipboard aircraft launch and recovery simulations. The unsteady, time-accurate CFD airwake models are stored on three dimensional grids encompassing the flight path of interest (a subset of the original CFD). Velocity data consisting of three orthogonal components are stored at each grid node. Because the CFD models are time-accurate, multiple sets of grid data are stored for a given time span and data frequency (typically 60 seconds at 10Hz). Datasets for just one wind-over-deck (WOD) angle can require ~6-10GB of storage. Reduced order modeling (ROM) methods are sought to reduce the data storage requirements for each WOD solution set by at least a factor of 1000 while maintaining data spatial and temporal correlation and frequency content in the 0.2 to 2.0 Hz range. ROM methods exist that are based on stochastic atmospheric models; however, while data storage requirements are significantly reduced, temporal and spatial correlation and high frequency content are not adequately preserved. Additionally, implementation of both CFD and ROM models is problematic for multiple reasons including: development of real-time search algorithms, alignment of multiple reference frames (e.g. airwake, aircraft, ship), and portability to various operating systems (e.g. Linux and Windows). This topic also seeks to develop simulation integration verification tools including: airwake alignment visualization tools, standardized verification processes and verification datasets [Refs 1-3]. Novel methods to extract data from original CFD datasets during real time simulations are also sought. All tools must be portable to Windows and Linux platforms.
PHASE I: Design, develop and determine feasibility of creating reduced order modeling methods that reduce data storage by at least three orders of magnitude while maintaining spatial and temporal data correlation and data frequency content in the 0.2Hz-20Hz range. Demonstrate feasibility of proposed method for using a government furnished information (GFI) CFD airwake dataset.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype of the real-time reduced order modeling tool from Phase I. Develop simulation integration methods that allow real-time implementation of ROM models derived from airwake volume grids consisting of up to two million nodes and assuming velocity data are required at approximately 100 points at a 10 Hz frame rate. Expand methods to use original CFD data source in addition to extracted subsets. Develop simulation integration verification tool box to ensure ROM models are properly aligned with multiple aircraft simulation reference systems including both numerical and visual verification. Source code and compilation documentation is required. Demonstrate integration and execution of ROM model with GFI NAVAIR Ship Airwake Analysis for Enhanced Dynamic Interface (SAFEDI) offline flight simulation tool for both rotary-wing and fixed-wing applications [Ref 1].
PHASE III: Finalize and transition the real-time reduced order modeling tool to include user selectable fidelity and scope. Refine as needed ROM fidelity to support future air platform control law development and dynamic interface modeling and simulation efforts. Develop necessary elements to integrate model(s) with manned flight simulation and to test effectiveness for pilot training. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The toolset developed under this STTR is relevant to all flight simulation applications where environment-specific air turbulence models are required including ship board aircraft launch and recovery simulations and air-to-air refueling applications. The underlying technologies can be used with any traditional 6DOF aircraft simulation including commercial flight simulators.
1. Polsky, S. A., Wilkinson, C. H., Nichols, J., et.al. (2016). Development and Application of the SAFEDI Tool for Virtual Dynamic Interface Ship Airwake Analysis. AIAA Paper 2016-1771, presented at the AIAA SciTech Conference, San Diego, CA. Retrieved from http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2016-1771
2. Xin, H., & He,C. (2007). A Statistical Turbulence Model for Shipboard Rotorcraft Simulations. American Helicopter Society 63rd Annual Forum, Virginia Beach, VA. Retrieved from https://vtol.org/store/product/a-statistical-turbulence-model-for-shipboard-rotorcraft-simulations-3486.cfm
3. Roscoe, M.F., & Wilkinson, C.H. (2002). DIMSS “ JSHIPs Modeling and Simulation Process for Ship Helicopter Testing & Training AIAA-2002-4432. Presented at the AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit, Monterey, CA. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248743959_DIMSS_-_JSHIP's_Modeling_and_Simulation_Process_for_ShipHelicopter_Testing_and_Training-
KEYWORDS: Reduced Order Model (ROM); Airwake; Turbulence; Modeling And Simulation; CFD; 6DOF Simulation
Efficient Mid-Wave Infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers with Room-Temperature Wall-Plug Efficiency over 40%
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Chem Bio_defense, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) with emission at ~4.6 micron and wall-plug efficiency over 40% at room temperature. The output power of a single QCL should emit over 10W output power in continuous wave (CW) mode while maintaining excellent beam quality with M2 < 1.5.
DESCRIPTION: High-power, cost-effective, compact, and reliable mid-wave infrared (MWIR) laser sources operating in CW regime on thermoelectric coolers (TEC) are highly desirable and critical for current and future Navy applications, such as directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) and other surveillance and sensing applications. Individual QCLs emitting at ~ 4.6 micron with ~5 Watts CW output power and wall-plug efficiency ~20% at room temperature (RT) have been recently demonstrated [Ref 1]. Due to the increasing threat posed by current and future generation heat seeking missiles to military aircrafts, compact, reliable and high-power MWIR laser producing high output power in CW regime are increasingly critical for the Navy's current and future needs in DIRCM for installation in a relevant military aircraft environment ,either manned or unmanned. To increase the aggregate output power level of the laser sources, one can combine the multiple laser beams from a QCL array using either coherent beam or spectral beam combining technique. The beam-combined output power scales with the output power of each of the individual QCLs or QCL array within a beam combing scheme. To combine multiple beams from multiple QCLs, the approach necessitates fabricating multiple QCLs in a linear array. However, packaging these QCLs in an array poses many difficult challenges. These include QCLs' high thermal impedances, high electrical drive voltages, and low wall-plug efficiencies of QCLs. In contrast, unlike near infrared laser diodes, which have CW RT wall-plug efficiencies at ~70%, QCL's wall-plug efficiency typically is about four times smaller. These sub-par efficiencies are undoubtedly the root cause of many thermal related packaging challenges including more than five times required heat removal, thermally induced mechanical stress of the QCL array assembly and premature QCL failure. It has been reported in literature that the internal differential efficiency of a QCL as high as 87% [Ref 2] can be achieved by reducing active-region carrier leakage, leading to improvements in RT CW wall-plug efficiency to 21% [Ref 2]. Theoretical calculations [Ref 3] also indicate that RT CW wall-plug efficiency values approaching 40% are possible for optimized 4.6 micron -emitting QCL designs. It is therefore the goal of this STTR topic to develop QCLs emitting at ~4.6 um that can produce RT wall-plug efficiency no less than 40%, CW output power over 10 Watts, and output beam quality M2 < 1.5. The efficiency objective in this topic is to significantly alleviate the aforementioned adverse thermal impacts on high-performance QCLs. Furthermore, the high output efficiency would enable reduction of overall laser packaging and cooling system size and weight up to a factor of four. The additional size and weight reduction benefits are unequivocally important for future deployment of MWIR DIRCM systems on smaller manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. Most importantly, one of the most compelling advantages is that the high wall-plug efficiency would possibly eliminate high-power QCLs necessity for liquid based cooling system which is often incompatible with Navy avionic platform requirement.
PHASE I: Development of a viable QCL design that can significantly improve the RT CW wall-plug efficiency to over 40% of a TEC-cooled MWIR QCL emitting at ~4.6 micron.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate and deliver a prototype of a TEC-cooled MWIR QCL emitting at ~4.6 micron with a minimum RT CW wall-plug efficiency at 40%. The prototype is expected to be able to produce at least 10Watts CW output power and excellent beam quality with M2< 1.5.
PHASE III: Refine, as needed, and transition the high-power, high-efficiency TEC-cooled MWIR QCL for DoD application in the areas of DIRCM, and private sector application of advanced chemical sensors, and LIDAR. Develop a cost-effective manufacturing process for technology transition to system integration for field deployment on a Navy platform. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The commercial sector can significantly benefit from this technology development in the areas of detection of toxic industrial gases, environmental monitoring, and non-invasive medical health monitoring and sensing.
1. Y. Bai, N. Bandyopadhyay, S. Tsao, and M. Razeghi. (2011). Room temperature quantum cascade lasers with 27% wall-plug efficiency. Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 181102. https://www.osapublishing.org/ome/abstract.cfm?uri=ome-3-11-1872. Retrieved from http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0022-3727/49/4/043001/meta
2. Dan Botez, Chun-Chieh Chang and Luke J Mawst. (2015). Temperature sensitivity of the electro-optical characteristics for mid-infrared (Î»=3“16 µm)-emitting quantum cascade lasers. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Volume 49, Number 4 -
KEYWORDS: QCL; Wall-plug Efficiency; Thermal Load; Cooling; MWIR; Aircraft Protection
Innovative Packaging to Achieve Extremely Light Weight Sensor Pod Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop extremely light weight Pod capable of supporting modular sensor components for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle without sacrificing strength and durability.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy currently designs, tests and procures new Pods for each new airborne sensor that is developed. With movement toward Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as new platforms for sensors and weapons, the practice of a design for each new sensor is unrealistic and highlights the need for an innovative and lightweight, modular solution. All systems to be carried by UAVs must carefully consider the size and weight restrictions imposed by the UAVs limited capacities. UAV endurance, for example, is significantly reduced as sensor weight is added to the platform. Novel approaches for mounting sensor components, and system packaging, and assembling could lead to the use of extremely light weight, modular sensors. Versatility, cost of manufacture, vibration dampening, strength, durability and low coefficient of thermal expansion are all important considerations of a new, light weight packaging approach. General Pod Characteristics include everything but the modular components. An extremely light weight Pod solution is sought that can meet the following requirements. Pod Dimensions- o Length “ 7 feet, Width -15 inches, Height -16 inches o Shape “ Rectangular with maximum of 1.5 inch radius on the corners The Pod should be equipped with 14-inch spaced suspension lugs for MH-60R BRU 14/A compatible mounting. The Pod must attach to the platform via BRU-14/A attachment points [Ref 3]. The Pod should provide interface connection for data and power [Ref 2]. Pod maximum of 125 lb. including the mounting system for modular components, but not the modular components Pod should minimize vibration from the aircraft to the Pod Mounting system for undefined modular components should be capable of supporting top, bottom and side mounts throughout the Pod Mounting system for modular components should minimize vibration from the Pod to the modular components Pod must be capable of handling up to 175 lb. sensor weight Pod should have multiple access ports on top and side for installation and removal of modular components Pod should be sealed from the external environment and maintain 0.5 to 1 psig nitrogen internal pressure Pod should provide connections for Nitrogen purging/pressurization while simultaneously venting Pod should provide internal humidity measurement with an external display Pod should provide internal cooling capable of continuously removing 375 watts of heat to the exterior of the pod without external air flow into the Pod Pod should maintain the internal temperature at 65 F +/- 5 F for a 1 kilowatt internal head load Pod should have 16 inch horizontal by 12 inch vertical access covers on one side. Separation between covers should be minimized. Access panels should provide quick access to the modular components and must seal air tight when closed The complete Pod including access panels and vibration isolation must meet endurance requirements for 6000 hours of operation without maintenance. Shock and vibration resistance should be per [Ref 1] and [Ref 3]. The Pod should provide electrical bonding to the Pod structure via a continuous low impedance path from the modular components structural ground to the Pod Structure.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility for the development of an extremely light weight Pod capable of supporting modular sensor components. Demonstrate the proposed concept through validated modeling and simulation and identify the primary technical risks of the concept.
PHASE II: Design a full-scale Pod prototype based upon knowledge gained during Phase I. Accessibility of the internal compartment will be designed to satisfy the Navy's need to ensure compatibility with the new sensor component and in field service requirement. Fabricate full-scale prototype Pod for evaluation and demonstration by the Navy.
PHASE III: Refine final design and specifications, as needed. Address ground evaluation and prepare the Pod for flight approval and testing. Produce two Pods for certification. Assist in obtaining certification for flight on a NAVAIR aircraft. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Innovative, modular, light-weight packaging for airborne sensors can be applied to several commercial applications such as terrain mapping, urban mapping and planning and agriculture and forest management.
1. MIL-STD-810G. (2008). Department of Defense Test Standard Method, Section 2, p514.6C1 “ 514.6C22, p516. Retrieved from http://www.everyspec.com
2. MIL-STD-1760E. (2007). Class II Umbilical Interface. Department of Defense Interface Standard, Aircraft/Store Electrical Interconnection System. Retrieved from http://www.everyspec.com
3. MIL-STD-8591 CHG-1 (2012). Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard, Airborne Stores, Suspension Equipment and Aircraft-Store Interface. Retrieved from http://www.everyspec.com-
KEYWORDS: Modular Pod; Sensor Pod; Light Weight; Airborne Platform; LIDAR; BRU-14
Mitigation or Prevention of Aging Effects in Hydrocarbon Missile Fuels
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop new materials, methods, processes and prototypes that address problems associated with aging effects in hydrocarbon missile fuels such that future advanced fuels are not as susceptible to aging, and current fuel (i.e. JP-10) returning to the factory in missiles for recertification or demilitarization can be reused, without changing the fuel if possible.
DESCRIPTION: The unique characteristics of JP-10 (i.e., exo-tetrahydrodi (cyclopentadiene)) have made this synthetic hydrocarbon fuel the most widely used if not the only air-breathing missile fuel currently used by the United States military [Ref 1]. Harmful aging characteristics (such as fuel oxidation, fuel oxidation products (particulate matter, peroxides, gums), etc.) result from prolonged storage of JP-10 in missiles unless the fuel is stored under a blanket of inert gas. Incorporating an inert gas blanket into the fuel system increases missile cost and complexity as the required fuel storage capacity grows. The short-range Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile has a nitrogen blanketed fuel system while longer range missiles (e.g. Tomahawk and the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) have air blanketed fuel systems. Longer periods of onboard fuel storage (15 years or greater) are required with increases in missile service life (30 years or greater), compounding the problem of harmful aging characteristics. Increases in range and service life requirements affect fuel system design tradeoffs that may increase unit cost and life cycle cost. Both JP-10 and emerging higher energy-density hydrocarbon fuels for use in air-breathing missiles will benefit from new materials, methods, processes and prototypes that address problems associated with fuel aging effects. Fuel instability may occur in aging fuel situations and it involves multi-step chemical reactions, some of which are oxidation reactions. Oxygen in the small amount of air dissolved in the fuel attacks reactive compounds in the fuel. Additional reactions result in the formation of soluble gums and insoluble particulates. Soluble reaction products such as hydro-peroxides and peroxides may attack and shorten the life of some elastomeric fuel system components. Autoxidation is a self-accelerating free radical reaction that results in the precipitation of a solid phase insoluble in the fuel. The formation of insoluble materials can lead to many problems such as plugging of filters or fouling of engine parts. Antioxidants included in new JP-10 fuel are intended to interrupt this chain of reactions, preventing the formation of peroxides, soluble gums, or insoluble particulates. The current Tomahawk approach to addressing fuel aging problems is to return a missile to service with a blend of aged and new JP-10 fuel. This dilutes the existent gum contamination in the aged fuel such that the blended fuel contains no more than the 5mg/100mL maximum limit allowed by specification [Ref 2]. Additional antioxidant is also mixed into the blended fuel to inhibit oxidation reactions but that will have no effect on elastomeric issues. Clay filtering is a potential additional step to reduce higher gum levels, but clay is not sufficiently polar in chemical nature to remove the free radicals already formed in the fuel. Without removing these reactive species gum forms at a faster rate. Blending aged and new fuel to adjust the existent gum content is an inherently wasteful approach since a portion of the aged fuel will not be reused again. If the gum content were to increase over 15 years to above 10mg/100mL, the majority of the aged fuel would require indefinite storage or disposal. How high the gum content may rise over 15 years of storage is presently an unknown. Based on the data from laboratory testing conducted on service fuels and accelerated storage testing there is a high potential for storage degradation of JP-10 fuel and may not meet the current 15-year storage requirement. With the current approach, test and evaluation of different filter media at a minimum will have to be conducted. If a suitable fuel filter media is found then the problem of handling and disposing of that hazardous waste arises. Expensive engine testing may be necessary to demonstrate acceptable F415-WR-400 engine performance using degraded JP-10 fuel. As a specialty fuel used by a limited customer base JP-10 has a relatively high cost compared to other jet fuels like JP-4 and JP-5. Historically the cost of JP-10 has grown to nearly $20 per gallon. This is several times that of JP-5 used in Navy aircraft engines [Ref 3]. As the fuel ages the increased existent gum content is a risk to the performance of the missiles engine and fuel system. Currently the only risk free option for missile recertification is to use new fuel to maximize the years of service and dispose of large quantities of aged JP-10 fuel. Tactical Tomahawk missiles requiring recertification will start returning to the factory for recertification in the second half of Fiscal Year 2019. Over the following fifteen years, the factory could be receiving half-million gallons of aged JP-10 fuel valued about 10 million dollars.
PHASE I: Determine the technical feasibility of developing innovative materials, methods, processes and prototypes that support the goal that future advanced fuels are not as susceptible to aging, and current JP-10 fuel returning to the factory in missiles for recertification or demilitarization can be reconditioned to conform to MIL-DTL-87107D and have the storage life of a new fuel (15 years or greater). Potential solutions in this area can include filter media for reconditioning the fuel or fuel tank liners that delays or impedes the degradation of the fuel. Direct fuel additives will not be considered. Alternatives to the current approach must have a positive business case resulting from benefits like lowering the cost of fuel, reducing the chemical instability of fuel, addressing aging effects more cost-effectively, having lower environmental impact and carbon footprint, eliminating hazardous by-products, and reducing the logistics associated with fuel use and disposal.
PHASE II: Fully develop the alternative concept(s) conceived during Phase I which have the highest potential return on investment based on the Phase I Business Case Analysis. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the innovative materials, methods, processes through implementation into prototype fuel processing equipment or on a prototype system. Design and perform tests to validate the approach through measurement of the stability of the fuel to ensure it meets the desired storage requirements. Develop accurate correlations with accelerated storage testing and real time storage.
PHASE III: Construct and install processing equipment at the depot for technology demonstration of the fuel processing at the site. Demonstrate the performance and application of the technology developed on actual systems. The performance of the technology will be validated through the use of accelerated testing conditions. The technology demonstrated cannot interfere with system performance requirements. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Technology developed under this effort has potential applications to improving the storage life of other fuels in the rocket propulsion industry or aviation industry.
1. Thomas J. Bruno et al. (2006). Thermochemical and Thermophysical Properties of JP-10, NISTIR 6640. National Institute of Standards and Technology
2. DETAIL SPECIFICATION - PROPELLANT, HIGH DENSITY SYNTHETIC HYDROCARBON TYPE, GRADE JP-10; MIL-DTL-87107D; 28-December-2006
3. Anthony Andrews. (2009). Department of Defense Fuel Spending, Supply, Acquisition, and Policy. CRS Report for Congress; Congressional Research Service; R40459-
KEYWORDS: JP-10; Aging Effects; Filter; Coatings; Hydrocarbon Fuels; New Materials
Prediction of Rotor Loads from Fuselage Sensors for Improved Structural Modeling and Fatigue Life Calculation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative, physics based system which incorporates measurements taken by small, unobtrusive sensors located within the fuselage to accurately predict rotor head loads generated during all phases of flight, including turbulent flow, buffeting, and the influence of tail rotor interactions.
DESCRIPTION: As the service lives of aircraft are continually extended, the ability to reliably and accurately predict the initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks will become increasingly critical to maintaining aircraft availability. For rotorcraft, this requires that the loads imparted to the rotor head be accurately and correctly predicted over a variety of flight conditions. There is currently a technological gap between the predictive capabilities of modern computational fluid dynamics (CFD) coupled with computational structural dynamics (CSD) software and the ability to determine rotor head loads during all phases of flight, capturing turbulent flow, buffeting, and the influence of tail rotor interactions. This gap includes deficiencies in comprehensive loads prediction across all flight regimes (hover to high maneuvers to high speeds) as well as lack of main rotor, fuselage, and tail rotor integration. A physics-based approach is sought which combines with selective sensors located within the fuselage, e.g. accelerometers, [Ref. 1] that can accurately predict rotor head modal content and loads generated by various flight maneuvers such as hover, high speed flight, and maneuvers contributing large pitching and rolling moments, each at a range of gross weights and centers of gravity (CG). It is also important that the system be adaptable over a fleet of aircraft each of which may have unique differences in build, load-out, repair configuration, which would affect the stiffness and dynamic responses of the airframe and rotor. The innovative methodology the system uses will be able to incorporate the full maneuver spectrum of both the main and tail rotor [Ref. 12].
PHASE I: Determine feasibility for the development of the methodology needed to accurately predict the first eight excitation modes of the main rotor and tail rotor. Demonstrate the feasibility of this methodology by correlating the predicted loads of a rotor blade in above ground hover condition for amplitude, phase, and frequency content when compared to publicly available data, such as for the UH-60A [Ref. 12]. Identify a minimum number of key sensors, types and mounting locations needed from a loads standpoint for the model prediction efforts including sample rates to capture the dominant modal content.
PHASE II: Develop and expand the methodology developed during Phase I to include all dominant excitation modes. Demonstrate the ability to accurately predict rotor head loads using the methodology for other flight maneuvers at various regimes such as steady and transient conditions. Validate the loads prediction methodology using publicly-available loads data for a conventional (single main rotor, single tail rotor) rotorcraft [Ref. 12]. Validate the sensors identified in Phase I will provide all necessary data for the methodology.
PHASE III: Implement the methodology into a system that utilizes the sensors identified in Phase I. Enhance the utility of the loads prediction methodology by incorporating the capability to predict fatigue damage initiation and propagation of critical fuselage and dynamic components. Integrate the system into a flight test vehicle. Validate fatigue life predictions based on flight loads using real-world aircraft data. Validate the performance of the loads prediction methodology using in-flight data at a variety of gross weight and CG combinations [Ref. 12]. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The technology developed herein has immediate potential application for rotating machinery and energy generation equipment such as windmills, compressors, turbines, and water pumps, where direct measurement of loads on the rotating components are essential yet impractical and costly. In addition, the coupled fuselage/rotor load prediction methodology could be tailored and validated against any rotorcraft used in the private sector.
1. Haas, D. (1991). Determination of Helicopter Flight Loads from Fixed System Measurements. AIAA 32nd Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
2. Bakker, R.J.J., Bos, M.J., MÃ¼nninghof, N., van Tongeren, J.H., van der Ven, H. (2009). A Modelling Framework for the Calculation of Structural Loads for Fatigue Life Prediction in Helicopter Airframe Components. National Aerospace Laboratory paper NRL ERF2009-101154
3. Datta, A., Sitaraman, J., Chopra, I., Baeder, J.D. (2006). CFD/CSD Prediction of Rotor Vibratory Loads in High-Speed Flight. Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 43, No. 6, pp. 1698-1709, doi: 10.2514/1.18915
4. Giaansante, N., Jones, R., Calapodas, N.J. (1981). Determination of In-Flight Helicopter Loads, 37th Annual Forum of the American Helicopter Society, New Orleans, LA
5. Guo, X.L., Li, D.S. (2004). Experiment Study of Structural Random Loading Identification by the Inverse Pseudo Excitation Method. Journal of Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 791-806
6. Lang, P., Centolanza, L. (2006). Improved High Frequency Dynamic Airframe Loads and Stress Prediction. 62nd Annual Forum of the American Helicopter Society, Phoenix, AZ
7. MÃ¶ller, P.W. (1999). Load Identification through Structural Modification. Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 66, pp. 236-241
8. Rhoads, D. (2006). Rotorcraft Airframe Load Spectrum Development. 9th Joint FAA/DOD/NASA Aging Aircraft Conference, Atlanta, GA
9. Strawn, R.C., Nygaard, T., Bhagwat, M.J., Dimanlig, A., Saberi, H., Ormiston, R.A., Potsdam, M. (2007). Integrated Computational Fluid and Structural Dynamics Analyses for Comprehensive Rotorcraft Analysis. AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference and Exhibit, Hilton Head, SC, Paper #2007-6575
10. Thite, A.N., Thompson, D.J. (2006). Selection of Response Measurement Locations to Improve Inverse Force Determination. Journal of Applied Acoustics, Vol. 67, pp. 797-818, doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2006.01.001
11. Vishwakarma, R., Turner, D., Lewis, A., Chen, Y., Xu, Y. (2010). The Use of Pseudo-Inverse Methods in Reconstructing Loads on a Missile Structure. The 2010 International Conference on Modelling, Identification, and Control, Okayama, Japan
12. Bousman, W. G. and Kufeld, R. M. (2005). UH-60A Airloads Catalog. NASA TM 2005-212827/AFDD TR-05-003 -
KEYWORDS: Fatigue; Rotorcraft Structures; Physics-based Modeling; Sensors; Maintainability; Service Life Extension
End-User Speech Recognition Support Tools for Crew Resource Management Training Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative software capability to improve the utility of structured automatic speech recognition (ASR) by allowing end-users to customize the set of supported utterances without external support.
DESCRIPTION: Over the past decade, there has been moderate demand for automatic speech recognition (ASR) integration with simulation-based training systems that has coincided with commercially available services such as Apple's Siri and Google Now. ASR provides training systems the ability to interpret human speech and react to that speech with appropriate actions (e.g., executing a spoken command) and responses (e.g., replying to a human with confirmation or requests for clarification). The navy seeks a software capability to improve ASR technology effectiveness and sustainability by allowing instructors or scenario developers to expand and modify the recognized speech in the training environment. As a result, this software will provide a means to enhance training fidelity by ensuring the ASR remains robust as tactics and protocols change over time. Further, by providing this capability to the end users of the training systems, this product will reduce the cost and schedule associated with such updates (e.g., costs of contract award to make software updates; schedule delays to align software updates with planned engineering change requests or technology refreshes). ASR successes within simulation-based training systems have been modest, historically, due in most part to its complexity to properly implement. Some domains have overcome the complex challenges that exist in implementing ASR by making use of enforced doctrinal phraseology, which the speech recognition technologies can exploit. In these cases, speech recognition technologies can exploit this structure for the purposes of recognizing human utterances. However, in more complex and fluid training environments that are less structured, where such templates and standards do not exist, more complex natural-language processing techniques are necessary to achieve that purpose. These environments require ASR systems with the flexibility for the instructor to customize and edit the feature. This inflexibility barrier remains, and limits the utility of ASR for structured training domains. End-users of ASR-enabled training systems have little to no ability to edit or customize the feature to better match their particular needs (e.g., unit-specific phraseology, local area references, and supported alternatives to known message patterns). Currently, if training personnel want to append a particular phrase or a specific term to the existing grammar, for instance, he/she will most likely have to contact the developer of the capability directly to get it added. Updating existing grammars via contacting the original developer can be burdensome in both time and cost resources. Further, depending on the architecture and lifecycle milestone of the training system, updating software may be difficult or impossible without a larger engineering change request to the system. In contrast, an organic editor embedded within with existing ASR software can facilitate quick updates (minutes to hours) to the grammar. Within military domains where tactics and protocols adapt over time, having the capability to make updates without a significant system upgrade is essential. Additionally, there is limited support within ASR software solutions that provide trainees with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the ASR capability; this leads to a very high failure rate and ultimately dissatisfaction with the training system as a whole because the systems capabilities and limitations are misunderstood. Development of an innovative software solution to address the current gap outlined above is needed. The resulting software capability should be modular and flexible in nature to allow multiple aviation platforms to leverage the functionality. For example, consider U.S. Naval aviation crews that conduct similar mission sets, but have their own unique doctrinal phraseology. Although each platform (e.g., P-8A, P-3C, MH-60R) may prosecute an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission similarly, their doctrinal phraseology is likely specific to their respective platforms. The solution should have enough flexibility to account for platform specific changes, or multiple platform accommodations. The resulting software capability should include up-front train the speaker modules. These independent training software programs are desired to familiarize trainees on best practices with respect to interacting with the ASR feature to reduce the rate of ASR failures during training. The vast majority of current ASR systems include no capacity for speaker training or practice. Although ASR accuracy can be improved by expanding and customizing the acceptable grammar parameters to each specific scenario, the pre-training software program(s) can further reduce the chance of system disuse as trainees will better understand how to use the system.
PHASE I: Design a speech-recognition software suite for augmenting and editing ASR grammars and providing practice support for end-user trainees. Develop and demonstrate a proof-of-concept example of an ASR grammar customization capability in a relevant domain (e.g., the P-8A Anti-Submarine Warfare mission). The software should be designed with sound human factors principles to ensure that it is usable by an end user instructor or scenario designer, allowing them to take an existing grammar and add, remove, and modify to augment the speech grammar to meet additional or new requirements. Develop and demonstrate a training module that would allow a trainee to interact with the updated grammar to test and validate the updates. Risk Management Framework guidelines should be considered in initial design to support information assurance compliance throughout the effort.
PHASE II: Refine the development of the ASR customization software suite, targeting the representative domain. Demonstrate and evaluate the utility of practice support tool in improving trainee speech recognition performance. Improvement includes increases in recognition accuracy, compared to a baseline of not using the pre-training familiarization tools, but also should include user satisfaction with the system. With ASR related technologies, user satisfaction is just as important as high recognition accuracy. Demonstrate and deliver a fully-featured prototype. Investigate requirements for integration into end-user training systems. Risk Management Framework guidelines should be considered and adhered to during the development to support information assurance compliance.
PHASE III: Extend the baseline functionality to meet robust multiple aviation platform speech training requirements, including P-8A. Implement Risk Management Framework guidelines to support information assurance compliance, including updates to any outputs for meeting specific training systems information assurance requirements. Integrate the resultant software suite into relevant training, scenario development, and/or speech system to support test and demonstration of the technology in a relevant environment, such as the part-task trainers of platforms running ASW mission sets. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The advancement of speech technologies in recent years continues to push the commercial availability of products further. Advancements such as this will increase the feasibility and utility of speech technologies in domains such as educational/academic environments (e.g., intelligent tutors; computer-based, instructorless training environments such as virtual high schools), commercial aviation training, unmanned systems interfaces, multi-media environments (e.g., vehicle interfaces) and multi-lingual translation devices.
1. Begel, A., & Graham, S. L. (2006). An assessment of a speech-based programming environment. In Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC'06) (pp. 116-120), IEEE. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1698772&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D1698772
2. CrabbÃ©, B., Duchier, D., Gardent, C., Le Roux, J., & Parmentier, Y. (2013). Xmg: extensible metagrammar. Computational Linguistics, 39(3), 591-629. Retrieved from http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/COLI_a_00144#.V6JO-TZf17g
3. Duchier, D., & Parmentier, Y. (2015). High-level methodologies for grammar engineering, introduction to the special issue. Journal of Language Modelling, 3(1), 5-19. Retrieved from http://jlm.ipipan.waw.pl/index.php/JLM/article/view/117
4. Ehsani, F., & Knodt, E. (1998). Speech technology in computer-aided language learning: Strengths and limitations of a new CALL paradigm. Language Learning & Technology, 2(1), 45-60. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol2num1/article3/
5. Godwin-Jones, R. (2009). Emerging technologies: Speech tools and technologies. Language Learning & Technology, 13(3), 4-11. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol13num3/emerging.pdf
6. Liu, Jingjing, et al. (2013). Asgard: A portable architecture for multilingual dialogue systems. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, IEEE. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?reload=true&arnumber=6639301
7. Sonntag, D., Nesselrath, R., Sonnenberg, G., & Herzog, G. (2009). Supporting a Rapid Dialogue System Engineering Process. Proceedings of the 1st IWSDS. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236260346_Supporting_a_Rapid_Dialogue_Engineering_Process
8. Taylor, G., Frederiksen, R., Crossman, J., Quist, M., & Theisen, P. (2012). A multi-modal intelligent user interface for supervisory control of unmanned platforms. In Collaboration Technologies and Systems (CTS), 2012 International Conference on (pp. 117-124), IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/CTS.2012.6261037
9. Wald, M. (2006). Creating accessible educational multimedia through editing automatic speech recognition captioning in real time. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 3(2), 131-141. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17415650680000058-
KEYWORDS: Automatic Speech Recognition; Speech Understanding; Speech System Training; Training Fidelity; Customizable Speech; Speech Interface
High Density Capacitors for Compact Transmit and Receive Modules
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop high-density capacitors that are robust, reliable, and highly compact for power conversion energy storage and filtering to reduce the size, weight, and manufacturing cost of transmit and receive modules.
DESCRIPTION: Modern radar and electronic warfare (EW) transmitters are based on transmit and receive (T/R) modules as the fundamental building block. These T/R modules contain the radio frequency (RF) solid-state transmitter and receiver circuitry as well as control circuits and power converters. For example, future surface ship radars will contain thousands of these identical units, all housed in tightly packed racks, right behind the antenna array “ that is, high in the deck house where space and weight is at a premium. Even more significantly, the hundreds of thousands of T/R modules to be purchased over the life of Navy systems account for the majority of that systems acquisition cost, even when economies of scale and automated manufacturing practices are taken into account. Radar and EW systems place unprecedented requirements on power supply stability, noise, and reliability. Consequently, a considerable amount of space in the T/R module is occupied by capacitors that are integral to the power conversion units. This contributes greatly to the size and weight of the T/R module. A significant fraction of the T/R module footprint is dedicated to dozens (perhaps scores) of capacitors. Furthermore, even with pick and place (robotic) manufacturing, power conversion components account for considerable cost in assembly, stocking, and handling. Finally, the space occupied by so many capacitors restricts future modification to the T/R module design. That is, precious circuit board space could be better used for future design upgrades that enhance performance. Consequently, reducing the capacitor count and/or footprint by developing higher energy density capacitors has multiple benefits for future T/R module based systems. This topic therefore serves to reduce life-cycle cost by directly reducing the cost of acquisition - both initial acquisition cost and the cost of future spares. Acquisition cost is reduced by reduction in parts count and the cost of assembly, specifically by reducing the number of capacitors needed in the power conversion circuitry. Capacitors are fundamental electrical components found in virtually every electronic device. The commercial capacitor industry is well established and produces a wide range of standardized as well as specialized parts. Research in the field is typically driven by the commercial market. Military applications benefit from consumer market growth and the demands of new commercial applications. However, capacitor usage in military systems, vast though it may be, is still a minority market, insufficient to drive research trends. For example, recent trends in energy storage and electric motor control for hybrid vehicles and public transit have stimulated research in super capacitors. However, super capacitors are generally intended to augment battery storage systems and have unacceptably high internal impedance, low intrinsic voltage rating, and suffer accelerated degradation as temperature increases. Other applications drive capacitor technology towards smaller scales for integration at the microcircuit level. The research that has been devoted to conventional capacitor development has typically concentrated on new and, yet, unproven materials. In order to enable future compact, affordable, and higher-performance T/R modules, the Navy seeks to develop advanced, high-density capacitor technology for power conversion circuits. The desired technology would achieve at least a two-times increase in energy storage density without compromising performance parameters such as internal impedance, voltage rating, leakage current, temperature stability and, above all, reliability. In addition, when manufactured in quantity, the per-unit cost must have a viable path to a pricing point comparable to existing capacitors of similar ratings and application. For example, a capacitor technology with twice the energy storage, such that the number of capacitors per T/R module could be approximately halved, yet costing only 20% more, would be a desirable solution. In addition, the proposed technology cannot contain inordinately toxic or hazardous material, as end-of-life disposal of military equipment presents a real and tangible cost. The technology desired is essentially an improved conventional capacitor suitable for application in switched-mode power converters (DC-DC or AC-DC) with output voltages in the range of 5 to 150 Volts DC and switching frequencies in the tens to hundreds of kilohertz regime.
PHASE I: The company will define and develop a concept for high-density capacitors meeting the technical objectives and consistent with the application stated in the topic description. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of their concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that their concept can be feasibly and affordably produced. Feasibility will be established by some combination of initial (and perhaps scaled) prototype testing, analysis or modeling. Affordability will be established by analysis of the proposed materials and processes and by comparison to existing and established capacitor technologies. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I results and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the company will produce and deliver prototype high-density capacitors for evaluation. The prototype capacitors will be evaluated to determine their capability in meeting Navy requirements of energy storage density, voltage rating, leakage current, internal impedance, temperature stability, reliability and other parameters that define their suitability in the intended application. Evaluation will primarily be accomplished by electrical testing of multiple prototype capacitors (at least ten samples in each voltage and capacitance rating) accompanied by appropriate data analysis and modeling. A subset of prototype capacitors will be demonstrated in a representative DC-DC and/or AC-DC switching-mode power converter to prove suitability for the intended application. Testing, evaluation, and demonstration are the responsibility of the company and should therefore be included in the Phase II proposal. Affordability will be addressed by refining the affordability analysis performed in Phase I to reflect the knowledge gained in Phase II execution. The affordability analysis will propose best-practice manufacturing methods to prepare the capacitor technology for Phase III transition. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. The company will further refine high-density capacitors according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness and reliability in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify initial production components for Navy use. The final product will be produced by the company (or under license) and transitioned to the Government either through its prime contractors or directly to the Government in the course of technology upgrades for use in Navy systems such as SPY-6, SEWIP Block 3, and the future EASR and AMDR-X radars. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Capacitors are one of the most common parts found in consumer, industrial, and military electronics. Any advances made in this area will undoubtedly find other applications. This is a basic need.
1. Boicea, Valentin A. Energy Storage Technologies: the Past and the Present. Proc. IEEE 102, Nov. 2014: 1777-1794.
2. Murray, Donal B. and Hayes, John G. "Cycle Testing of Supercapacitors for Long-Life Robust Applications. IEEE Trans. Power Electronics, 30, May 2015: 2505-2516.
3. El-Kady, Maher F. and Kaner, Richard B. "Introducing the Micro-Super-Capacitor, Laser-Etched Graphene Brings Moores Law to Energy Storage. Spectrum, Oct 2014: 41-45.
4. Kwon, Do-Kyun and Lee, Min H. "Temperature-Stable High-Energy-Density Capacitors Using Complex Perovskite Thin Films. IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Freq. Control, 59, Sep. 2012: 1894-1899.-
KEYWORDS: Power Conversion Circuits; High-Density Capacitor; Super Capacitor; Energy Storage; Power Converter; Transmit And Receive Module
Innovative Material Handling System for the Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB) Class Ship
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative Material Handling System elevator that can be installed on an Expeditionary Base Mobile (ESB) so that aircraft and cargo can be transferred from the flight deck to the mid or mission bay and transfer boats from mission bay to the sea.
DESCRIPTION: The ESB is a derivative of the Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) ship design. The ESB currently carries both manned aircraft and boats in order to carry out assigned missions. Amphibious warships (landing helicopter docks, amphibious transport docks, and landing ship docks) carry aircraft and boats and must flood their well decks in order to Launch and Recover (L&R) the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. When amphibious warships flood their well decks to L&R the LCU they must remain in a ballasted condition for hours which significantly impacts maneuverability of the L-ships during L&R operations. PMS 385 seeks to develop technology such as an advanced elevator system that will enable similar capabilities on an ESB as well as deliver small craft into theater without having to ballast down the ship to facilitate L&R of onboard craft. ESBs are being procured to support Mine Countermeasure (MCM) and Special Operations Force (SOF) mission sets. The ESB must L&R Unmanned Vessels of all variants such as the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) and the Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV). Currently the only way to move large items on the ESB from the flight deck to the mission bay or the mission bay to the sea are by two large cranes on the flight deck of the ship. The crane located on the port stern quarter is typically used to transport cargo from the flight deck to the mission bay. The crane located amidships is used to transport small craft from the mission bay to the sea. Neither crane can be used safely in sea state 3 or above and could not possibly keep up with the L&R tempo that is required for the variety of new craft planned for ESB future missions. Neither crane has the capability to move aircraft from the flight deck to the mission bay. The path that the elevator platform within the Expeditionary Base Mobile (ESB) must travel to deliver cargo between the Mission Deck (MD) and the Flight Deck (FD) must remain inside the confines of the hull when traveling either up or down. Except for a vertical distance equal to ~ 5 feet beneath the MD, tanks carrying fuel and ballast that cannot be breached are located within the remaining volume of the ship directly below and throughout the entire extent of ESBs MD. Therefore, in order to Launch and Recover (L&R) watercraft from the ESB the direction of the vertical path of the elevator platform between the FD and MD must be altered. This alteration needs to include a dogleg at the MD that causes the elevator platform to immediately traverse horizontally outward some distance outside the hull of the ESB and then once outside the hull the elevator platform must run vertically and head downward until the top of the elevator platform is submerged approximately 5 feet below the surface of the water. This type of specialized transport system is not currently available from industry. The Navy is seeking an advanced elevator system that moves vertically up and down the outboard port quarter of the ship hull that starts level with the flight deck for cargo/craft transfer and ends far enough below the surface of the water to facilitate L&R of watercraft in sea state 3 with wave height of up to 1.25 meters. The advanced ESB elevator system must support around the clock helicopter operations. The elevator system must be suitable for operating between the MD, Intermediate Decks (IDs), and FD for transporting cargo, support vehicles (up to 10,000 pounds) and aircraft equal in size to a MH-53E helicopter (56,000 pound gross weight). The Advanced ESB cargo elevator must also support L&R of small boats. In order to satisfy the watercraft operational needs specified in the ESB objective requirements, the advanced elevator system must be able to L&R small boats equivalent to 70 ft. long end to end and weighing approximately 50 metric tons. All machinery needed to support the advanced elevator must fit within the void space below the MD that will not interfere with flight deck operations.
PHASE I: The small business will develop a concept for a Material Handling System for ESB that meets the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The Phase I Option, if awarded, must address technical risk reduction and provide performance goals and key technical milestones.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the small business will develop and deliver an appropriately scaled prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II SOW and the Navy requirements for the Advanced Material Handling System Technology for ESB. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous operational cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will assess integration and risk and develop an installation work package. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The small business will support the Navy in transitioning the elevator system for Navy use. The company will further refine an Advanced Material Handling System for ESB according to the Phase III SOW to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Marine elevators are installed in commercial workboats, Off Shore Oil rigs, high speed ferries, cruise ships, and yachts. These commercial entities all have a need for both L&R of small boats and transfer of cargo between decks.
1. Thomas, Geoffrey O; NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC; Navy Shipboard Cargo and Weapons Elevator Controller and Sensor Subsystem Problem Analysis, NRL Report 8488, DTIC ADA110443, 24 December 1981, http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA110443
2. Technology Roadmap: Meeting the Shipboard Internal Cargo Movement Challenge, NSRP Report # AMT-RG0112-4001, 01 JAN 2004, www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a529873.pdf
3. Nodeen, T.W., Brayton, K.D., NAVAL SHIPS TECHNICAL MANUAL, CHAPTER 772, CARGO AND WEAPONS ELEVATORS, S9086-ZN-STM-010/CH-772R2 Revision 2, 18 Dec 1998, http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/nstm/ch772.pdf-
KEYWORDS: Shipboard Elevator; Hoisting Machines; Launch And Recovery; Vector Controlled Drive Systems; Heavy Lift; Expeditionary Transfer Dock
Low Cost Magnetic Sensor for Mine Neutralizer Identification and Charge Placement
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop a low cost Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) magnetic or electromagnetic induction sensor to provide an additional identification (ID) capability for mine neutralizers in murky water or with limited communications link as well as a precise positioning capability for buried mine neutralization.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy needs a Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) to assist operators with identifying underwater objects (particularly naval mines) based on available sensor data. Current mine neutralization systems present the operator with a continuous, real-time, video image of the target as the only identification (ID) capability. This capability can only be used when water clarity allows and when there is a high bandwidth fiber link. The next generation of mine neutralization vehicles may be fielded with a limited bandwidth communication link, which may utilize an untethered acoustic modem for communication between the deployment platform and neutralizer. In addition, there may be a low bandwidth link from the unmanned deployment platform to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), where the operator controls the neutralizer. The low bandwidth link would greatly reduce the number and resolution of the target images sent back to the operator for ID purposes. This technology can also be used to precisely position a neutralization vehicle over a buried mine allowing for reduced payload charge size and increased effectiveness. There has been considerable research conducted in the last 50 years on the use of magnetic sensors to detect and classify underwater objects. These typically have been large, power hungry devices that needed to have separation from the platform to escape the platforms self-noise. Vast technological leaps in the last 10 years have occurred for magnetic heading sensors and electromagnetic induction arrays, resulting in increased accuracy and sensitivity as well as reduced cost, size, and power requirements. This effort will research low cost options, less than $100, for magnetic sensors based on anisotropic magneto resistance (AMR), giant magneto resistance (GMR), magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), extraordinary magneto resistance, Faraday rotation, or optically-pumped atomic transitions, or for electromagnetic induction sensors, which will work in parallel with the vehicle heading sensor to provide an indication of the Mine Like Contact (MILCO) magnetic content. The sensor could be mounted on a lightweight extendable boom, which would allow separation from the neutralizer platform to escape self-noise. In a simple magnetic implementation, the neutralizer would approach the MILCO using its forward-looking sonar and receive a binary signal (yes/no) as to magnetic/metallic content of the MILCO by comparing the boom-mounted sensor heading to the vehicle heading. In addition to providing the magnetic/metallic content estimate, the same sensor configuration could be used to locate and precisely place a neutralization vehicle over a buried mine. A magnetic/metallic anomaly guidance system would conduct a search pattern over a previously detected buried MILCO by determining where magnetic peaks occur. The neutralizer would then settle on the bottom directly over the MILCO. Currently under development by the Office of Naval Research, the Neutralizer Test Bed would make an ideal platform to mount the sensor as it has a high degree of low speed maneuverability in multiple directions. The desired sensor configuration should be capable of providing a confirmation of magnetic/metallic content at a distance of 1 meter from a MILCO (buried, proud and volume) that has a magnetic moment of 20 A·m2. The magnetic anomaly guidance system should be capable of guiding the neutralizer to within 10 cm twice the distance root mean square (2DRMS) horizontally above the magnetic centroid of an object buried 1 meter below the bottom surface.
PHASE I: The small business will develop a concept for the magnetic/metallic detector that meets the requirements listed in the description. The company will conduct an industry search and demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the Navy through software/hardware prototyping and analytical modeling. The company will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I results and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the company will develop and deliver a prototype sensor for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated using the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Neutralizer Test Bed in a relevant environment. The evaluation will determine the prototypes capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for the sensor. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to increase the TRL level and transition the technology to Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The small business will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the sensor technology for Navy use. The company will further refine a detection sensor compatible with mine warfare neutralizer vehicles (ONR Neutralizer Test Bed) according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The most significant commercial applications are for use by the oil and gas industry to detect underground pipelines and inspect underwater structures. Municipal applications include port and harbor ordnance detection and disposal.
1. Miller, Jonathan S., et al. "Target localization techniques for vehicle-based electromagnetic induction array applications." SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2010
2. Generalized Magnetic Gradient Contraction-Based Method for Detection, Localization and Discrimination of Underwater Mines and Unexploded Ordnance, R.F. Wiegert and J. Oeschger, MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2005 Conference Proceedings, (2005).
3. Magnetic Anomaly Guidance System for Mine Countermeasures Using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, R.F. Wiegert, MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2003 Conference Proceedings (2003).
KEYWORDS: Magnetometer; Electromagnetic Induction; Mine Identification; Mine Counter Measures (MCM); Buried Mine Detection; Mine Neutralization
Advanced Material System for Reduced Wave Slam Energy in Combatant Craft
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop a low-cost advanced material system for combatant craft to reduce the energy transferred to seated occupants during severe wave-slam events in craft operating at high speeds in rough seas.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy needs an advanced material system for combatant craft with breakthrough technology to lower acquisition costs of current shock mitigation systems by a minimum of sixty percent while also reducing the energy transferred to seated occupants by a minimum of fifty percent during severe wave-slam events in high performance craft operating at maximum speed n rough seas. Todays forces employ combatant patrol and assault craft that rely on speed, acceleration, and maneuverability for survivability and multi-mission success. These capabilities are at risk because of the impact energy associated with severe wave slams experienced in rough seas. High-speed craft missions in rough seas subject personnel to punishing impact environments that require protection and can expose naval personnel to repeated and severe shock loads caused by wave impacts in moderate to heavy sea conditions. The shock loads can produce discomfort, loss in occupant performance due to fatigue, and both chronic and acute injuries. Passive shock isolation seats originally developed for blast loads provide little or no protection from wave slam impacts, and can actually amplify peak accelerations created by wave-slams. Wave slam acceleration pulses can have duration times three to five times longer than blast loads, thus classical spring-damper systems may provide little or no protection. Semi-active or active spring-damper systems can provide protection, but the increased system complexity adds significant cost. An alternative approach is sought that would provide lower cost protection options that do not employ passive, semi-active, or active spring-damper systems. Current design practice is to install passive seats that employ springs and dampers (shock absorbers) or leaf-spring assemblies as protection mechanisms. They are passive seats because the spring-damper assemblies respond to individual wave impacts and have no active elements that change real-time to adapt to the environment. Numerous manufacturers offer different shock isolation seat designs with unique ergonomic features, but they are all expensive ($8,000.00 or more), and some are not effective shock mitigation systems. Another mitigation option is to pursue active seats with control sensors and actuators that anticipate wave impacts, but this is also an expensive option. The Navy needs a more affordable new technology seat solution that is capable of mitigating the unique wave impact loads experienced in high-speed craft. This topic seeks to identify and apply innovative material solutions, including engineered energy absorbing buffers, for future and current combatant craft seats. Seating solutions must be able to provide 50% energy reduction in a cyclic environment characterized by single severe impacts and lower amplitude impacts with encounter frequencies less than two hertz. Achieving this goal could increase mission capability while reducing acquisition and life cycle costs. Desired features include low cost rigid seat foundations with ergonomic cushions and a novel buffer that redistributes impact energy (for example multi-density, viscos-elastic, or other energy-absorbing material solutions, other novel energy reduction materials, or material systems). The solutions should have a minimum seven-year life span, require little or no significant routine maintenance or unique repair parts, and be configured for rapid removal for mission flexibility, repair, or expeditionary land-based applications. The Navy seeks to lower acquisition costs of current shock mitigation by sixty percent at a minimum while reducing the energy transferred to seated occupants by fifty percent at a minimum during severe wave-slam events in craft operating at high speeds in rough seas. Material technologies without the use of active or semi-active isolation systems must be able to withstand severe marine operational duty cycles, endure harsh maritime environments with saltwater and oil resistance, embody ruggedness to withstand repeated wave impacts, and demonstrate extended life performance. Novel approaches that lead to reduced personnel fatigue and improved protection will enhance affordability and enable increases in mission system capability without sacrificing speed or personnel transport capability.
PHASE I: The small business will develop a concept for an Advanced Material System for Reduced Wave Slam Energy in Combatant Craft for Naval Applications that meets the requirements described above. The small business will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will address technical risk reduction and provide performance goals and key technical milestones.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation and delivery. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II SOW and the Navy requirements for Advanced Seating System for Reduced Wave Slam Energy in Combatant Craft. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters and an assessment of integration and risk. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will further refine an Advanced Seating System for Reduced Wave Slam Energy in Combatant Craft according to the Phase II SOW for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use on current Combatant Craft ranging in length from 36 “ 88 feet. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The vendor will be able to market the new capabilities to over twenty boat builders who serve the U.S. military and commercial markets, as well as the international small boat commercial industry.
1. Riley, Michael R., Haupt, Kelly D., Ganey Dr. H. Neil, Ride Severity Profile for Evaluating Craft Motions Naval Surface Warfare Center Report NSWCCD-80-TR-2015/002 May 2015; http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA624077
2. Riley, Michael, R., Coats, Timothy, W., Acceleration Response Mode Decomposition for Quantifying Wave Impact Load in High-Speed Planing Craft, Naval Surface Warfare Center Report NSWCCD-80-TR-2014/007, April 2014. http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA621230
3. Riley, Michael R.; Coats, Timothy W., Quantifying Mitigation Characteristics of Shock Isolation Seats in a Wave Impact Environment, Naval Surface Warfare Center Report NSWCCD-80-TR-2015/001, January 2015, http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA622526
4. Riley Michael R., Haupt, Kelly D., Murphy, Heidi P., An Investigation of Wave Impact Duration in High-Speed Planing Craft in Rough Water, Naval Surface Warfare Center Report NSWCCD-80-TR-2014/026 April 2014, www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a616198.pdf -
KEYWORDS: Energy Absorption From Wave Slams; Energy Redistribution In Seating Systems; Wave Slam Impact; Small Boats At High Speeds; Combatant Craft; Shock In Seating Systems
Development of Explosive Non-Acoustic Sensing on Remotely Operated Vehicles for Littoral Threat Characterization in Complex Seabed Environments
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop novel methods and/or technologies for a combination of ambient, passive sensing and/or controllable, active source sensing and multi-sensor fusion solutions in order to improve subsea target characterization of mines, UW-IEDs, and UXO on a ROV platform.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy seeks new non-acoustic sensing methods and/or sensor fusion technologies to detect and characterize man-made objects of interest in littoral environments that are relevant to expeditionary mine warfare and unexploded ordnance remediation. Current and evolving threats to maritime dominance require the Navy to adapt to potential hazards from a variety of sources, which could include terrorism, and to operate in increasingly difficult environments. Objects of interest may be hidden or obscured by seabed features such as vegetation, corals, rocks, biologics, man-made debris, and scouring/burial. Therefore, the Navy needs an improved capability to localize and classify objects of interest in complex seabed conditions that currently pose a challenge to successful identification of objects using solely acoustic or optical methods. Multi-axis/multi-sensor methods deployed from unmanned systems such as small inspection-class remotely or autonomously operated vehicles may provide the advanced classification and target identification capability to fill these gaps. Proposed concepts should focus on sensing techniques that significantly improve target classification, identification and localization, and provide effective clutter rejection capability. For example, the proposed non-acoustic sensors should improve Pd/Pc by detecting targets (e.g. targets concealed by marine growth or sediment) that image only sensors might miss, and improve contact localization accuracy (CLA). The sensor should also achieve clutter reduction (reduced false alarm rate) when compared to existing image-only sensors operating in complex seabed environments. Practical limitations of the proposed system should be addressed to include size, weight, and power (SWaP) as well as deployment modalities from unmanned systems. To ensure that the platform remains human-portable, the size, weight and mechanical design attributes suitable for human launch, recovery and operations, from small boats is important. Integration must enable plug-and-play addition of the advanced sensor module onto two-person portable, inspection class ROV in accordance with two person lift criteria specified in Table XXXVIII of MILSTD 46855A (i.e between 74 and 88 pounds weight in air). Additionally, the sensor solution must be capable of being integrated into the topside mission planning, mission monitoring, processing, display and user-supervised control console for the ROV platform vice a stand-alone console/equipment so as not to add significant topside logistics footprint burden to space constrained small boat teams. Size/weight tradeoffs will be considered, provided the module is easily adapted for plug-and-play addition once the ROV has been lowered into the water to commence operations. Sensor module power requirements must be sufficiently low such that topside power for the existing ROV platform is sufficient to manage the additional load, or if powered module or ROV integrated batteries such that endurance is not decreased by more than 20% that inherent in the system operating without the sensor. These tradeoffs, coupled with other attributes for material handling by humans in small boats who do not have access to cranes will be of interest in the ultimate technology transition approach. Proposed solutions should include integrated data processing and display methodologies that lead to effective target detection/classification and also mitigate false alarms. Methods that yield features related to the three-dimensional character of objects of interest may lead to better representations for improved probability of identification and false alarm reduction. Successful development and transition of non-acoustic sensor methods are anticipated to improve affordability for the response ROV toolbox by reducing life-cycle costs. Acquisition costs can be reduced by focusing on state-of-the-art sensor technologies that are sufficiently mature to allow for integration and ruggedization on an ROV platform. Additionally, prior science and technology (S&T) demonstrations have validated the potential for the utility of non-acoustic sensors in improving detection, classification and localization of concealed targets in complex environments, especially in high clutter environments (see reference (5)). This improved capability offers significant cost savings in terms of operational time reduction for mine counter measures (MCM) clearance and underwater explosives threat response missions. For example, if the proposed solution can decrease the average MCM clearance mission duration by 50%, the cost savings per mission can be calculated in terms of the total number of man-hours saved. Collectively, the investment in this initiative to develop new sensor technologies and integrate them into COTS-based ROV platforms should yield significant acquisition cost avoidance over a full-scale development alternative strategy. By leveraging emerging sensors and inserting the technology into the EOD response toolbox, incremental improvements can be achieved to the baseline response platform and sensor suite. From an operational perspective, reduction in total mission time for mission performance in more complex environments, and the resulting manpower savings associated with integrating a solution into human-portable toolkits offer improved affordability benefits for the Navy.
PHASE I: The small business will develop a concept and conceptual design of an innovative non-acoustic sensor system that will improve probabilities of detection, classification, identification, and localization of naval mines, UW-IEDs, and UXO in complex seabed environments. The company will investigate methods that yield improved characterization of targets in order to reduce false alarms, assess design feasibility and unmanned system integration implementation tradeoffs, and develop the detailed specifications for a proposed sensing technology as well as outline design requirements for developing a Phase II prototype. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the small business will develop a non-acoustic sensor system prototype and validate it with respect to the objective stated above. The company will also conduct engineering tradeoff studies to size the system and all necessary interfaces to fit into inspection-class USN remotely or autonomously operated vehicles in line with SWaP information presented in the above description, demonstrate the performance of a prototype system through experimentation, and quantify its performance specifications. The small business will also document the system specifications, capabilities, and limitations under various operational scenarios. The small business will use the evaluation results to refine the prototype into an design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The small business will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the non-acoustic sensor system technology for Navy use. Optimization of the system design based on Phase II test and evaluations will be performed. The company will also fabricate and integrate a system with USN platforms, to include the future Navy Expeditionary Unmanned Systems Program of Record, or surrogate unmanned system platforms and validate performance in an operationally relevant environment. Assessment of the manufacturing process and potential limitation for fabrication techniques and module-level low-rate production methods and tooling will be expected to occur. Lastly, the company will develop operations and maintenance documentation and related technology transition materials. Private Sector Commercial Potential: This technology would reduce the complexity of the system being deployed, decrease cost, and increase operational effectiveness and flexibility. This technology would have applications for search and rescue and within the oil and gas industry for conducting surveys where multiple sensors are needed. For the same reasons, the technology would also have many applications for homeland defense.
1. Bono, J., 2002, Active electromagnetic detection of objects buried in the sea bottom, Proceedings of IEEE/MTS Oceans 2002, 974-977: DOI 10.1109/OCEANS.2002.1192101.
2. Purpura, J.W., Wynn, W.M., Carroll, P.J., 2004, Assessment of an active electromagnetic sensor buried naval mines, Proceedings of IEEE/MTS Oceans 2004, 879-889.
3. Evans, R.L., 2007, Using controlled source electromagnetic techniques to map the shallow section of seafloor: From the coastline to the edges of the continental slope, Geophysics, 72, 105-116.
4. USN, 2012, Unmanned systems integrated roadmap: FY 2013-2038, Open Publication 14-S-0553; http://archive.defense.gov/pubs/DOD-USRM-2013.pdf
5. T. R. Clem, J. T. Bono, D. J. Overway, G. Sulzberger, and L. Vaizer, Magnetic Sensors Operated from Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for the Application of Buried Target Identification, Marine Electromagnetics Conference 2009, July 2009. -
KEYWORDS: Mine Countermeasures; Non-acoustic Sensors; ROV; UUV; Underwater Explosives Detection; UW-IED; UXO
Improved Infrared Imaging with Variable Resolution Achieved via Post-Processing
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop imaging technology in the Mid Wave Infrared (MWIR) band with variable resolution achieved via software-coded post-processing algorithms that reduces cost and provides higher effective-resolution.
DESCRIPTION: Mid Wave Infrared (MWIR) imaging systems are widely useful in both day and night operation since they measure thermal signatures of objects in the scene. At present, MWIR imagers deployed throughout the surface Navy are primarily associated with specific weapon systems. These sensors provide aim-point selection, fine tracks, and target recognition and identification at long ranges. These imaging systems must possess high angular resolution (10s of micro radians), provide full motion video outputs and have high sensitivity in order to achieve these objectives. However, there is an increasing need for MWIR imagers to provide situational awareness in congested waters, especially when operating conditions do not permit the effective use of radar. In these circumstances, the primary MWIR sensor requirements are wide field of view and high sensitivity. The requirements for target recognition, identification, and aim point selection and those for providing situational awareness are currently met by two approaches. In the first instance, MWIR imagers associated with specific weapon systems are used in a scanning mode in order to cover the required field of regard (typically full panoramic 360 degree coverage is desired). The second approach employs two separate MWIR imaging systems “ one with a panoramic field of view, moderate resolution (200 micro radian), and moderate frame rate (2 Hz) and a second imager with a narrow field of view (NFOV) and high resolution on a rotating mount that is steered in response to cues provided by the wide field of view (WFOV) system. In order to provide the needed general situational awareness and target detection, the first solution is not acceptable since it requires using the heavy gun mount to steer the dedicated NFOV imager. This results in needless and accelerated wear and tear on a critical weapon system. Furthermore, in non-hostile waters, it is typically against the rules of engagement to point a weapon system at another vessel without provocation. The second solution (a WFOV imager cueing a NFOV imager) becomes inordinately expensive because it requires using two completely independent yet coordinated imaging systems, which need a large number of high-resolution focal plane arrays. The cost, size, weight, and power consumption of MWIR imagers are dominated by the focal plane arrays and their associated cryogenic cooling systems. Large focal plane arrays are disproportionately higher in cost due to the lower production yields of large scale devices and the simple fact that fewer large devices are obtained from a given size semiconductor wafer. Therefore, it is desirable to find a solution that reduces the requirement on MWIR focal plane array size and number. For example, if a one Megapixel MWIR focal plane array could provide the same effective system level performance achieved by a sixteen Megapixel focal plane array, the resulting cost savings will be very significant. Observation shows that in a typical scene, only a small fraction of the field of view contains objects that need further inspection with higher spatial resolution. Imaging an entire wide field of view scene with a high angular resolution MWIR imager is extremely inefficient. This can be mitigated by digital super resolution. Digital super resolution is a well-established technique for achieving image resolution that is greater than that fundamentally obtained by the focal plane array while staying within the performance limits of the imaging optics. However, most demonstrated systems provide only modest improvement (around two times). The Navy seeks infrared imagers with variable resolution achieved via post-processing to reduce the overall cost of infrared imaging. The technical approach should enhance the detector-limited resolution of a MWIR imager by a minimum (threshold) of four times along each axis (with ten times enhancement as an objective), thereby providing sixteen times more effective pixels (as compared to the actual physical pixels) in a focal plane array. Such resolution enhancement can be restricted to regions within the field of view where objects of interest are detected via the coarse resolution image captured at the native resolution of the focal plane array. The desired solution will increase the complexity of the optical system minimally and will require post detection computation easily performed in real time over a small image segment (100 by 100 pixels). The technology sought is intended for video images and the video data (and associated metadata) should conform to the specifications set by the Motion Imagery Standards Board. A hardware-independent solution is desired. Software enhancement of effective resolution will reduce the fundamental resolution (number of pixels) of the many focal plane arrays required. The result will be either smaller, cheaper, focal plane arrays or fewer focal plane arrays per system. Implementation of functionality in software enables faster and potentially cheaper future technology upgrade to the imaging system. A secondary benefit is realized in reducing the numbers of cryogenic coolers required, as a separate cooler is typically needed for each focal plane array.
PHASE I: The small business will define and develop a concept for infrared imagers with variable resolution achieved via post-processing in the MWIR waveband. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of their concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that their concept can be feasibly implemented. Feasibility will be established by some combination of initial (not in real-time) prototype algorithm testing, analysis, and modeling, and using simulated video data. The company will also demonstrate, by some combination of analysis and/or modeling, that the concept increases effective resolution thereby increasing focal plane array efficiency and reducing imager cost. The Phase I Option, if awarded, should include the initial layout and capabilities specifications to build the prototype in Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I results and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the small business will produce and deliver prototype infrared imagers with variable resolution achieved via post-processing in the MWIR waveband. The prototype will be refined and optimized to achieve the objectives stated in the description. The company will test and demonstrate the prototype to establish performance under a variety of relevant conditions and the results will be evaluated to determine the technologys capability in meeting Navy requirements. Although this is primarily a software effort, the company may need to design, purchase, build, or otherwise implement some hardware to fully demonstrate capability. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III: The company will support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. The company will further refine infrared imaging technology with variable resolution achieved via post-processing according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine effectiveness and reliability in an operationally relevant environment. Since a hardware-independent solution is desired, the expected technology shall consist of software-coded algorithms that can be deployed and supported on a variety of processors as part of larger MWIR sensor platforms. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify initial production components for Navy use. The final product will be produced by the company and will transition to the Government either directly or through Government prime contractors for use in Navy systems. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Imaging is a field with large commercial as well as industrial and military markets. Although this topic addresses a need in the MWIR waveband, the technology can likely be applied in the visible band as well. Since the desired technology would reduce cost in imaging systems, any advances made in this area will undoubtedly find other applications such as surveillance cameras, aerial imaging, and potentially even commercial photography.
1. Su, Heng, et al. Spatially Adaptive Block-Based Super-Resolution. IEEE Trans. Image Processing 21, March 2012: 1031-1045.
2. Su, Heng, et al. Super-Resolution Without Dense Flow. IEEE Trans. Image Processing 21, April 2012: 1782-1795.-
KEYWORDS: Resolution Enhancement; Super Resolution; Effective Resolution; Mid Wave Infrared; Focal Plane Arrays; Infrared Imaging
Learning Centered Technology and Innovative Instructional Methods for Anti-Submarine Warfare University
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative training curriculum design and training technologies for high velocity learning by ASW personnel.
DESCRIPTION: High velocity learning through the Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) University will allow ASW personnel to achieve mastery faster and in a more engaging way than the current schoolhouse learning process [Ref 1 & 2]. Learning topics to be considered for this research effort are sonar search, detection, classification skills, fire control, ASW coordination, and tactical oceanography. The learning and training approaches should employ innovative advances in learning theory and methods to improve performance of ASW personnel. The small business could consider employing innovative classroom and learning methods, improved learning spaces, interactive video gamification, training sand boxes, and exploration tools such as gaming, social learning, simulation, micro learning and different instructional design methods [Ref 3 &4]. Solutions should create effective learning experiences that also motivate learners to achieve superior levels of performance. Benchmark testing would show mastery of fundamental skills as an acoustic sensor operator at quicker pace and with improved outcomes. Research should focus on determining the ideal training tools or approaches matched to the learning task or goal required of ASW personnel [Ref 5]. Each training solution or approach should provide for practice, performance measurement and feedback. Reusability and low cost of adoption and integration are important factors to consider in the research. The US Navys Sailor 2025 [Ref 6]) and Ready Relevant Learning concepts as well as A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority provide overarching context for the need for the ASW University. The research will include a detailed analysis of the current training approach and curriculum design used to train fleet ASW personnel for the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System. The current process employs instructor lead training utilizing lectures and limited hands“on practical training. The current AN/SQQ-89 Sonar Operators course is 68 days long which will be reduced to 46 days as a result of the Ready Relevant Learning initiative. Innovative learning and instructional approaches and technical solutions should be researched and evaluated for effectiveness to achieve higher levels of learning engagement, active learning, performance, and an accelerated pace to mastery for ASW personnel. The effort will require a detailed task analysis for the ASW personnel using the AN/SQQ-89A (V) 15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System. The task analysis should consider cognitive, job, and subject matter analysis methods; and apply the research findings; and develop a comprehensive curriculum, facilities plan, and training approach to address the job tasks, knowledge, and skills. An ASW University prototype will be developed to demonstrate the curriculum design approach. The prototyped approach should demonstrate improved performance when compared to current training processes for achieving the learning goals and mastery. ASW University will have parallel paths for transition to the fleet. The ASW University curriculum will provide an embedded e-learning course for the AN/SQQ-89A (V) 15 Surface Ships Undersea Warfare Combat System. ASW University is also intended to supplement or replace the Surface ASW Operators course at the Fleet ASW Training Center. Testing will be conducted as part of the four step testing process associated with the NAVSEA PEO IWS5A Advanced Capability Program. The classroom implementation of ASW University will be tested as a pilot course benchmarked against the current Surface ASW Operators course. The research should consider the range of training and learning architecture (TLA) capabilities, tools, and resources advocated by the Advanced Distributed Learning Imitative. These capabilities include the Moodle Learning Management System, Experience API, the Re-Usability Support System, and the Learning Record Store (LRS). The Phase II and Phase III efforts will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work.
PHASE I: During Phase I, the company will identify and develop a concept for training fleet ASW personnel on the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System focusing on improved instructional design and learning technologies. The concept will show that it can work within the system feasibly. Feasibility will be established through modeling and analysis of specific training strategies and techniques that utilize the unique training material which meet parameters set forth in the description. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design concepts and proposed capabilities description for a Phase II prototype. Appropriate protocol for human subject testing should be followed.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I results and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), the company will conduct a detailed job task analysis for the ASW personnel using the AN/SQQ-89A (V) 15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System; employ the best in industry methodologies for the job task analysis; apply the findings from Phase I to develop a comprehensive curriculum, facilities plan, and training approach to address the job tasks, knowledge, and skills; conduct a one-week ASW University prototype to demonstrate the curriculum design approach for a subset of the learning goals required to achieve ASW personnel mastery; demonstrate improved performance using the prototyped process against current training processes for achieving the learning goals. Secure access to classified data will be required in Phase II. The protocol for human subject testing will be developed in Phase I for use in Phase II.
PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the training program to Navy use. In Phase III, ASW University will have parallel paths for transition to the fleet. First, the ASW University curriculum will provide an embedded e-learning course for the AN/SQQ-89A (V) 15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Combat System. ASW University will integrate with the training learning architecture utilized in combat systems. This current architecture utilizes the MOODLE learning management system, the Learning Locker learning record store and the Advanced Distributed Learning Experience API. The second path of transition is to supplement or replace the Surface ASW Operators course at the Fleet ASW Training Center. Testing will be conducted as part of the four step testing process associated with NAVSEA PEO IWS5A Advanced Capability Program. The classroom implementation of ASW University will be tested as a pilot course benchmarked against the current Surface ASW Operators course. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The efforts of the research will have direct application to civilian sector industries that involve training personnel to operate in complex domains. These domains include transportation, finance, commercial space and communication industries.
1. Ambrose, Susan A., Bridges, Michael W., and others, How Learning Works: Seven Research Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, John Wiley and Sons, 2010.
2. Merrienboer, J. J.G. and Kester, Liesbeth, Whole-Task Models in Education, Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2007, pp. 441-456.
3. Sheldon, Lee, The Multiplayer Classroom, Boston, Cengage Learning, 2011.
4. Gee, James Paul Learning by Design: Games as Learning Machines, E-Learning, 2005, 2(1), pp. 5-16.
5. M. David Merrill, A Tasked-Centered Instruction Strategy, Journal of Research on Technology In Education, Fall 2007, Volume 40(1), pp.33-50.
6. Sailor 2025. Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division. 10 May 2016. Sailor 2025 Ready Relevant Information Session. 20 September 2016. http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawctsd/EBusiness/BusOps/Forecast/sailor2025.cfm-
KEYWORDS: Gamification; Experience API; Interactive Video Training; Learning Theory; Training To Mastery; Distributed Learning
Volumetric Atmospheric Modeling from Point Measurements or a Single Profile
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop a model or process to utilize point weather measurements collected in-situ to estimate an atmospheric spatial distribution.
DESCRIPTION: Weather-related data collected in-situ is limited to point measurements (typically individual pieces of data collected near the surface) or vertical slices (which could be data collected in a column from the surface to several hundred feet above the surface). Proper modeling of the atmosphere for purposes of computing signature requires volumetric information on the atmosphere between the source and the target. Making volumetric atmospheric measurements from a submarine is not feasible or practical; and estimating an atmospheric homogenous spatial distribution from a single measurement is erroneous. The atmospheric spatial distribution is actually heterogeneous. The assumption of homogeneity leads to propagation errors. Current atmospheric modeling algorithms such as the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) and Navy Atmospheric Vertical Surface Layer Model (NAVSLaM) either do not predict the atmosphere accurately at the sea-air marine boundary layer or were not developed to predict an atmospheric profile given local meteorological measurements at the sea-air interface. Accurate volumetric atmospheric models are needed to feed electromagnetic propagation tools to predict system performance or vulnerability. Forecasted data in conjunction with the measured profile or point may be used to increase the accuracy of the extrapolation. Input to the model(s) will be temperature, humidity, pressure, sea temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. The Navy is developing a set of vulnerability assessment tools for integration into the submarine tactical system baseline. Environmental data obtained in-situ will by nature be point sources or single profiles. In order to maximize the system performance of the assessment tools, the atmospheric path from the receiver to the transmitter should be used, as it gives the most accurate predictions. This requires the development of volumetric data. This model(s) will allow submarines to estimate their electromagnetic vulnerability to visual/electro-optical/infrared systems, and to radar systems. Key weather-related inputs must be collected in-situ to operate these models with a high degree of accuracy for purposes of estimating electromagnetic propagation through the environment.
PHASE I: The small business shall develop and define a concept for a model to extrapolate the atmospheric profile from a point measurement or a single vertical measurement and forecasted data. The extrapolation should extend out to a minimum of 10km and have a height from the sea surface up to 1km. The company shall model key elements to provide a high degree of confidence that the concept for a model is feasible. The company shall document the model in Phase I and provide modeling data supporting the approach. Inputs to the model(s) will be temperature, humidity, pressure, sea temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. Small businesses should propose to the government the level of accuracy they expect to achieve. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will lay out the model and characteristics for development into a prototype in Phase II.
PHASE II: Based on the results and options presented in the Phase I effort, the small business will develop and deliver a prototype for Volumetric Atmospheric Modeling from Point Measurements or a Single Profile that will implement the model for evaluation, testing and refinement with captured weather data. The company should include the cost of a commercial weather point sensor and should procure this sensor for purposes of model validation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II Statement of Work (SoW) and the Navy need to comply with current Submarine Safety requirements.
PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. Transition of algorithms to the submarine combat system occurs through the Advanced Processor Build/Technical Insertion (TI-APB) process. Steps in this process include testing with data collected by the company (which should occur in Phase II) and testing with data provided by the government (which should occur in Phase III). The data will be similar to that discussed in Phase II. In addition, the company is expected to provide technical support to the Virginia or 688 Class combat system software integrator over the course of transition. Private Sector Commercial Potential: This technology will have applications in weather modeling for any scenarios where access to weather information is limited.
1. Fairall, C. W., et al. "Bulk parameterization of air-sea fluxes: Updates and verification for the COARE algorithm." Journal of Climate 16.4 (2003): 571-591.
2. Frederickson, Paul A. "Further improvements and validation for the Navy Atmospheric Vertical Surface Layer Model (NAVSLaM)." Radio Science Meeting (Joint with AP-S Symposium), 2015 USNC-URSI. IEEE, 2015.
3. Cherrett, Robin C. "Capturing characteristics of atmospheric refractivity using observation and modeling approaches." NPS Dissertation (2015).
4. Barbosa, Jose G. Sea-air boundary meteorological sensor, Proceedings of the SPIE 9456, Infrastructure Protection: Undersea and Maritime Technologies and Systems II, April 2015.
5. Jacobus, Peter W., Yan, Puck-Fai, and Barrett, John. Information Management: The Advanced Processor Build (Tactical), John Hopkins APL Technical Digest, Vol 23, 4, (2002).-
KEYWORDS: Atmospheric Modeling; Sea Temperature; NAVSLaM; COARE; Marine Boundary Layer (MBL); Marine Atmospheric Surface Layer (MASL)
Reduced Cavitation, High Efficiency Outboard Propulsors for Small Planing Craft
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate one or more advanced propulsion concepts driven by a 50-hp outboard motor that would significantly improve the performance of a 50-hp outboard motor pumpjet propulsor, using clean-slate explorations of advanced impeller blade and duct/shroud geometries, boundary layer manipulation, propulsor materials and shaft/drive arrangements or pumpjets/ducted props. This propulsion concept should be swappable with a commercial lower propulsor unit for the outboard engine demonstrator.
DESCRIPTION: Existing 50-hp engines used by U.S. DoD on the Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC, also known as Zodiac) provide the necessary top speed, payload, and range characteristics for many DoD missions. For some more demanding missions, these characteristics are insufficient. Missions that include extended loiter time, special payloads (UUVs, EOD equipment, etc.) would require improved performance. Improved propulsion efficiency and reduced vibrations would improve anti-mine mission capability. Two major performance areas will need to be improved: one is the top speeds with different payloads and the other is hull vibration due to engine and propulsor. It is desired to achieve a performance profile (to be provided to bidders as Government Furnished Information (GFI)) that reaches 35kt top speed (unloaded) and up to 25kt top speed with a 2700 lb payload (in Sea State 0). Hydrodynamic resistance curves for the CRRC will also be provided to the Phase I selectees as GFI for their concept feasibility work. Other performance characteristics that need to be improved will be propeller/shaft induced vibration that is believed to be caused primarily by rotor cavitation and the mechanical shafting system. A 30-40% vibration reduction over conventional propeller systems is desired.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility for the development of an advanced propulsor through a parametric study on propulsion efficiency, cavitation performance, materials/weight, and vibration. Fabrication cost and scalability to larger engines will be important factors. This STTR effort should employ state of the art design and performance analysis tools such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools, but may also rely on historical performance data base in conjunction with the computational efforts for propulsors under consideration by the performers. Such capability should be demonstrated through validation of their computational/empirical design and analysis study by comparing with well-documented experimental data.
PHASE II: Revise and refine propulsor concepts developed in Phase I and fabricate a proof-of-concept demonstrator (vendor-designed propulsor with a commercial 50-hp outboard motor) to be tested on a 15 ft. CRRC. Navy personnel will participate in these tests so that multiple Phase II engines can be evaluated. Testing will include speed versus payload trials in protected (SS0) conditions. A CRRC will also be provided by ONR during the demonstration period.
PHASE III: Using the results and findings from the Phase II testing, further refine and demonstrate the final propulsor design under conditions exceeding those in Phase II. Phase III operational testing will include higher sea-state performance, vibro/acoustic measurements, and impact/debris testing. The final concept will be swappable with the lower unit on DoD 55 HP Multi Fuel Engine (MFE), and will be demonstrated w/ this engine on Navy owned CRRC platforms. Private Sector Commercial Potential: If successful, we expect this propulsor to have immediate private sector interest due to the obvious desire that boaters have for both the propulsive performance as well as the habitability improvements with reduced vibro-acoustic emissions. The 55 MFE is an Evinrude product, so a swappable lower unit will have immediate private sector applications.
1. J. Eisenhuth and B. W. Mc Cormick. "Design and Performance of Propellers and Pumpjets for Underwater Propulsion", AIAA Journal, Vol. 1, No. 10 (1963), pp. 2348-2354.
2. Stephen A. Huyer, Amanda Dropkin. (2011) Integrated Motor/Propulsor Duct Optimization for Increased Vehicle and Propulsor Performance. Journal of Fluids Engineering 133, 041102.-
KEYWORDS: Pumpjet, Propulsor, Cavitation, Vibration, Efficiency, Payload
Phase-Change Materials for Tunable Infrared Devices
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop an active infrared element that is capable of providing dynamic narrow-band spectral properties to provide next-generation control of the electromagnetic spectrum from the mid to long wave infrared (3-12 um) for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Naval applications.
DESCRIPTION: Dominance of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is critical for DoD. Emerging technologies that operate within untapped portions of the spectrum will shape the battlespace and disrupt the adversarys ability to do the same. The mid-wave infrared/long-wave infrared (MRIR/LWIR) spectral region is used in a variety of surveillance systems, but these systems often lack tunability. There is also a current lack of mature communications technologies operating in this range, presenting a significant spectral gap. The commercial state-of-the-art for tunable IR filters is the use of acousto-optic modulators which are costly, bulky, consume large amounts of power, and have limited spectral bandwidth and angular field-of-view. The relative form factor and performance constraints are major limitations to expanding the application space. As such, the development of dynamic infrared materials will be critical. Two emerging technical areas of development for dynamic IR materials are metasurfaces and phase-change materials.[3-5] Metasurfaces enable extremely thin spectral tailoring, angular insensitivity, and polarization control. Phase-change materials provide fast and reversible changes in optical properties. Control can be achieved using electrical, optical or thermal stimuli to induce phase changes. Switching speeds have recently been measured down to the picosecond range indicating that such materials can be leveraged to build high-speed devices. The combination of metasurfaces and phase-change materials will enable revolutionary advances in tunable infrared filters for communications and surveillance. State-of-the-art acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTFs) typically have a volume of 200 cm3, an instantaneous bandwidth of 2-4%, and a field of view of +/- 15o. The goal of this project is to design and fabricate tunable filters with a volume less than 10 cm3, a bandwidth greater than 10% over at least four simultaneous channels in the 3-12 um range, and a field of view of at least +/- 60o.
PHASE I: Develop concepts for a switchable device that is capable of providing dynamic narrow-band spectral properties within the MWIR/LWIR spectral range. Phase I should include a detailed design that will determine the feasibility of devices based on phase-change materials and metasurfaces for communications and sensing systems for DoD applications. It is expected that these concepts will require detailed model development in order for the new materials system to be optimized. Required Phase I deliverables will include a report with a modeling plan, device designs and performance goals.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I effort, develop a scaled prototype dynamic IR device for evaluation in consultation with the Navy. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase I report. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results along with military specification considerations that were not addressed in the Phase I concept design will be used to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Navy requirements.
PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the small business will provide support in transitioning the technology for Navy use. In accordance with the Phase III development plan, the company will extend the limited scope solution to a wider range of platforms. Additional considerations including reliability and manufacturability will be examined. The company will provide support for operational testing and validation and qualify the system for Navy use. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Commercial applications for this technology could include imaging, sensing, satellite communications, wireless networking, infrared dynamic labels, and object identifiers.
1. B. Clark and M. Gunzinger, Winning the Airwaves (2015), http://csbaonline.org/publications/2015/12/winning-the-airwaves-sustaining-americas-advantage-in-the-electronic-spectrum
2. Brimrose, Free Space Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter, http://www.brimrose.com/pdfandwordfiles/AOTF.pdf
3. A. Tittl et al., A Switchable Mid-Infrared Plasmonic Perfect Absorber with Multispectral Thermal Imaging Capability, Advanced Materials 27, 4597, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201502023/abstract _Adv_Mater_312015 (2015).
4. Q. Wang et al., Optically reconfigurable metasurfaces and photonic devices based on phase change materials, Nature Photonics 10, 60, http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v10/n1/full/nphoton.2015.247.html (2016).
5. S.G.C. Carrillo et al., Design of practicable phase-change metadevices for near-infrared absorber and modulator applications, Optics Express 24, 263607 https://www.osapublishing.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-24-12-13563 (2016).-
KEYWORDS: Infrared; Filters; Tunable; Phase-change; Metasurface; Communications
Multi Modal Video Summarization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a video summarization capability by leveraging computer vision, audio processing and a range of natural language processing technologies. The capability should fuse information from imagery and audio in order to infer delivery method, context, content, intent and pedigree.
DESCRIPTION: A fully automated real-time capability to summarize a video by inferring the delivery method, context, content, intent and pedigree is required. Posted videos are becoming a very important source of information about places, organizations and events, but it has become nearly impossible for even a large staff to watch and summarize everything that gets posted. The information content in a video is the sum of what is said, how something is said and what is pictured. Computer vision (scene understanding, specific object, face and activity recognition), audio processing (emphasis, emotion) and natural language processing (NLP) (e.g. entity and association extraction and event/theme/concept/sentiment/deception detectors) could be used in parallel to enable video content to be summarized. Computer vision techniques now exist for a wide range of tasks including specific entity recognition, tracking and activity classification . Natural language processing can mine transcribed text for entities and content . A classifier could consider audio features of the sound track to infer which clips are likely to be more important than others . Available context could also be used to improve object, scene and activity inferencing . Concepts maps, populated with mined text and image information normalized to a common data model could be used to produce a summarization and infer the intent of the person who posted the video  once these concept frames are expanded to include multi-modal data and data about data (e.g. tone). A pedigree estimator could summarize the consistency between who/what/where/when for the extracted information. Lastly a learning algorithm is needed to rank order videos based on their relative importance to the DoD. To meet the goals of this topic, however, advances in each domain are needed to normalize machine understanding across all domains to enable fused accurate and complete summarizations. The challenges can be broken down into 6 parts. The first challenge is to expand current computer vision capabilities as required to describe and uniquely identify a greater number of objects of potential interest to DoD. The relationship between objects (e.g. a Glock pointed at a covered western male) can be critical to the assessment of content. Additionally text embedded in images (subtitles or optical character recognition (OCR)) needs to be captured. A second challenge is to mature the processing of audio algorithms in order to capture audio importance based on the state of the speaker (e.g. emotion or excitement). A third challenge is to process what was said in terms of entities, concepts, activities mentioned. While the Phase I effort can be limited to English videos, the matured product must process English, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. The fourth challenge is to normalize information gathered by computer vision, audio processing and natural language processing to a common data model that enables a rich summarization capability. The fifth challenge is to mature ways to capture information consistency and uncertainty. For example a video threatening US interests needs to be taken more seriously if the audio and image content show a consistent picture of motivation, access and means, less so if (for example) the video does not back up the audio. Lastly summarized videos should be rank ordered based on potential interest to the DoD. Quality metrics can be tracked over time by comparing how well someone does answering important questions about a video after reviewing the automated video summarizations compared to after viewing the complete video.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility and describe techniques to implement some or all of the component pieces of the Multi Modal Video Summarization system; identify key technical risks associated with the development of a prototype; implement a design strategy to measure algorithm/system performance over time. Technical approach should address the challenges of 1) machine understanding of images, audio (including sound features and transcript content) 2) automated content fusion 3) producing a summarization enabled by smart content selection 4) learning based approaches to rank ordering videos based on content of interest to the DoD. During the Phase I effort the small business will work with Naval programs to identify a specific application and use case and outline a plan for going forward with development of the technology. The final Phase I brief should include a proof of concept demonstration and show plans for a Phase II.
PHASE II: Produce a video summarization prototype system with user tested relevant accuracy/completeness performance. The prototype system should run as a real-time background service that supports real time alerting as well as an efficient search and retrieval capability. The system should learn from user feedback on the relevance of any one video to an analytic question. The prototype should present confidence estimates for produced summarizations as well as pedigree information on the video itself as a potential trusted information source. During the Phase II effort, the transition path should be strengthened by focusing on the video data extraction challenges of transition/commercialization partners.
PHASE III: Finalize the design and coding of an application or set of applications that are capable being generalized to the video exploitation needs of all DoD and selected commercial entities. The Phase III product(s) should be capable of running on the selected program of record software baseline (expected to be a cloud architecture) while supporting data discovery from program of record intelligence systems within the Department of the Navy via a user friendly query interface. The small business will work with programs of record to transition the matured and final product. The developed system must have relevance to gathering information on the activities of groups hostile to US interests. During this phase the performer should concentrate on operational relevance and transition. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Video summarization capabilities would enable news services to more efficiently mine video content. It would also enable video posting services to enhance their search engines.
1. Gowsikhaa D. Abirami S. Baskaran R. (2014). Automated Human Behavior Analysis from Surveillance Videos: A Survey. Artificial Intelligence Review, 42: 747-765
2. FrameNet Project: https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/about
3. Liwei H. Sanocki E. Gupta A. Grudin J. Auto-Summarization of Audio-Video Presentations, Microsoft Research: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=68644
4. Zhu X. Loy C. Gong S. (2016). Learning from Multiple Sources for Video Summarization: International Journal Computer Vision, 117:247-268
5. Ristoski P. Paulheim H. (2016) Semantic Web in Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery: A Comprehensive Survey: Web Semantics: Science Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, 36: 1-22 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570826816000020-
KEYWORDS: Video Summarization; Video; Audio; NLP; Transcription; Computer Vision; Machine Learning; Artificial Intelligence
Data Extractor for Event Pattern Archiving
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop technology to auto-extract data relevant to significant events and to archive patterns. The Science and Technology (S&T) challenge is to create intelligent algorithms for building event context awareness to associate areas, timelines and data sources of relevance to preserve essential data collection in a form for efficient recall and analytics.
DESCRIPTION: The military reports events such as insurgent attacks or terrorist bombings in messages. There is need to improve archiving of events to better recognize recurring or analogous threats and to aid forensic study. Attacks can take place in different contexts yet share many features. It is important to record an event description, spatial-temporal pattern, and associated relevant data. Once recorded, it needs to be archived in a condensed form that preserves entities, relationships and context such as in a graph structure or embedding space. Since large attacks can be rare ("Black Swans") it is necessary to not rely solely on machine learning or statistics methods but also to employ algorithms based on artificial intelligence that use reasoning to build context awareness. For example, the 9/11 attack used planes, the planes had common route properties, passengers had associates, etc. Today, Naval Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems collect large amounts of data. Data is typically kept for a period of time and then discarded. Motivation for this research topic is the desire to capture important information before it is lost. To achieve this goal, in a cost effective manner, automation is required. Future systems will be based on cloud computing enterprises that have access to tactical sensor data, both semi-structured reports and unstructured documents. Data science offers potential solutions. The fundamental questions that need to be answered for this research and development topic are What data is important to keep?, and How can important data be best preserved? Work on this topic can be best bounded by the target customer data and applications. Background studies provide a useful starting point for this topic. There has been steady advancement in knowledge discovery and data mining. Surveys of methods and tools provide insight into resources available and potential system designs [1, 2]. There are common steps for acquiring knowledge and a recognized need for process iteration to optimize systems. A great deal of time is consumed in data preparation and this can be reduced by use of open standards for data sharing. Experience in extracting content from text shows the value of external machine readable dictionaries and semantic relationship resources . A survey of methods used for contrast set mining, emerging pattern mining and subgroup discovery provides insight into pattern discovery and visualization . Patterns abstraction and constraints are useful for dealing with disparate data and in data reduction . Pattern forms include database schemas, relational views and classification hierarchies. Selection of temporal sequences and granularity of data are important for describing events . S&T for this topic to consider are as follows: 1) Novel search methods to locate, review and collect data sources; 2) Data mining algorithms to reduce content by association to event attributes (e.g. by clustering, regression and rules); 3) Use of common reference databases to ground data content used such as geographic places, entity names, and concept semantics; 4) Means to assess data patterns for rate of occurrence and generalization for predictive value; 5) Best means to store event patterns in a form that is descriptive and has essential data in forms accessible by data mining tools such as CSV, JSON or others. Use of open standards for relationship building (ontology) and graphs structures is encouraged. Demonstration of capabilities for this topic to consider are as follows: 1) Starting with customer events/activities of interest, identify entities, relationship and context relevant for analysis; 2) Show a means to process data sources and extract content from structured and/or unstructured data sources; 3) Show an efficient means to identify and store relevant patterns; 4) Validate machine algorithms used for uncovering patterns that are rational and human understandable; 5) Show methods to apply patterns in a naval cloud computing environment to trigger user defined alerts (domain specific); and 6) Enable operator participation for refinement of process and visualizations of patterns in a means that is user instructive.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility for the development of Data Extractor for Event Pattern Archiving. Identify an application for pattern archiving of value to government or commercial markets. For this application, provide a method for extracting relevant entities, relationship, and content associations. Show a means to construct a pattern based on open sources/ standards. Provide product description, potential customers and demonstrate capability feasibility. During the Phase I effort, performers are expected to identify metrics to validate performance of analytic process with the goal of reducing technical risk associated with building a working prototype, should work progress. Performers should produce Phase II plans with a technology roadmap and milestones.
PHASE II: Produce a prototype system based on the preliminary design from Phase I. The prototype should enable users to infer information not overtly evident in the data and provide measures of effectiveness. In Phase II, the small business may be given data by the Government to validate capabilities. An offeror should assume that the prototype system will need to run as a distributed application in cloud architecture that could scale to millions of nodes and billions of edges and have matured a design for a responsive human computer interface. Phase II deliverables will include a working prototype of the system, software documentation including a users manual, and a demonstration using operational data or accurate surrogates of operational data.
PHASE III: Produce a final design system capable of deployment. The system should be adapted to transition as a component to a larger system or as standalone commercial product. The small business should provide a means for performance evaluation with metrics for analysis (e.g. precision and recall) and method for operator assessment of product interactions (e.g. display visualizations). The Phase III system should have an intuitive human computer interface, providing operator engagement but not work overload. The software and hardware should be modified and documented in accordance with guidelines provided by engaged multi-intelligence and command and control programs of record. Researchers are encouraged to publish S&T contributions. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Internet search engines would benefit from the maturation of data retrieval based on embedded space showing relationships of content. Currently, information retrieval is limited to word searches with some support to graph searches. Information retrieval based on second or higher order association (degrees of separation) would transform content delivery.
1. Lukasz Kurgan and Petr Musilek, A survey of Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining process models, The Knowledge Engineering Review, 21:1, 2006.
2. Sreenivas Sukumar, Open Research Challenges with Big Data - A Data-Scientists Perspective, IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data), pp 1272-8, 2015. DOI: 10.1109/BigData.2015.7363882.
3. Alain Auger and Caroline Barniere, Pattern-based Approaches to Semantic Relation Extraction “ A state-of-the art. Terminology 14:1, 2008. http://nparc.cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/view/accepted/?id=3b37c957-2b29-47bd-9786-3bfc0669a8dd
4. Petra Novak, et. Al., Supervised Descriptive Rule Discovery: A Unifying s=Survey of Contrast Set, Emerging Pattern and Subgroup Mining, Journal of Machine Learning 10, 2009.
5. Andreia Silva, et. Al., Constrained pattern mining in the new era Knowledge and Information Systems, 47:3, (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s10115-015-0860-5.
6. Chuanren Liu, et. al, Sequential Pattern Analysis with Right Granularity, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshop (ICDMW), 2014. DOI: 10.1109/ICDMW.2014.164. -
KEYWORDS: Knowledge Discovery, Data Mining, Data Science, Machine Learning, Pattern Analysis, Cloud Computing
Degraded Synthetic Training
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Design, develop and demonstrate an architecture and cyber threat simulation software that can safely, securely, and realistically degrade critical surface warfare capabilities in support of Fleet mission assurance and Continuity of Operations (COOP) training requirements.
DESCRIPTION: Historically, the primary methods for representing cyber threats in exercises are live red teams and scenario white cards. Live red teams produce realistic results, but are limited in their availability and the scope of what they can accomplish given real-world and exercise constraints. White cards artificially impose a degraded or denied condition on the training audience for a period of time, but offer little or no opportunity for the training audience to realistically experience and respond to the threat. Recent Secretary of Defense  and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  requirements and guidance has led to the development of a variety of training technologies that are capable of safely and securely representing cyber effects on operational-level networks, systems and hosts. These technologies are slowly being introduced into battle staff training programs in order to satisfy requirements for Joint mission assurance and COOP [3,4]. Similar capabilities are needed at the tactical level to provide fleet surface warfare operators and leaders the opportunity to develop and practice Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) for "fighting through" degraded and denied conditions. Potential degraded and denied conditions include network performance degradation, data manipulation, and host denial. Degraded Synthetic Training (DST) solutions must be compatible with existing Fleet training architectures including the Navy Continuous Training Environment and the Navy Training Federation and DoD and Navy information assurance requirements as described by the Risk Management Framework. Effective command and control and situational awareness of degraded and denied conditions is also required to ensure effects can be accurately and securely delivered, monitored, and rescinded in accordance with exercise control processes and procedures. DST solutions will improve Fleet readiness by providing opportunities to safely train and exercise in a cyber-contested environment.
PHASE I: Develop a concept and a preliminary architecture and cyber threat simulation software to safely, securely, and realistically incorporate degraded and denied conditions into Fleet synthetic training events. Detail which Navy training architectures, standards, models and simulations, and interfaces need to be updated to include DST effects representations and how those capabilities will be affected by and interfaced to one another. Determine what operational and tactical-level training requirements would be addressed by the implementation of the recommended updates.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I effort, update the DST concept, develop the detailed design of a DST prototype, and develop a functional DST prototype. The prototype design and implementation must be compatible with the Navy training architectures and standards outlined above. Demonstrate prototype features, including degradation of tactical surface warfare systems, in a representative Fleet synthetic training environment.
PHASE III: Mature and transition the DST architecture and cyber threat simulation software to the Navys Fleet synthetic training program. Employ the architecture and the software in support of Fleet synthetic training and exercises. Ensure the solutions address the full scope of the concept and all required documentation and training material is finalized. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Cyber attacks are occurring at an alarming rate and targets include the private-sector in addition to the DoD. Cyber effects developed in this STTR could be leveraged by the private-sector in training their personnel.
1. Carter, A. (2015). The DoD Cyber Strategy. http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/features/2015/0415_cyber-strategy/Final_2015_DoD_CYBER_STRATEGY_for_web.pdf
2. Goldfein, D., (2014). CJCSI 3500.01H, Joint Training Policy for the Armed Forces of the United States, http://dtic.mil/cjcs_directives/cdata/unlimit/3500_01.pdf
3. Morse, K., & Drake, D., & Wells, D., & Bryan, D. (2014). Realizing the Cyber Operational Architecture Training System (COATS) Through Standards. 2014 Fall Simulation Interoperability Workshop.
4. Wells, D., & Bryan, D. (2015). Cyber Operational Architecture Training System “ Cyber for All. 2015 I/ITSEC.-
KEYWORDS: Cyber, Mission Assurance, Continuity Of Operations, Modeling And Simulation, Training, System Degradation
Adaptive Optics for Nonlinear Atmospheric Propagation of Laser Pulses
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: To develop novel adaptive optics concepts to control and extend the atmospheric propagation of laser pulses with peak powers sufficient to access nonlinear self-focusing in air and laser bandwidths sufficient to enable significant temporal compression over kilometer-scale propagation distances.
DESCRIPTION: The overall goal of this program is to produce adaptive optics for an ultrashort pulse laser system that will enable laser filamentation at controllable ranges up to multiple kilometers in the atmosphere. Emerging laser systems will produce short pulses (~psec or less) with peak powers >GWs and average powers in the hundreds of watts. At these powers, nonlinear self-focusing in the air and within the optical train of the laser compromises the effectiveness of conventional adaptive optics (AO) for correcting phase distortions due to atmospheric turbulence. For example, conventional adaptive optics are founded on the concept of reciprocity, i.e., a remote beacon on the target can be reproduced by transmitting the conjugate field of the beacon at the receiver . However, there is a breakdown in reciprocity between a low-power AO beacon on the target and the transmitted ultra-short pulse laser (USPL) that is propagating near the critical power for self-focusing in air. The critical power of air, from the near-IR to the mid-IR spectrum, scales approximately as the laser wavelength squared. It is several GW in the near-IR (0.8 to 1 microns) and up to 100 GW in the mid-IR (3-5 microns) . The Navy is interested in transmitting ultra-short laser pulses long distances through the atmosphere. Similar to conventional high-power Continuous-wave (CW) laser systems, this will require adaptive optics for turbulent environments. However, adaptive optics for conventional CW laser systems will need to be modified to function with ultra-short, high-peak intensity laser pulses and related non-linear phenomena and AO update rates. Present-day USPL systems can access these peak powers at wavelengths within the near-IR and mid-IR atmospheric transmission bands. In addition, ultrashort laser pulses have large bandwidths (~ tens of THz) that can be used to control the peak power of the pulse as it propagates through the air, e.g., a chirped pulse can be made to temporally compress in air due to group velocity dispersion . We seek AO concepts and algorithms that are effective for high-peak power USPL systems. In particular, we are looking for ways to control the nonlinear focal range and beam quality over long-range propagation in turbulent atmospheres with Rytov variances approaching unity, and with significant aerosol extinction. The AO concept should be able to focus the laser to attain fluences of a few Joules per cm2. Concepts should address laser systems (powers, bandwidths, and wavelengths) that are projected to be achievable within a 10-year development window.
PHASE I: The Phase I effort will define and develop the Adaptive Optics for Nonlinear Atmospheric Propagation of Laser Pulses concept and identify the required technology to implement it. Approaches should address the advantages and disadvantages of operating in various atmospheric transmission windows from the near-IR (~1-2 micron) to mid-wave “IR (~3-5 micron) to long-wave-IR (~8-12 microns), however a down-select for the wavelength will occur before prototype development based on the merits of the concept and source availability. The Phase I concept should demonstrate, through analysis and simulations, the feasibility of producing the required fluence on target through turbulent, dispersive, aerosol environments as discussed above. Cooperative targets with a pre-existing beacon may be considered, but AO concepts for non-cooperative targets are preferred. Required Phase I deliverables will include a detailed report showing how the proposed concept can meet the requirements. If possible, the report should discuss how the concept could be validated, either through field testing or scaled laboratory experiments that will be carried out in Phase II or III.
PHASE II: The Phase II effort will develop and implement the best combined hardware and software approach from the Phase I effort at the selected laser wavelength based on the merits of the concept and source availability for demonstration. Once the Adaptive Optics for Nonlinear Atmospheric Propagation of Laser Pulses prototype is developed, demonstrations to validate the proposed concept are to be performed using the available USPL source in a suitable laboratory-scale experiment or in a controlled field test. The tests should demonstrate the controlled creation of sub-diffraction-limited focal spots on a target after propagating through strong turbulence. The operation and limitations of the system will be characterized for a variety of atmospheric and turbulence conditions and the statistical properties of the laser pulse on the target will be determined.
PHASE III: Phase III will ruggedize and reduce the SWaP requirement of the prototype fabricated in Phase II for operation in a shipboard environment and for operational demonstration in a maritime environment. AO systems have presently not been deployed on Navy platforms. Astronomical systems typically consist of a deformable mirror and racks of CPUs for processing. A Naval system would require more processing power but also need to be more compact and significantly more ruggedized. GPU-based systems could provide this requirement. The Phase III deformable mirror hardware product will be tested for operability and survivability against shipboard vibrations and jitter, and maritime environmental degradation, in conjunction with a future potential USPL POR source yet to be determined. Preliminary testing of the device can be done in the laboratory, but the ultimate goal is to demonstrate operability of the AO system with a USPL, on a maritime platform in sea state, that can deliver sub-diffraction-limited laser pulses through a turbulent maritime environment characterized by a scintillation index approaching unity. Private Sector Commercial Potential: A commercialized AO system based on this prototype could facilitate development of new applications and basic research including remote sensing using laser-induced breakdown and high-intensity laser-matter interactions where beam quality can be a limiting factor.
1. Ultrashort Laser Pulse Phenomena, J-C. Diels and W. Rudolph, Academic Press, 1996.
2. Adaptive Optics for Astronomical Telescopes, John W Hardy, Oxford University Press, 1998.
3. Nonlinear Optical Model of Air Medium in the Problem of Filamentation of Femtosecond Laser Pulses of Different Wavelengths, V. Yu. Fedorov and V. P. Kandidov, Optics and Spectroscopy 105, 280 (2008).
4. Propagation of intense short laser pulses in the atmosphere, P. Sprangle, J.R. PeÃ±ano, B. Hafizi, Phys. Rev. E, 66 046418 (2002).-
KEYWORDS: Laser; Lasers; Ultra-short Pulsed Lasers; Adaptive Optics; AO; USPL; Nonlinear Propagation; Filament; Filamentation; Nonlinear Self-focusing; NLSF; Turbulence; Reciprocity
Innovative Collaboration for Unmanned Aerial and Dissimilar Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: Goal is to develop innovative software and hardware solutions enabling collaborative efforts between unmanned aerial and dissimilar systems, such as ground and sea vehicles, that results in synergistic behavior and allow unmanned aerial platforms to be used to accomplish more complex missions through real-time perception and sensor data sharing. Achieving this goal will leverage recent advances in miniaturization and sensing, autonomous landing and collision avoidance, semantic mapping, and could enable ways for teams of different types of unmanned systems to operate.
DESCRIPTION: Unmanned aerial systems are being used in increasing numbers to reduce risk and cost, and to reduce the demand for manned platforms particularly in hostile environments. Much of this increase is in the use of small, lower cost, tactical unmanned platforms to provide rapid, actionable information directly to the operator. The U.S. Navy, for example, is using unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) for surveillance and counter-mine operations and Navy experts also are developing unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for mine warfare and harbor security. Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have been used for a number of years to provide situational awareness and perimeter surveillance capabilities for both Naval Vessels and forward deployed ground troops. The current capability is generally a result of the specific platforms level of autonomy and the suite of sensors being operated, but there is a desire for future systems to share capabilities between platforms, thereby increasing the overall capability of the system. Examples of particular interest are hardware and software to enable Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) working with unmanned ground vehicles to autonomously map and classify landing zones to enable other autonomous system teammates to land and takeoff safely or for instance map a path for an unmanned ground vehicle to a rendezvous point. Working together these different platforms could provide terrain mapping and classification to provide up-to-date, highly detailed 3-D annotated mapping for situational awareness and Landing Zone Evaluation. Further, small Scale UAVs in concert with Unmanned Ground Vehicles would be capable of near real time sharing of environmental information such as man-made structures and vegetation. This micro scale mapping capability could perform tactical reconnaissance of intended Landing Zones (and other areas) to further inform mission planning and execution. A primary capability that has yet to be developed is the suite of autonomous behaviors necessary to determine when it is appropriate to land, identify a suitable landing zone (LZ), guide the SUAS to the LZ, or for a SUAS to guide an unmanned ground vehicle to a safe rendezvous point with a vertical takeoff SUAS for use in mission such as cargo resupply. In this scenario, the SUAS could work cooperatively with an unmanned ground vehicle to identify the LZ and guide its teammate to it from a suitable vantage point. The unmanned ground vehicle could also pass mapping data for terrain not visible to the aerial vehicle. This would give the landing vehicle the benefit of multiple perspectives relative to the LZ. Another example of interest would be the exchange of information between a SUAS and an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to rendezvous and the SUAS land on the USV. This could be used in applications such as search and rescue or area surveillance. The Navy is looking to develop collaborative activities between unmanned systems that will enhance the primary platforms capability and allow the execution of more complex, higher importance missions. Collaboration can be between similar or dissimilar (air, surface or underwater) unmanned platforms, but should share critical information that enhances the value and capability of the system, or allows the execution of unique missions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to carry out. This could include passing semantic terrain mapping and classification, precise relative navigation information between the vehicles, and other sensor information. Previous efforts on collaboration  often utilize expensive hardware and/or complex software , but a further objective of this work is to leverage lower cost commercially available technology developed for mass produced, portable, hand held devices such as cell phones and tablets. A goal would be to utilize commercially available technology and not develop unique hardware.
PHASE I: Identify specific collaborative platforms and develop a concept for the sharing of critical information that would enable collaborative efforts between the platforms, synergistic behaviors that are enabled, and describe the more complex missions possible through real-time perception and sensor data sharing. Achieving this goal will leverage recent advances in miniaturization and sensing, autonomous landing and collision avoidance, semantic mapping, and could enable ways for teams of different types of unmanned systems to operate. Work directly with a university or research institute to develop and tailor technologies to meet a specific type of application/mission. Demonstrate how the platforms will be linked and what information might be shared to augment the mission and provide increased capability. Where appropriate, provide bench scale demonstrations of key technologies to reduce the risk associated with a practical demonstration.
PHASE II: Based on Phase I effort the small business will develop and demonstrate the technology that enables collaborative behavior of the autonomous platforms and provide quantitative information to show enhanced capability from the collaborative system. Develop, build and implement specific technology for a proposed range of applications/missions and work with selected OEMs to develop approximate cost analyses for proposed production volumes.
PHASE III: Phase III efforts will focus on developing a transition path for the hardware and software solutions. At this stage, the technology will be fully integrated and capable of end to end mission completion. The small business will provide support in transitioning the system for Marine Corps and US NAVY use in small UAS programs. Application of robotics is a rapidly expanding field which can leverage greatly the ability of different domain type systems to operate together. This is part of the "internet of things" revolution that is occurring. Private Sector Commercial Potential: If Phase III is successful, UxS collaboration as an integrated capability would be useful to all civilian UAS/UGV/USV. It has specific application in construction industry, and all industries that require highly accurate coordination between different types of vehicles fusing data from different perspectives. Similar to their military applications, autonomous systems will soon be relied on more extensively in the private sector as well. This STTR topic seeks to expand technical capabilities of autonomous systems. Autonomous Collaboration will benefit industries such as agriculture (land mapping, terrain classification), conservation, and search and rescue applications.
1. Fink W, Dohm J.M, Tarbell M.A, Hare T.M, Baker V.R Next-Generation Robotic Planetary Reconnaissance Missions: A Paradigm Shift; Planetary and Space Science, 53, (2005) 1419-1426
2. Drewes P, Franke J. Collaborative Unmanned Operations for Maritime Security. http://220.127.116.11/papers/1588.pdf -
KEYWORDS: Autonomy, Unmanned, Air Vehicles, Sensor Sharing, Ground Vehicles, UAV
Improved High-Frequency Bottom Loss Characterization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Replace the empirical Naval Oceanographic High Frequency Bottom Loss (HFBL) curves with new parameterization for the seabed that includes an improved basis in physics.
DESCRIPTION: The High Frequency Bottom Loss (HFBL) database is generated and managed by the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). The HFBL is based on a series of nine curves derived by the Marine Geological Survey (MGS) that describe acoustic bottom loss for frequencies ranging between 1.5 “ 4 kHz. HFBL database entries for a given geographic location of the seafloor are determined by the curve, that when used as the input parameters for a model, minimizes the difference between modeled and measured transmission loss (TL). To refine the match between model and measurements for inclusion in the database, curves are interpolated to the nearest 1/10th. This inverse process is carried out independently at each of the 1/3 octave frequencies over the HFBL range. Although the process for generating HFBL data is well established, very high variability in the derived curves from area surveys has been noted. The variability is most prominent in the higher frequency bands and has not been shown to correlate with bottom sediment type. In addition to sediment type, recent work indicates that roughness at the seafloor and sub-bottom interfaces also contribute to bottom loss but are not accounted for in generating the MGS curves. The Navy thus seeks an alternative parameterization of the seafloor to represent BL for frequencies between 1 “ 10 kHz and that accounts for the acoustic properties, layering, and interface scattering of the seabed. The parameterization should also consider variability of sediments and sub-bottom structure as it related to TL variability for both forward and inverse problems. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and ONR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Define and develop concepts to determine feasibility for new parameterization for the seabed to replace the HFBL model that is based on MGS bottom loss curves. Identify the physical properties of the seabed and physical phenomena and perform sensitivity studies to determine relative contributions affecting bottom loss and transmission loss. Identify relevant databases from which parameters can be obtained and/or describe measurements required to obtain them either directly or by inference. Demonstrate utility of new parameterization/model as input to TL models for comparison with predictions based on HFBL.
PHASE II: Based upon the Phase I effort, further validate the proposed parameterization with data representing a variety of different environments. Identify relevant data sets and/or refine the measurement plan developed in Phase I to collect data. Develop a methodology for inverting measured TL data to infer the required parameters for the proposed replacement to the HFBL database. Document the mathematical development of the physics underlying the new parameterization in technical reports. Document and provide algorithms for the inversion process. Extend the sensitivity studies in Phase I to include the effects of spatial variability in parameters on BL and modeled TL. Further extend to include temporal effects that may be relevant at daily and/or seasonal time scales. Develop a scheme for including spatial and temporal variability of parameters for the replacement of the HFBL model. Document the proposed scheme in reports including any algorithms developed.
PHASE III: A successful development will result in the total replacement of the current HFBL model used by NAVOCEANO. Validation and verification of the HFBL replacement will be carried out by the Oceanography and Atmospheric Master Library (OAML) process. Phase III may require security clearance for the contracted team. Private Sector Commercial Potential: The specific application would have primary application in the military. There is some potential for the technology to spin off to scientific and geotechnical applications that require knowledge of the seafloor tailored to their applications.
1. P.C. Etter, Underwater Acoustic Modeling and Simulation, 4th Edition, (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 2013).
2. R.P. Hodges, Underwater Acoustics: Analysis, Design and Performance of Sonar, (J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, U.K. 2010).
3. J. George, D.W. Harvey, A Lowrie, and L.S. Conner, Environmental factors that contribute to high frequency bottom loss variability, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 138, pp. 1897 (2015).
4. J. Yang, D.R. Jackson, and D. Tang, Mid-frequency geoacoustic inversion using bottom loss data from the Shallow Water 2006 Experiment, J. Acoust. Soc. Am, Vol. 131, pp. 1711 (2012). -
KEYWORDS: Acoustic Propagation; Transmission Loss; Geoacoustic Inversion; Bottom Loss; High-frequency Acoustics; Seabed Characterization
Energy Efficient, Non-Silicon Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Develop an Energy Efficient, Non-Silicon (non-Si) Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that can be integrated on the same die as an already demonstrated superconductive or photonic ultra-wide analog to digital converter (ADC) and used to adaptively thin the data stream produced as to signal band of interest, direction of signal arrival, or transmit the data to the user only if the signals characteristics match a fully specified set of signal parameters. Such processing must be accomplished in real time with less latency and power consumption than if done using commercial off the shelf (COTS) Si digital processors such as field-programmable gate array (FPGA).
DESCRIPTION: Both superconductive and photonic based technologies have recently demonstrated ultra-wideband analog to digital conversion (ADC) capability. However, neither technology have yet demonstrated preliminary signal processing technology integrated with the ADC onto a single LSI or PIC die and instead depend on FPGA, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), or central processing unit (CPU) post-processing. The gates required, power and time required to complete this step encourage legacy system users interested in single RF functions to refuse to consider adopting such potentially universal, lower non-recurring engineering (NRE) and logistics cost ADC hardware “ it provides more data than they need and all that excess is effectively just noise, even though it may be the signal of interest to other users on the same platform. Acquisition programs tend to focus on redoing legacy functionalities one at a time, rather than looking for mergers. If the technologies could be matured to produce upon software request exactly the data the user requests at that moment and dispose of the rest without user attention, the narrow band users would not need to modify their established approach to the data they receive. But the data processing, being digital and based on a single representation of the entire wide-band signal environment, can be expanded to service in parallel a range of such narrow band users simultaneously and without any one applications requirements having impacted the quality of data provided to additional data consumers. Recognized, early stage Digital Signal Processing (DSP) components of many sorts are acceptable to propose so long as they reduce the net data rate delivered to the user who defines the selection criteria to be used and are useful across the entire RF spectrum, DC to 110 GHz. For example, superconducting ADCs have demonstrated programmable cascade integrator comb (CIC) based channelizers between their digitizers and their outputs, but these don't adequately suppress out-of-the-intended-band signals in dense signal environments. Finite Impulse Response (FIR) or Infinite impulse response (IIR) filters could suppress out-of-the-intended-band signals in dense signal environments. True time delay, element level beam formers have been notionally architected, but not proven. Sensors that turn on data output only when a signal is likely present are useful in sparse signal environments and reduce the volume of data that must be post-processed. Photonics has developed mixer and frequency comb based methods of selecting center frequencies, but has not demonstrated neither variable band width nor integration with selection. Work on blind source separation has only recently begun. Both these classes of technologies are ready for an advancement. The initial proposal must define which sort of DSP functionality will be worked, with what kind of algorithm, and explain why that class of algorithm is well suited to the technology. It also should address both the latency and energy efficiency of the proposed approach(s) in comparison to what is achieved today using COTS Si processors.
PHASE I: Determine concept technical feasibility by developing through scientific argumentation and sub-circuit demonstrations the non-Si DSP approach concept defined in the Description section. By the end of the Phase I, the proposed design, if eventually realized, must have low technical risk to achieve the asserted DSP functionality and plausibly be compactly packaged with the ADC to achieve lower latency and higher energy efficiency than todays COTS Si processors programmed to achieve the same functionality. Proposers must structure their Phase I proposal so that any university non-profit partner is contributing only to fundamental research sub-efforts. In the first option, if awarded, begin to work the issue of highest technical risk during the Phase II.
PHASE II: Using results from Phase I, fabricate and validate the DSP functionality of concept in a brass-board prototype and achieve a minimized SWaP, integrated prototype. Several rounds of design-fabrication-test-and analysis are expected during development. Analog input signals used for testing should include standard wideband communications modulations as well as conventional multi-continuous wave tones and big-little testing to stress the front end. If element level beam forming is the proposed focus, at least 4 elements at least 4 GHz wide and 2 beams should be demonstrated. A full Rx chain, at least in hardware in the loop testing mode, is desirable to use.
PHASE III: During Phase III, the preprocessing approach will be further refined and incorporated into wideband, cognitive receiver products produced. In the military, these are used in electronic warfare (EW) and other programs emphasizing full spectrum situational awareness. Multi-functional systems requiring universal receivers are also transition possibilities. Within the telecom industry, the current movement toward more RF communications like waveforms (versus pure binary) and photonic data transport both represent potential transition paths. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Telecommunications is likely the primary commercial outlet. Photonic digital signal distribution is rapidly becoming the norm in high performance computing environments, and long haul trunk lines are already done primarily photonically. But the proven methods of frequency selection are entirely analog in imagination. Conversely, superconducting electronics today works almost exclusively in the mixed signal and purely digital arenas. There are system functionalities such as processing packet headers in routers without first demodulating or decrypting them and analog signal processing that could have significant commercial markets were they existent. Hence demonstrations of DSP functionalities that can be combined with wideband receivers may stimulate new commercial applications.
1. D. Gupta, T. V. Filippov, et al., Digital channelizing radio frequency receiver, IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond., vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 430“437, June 2007.
2. H. Hayakawa, N. Yoshikawa, S. Yorozu, and A. Fujimaki, Superconducting digital electronics, Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 92, no. 10, pp. 1549“1563, October 2004.
3. Holmes, D. Scott, Alan M. Kadin, and Mark W. Johnson. "Superconducting Computing in Large-Scale Hybrid Systems." Computer 48.12 (2015): 34-42.
4. Sudharman K. Jayaweera, "Signal Processing for Cognitive Radios", John Wiley Press, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-118-82493-1.-
KEYWORDS: Digital Signal Processing; Signal Recognition; Search Algorithms; Photonic Processing; Superconductive Electronics; Routers; Machine Learning
Automatic Detection of Hydrothermal Vents
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: To develop and demonstrate an automatic sensor system for detection and discrimination of undersea hydrothermal vents from an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) or unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV).
DESCRIPTION: Hydrothermal vents form when cold seawater leaks into the ocean floor and is heated by hot magma. The hot fluid is forced back upward through the ocean floor in a vent of hot fluid. The presence of undersea hydrothermal vents near ocean floor geothermal activity creates an opportunity to generate significant levels of at-sea electrical power. There is recent Navy interest in exploiting the heat from vent fluids to generate power that could be used to power sensors, recharge UUVs, or other missions. To enable this emergent capability, techniques are needed to methodically find and map out the presence of vents in the oceans. Detection and mapping the vents is currently done from towed sensors on surface ships. Plumes are detected by computing fluid stability from conductivity temperature, and depth (CTD) measurements. Additional chemical sampling or light scattering sensors are used for additional evidence afterward. No automatic techniques are currently known. The desired solution will include affordable sensors that can be deployed from unmanned vehicles such as UUVs or USVs.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility for the development of a sensor system that can detect the presence of hydrothermal vents and can be integrated with an autonomous undersea or surface vehicle. The vendor must select for purposes of the analysis a commercially available ship deployable autonomous vehicle and adhere to its size, weight and power payload limitations. The notional cost of the sensor concept in production should not exceed 20% of the cost of the selected autonomous vehicle. The Phase I results should demonstrate that the proposed sensor can reliably detect vents, and that the sensor/vehicle combination can search at a rate of at least 1 square nautical mile/hour. Environmental limitations such as sea state or currents that might affect the sensor performance should be described. The Phase I report should fully describe the sensor approach, the characteristics of the host vehicle and recommended vent locations for a Phase II development and demonstration. Required Phase I deliverables will include at a minimum, mid-term and final progress reports and a final brief for acquisition stakeholders.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype sensor system of suitable size, weight, and power (SWaP) capable of being hosted by the autonomous vehicle described in Phase I. The prototype should provide proof-of-concept for detection of hydrothermal vents in standalone testing at a demonstration site chosen by the Navy. Required Phase II deliverables will include at a minimum, mid-term and final progress reports, a Phase II brief for acquisition stakeholders, and the prototype sensor with any associated software.
PHASE III: The results of a successful Phase II effort will be offered, along with related efforts in hydrothermal vent energy harvesting, to an acquisition program office and transitioned into a future development spiral as a pre-planned product improvement (P3I) initiative. The small business will complete their autonomous vehicle sensor concept by procuring an autonomous vehicle and integrating the sensor into the selected vehicle. The vendor will assist the Navy in transitioning the technology to the centers supporting its ocean energy initiatives, such as Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWC-CD), Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport (NUWC-KPT), and Naval Oceanographic Command (NAVOCEANO.) The small business will assist the Navy in test and validation of the completed system to certify it for Navy use and deliver the completed system with all accompanying documentation to ensure appropriate use of the system. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Successful development of this technology will enable commercial use for ocean exploration of hydrothermal vents. Such exploration is ordinarily done for purposes of scientific discovery or undersea mining.
1. Ishibashi et.al., Direct Access to the Sub-Vent Biosphere by Shallow Drilling, Oceanography Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2007.
2. Smart, Roman & Carey, Detection of Diffuse Seafloor Venting Using Structured Light Imaging, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems Volume 14, Issue 11, Version of Record online: 4 NOV 2013.
3. Hepburn, How to Find a Hydrothermal Vent, Exploring Our Oceans MOOC. http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/oceans/2015/10/02/how-to-find-a-hydrothermal-vent/
4. Hennet & Whelan (ed.), In-situ Chemical Sensors for Detecting and Exploring Ocean Floor Hydrothermal Vents, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Technical Report WHOI-88-53, November 1988.
5. Hiriart et. al., Submarine Geothermics; Hydrothermal Vents and Electricity Generation, Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010.-
KEYWORDS: Alternative Energy, Hydrothermal Vents, Vent Detection, Undersea Sensors
Multi-vehicle Collaboration with Minimal Communications and Minimal Energy
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: To develop integrated multi-vehicle planning and autonomous control algorithms that can be used to balance energy efficiency and mission tasks. These software tools intended for multi-vehicle collaboration compatible with open architectures that adapt to environments in which energy efficiency is of significant importance and communications may be intermittent, low bandwidth, short range, and/or noisy.
DESCRIPTION: The last decade has seen substantial growth in the development of cross-domain open robotics architectures and methods for multi-vehicle collaboration. However, many popular multi-vehicle control methods may be somewhat power intensive in the way they solve these problems or at least don't fully take advantage of opportunities to be more efficient collectively; particularly for systems that cannot be centrally controlled due to the severe communications limitations found in many naval mission tasks. One way to deal with limited energy has been to manage energy at an individual platform level and incorporate hard constraints on energy usage in multi-vehicle planning, but this does not fully exploit the new opportunities available to collaborate with teams of systems and may lead to an over-constrained system. Another approach to improve energy efficiency has been to try to take advantage of aspects of the environment, but this can lead to a significant tradeoff with mission effectiveness by adding uncertainty and requiring substantial detours from the most desirable vehicle paths from a mission perspective and by degrading the quality of sensor data collected. Another approach to deal with energy limitations has been to have vehicles regularly return to a charging station. While this enables persistence, it can have a significant negative effect on the mission capability and may ultimately make the system much less energy efficient due to all the transits. Other ideas that have been suggested have included transferring power between systems during operations and optimizing the composition of heterogeneous systems to balance energy and mission effectiveness. The objective of this topic is to develop the integrated multi-vehicle planning and autonomous control algorithms that can be used to balance energy efficiency and mission tasks. Planning in this case includes both the initial choice of composition of heterogeneous platforms prior to the mission and dynamic re-planning during the mission. A key factor will be ensuring methods are suitable for naval applications with challenging combinations of limited energy availability, low communications bandwidths, noisy communications with a high degree of dropouts, short range or highly intermittent communications, and local geographic regions with no or only unreliable communications (e.g., due to physical aspects of the environment, availability, or tactical considerations). Due to the communications limitations, another goal of this topic is to choose appropriately compact world, mission, and status representations that are conducive to sharing in these circumstances across systems to enable robust mission performance. Finally, given the combination of significant energy and communication limitations with mission task specifications and both operator-imposed and environmental constraints for safety and tactical purposes, another challenge will be dealing with circumstances in which the problem becomes over-constrained and the system cannot complete all objectives while honoring all constraints. Currently, while out of communications with a user, an autonomous system would typically not have the authority on its own to decide what specifications or constraints it could relax in order to be able to complete its mission outside of perhaps some very limited set of modes. The work under this topic should consider more broadly how guidance from a user might be provided to the system for dealing with this circumstance. The objective of this effort is not to develop new platform, sensor, or communications hardware, but existing hardware systems may be utilized where appropriate in experiments. Another important goal of the effort will be to ensure any approach is not a point design suitable only for a single type of configuration, but can be applied to a broad range of unmanned systems. As part of that, software tools developed under this effort should be compatible with open architectures. Finally, the focus of this topic is on missions that might involve heterogeneous systems distributed over areas to perform tasks such as collaborative mapping, search, and coverage and not on formation control of systems operating in close proximity. The Navy will only fund proposals that are innovative, address R&D and involve technical risk.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility for the development of integrated multi-vehicle planning and autonomous control algorithms that can be used to balance energy efficiency and mission tasks. Phase I will provide initial development of the proposed tools and experimentation using a limited-fidelity simulation or hardware testing, if feasible. Hardware testing is not required for Phase I. Feasibility can be demonstrated through simulation and should include appropriate models of the relevant platform, sensing, communications and the relevant environmental phenomena at a reasonable level of complexity and incorporating uncertainty in the problem to show closed-loop performance, and robustness. For Phase I, while the experimental platform should have representative complexity, it does not necessarily require a high degree of fidelity to particular naval systems or missions. An existing research capability may be used for initial proof of concept. Phase I can consider only a limited set of mission tasks, environmental factors, and platform types with sufficient functionality to demonstrate feasibility, but they would ideally be chosen to demonstrate the broader applicability of the concept. Finally, Phase I will include development of metrics to evaluate the system in Phase II and determine how the tools might interface with naval autonomous systems via an open architecture.
PHASE II: Based on the Phase I effort develop the multi-vehicle planning and autonomous control algorithms tools for a broader set of mission tasks and system types and testing using either higher fidelity nonlinear system models with sufficient complexity for a proof of concept or hardware in-the-loop or flight/in-water testing using inexpensive surrogates. A mix of simulation and hardware components is also appropriate. This should include sensitivity and robustness testing to range of disturbances, noise, and uncertainty. The Phase II design should be compatible with open architectures to be applicable to multiple naval operating environments. Final evaluation should include integration of the prototype with simulation and/or hardware elements with sufficient autonomy components to provide comparison with a baseline level of capability using the defined metrics. Ensuring that the experiments have representative complexity of the challenges of naval operations is of more importance than a very high degree of fidelity to an existing system.
PHASE III: Finalize software development of the multi-vehicle planning and autonomous control algorithms prototype with compatibility to open architectures and address any unique requirements for interoperability with a particular target domain(s), perform a more formal systems integration task to provide effective software interfaces to particular naval assets, perform operational testing, and participate in integrated demonstrations of autonomous systems operations. Private Sector Commercial Potential: This could have civil applications like logistics/warehouse management, transportation/delivery, agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, and non-defense scientific research. In these cases, the communications and energy issues may be more of a tradeoff than a constraint in those cases as it is for naval applications, but there would be benefits on reducing reliance on infrastructure for networks and the need for constant refueling/recharging.
1. Steinberg, Marc et al, Long duration autonomy for maritime systems: challenges and opportunities, Autonomous Robots, Springer Verlag, July 2016.
2. Yu Ru and Sonia Martinez, "Coverage Control in Constant Flow Environments Based on a Mixed Energy-time Metric," Automatica, 49 (9) (2013) 2632-2640.
3. Minghui Zhu and Sonia MartÃnez, "Distributed coverage games for energy-aware mobile sensor networks," SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, 51 (1) (2013) 1-27.
4. Liam Paull, Guoquan Huang, Mae Seto, and John Leonard. Communication-Constrained Multi-AUV Cooperative SLAM. In IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May, 2015.
5. N. Kamra and N. Ayanian, Dynamic Resource Reallocation for Robots on Long Term Deployments, IEEE Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2015.
6. Derenick, N. Michael, and V. Kumar. Energy-aware coverage control with docking for robot teams. In IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 3667“3672, San Francisco, Sept. 2011.
7. G. Hollinger, S. Yerramalli, S. Singh, U. Mitra, and G. Sukhatme, Distributed Data Fusion for Multirobot Search, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol.31, no.1, pp.55-66, Feb. 2015.
8. P. K. Filho, K. A. Suzuki, and J. R. Morrison. Uav consumable replenishment: Design concepts for automated service stations. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 61(1-4):369“397, 2011.
9 C. German, M. Jakuba, J. Kinsey, J. Partan, S. Suman, A. Belani, and D. Yoerger. A long term vision for long-range ship-free deep ocean operations: Persistent presence through coordination of autonomous surface vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles. In IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, pages 1“7, Southampton, Sept. 2012.
10. D. Kularatne, S. Bhattacharya, M. A. Hsieh. "Time and Energy Optimal Path Planning on a Flow Field," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2016), May 2016, Stockholm, Sweden.
11. U. Mitra, S. Choudhary, F. Hover, R. Hummel, N. Kumar, S. Narayanan, M. Stojanovic, and G. Sukhatme, Structured Sparse Methods for Active Ocean Observation Systems with Communication Constraints , IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 53, no. 11, pp. 88-96, November 2015.
12. T. D. Ngo, H. Raposo, and H. Schioler. Potentially distributable energy: Towards energy autonomy in large population of mobile robots. In Intl Symp. Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation, pages 206“211, Jacksonville, June 2007.
13. N. Smith, M. Schwager, S. L. Smith, B. H. Jones, D. Rus, and G. S. Sukhatme. Persistent ocean monitoring with underwater gliders: Adapting sampling resolution. Journal of Field Robotics, 28(5):714“741, 2011.
14. S. Smith, M. Schwager, and D. Rus. Persistent monitoring of changing environments using a robot with limited range sensing. In IEEE Intl Conf. Robotics and Automation, pages 5448“5455, Shanghai, May 2011.
15. E. Stump and N. Michael. Multi-robot persistent surveillance planning as a vehicle routing problem. In IEEE Conf. Automation Science and Engineering, pages 569“575, Trieste, Italy, Aug 2011.
16. Mitchell, D., M. Corah, N. Chakraborty, K. Sycara, and N. Michael, 2015: Multi-robot Long-Term Persistent Coverage with Fuel Constrained Robots. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
17. Nguyen, J. L., N. R. W. Lawrance, R. Fitch, and S. Sukkarieh, 2013: Energy-constrained motion planning for information gathering with autonomous aerial soaring. In ICRA, pp. 3825“3831.
18. P.Ponnavaikkoy, K.Yassiny, S.K.Wilsony, M.Stojanovicz and J.Holliday, ``Energy Optimization with Delay Constraints in Underwater Acoustic Networks," in Proc. IEEE Globecom Conference, Atlanta, GA, December 2013.
19. Makovkin, D. and Jack W. Langelaan, "Optimal Persistent Surveillance using Coordinated Soaring," Proceedings of the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, National Harbor, Maryland, January 13-17 2014.
20. Prorok, M. Ani Hsieh, V. Kumar, A Framework for Controlling Diversity to Maximize Performance in a Heterogeneous Swarm of Robots, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2016.-
KEYWORDS: Autonomy; Planning; Control; Energy Management; Unmanned Air System; Autonomous Undersea Vehicle; Unmanned Sea Surface Vehicle
Advanced Laser Based Processing System for Metal Additive Manufacturing
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea, Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop a laser based system with adaptive beam shaping control to be used as part of a metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) powder bed processing unit. The goal is to gain control over the spatiotemporal distribution of the laser power over the surface of the powder bed, instead of the current method of melting a single point on the powder bed and rastering it around the part contour. By having control of the spatiotemporal distribution of the laser power over the surface of the powder bed, better thermal energy flow characteristics and microstructure will be achieved while reducing residual stresses and defects.
DESCRIPTION: Current Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems exhibit significant variability between processing points, between layers, and even between identical parts made within the same build volume. This is due in part to the limitations imposed by current point and raster laser processing systems. Currently it is virtually impossible to characterize and control in real time many of the process parameters because of the rates at which they must occur (as high as 106 °C/sec) for full consolidation. These heating rates also lead to disruptions to the powder bed layer from evaporative flows and from splatter from evaporative recoil and jetting. Also contributing to part variability are the large thermal gradients (as high as 108 °C/m) that contribute to surface roughness and residual stresses. Exacerbating the above mentioned problems is the smallness of the processing volume which magnifies the effects of the intrinsic variability of the stock material a) geometrical (powder size and shape variability, surface roughness), b) physical (thermal conductivity and specific heat variability, temperature and surface tension variability), c) optical (absorptivity and reflectivity variability) and d) chemical (vapor pressure, chemical composition) properties. It is expected that having control over the spatiotemporal distribution of the laser power over the surface of the powder bed will alleviate many of the above mentioned problems and allow for more manageable thermal rates and gradients, ultimately producing better quality parts. Yet, since the operation, performance and limitations of any newly proposed adaptive laser beam shaping system will likely be significantly different from those of a single point, powder bed, processing system, a thorough understanding of the magnitudes, the rates and the distribution of the thermodynamics forces and metallurgical transformation acting on the powder bed is critical in order to properly develop the best processing approach consistent with the proposed beam shaping adaptive laser system and to estimate the system parameters. Therefore, a successful proposal must include an Integrated Computational Material Science and Engineering (ICME) component from where all key design parameters are derived and optimized prior to the design and development of the system. Finally, it is well known that great care must be placed when designing a high energy optical systems because of the many possible failure modes of the optical components and the cost associated of such components. Approaches that consider overall system reliability, maintainability and cost as part of their design will be favored.
PHASE I: Using ICME methodologies, the STTR team will define and design a laser based system with adaptive beam shaping control to be used as part of a metal additive manufacturing (AM) powder bed processing unit with the capability to control the spatiotemporal distribution of the laser power over the surface of a powder bed towards its consolidation into a metal layer. Designs that provide the largest area coverage consistent with non-damaging laser power levels for the optics and that have a high degree of flexibility on how the power, the rates and the gradients are distributed over the powder bed surface for purposes of powder consolidation and that are scalable to accommodate larger sizes and shapes of the heat treated area over the powder bed will be favored. For purposes of concept development, system definition and parameter estimation the PI will design a system capable of fully fusing simulated Ti64 shapes (such as NIST AM Test Artifact) from a powder bed at room temperature. The key parameters of the laser system will be estimated by a combination of: 1- Modeling or laboratory test of key optical system components for parameter estimation; 2- Use of commercially available data of other system components and AM alloy specifications or small scale laboratory tests; and 3- ICME system and process modeling. The fusion of the Ti64 shapes can be ICME modeled as described above from the simulated spatiotemporal evolution of the laser power over the powder bed. The team with the best optical system design (optics with high damage thresholds, high degree of laser beam cross sectional shape adaptability, power distribution adaptability, and system stability) will move to the Phase II. During the Phase I Option, if awarded, the STTR team will optimize the system design so it is capable of handling 6 parts.
PHASE II: During the Phase II effort the STTR team will complete the design optimization and will develop an Advanced Laser Based Processing System for Metal Additive Manufacturing prototype system capable of manufacturing 6 parts or larger including the beam shaping optics, laser sources, amplifiers, delivery optics, sensors, controllers, power supplies, support structure, control software, user interface and manuals. The team will continue optimizing and integrating the ICME models for determining optimal build strategy for specific parts. For purposes of validating the adaptive beam shaping system performance parameters, the output beam could be projected onto a laser beam shape profiler to determine the spatiotemporal distribution of the laser power to eliminate the need of the powder bed system. All system quality parameters, such as the beam stability, uniformity, minimum processing line width and uniformity, power density and uniformity, shape refresh rate, power gradients and their uniformity will be determined experimentally. It is highly recommended that the small business work with an OEM of a laser based metal AM system for integration of the Adaptive, Beam Shaping Laser system. It is suggested to use NIST's Additive Manufacturing (AM) test artifact (see reference section) for testing the capabilities of the AM system performance. A statistically acceptable sample size of as-fabricated coupons will be characterized for microstructure uniformity and anomalies (e.g. porosity) across varying geometries. The mechanical properties of the as-fabricated coupons need to meet or exceed those of castings with a high confidence level.
PHASE III: Phase III requires an integrated AM system with the Adaptive Beam Shape control and all other AM parts and controls (such as powder delivery system, build volume temperature control, gas handling system). Transition to the Navy will be through a Systems Engineering Facility, a Fleet Readiness Center, a Maintenance Depot or a Navy Shipyard. Part quality, properties and repeatability will need to be demonstrated prior to transition. It is expected that this technology will have a number applications in the Navy such as for repair of metallic components, production of small quantities of out-of-production components or long lead-time metallic components. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Commercial applications include almost all commerce sectors such as: aerospace, shipping, transportation, rail, automobile, medical. Applications include almost all technology areas such as: engine parts, structural parts, mechanical or electrical parts, medical prosthetics, tooth implants. Finally material applications focus is on metals.
1. B. Vrancken, L. Thijs, J.P. Kruth, J.V. Humbeeck, Heat treatment of Ti6Al4V produced by Selective Laser Melting: Microstructure and Mechanical properties, DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2012.07.022, Journal of Alloys and Compounds · November 2012, 541(0); p. 177-185.
2. S. Moylan, J. Slotwinski, A. Cooke, K. Jurrens, and M.A. Donmez, NIST Additive Manufacturing Test Artifact, http://www.nist.gov/el/isd/sbm/amtestartifact.cfm
3. A.M. Weiner, Femtosecond pulse shaping using spatial light modulators, Rev. Sci. Instrum., V71, Num5, MAY 2000, p. 1929-1960.-
KEYWORDS: Metal Additive Manufacturing, Laser Based Metal Powder Processing System, Spatial Light Modulator, Adaptive Optics, Laser Beam Shaping