DoD 2018.B 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: https://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/index.shtml
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
- A18B-T001: Provably Unclonable Functions on Re-configurable Devices
- A18B-T002: W-Band RF Instrumentation
- A18B-T003: Additive Manufacturing Feedstock Designed for Uniform Printing of Metallic Builds
- A18B-T004: Carbon Nanotube Based Monolithic Millimeter-wave Integrated Circuits
- A18B-T005: Diffusiophoresis for Water Purification
- A18B-T006: Deep Ultraviolet Light Sources for Water Purification and Surface Sterilization
- A18B-T007: Resource Sharing Platforms for Improved Operational Logistics
- A18B-T008: Effective Human Teaming Supported by Social Sensing
- A18B-T009: Wavelet-Based Adaptive Antenna Systems
- A18B-T010: Mitigation of Ransomware
- A18B-T011: Software Tools for Scalable Quantum Validation and Verification
- A18B-T012: Hybrid Nano-Bio-Electronic Odor Detector
- A18B-T013: Disablement of Vehicles and/or Remote Weapon Stations in an Urban Environment
- A18B-T014: Robust High-Performance Laser Sources for Scalable Quantum Technology
- A18B-T015: Microporous Flexible Electrodes for Lithium Metal Secondary Batteries
- A18B-T016: Cell-Free Screening System for Genetically-Derived Small Molecule Biosensors
- A18B-T017: Millimeter-wave modulators for sparse aperture imagers
- A18B-T018: Rapid Prototyped 3D Printed Filters
- A18B-T019: Novel Manufacturing Techniques for Polymer/Metal-Organic Framework Systems
- A18B-T020: Sample Preparation Free Consumables for Ultra-Sensitive Chemical and Biological Detection from Complex Environmental and Clinical Matrices Compatible for Paper Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometry
- A18B-T021: Large Scale Nano-Crystalline Coatings For Penetration Resistance
- A18B-T022: Developing Long-Term Malarial Chemoprophylactic Drug Releasing Implant
- A18B-T023: Development of Radar Absorbent Textile Cloth for Soldier Uniforms
- A18B-T024: Novel Method for Functionalizing Fibers and Textiles
- A18B-T025: Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transporter (SMET) Tele-Operation Feedback System
- AF18B-T001: A Software Toolkit for Predicting the Neural Signatures of Cognitive States
- AF18B-T002: Self-Learned Agents for Collective Analysis of Human Activities and Events in Aerial Videos
- AF18B-T003: Electronically Dimmable Eye Protection Devices (EDEPD)
- AF18B-T004: Efficient and Faster Methods for Performing General Wave-Optics Propagation
- AF18B-T005: Attenuation Tracking for Frequencies from 3 kHz to 60 GHz
- AF18B-T006: Carbon Nanotube FET Modeling and RF circuits
- AF18B-T007: Contour Based Image Segmentation
- AF18B-T008: Clearance of Aircraft Stores Carriage under Uncertainty
- AF18B-T009: Small UAS compatible Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensors
- AF18B-T010: Multiphysics Modeling of Dynamic Combustion Processes
- AF18B-T011: Optical Joining for Resilient Space Photovoltaic Integration
- AF18B-T012: EGS Data Source Integration for Enhanced SSA
- AF18B-T013: Adiabatic/Reversible Logic Test Chip
- AF18B-T014: X-ray Cinematography for Explosive Events
- AF18B-T015: Lasers Based on Gas or Liquid Filled Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fibers
- AF18B-T016: Rapid Nondestructive Inspection of Traditionally Uninspectable Adhesively-Filled Composite Joints
- AF18B-T017: Development of Quasi-2D “MXene” Ceramic Fillers for Electromagnetically Responsive Composites
- DHA18B-001: Cervical Spine Health Improvement Products
- DMEA18B-001: Automated In-situ Large-area De-processing of ICs with High Throughput
- DTRA18B-001: Computer Vision Image Interpretation for 3D model reconstruction
- DTRA18B-002: Discrete 3-D Electronics for Mobile Radiation Detection Systems
- DTRA18B-003: Elpasolite Scintillators with Mixed Halides for the Best Energy Resolution
- DTRA18B-004: Advance X-ray Transport and Radiation Response Analysis (XTRRA) Toolkit Improvements
- N18B-T029: Systematic Fatigue Test Spectrum Editing Using Wavelet Transformations
- N18B-T030: Advanced Command and Control Architectures for Autonomous Sensing
- N18B-T031: Scalable Technology for Manufacturing Large Composite Components Using Nanostructured Heaters
- N18B-T032: Real-Time Validation of Machine Intelligence Controlling Unmanned Vehicle Autonomous Operations
- N18B-T033: Blending Classical Model-Based Target Classification and Identification Approaches with Data-Driven Artificial Intelligence
- N18B-T034: Algorithm Development for Assessment of Energetic Materials under Vibration Exposure
- SOCOM18B-001: Human-Machine Teaming with Machine Learning Algorithms
Provably Unclonable Functions on Re-configurable Devices
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Sensitive battlefield communications require absolute verification of intended recipients. An effective protocol to authenticate communications can be defined using provably unclonable functions (PUF). By design, these functions depend on manufacturing variations and can uniquely identify specific instantiations of a device . In most designs, a PUF requires specially designed circuits implemented within an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). As such these devices must be explicitly included in the communications hardware design, which can increase cost and preclude retrofitting fielded systems. An alternative solution is sought that can exploit re-configurable devices such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGA). Such a development will enable a low-cost software solution enabling hardware-authenticated communications in currently fielded systems.
DESCRIPTION: A requirement for securing the cyber battlespace is an ability to authenticate the recipients for sensitive data communications. To avoid being spoofed by a malicious network element, a transmitter must validate the identity of each recipient, which can be accomplished using unique hardware-dependent keys provided by provably unclonable functions (PUF) . These specialized circuits exploit non-reproducible manufacturing variations to provide a device-dependent query that is effectively impossible to predict or replicate. Proposed PUF devices often assume specialized circuitry implemented in an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). A requirement to include an ASIC in a design can significantly increase system cost and complexity, especially when considering upgrades to existing and fielded systems. In contrast, a PUF that can be implemented using general-purpose, re-configurable hardware is extremely appealing. An effective PUF must exhibit extreme sensitivity to manufacturing variations, yet it must be deterministic in order to provide a consistent query response. A promising approach is to use chaotic dynamics in unclocked and unstable logic circuits implemented in a field programmable gate array (FPGA) [2,3]. Other approaches may also meet these requirements. To capitalize on recent advances, a novel approach is sought to develop a practical PUF realization that can be realized on a general purpose FPGA. Such a device should exhibit sufficient entropy to support unique component verification, yet it must be sufficiently deterministic to enable identification under various operating conditions. The intent of this solicitation is to develop a critical component that enables next-generation authenticated communication technology for a variety of applications. As such, the solicitation is not limited to a particular system or performance specification.
PHASE I: Conduct a design study with detailed model development for a PUF implementation using commercially available FPGA devices. Simulation, testing, and theoretical analysis will identify a preferred concept design. Consideration will be given to complexity, reliability, ease of integration with conventional systems, and a theoretical foundation to verify PUF operation.
PHASE II: Finalize a PUF design and demonstrate an implementation suitable for use in brass-board authenticated communication systems. Performance metrics will establish effective entropy metrics, consistency, reliability, resource requirements, and costs. Potential military and commercial applications will be identified and targeted for Phase III exploitation and commercialization.
PHASE III: The development of a FPGA provably unclonable function for device identification and authentication enables next-generation secure network communications. These technologies offer potential benefits across a wide swath of communications and sensor networks for both military and civilian applications. Some specific examples of possible applications are anonymous computation, software IP binding, and online hardware/software authentication for re-configurable platforms.
1: R. Maes, Physically Unclonable Functions. Springer-Verlag Berlin An, 201
2: D. P. Rosin, D. Rontani, D. J. Gauthier. Ultrafast physical generation of random numbers using hybrid Boolean networks, Phys. Rev. E 87, 040902R (2013).
3: S. D. Cohen. Structured scale dependence in the Lyapunov exponent of a Boolean chaotic map, Phys. Rev. E 91, 042917 (2015).
KEYWORDS: True, Random, Number, Generation, Entropy
W-Band RF Instrumentation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop, prototype and prove out a repeatable and cost effective means of readily measuring W-Band RF field strengths (two ranges) while in field conditions and to a traceable control/reference baseline.
DESCRIPTION: Making accurate & traceable (calibrated) measurements of W-Band RF fields is challenging and time-consuming, even in a controlled laboratory, as it requires expensive instrumentation and procedures, with meticulous controls for assuring calibration and experimental repeat-ability. Performing these same system performance measures in less controlled environments (particularly outdoors) compounds these challenges. The core need is for a means of RF telemetry instrumentation which is inexpensive to acquire and operate, particularly for conditions outside of a benign laboratory environment, which will facilitate an automated self-calibration system that can be designed into an RF transmitter system. The data collected is commonly used to verify basic RF transmitter function (output power, RF field strength (power density), RF field directionality/antenna beam focus) which has needs to be applied both "in beam" (achieving the design intent at target performance levels) as well as "out of beam" (for establishing RF field safety boundaries). The intended application can include highly directional high gain antennas (50+dB) which can result in peak field strengths as high as 100W/cm2, while the RF safety measures are low as 0.1mW/cm2 to 100mW/cm2 (traces to IEEE C95.1 Safety Values for Zone 0 / Zone 1 / Zone 2). Similarly, the application of the collected data may need to be expressed as instantaneous power and/or time-averaged power (or both), with an eventual goal of a real time data stream. Challenges can be illustrated in current RF measurement methods. A collecting horn is good for increasing low field strengths, but are overwhelmed at high field strengths. Similarly, they are sensitive to polarity, physical positioning (misalignment) as well as field gradients (particularly in near field). Time-averaging using IR thermography on Carbon Loaded Teflon (CLT) sheets is simple, effective and polarity insensitive for high field strengths, but aren't capable of the low (safety-centric) field strengths, plus their trace-ability path back to a calibrated control values is indirect, and the hardware itself is prone to questions on if adequate calibration is being maintained, even before contemplation of effects of ambient temperature, humidity/moisture, winds, solar loads, or literal "wear". Note: the primary W-Band target frequency is 95 +/- 3 GHz, and in two general field strength (power) ranges: (1): 0.1mW/cm2 to 100mW/cm2 (traces to IEEE C95.1 Safety Values for Zone 0 / Zone 1 / Zone 2) and (2): ~1W/cm2 to ~100W/cm2 (represents in-beam (focused) lower/upper engineering limits). While these field strength ranges contain a gap (between 100mW/cm2 and 1W/cm2), the solution should have no telemetry gap, but would incorporate an overlap. Similarly, because of the steep field gradient from high gain antennas, the solution for the lower power field range should not be prone to damage if/when it is unintentionally exposed to the higher power field.
PHASE I: During Phase I effort, the plan is to explore the specific requirements in greater depth & understanding, conduct baseline analysis & trades, calibration concepts & outline plans, and provide a pilot ‘breadboard’ concept demonstrator(s) for a feasibility check using a Government-supplied W-Band transmitter. Deliverables shall be final report (highlighting the pros/cons of various approaches), the breadboard, and recommended Phase II path forward. Deliverables should include consideration of unit costs on the concepts explored, such as to address having multiple sensors to collect multiple locations simultaneously (application of developing measurements for Safety Zones).
PHASE II: Develop the approach developed during phase I, with emphasis on the instrumentation requirements and calibration methodology; perform discrete feasibility experiments & provide data reduction & conclusions; initiate fabrication of system demonstrator. Conduct a series of tests as detailed which will prove out the technology and the fidelity of the calibration methods being used. The phase II final delivery should include the following: • Robust demonstrator system – turnkey solution (hardware/software); • Full system design, with calibration processes and resources (Executable and source code as developed); • Test Report, detailing the key factors for calibration & maintenance of same; • Operator’s Manual for use of demonstrator; • White Paper on future technology growth into a fully automated self-calibrating RF system.
PHASE III: Refined and matured technology solution for a subsystem which will allow for RF transmitter systems to have automated self-calibration control of RF power /field strengths and of antenna field patterns (directionality/alignment, uniformity, focus/aiming). Commercial & Military applications will be able to integrate these telemetry systems to employ automated feedback loops for enhancing control over net total output power, power density, antenna alignment & focus for W-Band weapons & mm-W radars, and be an enabler for dynamic real time directional syncing of two way narrow-beam communications.
1: Hati, A., Nelson, C.W., Nava, J.F. Garcia, Howe, D.A., Walls, F.L., Ascarrunz, H., Lanfranchi, J., Riddle, B., "W-Band Dual Channel AM/PM Noise Measurement System " An Update," Proceedings of the 37th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, August 2005, pp. 503-50
2: Fralick, Dion T. "W-band free space permittivity measurement setup for candidate radome materials." (1997).
3: Scheiblauer, Stefan. "W-band for CubeSat Applications." https://artes.esa.int/funding/cubesat-based-w-band-channel-measurements-artes-51-3b033 (2016).
KEYWORDS: W-Band, RF, Measurement, Instrumentation, Calibration, Carbon Loaded Teflon, FLIR, Thermal Imaging
Additive Manufacturing Feedstock Designed for Uniform Printing of Metallic Builds
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop a feedstock metallic alloy that, despite the complex thermal processing cycle of the additive manufacturing process, enables 3D printing of builds with consistent mechanical properties and reliable performance.
DESCRIPTION: Additive manufacturing (AM) is of considerable interest to the Army as a prototyping method and a means to enable fabrication at the point of need (e.g. the Rapid Equipping Force's Mobile Expeditionary Lab ). While AM processing methodologies are well established for polymers, there are considerable challenges in creating reliable metallic components via 3D printing. Similar to what is observed in welding, a heat affected zone (HAZ) develops in the underlying layers of a build. This creates many potential problems: residual stresses, interior porosity due to lack of fusion and undesirable precipitate or grain structures [2-3]. In addition, the orientation of the part during the printing process creates significant anisotropy, a subtlety which many operators may not take into account . While some issues can be mitigated by post-processing, this is not always desirable or available in remote locations. The issue of reliability is a key obstacle to the fabrication of metallic components via AM . Determining the correct processing parameters for a metallic build is difficult and time consuming. Often, especially in a theater of war/remote location, it is not practical to develop a printing procedure when there is a very urgent need for a specific component or tool. The bulk of research into AM metallurgy has been devoted to adjusting engineering alloys such as Ti 6-4 to be more amenable to the AM process [2,3]. This is because AM offers several potential advantages to fields such as aerospace or biomedical that demand complex parts of very specific alloys. Not all potential applications of AM require such high performance alloys. A soldier in a remote location requires a simpler but more reliable process to meet and adapt to evolving mission requirements in the field. Performance of the additive manufacturing process needs to be straightforward, with minimal a-priori technical knowledge of materials and manufacturing. It must be possible to quantify, with a high level of confidence, the reliability of the resulting product in order to appropriately assess the risk associated with its utilization as a field expedient solution. Currently, soldiers are using AM to print polymer tools and components to meet temporary or very specific needs [1,5]. An alloy designed to enable the simple production of metallic objects would be an asset by avoiding the prolonged process development normally required. The key features of such an alloy should be resistance to the formation of coarse processing defects, avoidance of undesirable precipitate or grain structures, and material properties as isotropic as possible with respect to build direction. Development of such an alloy is the objective of this STTR. This alloy should provide a means of simple and rapid production of basic structural tools or hard to source parts (e.g. containers, or frames) that address temporary or mission specific needs of the Army.
PHASE I: The proposal team will perform an exploratory study to investigate various alloy systems as potential candidates for a consistent additive manufacturing (AM) feedstock. The team should identify potential AM feedstock compositions, with suitability judged on the potential avoidance of interior processing defects, mechanisms to minimize anisotropy/residual stresses, and ease of developing the processing procedures. If necessary, the use of metallic elements with a low melting temperature such as lead and cadmium can be explored, although it is expected proper care will be taken to mitigate potential health hazards. CALPHAD (or equivalent computational thermodynamics tools) phase diagrams of candidate alloy systems should be produced and used to guide the selection process. These calculations should be adjusted to account for the highly variable conditions inherent to AM processing. Potential alloys should be evaluated under conditions that mimic the AM process to directly observe the solidification behavior of the alloy, compositional segregation and precipitate structures that occur. These experimental samples can be fabricated by either AM or powder metallurgy. At the end of Phase I the goal is to demonstrate a clear correlation, in terms of phases identified and micro-structural features observed, between experimental results and computational predictions that justifies the future development of the alloy.
PHASE II: The team will focus on the experimental and computational efforts to understand the micro-structure and evolution of the selected composition(s) in response to the additive manufacturing (AM) process. For clarification of any of the terms used to describe the Phase II tasks, (e.g., X-direction), please reference the ISO/ASTM 52921 and ASTM F2924 standards. Test components should be fabricated and characterized for both micro-structural and mechanical properties, with adjustments to the composition and processing procedure being made as necessary. The objective is the processing and testing of a minimum of twelve tensile specimens from a single powder or feedstock lot that meet the following criteria. The tensile specimens should be consistent with a standard size ASTM E8/E8M configuration, with six being printed in the X-direction orientation and six oriented in the Z-direction. Visual, ultrasonic, and radiographic examination should reveal no exterior or interior flaws that will compromise structural strength in any of the twelve specimens. The ultimate tensile strengths (UTS) of the samples should have a coefficient of variation of 3.5% or less between parts printed in the same orientation and be within 90% of the UTS of commercial alloys of comparable composition. A hypothesis test comparing the tensile results of the different build orientations should indicate that the mean strengths are not significantly different with a confidence of 95%. After completion of this criteria, a second set of twelve tensile standards should be fabricated on a separate AM machine. The statistical differences in results between these specimens and those obtained from the previous machine should be quantified.
PHASE III: The proposal team will develop the manufacturing process for commercial production of the alloy. Further adjustments to eliminate machine to machine variability should be made. Any treatments or practices necessary during or after the printing process will be determined and documented for the end user. Certification procedures for the powder or feedstock will be established. If necessary, substitutions for elements with potential health hazards, such as lead or cadmium, used in earlier experiments will be made. Software tools necessary to enable an operator to produce a component utilizing the AM process will be developed. At the end of Phase III, the new additive manufacturing alloy should be available for commercial and military purchase and use. The alloy can consist of powder, wire, or whichever feedstock type is best suited for the specific type of AM process it was developed for. The key aspect of the alloy is that it should enable relatively simple printing of metallic components in a manner analogous to what can be done currently with polymers. Ideally, an operator without a degree in materials and/or metallurgical engineering should be able to design and print a build, and utilize it for its intended purpose, with minimal consideration of complex factors such as internal stresses and warping, anisotropic material properties, or severe processing defects. Examples of components that might be built from this alloy include simple tools (silverware, screwdrivers, etc.), furniture, or complex prototypes or designs that would be difficult to machine.
1: Cox, Matthew, "Mobile Labs Build On-the-Spot Combat Solutions", Military.com, Aug. 2012, http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/17/mobile-labs-build-on-the-spot-combat-solutions.html
2: Frazier, William, "Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Review", Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, Vol 23(6), June 2014, pp. 1917-1928
3: Zhang, Meixia
4: Liu, Changmeng, Shi, Xuezhi
5: Chen, Xianping
6: Chen, Cheng
7: Zuo, Jianhua
8: Lu, Jiping
9: and Ma, Shuyuan, "Residual Stress, Defects and Grain Morphology of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy Produced by Ultrasonic Impact Treatment Assisted Selective Laser Melting", Applied Sciences, Vol 6(11), Nov. 2016, article 304
10: Wells, Lee J.
11: Camelio, Jaime A.
12: Williams, Christopher B.
13: White, Jules, "Physical Security Challenges in Manufacturing Systems", Manufacturing Letters, Vol 2(2), April 2014, pp. 74-77
14: Cox, Matthew, "Army Sees Rapid Prototyping as Key to Rapid Innovation", Defensetech.org, April 2015, https://www.defensetech.org/2015/04/01/army-sees-rapid-prototyping-as-key-to-rapid-innovation/
KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing, Metals, 3D Printing, Uniformity, Feedstock, Alloy Development, Manufacturing Process, Manufacturing Knowledge
Carbon Nanotube Based Monolithic Millimeter-wave Integrated Circuits
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: To develop a high performance carbon nanotube (CNT) based millimeter-wave transistor technology and demonstrate monolithic millimeter-wave integrated circuits (MMICs) based on this technology with improved power efficiency, linearity, noise and dynamic range performance over existing GaAs, SiGe and RF-CMOS technologies.
DESCRIPTION: Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have very desirable characteristics which are ideal for field-effect transistor (FET) channels, such as one-dimensional (1D) ballistic transport, high carrier mobility, inherent linearity and small size. Single-CNT FETs with room-temperature ballistic transport approaching the quantum conductance limit of 2Go=4e2/h=155uS was demonstrated more than a decade ago. It was predicted, based on extrapolation from individual CNT characteristics that FETs consisting of parallel arrays of CNTs will lead to significant improvement in energy-delay product and therefore speed and power consumption for logic devices, and enhanced linearity and efficiency for RF applications. Such an enabling technology will have a major impact in reducing size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) of electronic components. However, these potentials were not fully realized due to a number of technical challenges: 1) the lack of techniques to eliminate tube-tube cross junctions and achieve parallel aligned CNT arrays with optimal packing density of CNTs; 2) the presence of metallic CNTs leading to less than ideal semiconducting purity; 3) difficulty of creating highly conductive ohmic contact to the CNT arrays. A number of recent developments in the past few years have made significant progress in toward overcoming these challenges in sorting, processing, alignment and contacts of CNT arrays, and led to CNT FETs that could outperform conventional Si and GaAs FETs. For the first time, aligned parallel CNT arrays with higher than 99.98% semiconducting purity were realized on Silicon and quartz substrate. FETs built using these CNT arrays have realized room-temperature quasi-ballistic transport with channel conductance approaching the quantum conductance limit and 7 times higher than previous state-of-the-art CNT array FETs. Furthermore, high frequency FETs using well aligned CNT arrays deposited on quartz substrates have achieved current-gain cutoff frequency (ft) and maximum oscillation frequency (fmax) greater than 70 GHz. These breakthroughs in device performance offer the opportunity to finally utilize one-dimensional (1D) transport properties of thousands of aligned, gate-controllable conduction pathways possessing linear current density characteristics for improving high-frequency circuit performance. These newly demonstrated CNT FETs should show excellent performance at the microwave frequencies. However, in order to fully realize the potential of CNT FETs for millimeter-wave frequencies and higher, continued research within academic community is needed in order to achieve even higher ft and fmax, likely much greater than 100GHz, by further improvements in array purity, alignment and contact resistance. New approaches are also needed to realize large well-aligned, high-purity CNT arrays at the wafer-scale level for creating monolithic integrated circuits beyond individual devices. The goal of this topic is to leverage these developments toward creating a high performance CNT-based transistor technology and wafer-scale monolithic integrated circuits at millimeter-wave frequencies that can be commercialized to outperform incumbent semiconductor high frequency technologies (GaAs, SiGe, RF-CMOS) yet at much lower cost.
PHASE I: Establish a robust process capable of producing high performance RF transistors based on CNTs. The process must be scalable to wafer size to enable fabrication of monolithic integrated circuits. Develop new pathways and process flow innovations in CNT alignment & deposition, material contact and doping to create high quality CNT arrays beyond current state-of-the-art for device engineering. In particular, prototype CNT RF transistors with the following metrics must be demonstrated in Phase I. DC: ION/W >500 ìA/ìm, ION/IOFF > 1000; RF: fT and fmax > 50GHz, and a third-order intercept (IP3) at least 10dB higher than its 1dB compression power (P1dB).
PHASE II: Demonstrate functional millimeter-wave monolithic integrated circuits that exceed GaAs, SiGe, RF-CMOS in DC and RF metrics based on the process developed in Phase I. Develop a hysteresis-free CMOS compatible process flow which can be integrated into an existing commercial CMOS process. Demonstrate improved device performance with the following metrics. DC: ION/W >700 ìA/ìm, gm/W > 700mS/mm; RF: fT > 130GHz, fmax > 180GHz, and a third-order intercept (IP3) at least 15dB higher than its 1dB compression power (P1dB). Functional circuits to be demonstrated should include a low noise amplifier with noise figure less than 2 dB and a power amplifier with output power greater than 30 dBm, both operating at 30 GHz.
PHASE III: To qualify the process with a trusted foundry in order to de-risk technology for monolithic heterogeneous integration with CMOS. Undertake reliability testing and radiation qualification. Produce a process design kit (PDK). Commercialize the technology via a trusted foundry for technology availability to the defense and military markets. CNT-based MMICs will have a variety of applications in the military, defense, aerospace and ultimately the consumer electronic markets.
1: G.J. Brady, A.J. Way, N.S. Safron, H.T. Evensen, P. Gopalan, M.S. Arnold, "Quasi-ballistic carbon nanotube array transistors with current density exceeding Si and GaAs," Sci. Adv. 2016
2: 2 : e1601240, 201
3: Y. Cao, G.J. Brady, H. Gui, C. Rutherglen, M.S. Arnold, C. Zhou, "Radio Frequency Transistors Using Aligned Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes with Current-Gain Cutoff Frequency and Maximum Oscillation Frequency Simultaneously Greater than 70 GHz," ACS Nano, vol. 10, pp. 6782-6790, 201
4: Falk, A., Kumar, B., Tulevski, G., Farmer, D., Hannon, J., & Han, S. J. (2016). Uniformly spaced arrays of purely semiconducting carbon nanotubes. In APS Meeting Abstracts.
5: Brady, Gerald J., et al. "Polyfluorene-sorted, carbon nanotube array field-effect transistors with increased current density and high on/off ratio." ACS nano 11 (2014):11614-1162
6: Cao, Yu, et al. "Radio frequency transistors using aligned semiconducting carbon nanotubes with current-gain cutoff frequency and maximum oscillation frequency simultaneously greater than 70 GHz." ACS nano 10.7 (2016): 6782-6790.
7: Cao, Y., Che, Y., Seo, J. W. T., Gui, H., Hersam, M. C., & Zhou, C. (2016). High-performance radio frequency transistors based on diameter-separated semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Applied Physics Letters, 108(23), 23310
8: Shulaker, M. M., Hills, G., Patil, N., Wei, H., Chen, H. Y., Wong, H. S. P., & Mitra, S. (2013). Carbon nanotube computer. Nature, 501(7468), 526-530.
9: Han, S. J. (2016, August). Toward high-performance electronics based on carbon nanomaterials. In Electron Devices and Solid-State Circuits (EDSSC), 2016 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 161-164).
KEYWORDS: Carbon Nanotubes, Field-effect Transistors, Millimeter-wave, Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuits (MMICs)
Diffusiophoresis for Water Purification
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Explore the use of diffusiophoresis to remove suspended particles and bacteria from water.
DESCRIPTION: Military operations frequently take place where safe drinking water is not available. Water has been 30 to 40% of the daily logistical burden in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking soldier lives with every water supply convoy. Soldier dehydration of 3 to 4% can reduce solider performance up to 48%. The universal unit level average water requirement is 25 L (25kg) of water per solider per day, with the requirement raising to 60L (60 kg) per solider per day for a fully developed theater. Currently, the Army uses a number of water purification technologies to meet this logistical burden, but these technologies introduce additional supplies into the logistics train (e.g. filters, membranes, and/or flocculation agents) for proper function and either require high energy costs associated with pumping or low efficiency by relying on sedimentation. An alternative methodology, based on diffusiophoresis, may be capable of providing continuous removal of suspended particulates and solutes from an aqueous stream. Diffusiophoresis is the induction of motion of suspended particles as a result of the presence of a concentration gradient. Membraneless water filtration has been recently demonstrated through the use of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) into a colloidal suspension. The dissociation of CO2 forms ions with substantial differences in diffusivities, leading to diffusion potentials significantly larger than ordinary salt gradients. The currently demonstrated process was conducted in micro-channels, which produced 2 µL/h at an estimated energy consumption (for a single channel and assuming 50% clean water recovery) on the order of 0.1 mW·h/L. In comparison to other filtration processes, this represents a potential decrease in filtration energy required by three orders of magnitude. Even when considering power for a total system based on diffusiophoresis, this represents a potentially revolutionary savings in power requirements. Such a process could also be used in conjunction with traditional membrane filtration to mitigate fouling. This filtration methodology is potentially scalable to outputs capable of meeting the above operational goals by creating arrays of micro-channels that share CO2 sources. Optimization of channel dimensions and concentration gradients, performance in the presence of salts, and removal of proteins or bacteria are all potential areas for improvements.
PHASE I: Demonstrate and optimize continuous diffusiophoresis without the use of membranes or filters to maximize particle removal from aqueous streams to achieve <1.0 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). In addition, demonstrate capability to provide bacterial filtration for common water contaminants and demonstrate a path to remove 95% of bacteria from real-world freshwater sources (e.g. lake/river). Address basic scaling requirements of diffusiophoresis filtration for production of 25L of clean water per day from real-world freshwater sources, including size, weight, and total system power (to include CO2 generation from the atmosphere).
PHASE II: Continue optimization efforts to reduce turbidity to <0.5 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). Demonstrate performance that meets or exceeds current state of the art (99.9% or better) reduction of bacterial contaminants from real world freshwater sources (e.g. lake/river). Sample source selection(s) should be coordinated with the Army prior to demonstration. Examine feasibility of purification from salinated sources. Examine feasibility of diffusiophoresis to provide filtration of other toxins, to include insecticides and heavy metal contaminants. Provide methodologies for deriving device designs from operational requirements on filtered output, power input and device size/weight.
PHASE III: Development of practical devices for both civilian (e.g. FEMA) and DoD use that represent a substantial reduction in either size, power, or both at output levels comparable to current technologies.
1: J.L. Anderson, Colloid transport by interfacial forces, Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 21, 61-99 (1989).
2: J.L. Anderson, D.C. Prieve, Diffusiophoresis: Migration of Colloidal Particles in Gradients of Solute Concentration, Separation & Purification Reviews 13 (1): 67-103, (2006).
3: B. Abecassis, C. Cottin-Bizonne, C. Ybert, A. Ajdari, and L. Bocquet, Boosting migration of large particles by solute contrasts, Nat. Mater. 7, 785-789 (2008).
4: A. Kar, T.-Y. Chiang, I.O. Rivera, A. Sen, and D. Velegol, Enhanced transport into and out of dead-end pores, ACS Nano 9, 746-753 (2015).
5: S. Shin, E. Um, B. Sabass, J.T. Ault, M. Rahimi, P.B. Warren, and H. A. Stone, Size-dependent control of colloid transport via solute gradients in dead-end channels, PNAS 113, 257-261 (2016).
6: S. Shin, O. Shardt, P.B. Warren, H.A. Stone, Membraneless water filtrations using CO2, Nat. Commun. 8, 15181 (2017).
7: D. Velegol, A. Garg, R. Guha, A. Kar, and M. Kumar, Origins of concentration gradients for diffusiophoresis, Soft Matter 12, 4686-4703 (2016).
8: (ed) M. LeChevallier, K.K. Au, Water Treatment and Pathogen Control: Process Efficiency in Achieving Safe Drinking Water, World Health Organization, IWA Publishing, 5-40 (2004).
KEYWORDS: Water Purification, Diffusiophoresis, Turbidity
Deep Ultraviolet Light Sources for Water Purification and Surface Sterilization
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate high efficiency deep ultraviolet (UV-C) light sources at 219 nm and 265 nm spectral peak wavelengths for use in instrument sterilization and water purification systems. Reliable and efficient LEDs are desired that exceed 15% wall-plug efficiency.
DESCRIPTION: An efficient light source emitting at ~265 nm has been identified to be the most efficient wavelength for disinfection application . To date, mercury vapor lamps have been predominantly used for these applications, which, however, are inefficient and produce mercury emissions to air, soil and water. In 2005 alone, over 2,000 tons of mercury was emitted to the environment, more than 10% of which was from mercury containing products such as mercury lamps. The need of a high efficiency, mercury-free solid-state deep ultraviolet lamp is therefore clear and urgent. AlGaN semiconductors have direct energy bandgap in the range of 6.2 eV to 3.4 eV, which have emerged as the material of choice for light emitters in the deep ultraviolet spectral range. To date, however, the highest external quantum efficiency for light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating at ~265 nm is limited to ~2%, or less . Moreover, the wall-plug efficiency is generally below 1% for LEDs operating at wavelengths ~ 265 nm. Many factors contribute to the poor efficiency, including the presence of defects and dislocations in the device active region, the inefficient current conduction in wide bandgap AlGaN, and the unique TM polarization of light emission in Al-rich AlGaN. Recently, significant progress has been made to address these challenges. For example, AlGaN nanostructures can exhibit significantly reduced dislocation densities and enhanced current conduction. Deep ultraviolet light sources have been demonstrated with the use of these nanostructures [3-5]. This call seeks innovative proposals to develop efficient and compact deep ultraviolet solid-state lamps operating at ~265 nm. The devices should operate at a wall-plug efficiency level >15%, i.e. ~5-10 times better than the current state-of-the-art. The devices should exhibit long-term stable operation and deliver output power exceeding 100 mW required for effective and rapid disinfection. Moreover, the device size and weight should be considerably smaller than the conventional mercury lamps and should not contain any significant toxic materials. The final deliverable should include a fully packaged device with detailed testing results, including efficiency, output power, and estimated lifetime. Significant improvements over state-of-the-art efficiencies are sought. Nanostructured materials and light emitting active regions will be given strong consideration over standard approaches. However, while nanostructures are highlighted within this topic as a desirable method to improve material quality and light extraction efficiency, other approaches will be considered if effective at improving the current state-of-the-art in LED performance.
PHASE I: To demonstrate light emitting diodes operating at ~265 nm with efficiency >5%, and to further determine the technical feasibility for achieving a wall-plug efficiency >15% (for 219 nm the efficiency can be much less, approximately an order of magnitude). With the efficiencies mentioned, power output goals (minimum) of 20 mW and 2 mW at 265 nm and 219 nm, respectively should be achieved at 500 mA drive current. The size of the LEDs should be 0.5x0.5 mm. Detailed analysis of the predicted performance needs to be developed. A particular interest for improvement of wall-plug efficiency will be light extraction efficiency improvements. Assessment of LED possibilities at shorter wavelengths around 219 nm should also be made to include wall-plug efficiency estimates by the end of phase II work. The goal of the shorter wavelength LEDs is aimed at enhanced water purification and sterilization capabilities.
PHASE II: To develop, test, and demonstrate a prototype LED lamp operating at ~265 nm with efficiency >15%, and > and to further perform preliminary lifetime analysis. Power output goals (minimum) that should be achieved, with the efficiency goals mentioned for 265 nm (and much less for 219 nm), are 120 mW and 20 mW at 265 nm and 219 nm, respectively for 500 mA drive current (again, 0.5x0.5 mm dimensions). The LED lamp should be fully packaged and ready for field testing. Reliability and assessment of further efficiency improvements possible should be made to develop further phase III plans. Alternative wavelengths such as 219 nm should be pursued secondarily at some level for use in more thorough water purification scenarios (to remove other toxins for certain types of ground water). Design consideration of LEDs for uses for instrument sterilization and water purification systems should be made. In particular, light extraction illumination patterns of water or instruments to be sterilized. The need for reflectors or dispersers for uniform omnidirectional illumination should be assessed from a packaging and system perspective. Other wavelengths in the solar-blind spectral region such as 275 nm would be a third spectral band of interest for sensor systems. Goals for the spectral band should meet or exceed the 265 nm band regime.
PHASE III: Continue UV LED development with long-term reliability testing and efficiency improvements. Manufacturable epitaxial crystal growth and fabrication processed should be refined and developed for useful military water purification and surface sterilization products for scalable levels of throughput (both portable and larger systems are of interest). Requirements from USAMMA PMO-MD for health support roles of care 1-3 will be brought to play for relevant systems to replace current sterilization or water purification systems that suffer from large size, weight and cost issues. Commercial uses in water purification should also follow suit. Studies on the exact requirements of UV wavelengths and power levels can be made in accordance with Army and other medical purification and sterilization requirements. Follow-on uses for the LEDs in biomolecule sensors should be possible.
1: S. Vilhunen, H. Sarkka, and M. Sillanpaa, "Ultraviolet light-emitting diodes in water disinfection," Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. Int., vol. 16, pp. 439-42, 200
2: H. Hirayama, N. Maeda, S. Fujikawa, S. Toyoda, and N. Kamata, "Recent progress and future prospects of AlGaN-based high-efficiency deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes," Jap. J. Appl. Phys., vol. 53, p. 100209, 201
3: S. Zhao, S. Y. Woo, S. M. Sadaf, Y. Wu, A. Pofelski, D. A. Laleyan, et al., "Molecular beam epitaxy growth of Al-rich AlGaN nanowires for deep ultraviolet optoelectronics," APL Mater., vol. 4, p. 086115, 201
4: S. Zhao, A. T. Connie, M. H. Dastjerdi, X. H. Kong, Q. Wang, M. Djavid, et al., "Aluminum nitride nanowire light emitting diodes: Breaking the fundamental bottleneck of deep ultraviolet light sources," Sci. Rep., vol. 5, p. 8332, 201
5: Q. Wang, A. T. Connie, H. P. Nguyen, M. G. Kibria, S. Zhao, S. Sharif, et al., "Highly efficient, spectrally pure 340 nm ultraviolet emission from AlxGa1-xN nanowire based light emitting diodes," Nanotechnology, vol. 24, p. 345201, 201
KEYWORDS: Light Emitting Diode, LED, Deep Ultraviolet, AlGaN, Water Purification, Disinfection, Semiconductor, Solid-state Lamp, Nanowire, Nanostructures, Light Extraction Efficiency
Resource Sharing Platforms for Improved Operational Logistics
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: To develop Machine Learning based scheduling algorithm(s) for sharing resources, which may be geographically distributed, in complex military environments that makes dynamic assignment of resources, to tasks, while accounting for constraints imposed by networked resources.
DESCRIPTION: Sharing platforms in civilian logistics (e.g. Airbnb, Uber/Lyft) have provided novel ways to implement logistics. By improving utilization of untapped resources, these platforms have led to increased efficiency. Recently, the adoption of sharing and pooling platforms has also been considered in military settings (see Braw (2016)). The current fiscal environment calls for more efficient utilization of military resources. However, sharing resources in a military environment exhibits unique features and requirements that pose research and implementation challenges: - Uncertainty: Due to the complexity of military operations, the duration of resource consumption (or utilization) is uncertain and difficult to predict. Civilian platforms such as Airbnb exclusively deal with fixed-duration consumption requests. Uncertainty of resource consumption usually leads to under-utilization of resources and delays in satisfying demand requests. - Networked resources: Instead of a single resource, requests typically pertain to a heterogeneous bundle of resources in a network configuration. In contrast, a car ride or a room rental consumes a single resource. Requests in the form of bundles introduces inter-dependencies between resources as well as other requests. - Risk Management: Sharing platforms for military applications must incorporate risk management considerations that are absent in civilian applications. For example, in mission critical settings a minimum standard for quality of service must be guaranteed. Unlike civilian platforms for resource sharing in which priorities for resource allocation decisions are based on monetary transactions, military sharing platforms must make use of non-monetary mechanisms. The main objective of this project is to develop and analyze implementable, data-driven algorithms that address challenges in managing large-scale sharing platforms with the above characteristics. The focus is on algorithms that match supply and demand, as well as algorithms that assign priorities in a manner consistent with operational doctrine. This type of large-scale algorithms have been elusive so far due to lack of reliable data on past resource consumption patterns. Recent developments in information technologies (e.g., real-time location systems, pervasive communications) and widespread implementation of electronic management systems are generating large volumes of operational data, which the developed approaches should be capable of utilizing.
PHASE I: To conceive, implement and test a new class of reservation algorithms in order to match real time supply and demand in ways that increases the overall system efficiency, as well as provide an opportunity for adequate planning. Viable and accurate schedules resulting from reservation algorithms are essential for efficient operation of resource sharing platforms in accordance with OPTEMPO. To achieve this objective, algorithms and software capable of producing efficient reservation schedules for resource sharing platforms with a large number of resources and requests must be developed (see e.g. Busic and Meyn (2015), Gurvich and Ward (2014)). The proposed set of methods must also incorporate risk and quality-of-service attributes in determining resource allocation. The final deliverable of Phase I will be a simulation testbed illustrating the benefits and trade-offs associated to the proposed algorithms in a specific military setting (e.g. battlefield logistics, sharing UAVs for surveillance and reconnaissance).
PHASE II: In light of significant uncertainty, reservation algorithms based upon historical averages of duration (the current state-of-the-art) will surely lead to significant discrepancies between planned and actual processes. In Phase II, the objective is to develop fast machine learning techniques to complement the algorithms developed in Phase I so as to fully exploit updated information on statistical variability of resource consumption which will be fedback to update scheduling decisions according to algorithms proposed in Phase I. Synthetic data from simulated operations as well as forecasts from planned operations could be used as input for the learning task. An additional objective for Phase II is to develop a networking architecture capable of supporting: -Platform Dynamics: Spatial and temporal movement of resources in the system. In some platforms, the dynamics are primarily temporal (when resources get occupied and freed); in vehicle sharing, they are spatio-temporal. -Resource Constraints: These determine the possible states of the system and the set of allowed matches in each state. In vehicle sharing, the state space is the location and type (free/in-use) of each vehicle; feasible matches require demand to arrive at stations with free vehicles. For other platforms, the state space is whether each resource is free/occupied; allowed matches depend on compatibility between customers and resources. -Request Dynamics: These can be one-sided (typically when supply is fixed), or two-sided (where both demand and supply actively participate).
PHASE III: In Phase III, the software developed in Phases I and II will be made available for military and civilian use (e.g. sharing platform for complex logistic operations). We envision that the team that develops the software will market it for Government laboratory use, and negotiate commercial licensing with commercial and academic markets. As an alternative, any or all of these artifacts might be released into the open source community. Based on negotiations with the types of government and commercial organizations cited, it is possible that hybrid commercial and open source licensing could occur. In the case where these artifacts are released into the open source community, the STTR awardee would need to develop and provide a plan to state how it would sell additional consulting, software implementation and/or training services around their workflow model, technical implementation guidelines, and/or software controls.
1: E. Braw (2016) The Military Sharing Economy. Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/germany/2016-03-07/military-sharing-economy.
2: A. Busic and S. Meyn. (2015) Approximate Optimality with Bounded Regret in Dynamic Matching Models. ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, Vol 43 No. pp.75-90.
3: I. Gurvich and A. Ward (2014) On the Dynamic Control of Matching Queues, Stochastic Systems, Vol.4 pp. 1-4
KEYWORDS: Sharing Platforms, Army Logistics, Real-time Matching
Effective Human Teaming Supported by Social Sensing
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop and deliver a standalone social sensing platform for behavioral analysis of small team interactions providing teamwork diagnostics and intelligent decision-support software capabilities to track, manage, and significantly impact team readiness and performance.
DESCRIPTION: Advances in information and network technology continue to transform the way human organizations communicate and operate. So much so that networked organizations lie at the core of the political, military, economic, and social fabric. Massive volumes of data that characterize online 'digital behaviors' including communication and collaboration, are increasingly collected and subjected to data mining by companies, governments, and researchers alike [1,2,3,4]. Recent advances in the collection of 'analog behaviors' with the pervasiveness of sensor technology - from smart phones and wearables sensing devices - coupled with methodological developments in data science - have the potential to drive new and innovative behavioral applications that involve tools and platforms for continuous human monitoring. The goal is to develop a robust, intelligent software system that leverages individual level social sensing data to provide network level analytics of behavioral interactions for designing effective teams. The first challenge (manage collection) is to create a social sensing platform to allow non-technical end-users to collect and manage data from a variety of digital and analog sensors by automatically configuring a scalable data system flexible enough to store variable datatypes stemming from a plethora of data sources. This include pre-processing vast amounts of noisy digital and sensor data-streams to distill key human performance meta-data. The second challenge (team-level diagnostics) is to design novel algorithms for data analysis which must include, but are not limited to, social network analysis of single graphs and knowledge-based multi-graphs; flow analysis to assess team collaborations and interactions; and individual-level behavioral pattern analysis with the capability to infer human states that can be aggregated to infer team-level states. Additional capabilities should incorporate the latest analytical capabilities based on language analysis to infer team context from communications and indicators of hierarchical positioning . The third challenge (recommendation engine) should provide a means to run what-if scenarios addressing team management challenges, such as address the family of problems under the scope of team composition and team member replacement, and approaches to link team-level diagnostics to predictive outcome-based models of team performance. The fourth challenge (visualization) should provide team snapshots by creating scalable visualization techniques to allow the user to explore individual and team profile information; fluidly visualize multimodal network graphs over time and in response to key work-directed events or changes to the team context (e.g. attrition, new teammate); drill through graphs to uncover the underlying data; and show how team behavior patterns change over time (e.g. team structure). The implemented system will have a small form factor that is multi-platform, scalable software. The system will provide the ability to choose multiple algorithms for analysis and recommendations based on user needs. Additionally, the graphical-user interface must be turnkey, with an easy to use interface for non-technical end-users. The system will contain a searchable database as well as modular and modifiable transparency with respect to the knowledge-based multi-graphs driving the recommendation engine. All stored data must retain available and relevant behavioral meta-data such as sender, receiver, date, time, geo-tags, and inferred individual and team-level states. The system should provide efficient analytical capabilities including the ability to create and customize diagnostic team profiles.
PHASE I: The Phase I effort will address the first two challenges (manage collection & team-level diagnostics) by developing and demonstrating a clearly defined approach to a social sensing framework to automatically capture social and collaborative team interactions in a variety of work-directed and organizational settings. A key data management challenge involves the aggregation and pre-processing of vast amounts of heterogeneous multi-scale, multi-level data. The social sensing framework will be designed to aggregate disparate data types from a variety of sources and be modular in design to accommodate frequent updates to APIs. A key requirement for a successful Phase I is an initial pass-through of multi-scale and multi-level data aggregation and the identification of social network metrics combined with algorithmic approaches to address a clearly defined framework of team-level diagnostics. The academic partner will focus on developing algorithmic approaches to model team composition and their interactions. The industry partner will focus on developing potential use-cases as well as a viable business plan to commercialize team analytics using a social sensing platform. This includes understanding customer needs and user requirements for developing a metric framework needed to effectively manage teams.
PHASE II: The Phase II effort will address the third and fourth challenges (visualization & recommendation engine) by concentrating on the design and development of analytical capabilities to provide a composite picture from multiple data sources and providing informative, scalable visualization capabilities of the underlying team-level analytics. A key consideration includes the design of privacy-preserving organizational social analysis system that uses social sensors to gather, crawl, and mine various types of data sources, potentially including individual email and instant message communications, calendars, the formal social structure (i.e. organizational chart) as well as individual role assignments, and data from wearables technology (from heart-rate to mobility to cameras). A key analytical challenge is that wearables and social sensing platforms not only produce vast data streams collected in natural settings over long periods of time, but the overriding context is dynamic, unpredictable, and perhaps even unknown. Contextual variables will be ascribed such as significant environmental events and changes to team composition. Phase II will develop multi-graph approaches that combine social network analytics with knowledge graphs to predict outcome-based measures of team performance. Specific Phase II milestones include the collection of a minimum of six weeks of longitudinal behavioral data from a variety of sources from a work-directed team and a demonstration of the key functional concepts derived from this dataset. The offeror must demonstrate a clear understanding of analytics relevant to military needs.
PHASE III: Phase III efforts will be directed toward refining a final deployable design with sophisticated, cross-platform GUI; incorporating design modifications based on results from the tests conducted during Phase II; the system should be hardened for security and protection of personally identifiable information (PII) and results by taking all appropriate measures to incorporate technical security of data collection, aggregation, and analytics; and improving engineering/form factors, equipment hardening, and manufacturing designs to meet U.S. Army CONOPS and end-user requirements.
1: Navaroli N., & Smyth, P. (2015). "Modeling response time in digital human communication," in Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. Oxford,UK.
2: Buchler N., Fitzhugh S.M., Marusich L.R., Ungvarsky D.M., Lebiere C., & Gonzalez C. (2016) Mission Command in the Age of Network-Enabled Operations: Social Network Analysis of Information Sharing and Situation Awareness. Frontiers of Psychology, 7:93 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.20100937
3: Wuchty, S., Jones, B.F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316 (5827), 1036-103
4: Lin, N. (2008). A network theory of social capital. The Handbook of Social Capital, 50, 6
5: Kozlowski, S.W., & Bell, B.S. (2003). Work groups and teams in organizations. Handbook of Psychology, Wiley
KEYWORDS: Team Science, Data-Driven Behavioral Analytics, Team Readiness, Human State Estimation Team Performance Assessment, Team Management, Knowledge Management
Wavelet-Based Adaptive Antenna Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Create a mathematical/numerical framework for the design, analysis and optimization of performance of multi-frequency antenna systems that can radiate vastly different frequency bands/waveforms and so simultaneously address diverse tasks, such as radar imaging and telecoms. Develop algorithms/software that implements these capabilities in military/commercial simulation applications and demonstrates feasibility of a small multi-frequency antenna by designing and building a hardware prototype.
DESCRIPTION: Use of multi-frequency antennas for emitting radio waves has obvious practical benefits as the same hardware can be used to accomplish different missions. Such systems have received substantial attention in recent years. They include various multiband antennas , antennas that allow different tasks to share the same frequency bandwidth by projecting signals onto the null space of an interference channel , and antennas that exploit signal fragmentation (e.g., wavelets) to create the desired waveform . Compact multi-freq antennas offer the additional benefit of being easily mounted on a small vehicle or UAV. Wavelet-based antenna systems show promise of providing the unifying design, analysis, and optimization needed for these operationally useful multifunction antennas. Wavelet-based antenna systems radiate short EM pulses that are by nature wideband. But if a linear combination of such pulses is used to form the desired signal, then both long and short wave signals can be radiated from the same modest array of individual antenna elements since each pulse has finite duration so that a given array element can be reused. A linear combination of short pulses can yield a low-freq signal, which may be useful, e.g., for AM or FM communication, or other digital modulation formats (e.g. FSK, PSK, QAM), or longer wavelength radar applications (e.g. P-band SAR ). At the same time, these short pulses can also be combined into signals of much higher frequency that may be useful, e.g., for L-band SAR. This project seeks computational methods to obtain the desired signal as a linear combination of pulses of various shapes in order to enable new multifunction antennas. For example, compactly supported wavelets are well known [5, pp. 215-287], being defined on finite intervals, having zero mean, and obeying an orthogonality relationship. Each wavelet, since it has zero mean, can in principle be radiated by an antenna. The use of multiple antennas radiating the properly selected wavelets (dilated and translated) can be combined to form the prescribed signal in the far field. A quasi-interpolation approach  or an approximate wavelet approach  can provide a simpler antenna structure. In the quasi-interpolation method, the desired function is expressed as a linear combination of translated, but otherwise identical, basis functions, each with zero mean. At a greater level of complexity, one can employ both translation and dilation for exact or approximate reconstruction. Applications of wavelets to radiation of the predetermined electromagnetic signals are discussed in  and . We seek advances that leverage these tools from mathematical/numerical analysis. While operational requirements and system parameters are application-specific, the problems of designing small adaptive antennas have much in common. Foremost are considerations of energy efficiency. Radiation of long waves by small-size antennas will necessarily involve some destructive interference since generating a long wave composed of a sequence of short pulses will require that the spectral tails of those individual pulses cancel out. So there is a fundamental mathematical question of how to design constituent pulses to minimize power loss. Answering this will require ideas from Fourier analysis, wavelets, optimization, and other areas. Mathematical insight is needed for questions in antenna radiation patterns, i.e., in directivity. Achieving the ability to reduce or minimize power losses for both omnidirectional and direction-specific multi-freq antennas will lead to both theoretical advances for design tools, and will reduce the amount of required prototyping.
PHASE I: a) Survey existing designs and approaches for constructing multi-frequency antennas, review typical applications and regimes of interest, and identify relevant settings and parameters to demonstrate the feasibility of a universal analytic and engineering structure for their design and fabrication. One candidate is the use of wavelets and filters. b) Analyze and identify useful families of basis functions that can reconstruct a given signal (wavelets, truncated derivatives of the sinc function, etc) and that show promise of optimization. c) Develop a scheme for producing optimal linear combinations from the basis, assuming nearly isotropic (nondirectional) small antennas (small ratio of dipole to wavelength) are used in the far field. An appropriate figure of merit may be the ratio of total far field power divided by the input power. d) Implement the foregoing optimization scheme numerically and conduct the appropriate proof-of-concept computations. e) After the optimization scheme has been demonstrated, use to fabricate a prototype omnidirectional multi-frequency antenna.
PHASE II: a) The optimization technique from Phase I will be tested, validated, and implemented as a documented software package that can be shared or distributed. b) In the numerical work that seeks the best basis functions, demonstrate that the selected linear combinations reconstruct the square wave modulated sinusoids and square wave modulated chirps with minimal mean square error both computationally and in device tests. c) Since the basis functions are wideband, they may be radiated by directional antennas, and so a directional beam can be formed. Develop a computational scheme to optimize the basis function-antenna transfer function combination to maximize peak power radiation. First conduct the analysis for continuous wave (CW) operation. d) Incorporate the methodology of item c) into the software package of item a). e) Generalize the methodology described in item c) to other waveforms beyond CW, for example, frequency modulated continuous waves (FMCW) or linear chirps. f) Fabricate the nondirectional prototype antenna. Only a small number of antenna elements should be used (e.g., dipoles no more than 10 cm in length radiating pulses of approximately 1 ns in duration). Government is very interested in seeing the analysis and design package developed for fabrication. g) Develop optimal basis functions for directional antennas (eg, involving Vivaldi elements) using the computational methods of (a) and (d) above. Demonstrate success and utility of these methods, such as by fabricating a directional antenna, ideally with full width of 2-4 degrees when at half power. h) Prepare and make available software documentation of the developed package. i) Make available the software from items a) and d) to interested users in academia and industry under appropriate licensing agreements.
PHASE III: Results will be corroborated by prototype fabrication. This work will lead to significant speedups in the design time of military detection, imaging, surveillance, and communication systems, and will be equally useful in similar commercial applications. The analysis and numerical techniques developed under this topic will be made available as an aid in further advancement of this important new technology of multi-frequency antennas, e.g. to ARL-SEDD-Antenna Branch, CERDEC-STCD, Electronic-Warfare-oriented businesses, and others.
1: C. T. P. Song, Peter S. Hall, and H. Ghafouri-Shiraz, Multi-band Multiple Ring Monopole Antennas. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2003, pp. 722-72
2: A. Khawar, A. Abdel-Hadi, T. Clancy, and R. McGwier, "Beampattern Analysis for MIMO Radar and Telecommunication System Coexistence," in Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC), Honolulu, HI, USA, February 2014, pp. 534-53
3: R. Albanese, Signal Segmentation as an Alternative Approach to Antenna Signal Configuration, Air Force Research Laboratory Report # AFRL-RH-BR-TR-2011-0001, May 201
4: Mikhail Gilman, Erick Smith, and Semyon Tsynkov, Transionospheric Synthetic Aperture Imaging, Applied and Numerical Harmonic Analysis Series, Bikrhauser, Basel, 201
5: Ingrid Daubechies, Ten Lectures on Wavelets, CBMS-NSF Regional Conference Series in Applied Mathematics, Vol. 61, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), Philadelphia, PA, 199
6: Robert Schaback and Zongmin Wu, Construction techniques for highly accurate quasi-interpolation operators, J. Approx. Theory, 91 (1997) pp. 320-33
7: Vladimir Maz'ya and Gunther Schmidt, Approximate Approximations, Mathematical Surveys and Monographs, Vol. 141, American Mathematical Society (AMS), Providence, RI, 200
8: Anthony Devaney, Gerald Kaiser, Edwin A. Marengo, Richard Albanese, and Grant Erdmann, The Inverse Source Problem for Wavelet Fields, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 56, No. 10, October 2008, pp. 3179-318
9: Kaili Eldridge, Andres Fierro, James Dickens, and Andreas Neuber, A Take on Arbitrary Transient Electric Field Reconstruction using Wavelet Decomposition Theory Coupled with Particle Swarm Optimization, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 64, No. 7, July 2016, pp. 3151-315
KEYWORDS: Basis Function, Signal Fragmentation, Wavelet, Linear Combination
Mitigation of Ransomware
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Create a highly effective end-to-end technology solution that mitigates the threats that ransomware poses to computer memory systems. By providing a more effective recovery from attacks, a successful solution will enhance the operational readiness and resiliency of Army and DoD information systems.
DESCRIPTION: Ransomware is malicious software (a.k.a. malware) that can lock a victim’s computer memory through cryptographic encryption to prevent access until a ransom is paid. Typically, ransomware adapts strong cryptographic algorithms to lock user files, making its extremely costly or nearly impossible to recover. It is estimated that ransomware has cost nearly $5 billion in damages worldwide in 2017 alone, and if left unmitigated, by 2019 will hit an enterprise every 14 seconds causing a projected total loss of $11.5 billion. Due to the potentially high risk of incurring data loss, ransomware poses an extreme threat to the Army and its overall operational readiness. It is critical that we establish a comprehensive technology solution that can effectively mitigate the threat that ransomware may bring, and allows for effective recovery when critical data has been victimized. This should include the establishment of three important capabilities: 1) effective identification and detection of ransomware so that it could be disabled and eliminated before it is able to harm the system under attack. Recent advances in both static and dynamic analysis in conjunction with big data analytics provides a foundation to create advanced techniques that can identify potential ransomware with a high precision (high positive and low false negative rate), to allow effective countering against zero day attacks, 2) timely isolation and disabling of ransomware attacks so that suspicious binary code can be prevented from carrying out cryptographic operations that may lock victim’s data. New techniques that extends current on demand isolation techniques are expected. 3) given that some ransomware may eventually evade detection and quarantine, it is imperative that an effective and timely recovery capability that does not rely on regular file backups be created. Potential desired approaches might exploit data redundancy capabilities on physical drives, leverage garbage collection mechanisms within file systems, or use cryptographic means to recover lost data.
PHASE I: Propose and validate (via simulation and testing) a prototype detection and identification system for ransomware based on static and runtime patterns that leverage the existing large volume of malware detection research conducted over the last 20+ years. Big data analytics and new machine learning techniques may also help identify potential ransomware. Develop a prototype recovery method such that victim data could be recovered in minimal time. The solution must NOT rely on file backup mechanism.
PHASE II: Develop a fully deployable ransomware detection, mitigation and recovery system that can be used to protect a wide range of computing platforms (servers, storage systems, computers, and mobile devices, include USB drive or other portable storage devices). Demonstrate efficacy of the system in terms of 1) accuracy in ransomware identification and detection, and effectiveness of mitigation; 2) timely recovery of victim data; 3) minimum impact to system performance. Solutions should also provide maximum user transparency so that an average user’s experience will not be negatively impacted.
PHASE III: Further develop and mature an actual system prototype and validate its performance through demonstration in an operationally relevant environment. Define, finalize, and execute the transition and commercialization plans.
1: Jian Huang, Jun Xu, Xinyu Xing, Peng Liu, Moinuddin K. Qureshi, "FlashGuard: Leveraging Intrinsic Flash Properies to Defend Against Encryption Ransomeware", CCS 2017, Oct 30-Nov3, 2017, Dallas, TX
2: Nicolo Andronio, Stefano Zanero, Federico Maggi, "HelDroid: Dissecting and Detecting Mobile Ransomware", Proc. International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusion and Detection (RAID’15), 2015, Kyoto, Japan.
KEYWORDS: Ransomware, Detection, Mitigation, Data Recovery, System Assurance
Software Tools for Scalable Quantum Validation and Verification
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Design and develop a comprehensive set of software tools to significantly accelerate the development and validate the performance of prototype multi-qubit quantum systems in the emerging quantum computing industry.
DESCRIPTION: Considerable advances have been made in developing and demonstrating high-fidelity one and two-qubit operations in a multi-qubit system. These advances begin to demonstrate key elements of a quantum information processing system. As the complexity of these demonstrations increase, the task of benchmarking performance of the systems becomes very challenging. A series of techniques have been developed, broadly termed "quantum computing validation & verification (QCVV). Incorporation of these techniques in experiments and hardware development has been difficult because of the subject matter expertise required. With growing DoD and commercial interest in quantum information processing, there is a compelling need and anticipated demand for robust software tools, based on QCVV techniques, to benchmark the performance of multi-qubit systems beyond current experimental techniques such as tomography. Ideally, such software tools would provide ease-of-use and fool-proofing for essential techniques to accelerate design cycles, validate performance at gate level, and certify quantum computer output at the whole circuit level. The software tools would also provide standardization, reliability and transparency regarding characterization of hardware performance. Desired features of the software tools include: (i) software implementation of essential and scalable tools that diagnose and optimize the performance of quantum gates and quantum circuits (both at physical and logical level). (ii) development and software implementation of scalable diagnostics for determining rigorous confidence estimates on the output of an arbitrary quantum computation over arbitrarily many quantum bits (at either physical or logical level) by bounding deviations from the target output based on a family of scalable diagnostics, and (iii) hardware (control-system) interfaces/implementations of the above software tools for high-performance multi-qubit systems.
PHASE I: Design and develop a software framework that allows incorporation of state-of-the-art QCVV techniques and establish feasibility of operating the software with high-performance multi-qubit systems. Establish that the software framework is scalable to multi-qubit systems of tens of qubits.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a complete scalable software tool package that can operate at the physical and logical qubit level and with high-performance multi-qubit systems. The tool package would desirably include: 1. A set of fully scalable tune-up routines for optimizing gate performance. 2. A set of fully scalable diagnostic routines providing a complete set of canonical performance parameters for multi-qubit quantum processors. 3. A rigorous and tight bound certifying the performance of quantum information processing circuits with large numbers of qubits. Demonstrate overall functioning, utility, versatility, and ease-of-use of the software tools and framework by integrating into an existing quantum information processing experiment.
PHASE III: The software tool developed here has impact on the successful demonstration of quantum information processing. In addition to critical national security applications, quantum information processing is anticipated to have an impact on commercial applications involving hard computational problems such as optimization, routing, planning and scheduling, among others. Research universities, DoD Laboratories, National Laboratories, and DoD contractors participate in quantum information processing research efforts that would require software tools described in this topic to develop and test their systems. Commercial companies are aggressively pursuing small scale processors whose development and testing will also require these software tools. The tools could also evolve to apply to a broader class of quantum technology for sensors and metrology being developed by DoD entities and commercial companies. Such a robust software tool is expected to have wide use by these quantum technology developers.
1: Randomized Benchmarking of Quantum Gates
2: E. Knill, et al, arXiv:0700963
3: Robust, self-consistent, closed-form tomography of quantum logic gates on a trapped ion qubit
4: Robin Blume-Kohout, et al
6: Magesan E, Gambetta J M and Emerson J 2011 Scalable and robust randomized benchmarking of quantum processes Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 180504
7: Magesan E, Gambetta J M and Emerson J 2012 Characterizing quantum gates via randomized benchmarking Phys. Rev. A 85 042311
8: Barends, R., J. Kelly, A. Veitia, A. Megrant, A. G. Fowler, B. Campbell, Y. Chen, Z. Chen, B. Chiaro, A. Dunsworth, I.-C. Hoi, E. Jeffrey, C. Neill, P. J. J. O'Malley, J. Mutus, C. Quintana, P. Roushan, D. Sank, J. Wenner, T. C. White, A. N. Korotkov, A. N. Cleland, and J. M. Martinis (2014), Physical Review A 90 (3), 03030
KEYWORDS: Qubit Verification, Qubit Validation, Qubit Tune-up, Qubit Benchmarking, Quantum Computing
Hybrid Nano-Bio-Electronic Odor Detector
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: Develop a hybrid odor detector incorporating genetically modified mammalian olfactory receptors interfaced to complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) nanoelectronic integrated circuits to demonstrate detection of volatile environmental and/or biological odorants from complex mixtures.
DESCRIPTION: The Army has an urgent need for cost-effective odor sensors, as evidenced by the focus within the Army Research Laboratory Materials Research Campaign to combine novel biological materials with inorganic devices to sense chemical and biological agents. Electronic nose technology shows promise and has resulted in devices with higher specificity, sensitivity and greater ease of use (Fitzgerald et al, 2017). However, artificial noses still do not possess the dynamic range and selectivity of the mammalian nose, nor show sufficient sensor stability for evaluating sample gases containing complex mixtures of molecules in very low concentrations (Berna et al, 2009). Novel olfactory biosensing approaches may overcome these technological challenges by integrating the specificity and sensitivity of biological olfactory sensor-ligand interactions with engineered sensor platforms (Lee and Park, 2010). The mammalian olfactory system utilizes sensitive odorant receptors, expressed at the surface of cilia on chemosensory olfactory neurons to detect and discriminate thousands of low-molecular-weight organic compounds with diverse chemical structures and properties. Each cilia contains receptors that recognize multiple odorants, and each odorant binds to multiple receptors. When sufficient numbers of odor molecules interact with olfactory receptors a combinatorial code of spike activity from ciliated olfactory neurons is processed by the olfactory pathway of the brain. However, advances in olfactory bio-electronic sensing have demonstrated proof-of-concept that isolated olfactory sensory neurons and receptor components can actively transduce information about specific volatile odorants to engineered sensors (reviewed in Lee and Park, 2010). Recent accomplishments in combining olfactory sensory elements with CMOS nanoelectronic integrated circuit technology opens the door to development of a commercially viable nano-bio-electronic olfactory detector (Chaudhuri et al, 2016). However, several limitations must be addressed by this STTR to achieve specific field-based odor detection required by the Army. Rigorous culture environment requirements for tissues and cells, the relative lack of stability of olfactory cells under real-world conditions and lack of transportability all pose immediate barriers that must be overcome (Glatz & Hill, 2011). Unique and powerful insight into innovative approaches toward fabrication of next-generation bio-hybrid odor detection systems is now available through recent successes in genetic engineering of olfactory receptors (D'Hulst et al, 2016) and hybrid bio-olfactory electronic chip development (Chaudhuri et al, 2016). The ultimate goal of this STTR is to leverage advances from olfactory biosensing and define a new class of bio-nose-on-a-chip sensors that show robust, scalable and reproducibly sensitive olfactory receptor transduction. Ultimately, multiplexed signals from an array of specified olfactory receptors from isolated cilia will be coupled with a biologically-inspired signal processing strategy for classification of multiple odorants from a complex real-world mixture sample. When produced by available standard molecular biology, cell physiology and semiconductor manufacturing techniques they provide an inexpensive and sensitive device for DoD environmental and biological monitoring of specific low concentration odorants in operational environments. Not only could such a tool be used for actual sensing strategies, it offers a tremendous research tool to pin down olfactory ligand-receptor interactions that still have not been able to be determined.
PHASE I: Determine technical feasibility of a CMOS bio-nanoelectronic odor detector using biological olfactory receptors as the sensor front-end. The Phase I effort should benchmark immobilization of functional olfactory receptor elements (tissue or cell-based), in-silico determination of optical (fluorescent), electrical and/or 2nd messenger response limits to guide optimal nanoelectronics integration in Phase II, and characterization of odorant detection specificity by the prototype sensor. The Phase I effort should also determine the technical feasibility for, ultimate, longevity of the biological components of the sensor beyond six months, by establishing a reliable de-ciliation method for preserving and isolating olfactory receptor activity. Nanoelectronic mobilization methods should be defined in Phase I.
PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate and validate, a prototypical bio-electronic olfactory sensor based on criteria established from the Phase I feasibility parameters. Prototypes should be demonstrated for tissue or cellular-based olfactory sensors to benchmark isolated cilia-based sensors. The performance of the sensor should be fully evaluated in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, and dynamic range. The project needs to deliver theoretical/experimental results that provide guidance regarding how the sensors can be designed and fabricated for a range of applications that meet ease of maintenance, storage and long shelf life. The new system will process and interpret biological signals directly for classification by on-chip biologically-inspired signal processing methods. Establish sensing requirements and approaches to improve longevity and robustness of the interface and scalability of the bio-hybrid sensor front-end.
PHASE III: The Phase III work should demonstrate odor detection specificity and response operating conditions of the bio-nano-electronic olfactory sensor for sensitive detection and, ultimately, expansion to airborne sampling capabilities. Emphasis will be placed upon prototype performance parameters, longevity and scalability of the biological sensor front end. Phase III deliverables will include: (1) A working prototype of the bio-nose-on-a-chip technology (2) test data on its performance and (3) specifications for potential to detect multiple odorants simultaneously in complex Army-relevant samples with high sensitivity and selectivity.
1: Fitzgerald JE, Bui ET, Simon NM, & Fenniri H (2017) Artificial Nose Technology: Status and Prospects in Diagnostics. Trends in Biotechnology, 35(1), 33-4
2: Berna AZ, Anderson AR, Trowell SC (2009) Bio-Benchmarking of Electronic Nose Sensors. PLoS ONE 4(7): e640
3: Lee SH, and Park TH (2010) Recent advances in the development of bioelectronic nose. Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 15(1), 22-2
4: Datta-Chaudhuri T, Araneda RC, Abshire P, Smela E (2016) Olfaction on a chip. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 235, 74-
5: Glatz R and Bailey-Hill K (2011) Mimicking nature's noses: From receptor deorphaning to olfactory biosensing. Progress in neurobiology, 93(2), 270-29
6: D'Hulst, C, Movahedi, K & Grosmaitre, Xavier and Paul Feinstein (2017) Odorant Receptor Regulation of Gene Choice, Axon guidance, and Ligand binding. Chemical Senses
7: 42 (2)
KEYWORDS: Olfaction, Nose-on-a-chip, Biosensor
Disablement of Vehicles and/or Remote Weapon Stations in an Urban Environment
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a system that is safe enough to be operated among a civilian population that is capable of disabling critical components of opposition ground vehicles.
DESCRIPTION: The sociopolitical ramifications of collateral damage, especially the type of damage that can be inflicted with traditional anti-armor assets have made it increasingly difficult for the dismounted soldier to engage lightly armor vehicles. New armored vehicles are likewise much more likely to be equipped with remote weapon stations (RWS) to provide the "teeth" for these and these RWS are often highly instrumented to provide vision, range finding as well as weapon stabilization. If the instrumentation can be blinded or the stabilization destroyed, they become far less dangerous to the dismounted soldier and the civilian population as a whole. If the entire electronics of the RWS can be disrupted, even basic traversing and firing functions become disabled. Additionally there are static high value targets that represent a unique concern to the local civil population such as surface-air missiles, guns and associated radar and tracking equipment that is placed in or near civilian housing, hospitals, schools, mosques or other structures that would have strong negative sociopolitical, ramifications should they be attacked in a normal physical manner. The ability to disable these targets in a manner that provides for very low collateral damage, with respect to civilian loss of life, would increase the effectiveness of the dismounted soldier in the modern, news-centric, politically-charged environment. Soldier borne systems that can affect these or other "soft-kill" mechanisms are of interest. Most importantly are systems that provide these mechanisms at a distance or can be launched and function at a distance that provides the dismounted soldier with an appreciable level of remoteness (i.e., 100+meters). The system must be able to be deployed by a single dismounted soldier in a MOUT environment.
PHASE I: Explore and evaluate multiple non-kinetic-kill mechanisms that can provide either a mobility kill, defeat of a remote weapon station with a low collateral damage mechanism for leveling the playing field against mechanized assets. Develop a preliminary size, weight, and cost criteria for the given mechanism. Systems that require thousands of dollars per round (when produced in quantity) are considered beyond the scope of this project. The mechanism must be easy to deploy by an individual soldier and inexpensive enough that dismounted soldier feel free to deploy them. Concepts may either require contact or may function at a proximity are considered viable providing they can a similar level of defeat. A purely proximity system relying on strong electromagnetic fields, for example, should be able to demonstrate field strengths on the order of 1kV/m (objective) or 50V/m (threshold) as an electric field. While lower field strengths will easily damage or destroy sensitive electronics such as radio receivers or GPS/GLONASS (Russia's version of GPS) receivers, the goal is to disable the underlying vehicle and/or its remote weapon station, sensors and the vehicles engine control unit (if present). While contact systems would need lower field strengths, mechanism to mitigate shock hazards need to be addressed. Show that the proposed mechanism can function, and is operationally relevant for the deployed dismounted soldier. The proposed mechanism must be able to be delivered in a payload weighing less than five pounds, and be effective in disabling or disrupting the intended component of the mechanized system in under 5 minutes. Identify an existing fielded system that could be used for the deployment of the soft-kill system. In order to reduce the logistical burden of fielding such a soft-kill system, it is imperative to build on systems already deployed or are expected to be deployed in the near future. An engineering estimate in practical range of deployment should likewise be provided.
PHASE II: Down select the method/modality of deployment based on the work from Phase 1 as well as feedback from the customers. Once again, the ability to use or build on currently deployed systems is of primary importance. Develop bench prototype of the most promising non-kinetic defeat mechanisms, proximity or contact. Of special interest, but not required, are those mechanisms that that can be used synergistically for simultaneous deployment or those whose mode can be selected prior to deployment in order to maximize their utility against various armored vehicles (ie. Light vehicle vs structure). Demonstrate in a controlled environment those mechanisms and how they would disable relevant critical components. It is imperative that these mechanism are not viewed as lethal to bystanders save for concerns of an accidental kinetic effect from the deployment itself. Evaluate the mechanism's utility versus its propensity for accidental collateral (property) damage. Demonstrate a clear development path that would permit the bench prototype to convert into a system that can be deployed at range. For proximity based systems, develop mechanisms that focus or direct the effect at the particular target and reduce the accidental damage to civilian infrastructure (objective). All systems must be viewed as a non-lethal device (threshold) save for actual unintentional kinetic effects prior to functioning. Mechanisms to reduce the probability of an unintentional kinetic injury or fatality should be explored, e.g. drogue chutes. Using surrogate systems that are anticipated to have the same bulk/mass of the idealized system and demonstrate that they can be deployed in an accurate manner.
PHASE III: Work with both the Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian law enforcement agencies and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop guidelines for use and provide further guidance in areas to market the soft-kill system. Develop an understanding of the variations in needs between military and CLEO customers. Incorporate these expanded requirements into a system that can be commercialized leveraging both DoD, NIJ and private funding opportunities. Demonstrate live fire deployments of the actual system. Work with various customers inside the DoD to insure that the system can be deployed inside the existing Concept of Operations (CONOPS) or without an aggressive procedural change.
1: National Research Council, "STAR: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century", pp. 10-39, Washington, DC, 199
2: Merryman, Stephen A., Multifrequency Radio-Frequency (RF) Vehicle Stopper, www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA559055, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, VA, 201
3: Beilfuss, J., and R. Gray. "Source selection techniques for EMP direct drive simulation, IEEE 1989 National Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Denver, CO, 198
4: Hoeft, Lothar O., et al., "Comparison of RSPG waveforms with simulated EMP", IEEE 1991 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Cherry Hill, NJ, 199
KEYWORDS: Dismounted Soldier Protection, Body Armor, Electrical Systems Disruption, Vehicle Stopper, Military Operations In Urban Terrain, Cyber-physical Systems, Electrical Signal Conditioning, Chemical Signal Conditioning, Graphite, Tribology
Robust High-Performance Laser Sources for Scalable Quantum Technology
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Design and development of robust, long lifetime, high-performance continuous wavelength (CW) laser sources that would enable high-fidelity multi-qubit trapped ion systems for scalable quantum computing, networking, and broader sensor and precision measurement technology.
DESCRIPTION: Trapped ions systems represent one of the very promising avenues for scalable quantum systems technology and have demonstrated high-fidelity multi-qubit operations. Laboratory-based laser systems that enable current qubit operations are typically an assortment of Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and home-built lasers, optics, and control electronics. These laser systems can occupy a significant fraction of the researchers' time, attention, and resources in dealing with beam misalignment, power instabilities, and frequency locking/re-locking. Scalability is limited by laser system reliability. With growing DoD and commercial interest in quantum technology, there is a compelling need and anticipated demand for COTS robust compact laser sources to enable scalability. Ideally, such laser systems would deliver intensity- and frequency-stable light, automatically engage locks, detect and correct for system failures, and have telecommunications industry-like reliability. These systems must also be agile and controllable, providing flexibility to prepare, address, and read-out the qubits in order to operate the qubit system with high fidelity. Developing such capability and reliability will require a multifaceted systems approach. Potential development areas include: (a) A common laser architecture/package that can span the full spectrum of ion wavelengths with sub-100 kHz linewidths. (b) A fixed, mechanically stable optics bench that eliminates external tuning (e.g. a grating). (c) A sealed laser package free of contaminants that can prematurely age the laser. (d) Electronics and software to automatically acquire and engage atomic and cavity locks. (e) More compact laser heads and control electronics.
PHASE I: For a candidate ion(s), determine the laser requirements (such as power, linewidth, lifetime, locking bandwidth, among others) for all relevant transitions. Verify requirements with a leading research group developing the candidate ion system. Some demonstrated and preferable ion systems are Ba, Be, Ca, Sr, and Yb. Design a laser or modify an existing design to meet the requirements of the candidate ion system. Validate critical design features and requirements through simulations or proof-of-principle benchtop tests.
PHASE II: Build prototype laser heads and electronics. Demonstrate design versatility by building lasers at the relevant wavelength extremes (e.g. for Yb+, 369 nm and 935 nm). Characterize the full laser performance and lifetime. Develop electronics and software that automate and extend laser locking for atoms and optical cavities. Demonstrate significant performance and reliability improvements over state-of-the-art by integrating and testing the laser/controller into an existing ion trap experiment.
PHASE III: The technology developed here has impact on the successful demonstration of quantum information processing. In addition to critical national security applications, quantum information processing is anticipated to have an impact on commercial applications involving hard computational problems such as optimization, routing, planning and scheduling. Stable, narrow-linewidth lasers are also critical for optical atomic clocks and atomic inertial sensors. These devices can precisely determine position, orientation, and timing in GPS-denied environments.
1: C. Monroe and J. Kim, "Scaling the Ion Trap Quantum Processor", Science 339, 1164 (2013).
2: http://iontrap.umd.edu/resources-2/periodic-table/ for a list of relevant wavelengths for various ions in use for quantum computing.
3: "Entangled states of trapped atomic ions," R. Blatt and D. J. Wineland, Nature 453, 1008 1014 (2008).
4: "Experimental Issues in Coherent Quantum-State Manipulation of Trapped Atomic Ions," D. J. Wineland, C. Monroe, W. M. Itano, D. Leibfried, B. E. King, and D. M. Meekhof, Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology 103, 259 (1998).
KEYWORDS: UV Laser Sources, Blue Laser Sources, Trapped-ion Quantum Computing, Atomic Clocks, Quantum Sensors
T R Govindan
Microporous Flexible Electrodes for Lithium Metal Secondary Batteries
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop and characterize flexible microporous electrodes for lithium metal secondary batteries.
DESCRIPTION: The DoD has need for inherently safe energy storage devices with improved high power, high energy density, and low temperature performance to reduce dismounted soldier burden. Lithium metal batteries offer an opportunity to increase energy density because lithium has the highest theoretical capacity (3,860 mAh/g) and lowest electrochemical potential (3.04 V). However, the use of lithium metal has posed challenges such as limited cycle life and the propensity to form lithium metal dendrites which can reduce capacity and lead to short circuits. In addition, the presence of lithium metal, with its high reactivity, poses a concern if the battery is compromised and the lithium is exposed to the atmosphere. Flexible microporous electrodes have been predicted to reduce dendrite growth due to confinement of lithium in individual pores while simultaneously increasing charge/discharge rates due to the high surface area. Advantages derived from the use of microporous electrodes include: high energy density, fast charge and discharge rates, and long cycle life. In addition, depending upon the selection of microporous support material the batteries could also be flexible and containment of lithium in individual micropores could increase safety. This effort will develop and characterize flexible microporous electrodes to enable conformal, safe, lithium metal batteries.
PHASE I: Demonstrate and optimize flexible microporous electrodes with lithium metal electrodes. Determine structure property relationships between pore size and distribution and their impacts on electrochemical performance including formation of dendrites and half cell cycle life. Evaluate electrolyte formulations to ensure support material compatibility. Prepare laboratory half cells, perform high power and specific energy testing, and identify degradation processes. Demonstrate results that indicate that a specific energy >350 Wh/kg and improved life cycle performance of >150 cycles with 80% capacity retention are possible using flexible microporous electrodes.
PHASE II: Extend microporous electrode technology to cathode and evaluate a at least 3 cathode materials. Evaluate cathode half cells to optimize electrochemical properties. Determine structure property relationships between pore size and distribution and their impacts on electrochemical performance. Continue optimization of lithium metal anodes. Prepare complete batteries (over 1000mAh), perform high power and specific energy testing, and identify degradation processes. Demonstrate results with a specific energy >400 Wh/kg and improved life cycle performance of >300 cycles with >90% capacity retention.
PHASE III: Development of devices for both civilian and DoD use. There are many electronic devices used in the military and civilian communities that would benefit from increased energy storage. Portable electronics, hybrid vehicles, etc. performance will be improved if safe lithium metal secondary batteries with high cycle are developed.
1: Jianming Zheng, Mark H. Engelhard, Donghai Mei, Shuhong Jiao, Bryant J. Polzin, Ji-Guang Zhang, Wu Xu. Electrolyte additive enabled fast charging and stable cycling lithium metal batteries. Nature Energy, 2017
2: 2 (3): 17012 DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.20112
3: Nobuhiro Ogihara, Yuichi Itou, Tsuyoshi Sasaki, and Yoji Takeuchi. Impedance Spectroscopy Characterization of Porous Electrodes under Different Electrode Thickness Using a Symmetric Cell for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries. J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 4612-4619: DOI: 10.1021/jp512564f
4: Jelle Smekens, Rahul Gopalakrishnan, Nils Van den Steen, Noshin Omar, Omar Hegazy, Annick Hubin and Joeri Van Mierlo. Influence of Electrode Density on the Performance of Li-Ion Batteries: Experimental and Simulation Results, Energies 2016, 9, 104
6: Nobuhiro Ogihara, Yuichi Itou, Tsuyoshi Sasaki, and Yoji Takeuchi. Impedance Spectroscopy Characterization of Porous Electrodes under Different Electrode Thickness Using a Symmetric Cell for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries. J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 4612-461 DOI: 10.1021/jp512564f
KEYWORDS: Lithium Metal Battery, Porous Electrodes, Secondary Battery
Cell-Free Screening System for Genetically-Derived Small Molecule Biosensors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Develop a cell-free system to rapidly identify biosensors to small molecules of DoD interest, which can then be further evolved and implemented in biologically-derived products (e.g., paper-based cell-free sensors, engineered microbes) to protect the Warfighter.
DESCRIPTION: Nature has evolved over millennia an ability to sense and respond to nearly any environmental input possible. Much more recently, the emerging field of synthetic biology has begun to repurpose the toolbox of nature towards engineering applications. Of particular relevance here, biosensors utilizing biological detection methods are increasingly being pursued as technologies to protect the Warfighter. For example, paper-based cell-free sensors are highly-portable products that can detect threats such as Zika and Ebola with high-efficiency , . Microbes can also be engineered to detect environmental chemicals such as naphthalene and arsenite . There is strong Army interest to transition these new technologies from the laboratory to the field . A technical limitation, however, is the lack of well-characterized, specific, and adaptable biosensors available to convert environmental signals into biological signals for downstream processing. This dearth of inputs currently hamstrings products such as paper-based cell-free sensors that have high potential as highly-fieldable, broad-spectrum threat detection technologies that could protect the Warfighter. Since nature has evolved biosensors to detect nearly every small molecule (for example, in one study 95% of antibiotics could not only be detected, but also degraded by bacteria ), harnessing this detection power for threats of Army interest is highly desired. While it is known that cells naturally respond to broad-spectrum analytes, the specific mechanisms remain obscure outside of a handful of model biosensors; thus, identification of novel biosensors requires either identification of natural sensors and downstream engineering  or computational design and experimental validation . Methods to streamline the process of identification and optimization of novel biosensors would greatly accelerate the development of these new technologies and ultimately provide a new generation of sensing technologies to the Warfighter. The objective of this topic is to develop a rapid cell-free screening system capable of biosensor discovery for a particular small molecule target in two months or less. These biosensors must be implementable in a molecular circuit to convert chemical signals to downstream biological signals. Of particular interest are protein-based transcription factors that transduce a signal via promoter regulation in response to the presence of the small molecule of interest; however, other mechanisms such as RNA-mediated regulation or translation-level control will be considered. In final form, the system must be capable of producing functional biosensors to multiple DoD-supplied small molecules.
PHASE I: Define a cell-free system that is able to take as input small molecules and provide as output a biological response, e.g. a biological protein effector, effector target promoter, and output reporter expression. Demonstrate the system's effectiveness with 5 model small molecule targets. For each novel small molecule, demonstrate the system's ability to test at least 8 unique protein effectors and effector targets experimentally in the cell-free system. The Phase I effort should demonstrate proof-of-principle of the system and identify a path to scaling up to high throughput performance.
PHASE II: Demonstrate the cell-free system's effectiveness by identifying biosensors for at least 10 small molecules of DoD interest that have currently no known biological effector. For each novel small molecule, demonstrate the system's ability to test at least 96 unique protein effectors and effector targets experimentally in the cell-free system. Collaborate with DoD scientists to identify at least 2 target molecules of interest, and demonstrate a turnaround from molecule identification to protein effector and effector target of 2 months or less.
PHASE III: The Phase III work will produce a scalable solution for identifying biosensors to arbitrary naturally-derived small molecules, with dual-use applications in government-relevant products (e.g. sensors, engineered microbes) and in industrial products (e.g. bio-based chemical development).
1: K. Pardee, A. A. Green, T. Ferrante, D. E. Cameron, A. DaleyKeyser, P. Yin, and J. J. Collins, "Paper-Based Synthetic Gene Networks," Cell, vol. 159, no. 4, pp. 940-954, Nov. 201
2: K. Pardee, A. A. Green, M. K. Takahashi, D. Braff, G. Lambert, J. W. Lee, T. Ferrante, D. Ma, N. Donghia, M. Fan, N. M. Daringer, I. Bosch, D. M. Dudley, D. H. O'Connor, L. Gehrke, and J. J. Collins, "Rapid, Low-Cost Detection of Zika Virus Using Programmable Biomolecular Components," Cell, vol. 165, no. 5, pp. 1255-1266, May 201
3: J. R. van der Meer and S. Belkin, "Where microbiology meets microengineering: design and applications of reporter bacteria," Nature Reviews Microbiology, vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 511-522, Jul. 2010.
4: B. L. Adams, "The Next Generation of Synthetic Biology Chassis: Moving Synthetic Biology from the Laboratory to the Field," Sep. 201
5: S. K. Lee and J. D. Keasling, "A Propionate-Inducible Expression System for Enteric Bacteria," Appl. Environ. Microbiol., vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 6856-6862, Nov. 200
6: N. D. Taylor, A. S. Garruss, R. Moretti, S. Chan, M. A. Arbing, D. Cascio, J. K. Rogers, F. J. Isaacs, S. Kosuri, D. Baker, S. Fields, G. M. Church, and S. Raman, "Engineering an allosteric transcription factor to respond to new ligands," Nature methods, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 177-183, Dec. 201
7: G. Dantas, M. O. A. Sommer, R. D. Oluwasegun, and G. M. Church, "Bacteria Subsisting on Antibiotics," Science, vol. 320, no. 5872, pp. 100-103, Apr. 200
KEYWORDS: Biosensors, Synthetic Biology, High-throughput Screening, Paper-based Sensors, Metabolic Engineering, Cell-free Systems
Millimeter-wave modulators for sparse aperture imagers
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics
OBJECTIVE: Develop a modulator that up-converts millimeter wave (MMW) signals to optical wavelengths. This modulator would enable sparse aperture MMW imagers based on optical up-conversion to be developed using inexpensive focal plane arrays (FPA), allowing the fabrication affordable imaging systems intended for ground vehicles.
DESCRIPTION: Degraded Visual Environments (DVE) are a leading contributor of accidents and reduce Soldier operational effectiveness. Accidents during rotorcraft landings and reduced OPTEMPO of ground vehicles are two common drawbacks of operating under DVEs. Degraded environmental conditions can be mitigated using proper sensing that allows increased situational awareness, such as MMW imagers. Recent developments have shown that a phased array of MMW detectors can be used to penetrate severely degraded environments, while partially mitigating some of the issues of size, weight, and power (SWAP) typical of MMW imagers. The described technique allows designs to be scaled to higher or lower resolution by cleverly adjusting the array distribution, without significantly altering the remaining system components. This STTR seeks university research to develop a novel MMW-based sensor which penetrates dust, fog, and smoke. The sensor output will be fused with a conventional IR sensor to provide enhanced driver visualization. The ultimate goal of this effort is to create a dual-mode imaging system that includes a high-resolution LWIR sensor coupled with a low-resolution, but with high obscurant penetration, MMW sensor, that will provide cues to obstacles and hazards at ground level. The designed system should be capable of operating at video rates and have a horizontal field of view of at least 20 degrees. The MMW sensor will detect, though not necessarily recognize or identify, obscured targets that are not sensed by the LWIR imager. A combination of both sensing modalities will provide sufficient situational awareness to maneuver ground vehicles under most degraded conditions. The purpose of this STTR is to solicit affordable, novel MMW sensing approaches that provide enhanced obscurant penetration over conventional LWIR images. The full scope of the effort will demonstrate real-time fusion of the two modes. The scalability of this approach would also allow developing systems that can benefit other services and civilian applications.
PHASE I: Design and demonstrate operation of a MMW modulator concept that can be used on a sparse aperture MMW imager. Build a small array, between 3 and 10 elements, to demonstrate operation of this modulator.
PHASE II: Provide a trade-off study for resolution and array dimensions. Build and demonstrate a functioning imaging system based on the approach developed in Phase I. A path for fusion with a LWIR sensor must be provided.
PHASE III: Build and demonstrate a field deployable system on a relevant environment. Provide imagery of fused MMW and LWIR sensors.
1: A. R. Harvey, P. M. Blanchard, G. M. Smith, K. Webster, and A. H. Greenaway, "Optical up-conversion for passive millimeter-wave imaging," SPIE Proc. 3064, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology, Orlando, FL, 1997, pp. 98-10
2: R. D. Martin, S. Shi, Y. Zhang, A. Wright, P. Yao, K. P. Shreve, C. A. Schuetz, et al., "Video rate passive millimeter-wave imager utilizing optical up-conversion with improved size, weight, and power," in Proc. of SPIE 9462, Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XVIII, Baltimore, MD, 2015, pp. 946209-946209-
3: T. E. Dillon, C. A. Schuetz, R. D. Martin, D. G. Mackrides, S. Shi, P. Yao, K. Shreve, et al., "Passive, real-time millimeter wave imaging for degraded visual environment mitigation," in Proc. of SPIE 9471, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions, Baltimore, MD, 2015, pp. 947103-947103-
4: C. A. Schuetz, R. D. Martin, C. Harrity, and D. W. Prather, "Progress towards a "FLASH" imaging RADAR using RF photonics," 2016 IEEE Avionics and Vehicle Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference (AVFOP), 2016, pp. 187-18
KEYWORDS: DVE, Degraded Visual Environments, RF, MMW, Up-conversion, RF-Photonics, Modulators, Millimeter-Wave, LWIR, Multi-spectral Imaging, Sensors
Rapid Prototyped 3D Printed Filters
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop novel filters/filter concepts using rapid prototyping and 3D printing technologies. Specifically, the filter will augment current general purpose respirators by snapping on to the top of current filter. This extra filter will either provide enhanced protection against toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), aerosols, or a combination of each.
DESCRIPTION: Currently fielded U.S. Military filters containing ASZM-T carbon provide excellent protection against a wide range of chemicals. However, additional protection is often warranted against toxic industrial chemicals such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide. Furthermore, current filters provide excellent protection against aerosols, but fail to detoxify chemical warfare agents. Using additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing), a snap-on filter will be developed that enhances the protection against TICs, CWAs, and/or aerosols. The technology should be able to fit onto current military filters such as the C2A1, M53 General Purpose Filter, and/or the M61 filter on the Joint Service General Purpose Mask. The add-on filter may utilize novel sorbent such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), metal oxides, and/or polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs). The snap-on filter itself may be adsorptive and utilize PIMs or other porous polymers. Current Status: Over the past decade, 3D printing has maturing from a novelty to systems that are commercially available for the average home. Thus, systems can be utilized to manufacture on-demand items such as filters that focus augmentation of protection against specific chemicals. Parts can be printed to house sorbents or HEPA-type aerosol filtration media. Novel aerosol removal media that detoxifies CWAs is also available, such as electrospun nanofibers incorporating metal-organic frameworks or metal oxides.
PHASE I: Fabricate approximately 10 prototype snap-on filters (multiple concepts are acceptable) using 3D printing. Establish initial protection correlations such as enhanced chemical or aerosol protection. If the focus is on an “active” HEPA that detoxifies CWAs, show initial simulant reactivity data. Provide prototypes to ECBC for initial testing.
PHASE II: Print 100+ filters using additive manufacturing. Determine full performance of system and conduct ruggedness testing to ensure materials of construction are adequate to survive battlefield and transport conditions.
PHASE III: Identify additional military and non-military applications for use of materials. Work with Federal Laboratories (e.g. U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center) to develop military filter concepts. Potential dual-use applications include, but are not limited to, First Responders, industrial plants, etc.
1: Thakkar, H.
2: Eastman, S.
3: Al-Naddaf, Q.
4: Rownaghi, A.A.
5: Rezaei, F. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 35908-3591
6: Couck, S.
7: Cousin-Saint-Remi, J.
8: Van der Perre, S.
9: Baron, G.V.
10: Minas, C.
11: Ruch, P.
12: Denayer, J.F.M. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 255 (2018) 185-19
13: Wardrip, N.C.
14: Dsouza, M.
15: Urgun-Demirtas, M.
16: Snyder, S.W.
17: Gilbert, J.A.
18: Arnusch, C.J. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2016, 8, 30271-30280.
KEYWORDS: 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, Filter, Carbon, Aerosol
Novel Manufacturing Techniques for Polymer/Metal-Organic Framework Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: The two objectives of this topic are (1) to develop novel methods/techniques for integrating active nanostructures such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) into polymer-based systems, and (2) to assess new materials solutions for enhanced protective ensembles such as novel filter/mask designs and reactive suit technologies. Active nanostructures may include, but are not limited to, materials such as MOFs, zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), porous organic polymers (POPs), polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), metal oxyhydroxides (e.g., Zr(OH)4), etc. Materials solutions should focus on adsorptivity and reactivity against toxic chemicals such as nerve agents (e.g. soman, VX, etc.) and toxic industrial chemicals (e.g. ammonia, chlorine, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, etc.). The end state of the program should be a scalable method for producing technologies such that sufficient material is available for advanced testing against threat compounds.
DESCRIPTION: Metal-organic frameworks and nanoactive metal oxyhydroxides have shown promise for detoxifying chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.[1-4] One challenge has been integration of these materials into functional forms for use in filters and suits. Of particular interest are composites of porous nanomaterial with polymers and fibers. Over the past several years, atomic layer deposition has been used to coat fibers with a metal oxide which is subsequently used to nucleate and grow MOFs directly onto the fiber.[5-7] This technique provides excellent MOF growth, but is difficult and expensive to scale. Other methods such as electrospinning have been used with mixed results.[8, 9] This effort seeks to develop large composites from active particles and polymers using alternative approaches to atomic layer deposition (ALD) that retain activity of the underlying nanomaterial once integrated into/onto the polymer. Ultimately, successful technologies could lead to protection commensurate with current protection equipment while reducing burden by an order of magnitude.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the ability to fabricate polymer/nanomaterial composites in square foot swatches. Provide materials to ECBC that are robust (do not shed particles) and are active towards toxic chemicals. Initial demonstrations may focus on one specific toxic chemical (e.g. chlorine) or a group of chemicals (e.g. acid gases, nerve agents, etc.).
PHASE II: Scale the process to larger quantities that are amenable to full scale production, such as 30 inch roll-to-roll processes. Deliver both composite fabrics and potential concepts for novel filters and suits. Concepts should focus on integrated textiles that offer aerosol and chemical protection.
PHASE III: Identify additional military and non-military applications for use of materials. Develop and implement strategies for reducing cost to compete with activated, impregnated carbon fabrics. Incorporate materials into other forms. Work with Federal Laboratories (e.g. U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center) to develop military filter concepts, and identify companies with respiratory protection programs (e.g. 3M, Scott, Avon etc.) to transition materials for industrial and First Responder applications. Potential dual-use applications include, but are not limited to, industrial filter materials, escape respirators, etc.
1: Peterson, G. W.
2: Moon, S.-Y.
3: Wagner, G. W.
4: Hall, M. G.
5: DeCoste, J. B.
6: Hupp, J. T.
7: Farha, O. K., Tailoring the Pore Size and Functionality of UiO-Type Metal"Organic Frameworks for Optimal Nerve Agent Destruction. Inorganic Chemistry 201
8: Moon, S.-Y.
9: Wagner, G. W.
10: Mondloch, J. E.
11: Peterson, G. W.
12: DeCoste, J. B.
13: Hupp, J. T.
14: Farha, O. K., Effective, Facile, and Selective Hydrolysis of the Chemical Warfare Agent VX Using Zr-6-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks. Inorganic Chemistry 2015, 54 (22), 10829-1083
15: Peterson, G. W.
16: Mahle, J. J.
17: DeCoste, J. B.
18: Gordon, W. O.
19: Rossin, J. A., Extraordinary NO2 Removal by the Metal-Organic Framework UiO-66-NH Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2016, Ahead of Print.
20: DeCoste, J. B.
21: Browe, M. A.
22: Wagner, G. W.
23: Rossin, J. A.
24: Peterson, G. W., Removal of chlorine gas by an amine functionalized metal-organic framework via electrophilic aromatic substitution. Chemical Communications 2015, 51 (62), 12474-1247
25: Zhao, J.
26: Gong, B.
27: Nunn, W. T.
28: Lemaire, P. C.
29: Stevens, E. C.
30: Sidi, F. I.
31: Williams, P. S.
32: Oldham, C. J.
33: Walls, H. J.
34: Shepherd, S. D.
35: Browe, M. A.
36: Peterson, G. W.
37: Losego, M. D.
38: Parsons, G. N., Conformal and highly adsorptive metal-organic framework thin films via layer-by-layer growth on ALD-coated fiber mats. J. Mater. Chem. A 2015, 3 (4), 1458-146
39: Zhao, J. J.
40: Losego, M. D.
41: Lemaire, P. C.
42: Williams, P. S.
43: Gong, B.
44: Atanasov, S. E.
45: Blevins, T. M.
46: Oldham, C. J.
47: Walls, H. J.
48: Shepherd, S. D.
49: Browe, M. A.
50: Peterson, G. W.
51: Parsons, G. N., Highly Adsorptive, MOF-Functionalized Nonwoven Fiber Mats for Hazardous Gas Capture Enabled by Atomic Layer Deposition. Advanced Materials Interfaces 2014, 1 (4).
52: Lee, D. T.
53: Zhao, J. J.
54: Peterson, G. W.
55: Parsons, G. N., Catalytic "MOF-Cloth" Formed via Directed Supramolecular Assembly of UiO-66-NH2 Crystals on Atomic Layer Deposition-Coated Textiles for Rapid Degradation of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants. Chemistry of Materials 2017, 29 (11), 4894-490
56: Lu, A. X.
57: McEntee, M.
58: Browe, M. A.
59: Hall, M. G.
60: DeCoste, J. B.
61: Peterson, G. W., MOFabric: Electrospun Nanofiber Mats from PVDF/UiO-66-NH2 for Chemical Protection and Decontamination. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017, 9 (15), 13632-1363
62: Peterson, G. W.
63: Lu, A. X.
64: Epps, T. H., Tuning the Morphology and Activity of Electrospun Polystyrene/UiO-66-NH2 Metal-Organic Framework Composites to Enhance Chemical Warfare Agent Removal. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017, 9 (37), 32248-3225
65: Peterson, G. W.
66: DeCoste, J. B.
67: Glover, T. G.
68: Huang, Y.
69: Jasuja, H.
70: Walton, K. S., Effects of pelletization pressure on the physical and chemical properties of the metal-organic frameworks Cu-3(BTC)(2) and UiO-6 Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 2013, 179, 48-5
71: Peterson, G. W.
72: DeCoste, J. B.
73: Fatollahi-Fard, F.
74: Britt, D. K., Engineering UiO-66-NH2 for Toxic Gas Removal. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2014, 53 (2), 701-70
75: Kim, J.
76: Kim, S. H.
77: Yang, S. T.
78: Ahn, W. S., Bench-scale preparation of Cu-3(BTC)(2) by ethanol reflux: Synthesis optimization and adsorption/catalytic applications. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 2012, 161, 48-5
KEYWORDS: Metal-organic Framework, Polymer, Fabric, Filter, Protective Suit
Sample Preparation Free Consumables for Ultra-Sensitive Chemical and Biological Detection from Complex Environmental and Clinical Matrices Compatible for Paper Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometry
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: Develop a new line of paper spray consumables when can be leveraged for the direct capture and analysis of aerosols and vapors. Additionally, proposers should also develop a paper spray cartridge with an integrated affinity enrichment column for both small molecules and macromolecules (ie. proteins). Together these products would significantly expand paper spray mass spectrometry's utility for the direct analysis of chemical and biological threats in complex backgrounds without any sample preparation. Other than miniaturizing mass spectrometers, this is a crucial component for moving mass spectrometry-based identification into the field.
DESCRIPTION: Paper spray (PS) is an ambient ionization technique that allows for direct sampling with little to no sample preparation and rapid mass spectrometry (MS) analysis1. Samples are collected or deposited directly onto the paper substrate from biological and environmental sources and analyzed by MS without the need for desorption/extraction2-3. Currently, PS-MS has been reported to analyze CWA simulants and CWA hydrolysis products4 in biological matrices, as well as food and environmental samples containing pesticides and herbicides5-6, which have chemical similarities to CWAs. More recently, PS-MS was used to directly capture and analyze of aerosolized CWA simulants of G-series nerve agents (e.g., sarin, soman in both laboratory and field)7. Ultimately, the limits of detection using this approach were reduced to levels comparable to current worker population limits of 1x10-6 mg/m3 after just 2 minutes of sample collection. To perform all of this work, rapid prototypes were developed using 3D printing technologies. Although these approaches proved to be successful, additional design changes and materials must be developed to diversify and strengthen this new application of PS-MS. Paper spray ionization can also be used for monitoring toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and toxic industrial materials (TIMs). Given the recent problems associated with the highly fluorinated compounds commonly found in firefighting foams such as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), it is important to have the ability to rapidly screen water sources for these persistent-highly water soluble carcinogens. Screening will be a very important factor when prioritizing clean-up efforts. In many places where these foams were heavily used for training exercises they can be found at levels 20X higher than the safe limits established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Paper spray ionization in its current form is amenable for rapid screening of these types of compounds, but the commercial off the shelf (COTS) system currently available is not able to detect the low level concentrations (~80 pg/mL) established by the EPA. Therefore, there is a need to develop a cartridge that can enrich for these compounds as well as other small molecules for rapid screening purposes. In addition to adding the ability to enrich for small molecules, there is a need to enrich for biological molecules from complex backgrounds such as food, soil, water, blood, and urine. For this applications the primary focus should be for the detection of proteinaceous toxins such as ricin, abrin, or botulinum toxin. Very recently, there have been several examples demonstrating that PS-MS can be used to detect this class of molecules (proteins) by utilizing a novel alternative substrate composed of polyethylene coated with carbon nanotubes. As such, the proposers should develop an enrichment device so that affinity reagents (antibodies and/or molecularly imprinted polymers) can be integrated into the current COTS form factor for the enrichment of toxins of military interest. The design should also be easily modified to incorporate other affinity reagents to biological targets of military interest including viruses and bacteria.
PHASE I: During phase I, performers will provide designs and functional prototypes of each of the paper spray devices to address the following: 1. Aerosol/Vapor collection: This device should be designed as two distinct components: the air-handling unit and the consumable paper cartridge. This consumable should easily adapt to the air-handler and should be designed so that the sampled air can be directed through a substrate of interest. 2. Small Molecule Enrichment: This apparatus should be developed so that a larger than normal sample volume can be pre-concentrated onto a column (e.g. SPE) and then eluted onto the paper substrate for ionization. 3. Targeted Protein Enrichment This apparatus should be developed so that a larger than normal sample volume can be pre-concentrated onto an affinity column to enrich for proteins of interest for analysis by paper spray. Additionally, novel/proven substrates that are amendable for PS-MS protein ionization should be incorporated.
PHASE II: Candidates that are awarded a Phase II proposal shall further develop each consumable into a pre-production prototype which MUST be rigorously tested for reproducibility in a laboratory environment. Chemicals and proteins which will be tested for reproducibility and limits of detection should be identified within the Phase II proposal, but proposers should be amenable to suggestions from the technical chief. Prototypes should be made with mass spec friendly materials that have little to no interfering chemical background. For each consumable: -Produced in a way that is amenable for mass production (e.g. injection molding) -Each device should have the same foot-print as the current commercial off the shelf unit. -Each consumable should have a shelf-life of one year and ideally require no cold chain. The ability to store at room temperature will be seen as a strength and is not necessarily a requirement. -Each cartridge should also have a mechanism to protect the 'spray-tip.'
PHASE III: Should the prototypes successfully meet all criteria set forth during the phase II effort each consumable should be produced in sufficient quantities for distributed to at least three different laboratories for independent validation. These independent groups could span both academia, government, and another potential commercial partner with significant resources and customer base amendable to launching a successful a production and marketing campaign. Also during the Phase III effort, the performers may also make improvements to the design based upon the finding during the Phase II testing and evaluation. This product would fulfill needs across a wide customer base including medical facilities, first responders, and private practices to aid in diagnosis. It would be extremely beneficial across all branches of the military for both threat detection and diagnosis.
1: Liu, J.
2: Wang, H.
3: Manicke, N. E.
4: Lin, J.-M.
5: Cooks, R. G.
6: Ouyang, Z., Development, characterization, and application of paper spray ionization. Anal. Chem. 2010, 82 (6), 2463-247
7: Wang, H.
8: Manicke, N. E.
9: Yang, Q.
10: Zheng, L.
11: Shi, R.
12: Cooks, R. G.
13: Ouyang, Z., Direct analysis of biological tissue by paper spray mass spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2011, 83 (4), 1197-120
14: Wang, H.
15: Liu, J.
16: Cooks, R. G.
17: Ouyang, Z., Paper spray for direct analysis of complex mixtures using mass spectrometry. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 122 (5), 889-89
18: McKenna, J.
19: Dhummakupt, E. S.
20: Connell, T.
21: Demond, P.
22: Miller, D. B.
23: Nilles, J. M.
24: Manicke, N.
25: Glaros, T., Detection of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants and Hydrolysis Products in Biological Samples by Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry. Analyst 201
26: Reeber, S. L.
27: Gadi, S.
28: Huang, S.-B.
29: Glish, G. L., Direct analysis of herbicides by paper spray ionization mass spectrometry. Anal. Meth. 2015, 7 (23), 9808-981
30: Evard, H.
31: Kruve, A.
32: Lõhmus, R.
33: Leito, I., Paper spray ionization mass spectrometry: Study of a method for fast-screening analysis of pesticides in fruits and vegetables. J. Food Compos. Anal. 2015, 41, 221-22
34: Dhummakupt, E.S.
35: Mach, P.M.
36: Carmany, D.
37: Demond, P.S.
38: Moran, T.S.
39: Connell, T.
40: Wylie, H.S.
41: Manicke, N.E.
42: Nilles, J.M.
43: Glaros, T. Direct Analysis of Aerosolized Chemical Warfare Simulants Captured on a Modified Glass-Based Substrate by Paper-Spray Ionization. Anal. Chem., 2017, In Review.
KEYWORDS: Paper Spray, Ambient Ionization, Direct Analysis, Mass Spectrometry, CWA, BWA, Threat Detection, PS-MS
Large Scale Nano-Crystalline Coatings For Penetration Resistance
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop a fully dense nano-crystalline metallic coating with a high propensity for ballistic resistance using additive manufacturing.
DESCRIPTION: Current additive manufacturing (AM) and cladding processes have been shown to produce coatings and parts with interesting properties –. However, these processes have low deposition rates and are not readily scalable for large-scale production. Most AM processes also require inert atmospheres that limit the application of the technology to small parts and complicated environmental chambers and therefore limit the products capable of being fabricated/repaired . Current additive manufacturing and coating processes deposit material at rates of 0.05 - 5 cm3/hr. significantly limiting the application and scalability of the process. New techniques such as the MELD process can deposit material up to 1000 cm3/hr. greatly increasing the size and number of parts that could potentially be coated. The goal of this topic is to develop a ballistic resistant coating for metal panels. The coating process needs to have a deposition rate of at least 80 cm3/hr. in order to be economically viable on a large scale. The coating is expected to significantly increase the ballistic resistance performance of the panel with a minimum addition to weight and not display any adverse corrosion effects to steel. The proposed coating/process also needs to have the ability to repair/update current structures to address increased threats.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of material coating prototypes that exhibit favorable properties for ballistic resistance. Develop a few small-scale 1ft x 1ft prototypes with nano-crystalline microstructures that were made with a deposition rate of at least 70 cm3/hr. Demonstrate the feasibility of applying the coating as a repair/update process to existing panels. The repair panels will be aluminum and steel but the process would be more favorable if applicable to other materials. Deliver a report documenting the research and development efforts along with a detailed description of the proposed methodology. The most effective process capable of producing the desired material properties will be determined and proposed forPhase II.
PHASE II: Manufacture the proposed coating technology. Develop a set of small-scale mechanical tests to demonstrate the performance of the developed coating. Apply the proposed coating methodology to a damaged panel as a repair method and demonstrate the repaired area has comparable properties to that of the original panel. Demonstrate that the technology could be used on a wide range of panel geometries and open environments. Determine the effects of varying specific structure/composition parameters on the mechanical performance of the prototype coating. Develop a parametric study that systematically varies the composition, microstructure, and processing of the material to determine the conditions for manufacturing operations. In addition, determine the environmental stability of the backing material: relevant variables to consider are temperature, corrosion resistance, and effects of strain rate.
PHASE III: The development of a coating that demonstrates a high ballistic resistant performance that can be applied as a repair/update to existing structures could increase performance of dated armor to match growing threats. The properties associated with a ballistic resistant material such as high wear resistance and toughness could also be beneficial to a large range of parts and the ability to apply in an open atmosphere and to varying geometries opens an endless amount of possibilities for applications.
1: A. S. M. Ang, C. C. Berndt, and P. Cheang, "Deposition effects of WC particle size on cold sprayed WC–Co coatings," Surf. Coat. Technol., vol. 205, no. 10, pp. 3260–3267, Feb. 201
2: F. Erdogan, "Fracture mechanics of functionally graded materials," Compos. Eng., vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 753–770, Jan. 199
3: H. Gao and Y. Huang, "Geometrically necessary dislocation and size-dependent plasticity," Scr. Mater., vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 113–118, 200
4: D. D. Gu, W. Meiners, K. Wissenbach, and R. Poprawe, "Laser additive manufacturing of metallic components: materials, processes and mechanisms," Int. Mater. Rev., vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 133–164, May 201
5: W. Gao et al., "The status, challenges, and future of additive manufacturing in engineering," Comput.-Aided Des., vol. 69, pp. 65–89, Dec. 201
KEYWORDS: Ballistic Resistance, Protection, Coating Prototypes, Structures, Toughness
Developing Long-Term Malarial Chemoprophylactic Drug Releasing Implant
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: The objective is to develop novel implantable malaria chemoprophylaxis formulations and conduct preclinical in vivo studies. Implantable long-acting malaria chemoprophylaxis serves the research aim of achieving increased force health protection of deployed service members in malaria endemic regions by by-passing daily oral dosing non-compliance and lowering deployed class 8 supply requirements.
DESCRIPTION: Successful prevention of malaria is highly dependent on compliance with a prescribed daily chemoprophylaxis regimen. However, maintaining drug compliance by U.S. service members can be difficult due to a daily oral dosing requirement, side effects such as nausea and photosensitivity, organizational culture, command emphasis and the demands of the operational environment. An example of the failure to prevent malaria infection occurred in Liberia in 2003, in which approximately 36% of deployed Marine Corps personnel (80 out of 220) were infected with falciparum malaria due to inadequate use of personal protective measures and poor adherence to the prescribed chemoprophylaxis . Forty-six of those individuals required evacuation, and 5 of 80 marines (6.25%) presented with severe malaria requiring ICU admission. The development of an implantable long-acting chemoprophylaxis device with sufficient potency, safety equal to the current standard of care, and less cumbersome in dosing regimen and class 8 space requirements would serve as a significant improvement in preventative care for deployed service members in austere malaria endemic regions. Several FDA-approved drug delivery systems perform as implantable polymer matrices. These drug-impregnated devices are currently for birth control and to lessen the effects of opioid addiction [2, 3]. In the case of the opioid addiction product, rods are implanted subdermally, e.g., in the inner upper arm, in a simple office-based procedure under local anesthesia, and removed in a similar manner at the end of the treatment period. The drug is delivered from the implant through the process of dissolution-controlled diffusion resulting in passive tissue absorption of the target drug and a stable blood level over time. Preclinical and clinical testing demonstrates this drug delivery platform can provide targeted, steady state (“round-the-clock”) blood levels of drug for a period of three to twelve months.
PHASE I: Required Phase I deliverables will include producing malaria chemoprophylactic compound-containing matrix, conducting in vitro characterization, and down-selecting anti-malarial compound candidates. Candidates should include FDA-approved anti-malarial prophylactic drugs, doxycycline and Malarone® (atovaquone/proguanil). In vitro testing should demonstrate rate of dissolution within existing safety and efficacy parameters, periodicity of dissolution consistent with a target product profile of 3 to 12 months of activity in an adult human, and include toxicity assessments that inform later in vivo experiments.
PHASE II: Phase II will implement a series of in vivo rodent and non-human primate (NHP) experiments with the suitable formulations from Phase I to evaluate toxicity, pharmacokinetics (PK) and efficacy performance parameters as malaria chemoprophylaxis. Efficacy and PK of implants should be evaluated with a well-established rodent model of malaria using parasite challenge with Plasmodium berghei and preferably using an in vivo imaging system so that direct comparisons between the current standards of care can be assessed . Once later stage pre-clinical formulations are validated in murine models, higher-fidelity NHP in vivo testing should be used to assess the possible duration of implant prophylactic efficacy, and efforts should be made to tailor potential implant/drug formulations to meet the needs of military personnel who are frequently deployed for durations of 3 to 12 months. A successful Phase II development effort will culminate in an implantable device + FDA-approved compound combination that demonstrates viable malaria prophylaxis, and will outline success criteria for follow-on clinical studies in human prophylaxis phase I through III trials.
PHASE III: The vision or end state for this product is FDA approval for an implantable device that prevents malaria for 3 to 12 months, increases patient compliance, lowers undesirable side effects, and can be administered and removed without or with local anesthetic at the military role 2 level of care or its equivalent. The suggested regulatory pathway for FDA approval of an implantable device is the 505 (b) (2) drug/device mechanisms, with the objective of linking the approval process for the implant device to the reference-listed drug (RLD), which in this case would be the FDA-approved products Doxycycline or Malarone®. A possible funding source for early clinical trials is the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program (JWMRP) through the Joint Program Committee-2 (JPC-2) under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), which offers focused support for early clinical testing of medical solutions. A viable commercial technology transfer partner would be required to complete the full FDA-approval process. Potential commercial applications for a device that meets the military malaria prophylaxis target product profile would be for travelers, aid/development/industrial workers and partner militaries operating in malaria-endemic regions.
1: Whitman TJ, Coyne PE, Magill AJ, Blazes DL, Green MD, Milhous WK, Burgess TH, Freilich D, Tasker SA, Azar RG, Endy TP, Clagett CD, Deye GA, Shanks GD, Martin GJ. An outbreak of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in U.S. Marines deployed to Liberia. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Aug
3: White J, Bell J, Saunders JB, Williamson P, Makowska M, Farquharson A, Beebe KL. Open-label dose-finding trial of buprenorphine implants (Probuphine) for treatment of heroin dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Jul 1
5: Franklin, M. Recently approved and experimental methods of contraception. Journal of nurse-midwifery. 1990, 35 (6), pp. 365-37
6: Ager, A. L. Experimental models: rodent malaria models (in vivo). In Hand Book of Experimental Pharmacology: Antimalarial Drugs
7: Peters, W., Richards, W. H. G., Eds.
8: Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1984
9: Chapter 8, Volume 68, pp 225−25
KEYWORDS: Malaria, Antimalarial, Chemoprophylaxis, Implantable
Development of Radar Absorbent Textile Cloth for Soldier Uniforms
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: To design, fabricate and demonstrate materials that can be effectively worn by the Soldier that reduce their signature and mitigate the detection of their movement from ground surveillance radar (GSR) threats in the battlefield.
DESCRIPTION: Radar absorbing and shielding technology has attracted a growing interest due to the recent advances in enemy electronic warfare and detection capabilities, leaving US forces, especially infantry forces, vulnerable to detection across the electromagnetic spectrum. Advanced Battlefield and Ground surveillance radar (BSR/GSR) are readily available in military markets that are highly effective, portable, and automated for large area monitoring. To counter these threats, studies of radar absorbing materials with proper thickness, cost, efficiency, weight, hardness/flexibility, stability and electromagnetic and physical compatibility are ongoing for protection in differing applications such as: navigation, aircraft technology, radio and electronic devices, and wireless systems (1). In military applications, electro-optics and electromagnetic features on textile substrates and fibrous materials play an important role in the ability to camouflage by muting Soldier movements on the battlefield (2). Stealth movement of infantry on the battlefield is a key priority for the military. This proposed call will focus specifically on Soldier signature management by altering/functionalizing clothing with radar absorbing materials to address ground surveillance radar threats by reducing Soldier signature. While there exists a wide variety of radar absorbing material (RAM) composites for shelters and vehicles (3), there are currently no effective and lightweight wearable options to mitigate GSR detection of a dismounted Soldier.
PHASE I: This phase of the program must show the feasibility of the technical approach through a demonstration of the preliminary designs ability to reduce the radar cross section of a characterized baseline material. The baseline material must be representative of current operational clothing and individual equipment systems (e.g. Soldier uniform, body armor, helmet, rucksack, etc.) The material must demonstrate successful performance in the X and Ku frequency bands. The feasibility assessment must include the scientific and technical rational for how the preliminary material will scale and perform effectively. It is not necessary to demonstrate the integration of the technology into a complete system, however, the planned technical approach and feasibility for system integration for Phase II must be included. Sample material must be delivered at the end of Phase I as well as a complete characterization of its mechanical properties, spectral absorbent effectiveness and design.
PHASE II: This phase will scale the successful Phase I technology into prototypes for lab and field based evaluations. Prototypes must demonstrate lab and field based capabilities within the X and Ku frequency bands at distances up to 12 km. Prototypes will range from a standardized 1 m2 test sample to representative operational clothing and/or operational equipment (e.g. body armor carrier, rucksack, etc.). The performance of the test samples and prototypes must be evaluated in laboratory and field settings and assessed in terms of radar cross section reduction, flexibility, durability, breathability and air permeability. The prototype materials must be tested and clearly demonstrate consistent functional properties under simulated operational use to include environmental factors such as a wide range of temperatures (-30 – 125ºF) and environmental factors (e.g. high humidity, rain, etc.) The final deliverable must also include a commercialization assessment and the viability of mass producing the developed technology.
PHASE III: This final phase will demonstrate the scalability, reliability, repeatability and operational application of the proposed technology. The technology developed under this effort has direct application to Soldier operational clothing and individual equipment. The results of this effort may culminate in the development a new material that could either replace standard materials used in uniforms, body armor carriers and rucksacks or integrate into the standard materials and substrates used in fielded systems.
1: Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 327, 151-158, 2013
2: Progress in electromagnetics research B. vol. 3, 219-226, 2008
3: Composite structures, 76, 397-405, 2006
KEYWORDS: Radar Absorbing Materials, Functional Textiles
Novel Method for Functionalizing Fibers and Textiles
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Chem Bio_defense
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop a novel method of functionalizing fibers and textiles with particles and/or molecules that does not adversely affect the functionality of the particle or molecule, is durable, does not adversely affect the properties of the fiber or textile, and can be scaled in a way that is not cost prohibitive. In addition, the novel method must be able to be used with varying kinds of molecules and/or particles on different kinds of fibers/textiles.
DESCRIPTION: Currently, attempts to incorporate functionalities such as chemical reactivity, anti-microbial properties, vector protection, selective sorption or low-cost fire resistance into protective fabrics and garments are limited by the capability of existing textile manufacturing processes. Many novel molecules and particles of interest are not able to be used in the pad/roll dip coating processes due to the chemical constraints of textile processing plants or require extremely long residence times for curing or particle attachment and growth such that the process is not cost effective. Embedding particles in polymer fibers occlude active sites and reduce the functionality of the particles being embedded. Similarly, binding agents and other adhesives also reduce the active sites of the particle. Other processes such as atmospheric plasma deposition and microwave attachment are dependent on the structure and properties of the molecule or particle being attached and often change or destroy the original structure . Chemical surface modification requires treatment of textiles with liquid reagents that penetrate into the textile fabric in order to create reactive functional groups which is not repeatable between different polymers with different molecular weight and crystallinity levels . The requirements for this topic are, to the best of the proposer’s ability, to develop a scalable novel method of incorporating molecules and/or particles into fibers or textile substrates which are not dependent on the properties of the substrate or the molecule/particle to be attached and doesn’t adversely affect the functionality of the desired molecule or particle. In this way, the process for functionalizing fibers and textiles will be flexible and adaptable to the many substrates and functionalities required by the military in different applications.
PHASE I: Demonstrate two or more functionalizations of fiber and/or textile substrates on a lab scale on one natural and one synthetic fiber substrate such as: cotton knit, 50/50 Nylon/Cotton woven blend, polyurethane or polypropylene nanofibers or microfibers, or an inherently flame resistant fabric. Demonstrate that the functionality of the textile or nonwoven fiber substrate is durable after laundering. Swatches should be laundered per AATCC 135 “Dimensional Changes of Fabrics after Home Laundering” and tested before and after laundering for the durability of the functionality. For example, if vapor sorption is the functionality, the sorption capacity should be measured both before and after laundering. If chemical reactivity is the functionality, the reactivity in solid state before/after laundering. If flame resistance is the functionality, ASTM F1358, should be used to evaluate the FR properties before/after laundering. If anti-microbial properties are the functionality, then ASTM 147 and ASTM 100 on gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus should be used before/after laundering . A cost estimate for the manufacturing process is requested at the end of Phase I.
PHASE II: Demonstrate that 3 – 4 textiles and non-wovens of different fiber compositions can be functionalized with 3 - 4 molecules or particles with different properties (consult with TPOC as to which textiles and functionalizations are appropriate). The same tests should be completed at this stage as Phase I in order to ensure that the new functionality is durable in the face of laundering. Physical properties of the textile substrates should also be tested before and after functionalization in order to show the effect on air permeation , moisture vapor transmission rate , stiffness (ASTM D747) and tensile strength (ASTM 638) to ensure that the textiles can be used in a variety of applications. The method of incorporation of the functionality should transition from a batch to continuous process with similar results in terms of functionality, textile properties and durability. Several yards of full scale (~60”) of 3 – 4 functionalized textiles should be delivered.
PHASE III: This phase will focus on the commercialization of the novel functionalized textiles. The TOPCs will be available to advise on possible partners and path forward in both government and industry; however the over goal would be to deliver prototypes with novel functionalized textiles for the intended end-user. For example, sorptive and/or reactive garments would be needed by within the Chemical/Biological community in the military and first responder community. Flame resistant garments are needed by the first responder community and US military. Vector protection is needed by survivalists, campers, as well as the military. Friend/Foe identification is needed by the military. Reactive textiles for sensors are needed by both the military and sportswear companies, and anti-microbial textiles are needed for the military, hospitals, sportswear companies and the first responder community. System level evaluations of the prototypes should be performed.
1: Shishoo, R. "Plasma Technologies for Textiles" Woodhead Publishing in Limited, Cambridge England, 2007, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.473081&rep=rep1&type=pdf
2: Morais, DS, et al. "Antimicrobial Approaches for Textiles: From Research to Market". Materials, vol 9
3: p. 498
4: 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5456784/
5: AATCC TM147, "Antibacterial Activity: Parallel Streak Method" http://www.manufacturingsolutionscenter.org/parallel-streak-method-aatcc14html
6: Gibson, P., et al. "An Automated Dynamic Water Vapor Permeation Test Method", Natick/TR – 95/032, September 1995
7: "Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) Market Analysis By Raw Material (ePTFE, Polyurethane, Polyester), By Textile (Densely Woven, Membrane, Coated), By Product (Garment, Footwear, Gloves), By Application (Active Sportswear) And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2024"
9: 16 October 2017
KEYWORDS: Protective Textiles, Chemical/Biological Protective Materials, Flame Resistant Textiles, Functionalized Fibers And Textiles
Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transporter (SMET) Tele-Operation Feedback System
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea
OBJECTIVE: To develop a modular tele-operation feedback system which can be integrated easily for any SMET system and the Operator Control Unit (OCU) for safety and operational effectiveness.
DESCRIPTION: Since 2012, the US Army has been evaluating numerous versions of Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) vehicles. In one exercise, spanning two months, an infantry company and combat engineer squad tested nearly a dozen dissimilar SMET surrogate vehicles designed and provided by multiple vendors. Of note it was discovered that; “ALL of the surrogate systems experienced problems with rollovers. The narrower SMET vehicles had more trouble with side slopes, but even the wide-width systems overturned. Dynamic stability is a notoriously difficult problem for remotely operated systems. Taking the operator out of the vehicle eliminates any vestibular and proprioceptive sense of the vehicle stability. Consequently, this situation is compounded when operating the vehicles, at night, in rough terrain, using night vision goggles.”  Additionally, it was found that while a wider chassis platform having a lower Center of Gravity (C.G.) may help to mitigate rollover, it may also impede mobility of the SMET in tight spaces. Tele-operation resulted in the same probability of vehicle rollover without the help of a tele-operator assist system. We are proposing the investigation and development of a tele-operation feedback system that will act as operator assist for the SMET type vehicles. Fundamentally, this system in the SMET, with cargos, should calculate the location of the vehicle’s C.G. at standard intervals (every 10 milliseconds, for example) and transmit this information to the OCU. Any developed system should also be enabled to compute current C.G. locations in a moving vehicle for dynamic comparison with a known rollover threshold to provide warning to the OCU. The OCU may be fitted to display warnings to the Operator (such as amber lights or vibration of the unit) as the C.G. location approaches the rollover threshold, and the OCU may also indicate that the vehicle is in a non-rollover position as the Operator changes the direction of the SMET. This research should also investigate the application of a self-learning system and training of deep neural nets as a part of the tele-operation feedback system to reduce Soldier’s workload during the mission.
PHASE I: Simple Model for Proof of Concept. A software model and limited physical testing will be performed in a proof of concept study. A software model will be developed that successfully calculates the C.G. location of a robotic wheeled vehicle supporting multiple cargo loads as they are loaded at various location on the robotic vehicle. Modeling and simulation will be used to prove the mathematical model. The software will be loaded into an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and an interface will be developed and configured to, at least, one design of robotic vehicle and Operator Control Unit (OCU) at TARDEC for testing.
PHASE II: Configuration Dependent Model. Sensors will be integrated with each strut of the robotic vehicles for both wheeled and tracked vehicles. These sensors will be used to compute more detailed movements and positions of each strut and determine more accurate C.G. locations in a moving robotic vehicle on various terrains. This Phase II research will also introduce and develop a self-learning system and training of deep neural nets. Simulation and modeling will be required for the mathematical design of the self-learning system to ensure accuracy and proof that it is applicable to various configurations of wheeled and tracked robotic vehicles. The software will be loaded on an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and an interface will be developed that is configured to various configurations of robotic vehicles and OCUs at TARDEC for testing.
PHASE III: Dual use Configurations. Vision: The tele-operation feedback system is envisioned to become the basis of future tele-operation/semi-autonomous/autonomous vehicles, as a modular plug-in system for the military, because SMET variants are anticipated to feature strongly in future Soldier missions. Additionally, as commercial shipping/delivery companies expand their delivery methods to utilize ground-based autonomous/semi-autonomous and tele-operated systems, many ground based delivery vehicles will benefit from this system for safety and delivery completion. Future modifications may lead to a “predictable” feedback system, which could greatly enhance the tele-operation system’s usability and effectiveness.
1: Squad Mission Equipment Transport (SMET) Lessons Learned for Industry, Annotated Version of Briefing at NDIA Ground Robotics Capability Conference, March 2nd, 201
2: Wikipedia Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Equipment vehicle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multifunctional_Utility/Logistics_and_Equipment_vehicle
3: The U.S. Army, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Strategy. http://www.tradoc.army.mil/FrontPageContent/Docs/RAS_Strategy.pdf
KEYWORDS: Semi-Autonomous, Autonomous, Sensor, Dynamic Feedback System, Modular, Attitude Indicator, Rollover
A Software Toolkit for Predicting the Neural Signatures of Cognitive States
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop technology for deriving electroencephalogram (EEG) predictions from an existing cognitive architecture.
DESCRIPTION: Airmen must often operate in complex, high-stakes environments. These environments can put a great deal of stress on an airman’s body and mind. It is becoming increasingly important to monitor an airman’s physical and mental status to ensure they are operating at peak performance, especially in high-risk situations. Fatigue, stress, workload, and chemical contamination can all reduce the effectiveness of an airman. Physiological sensors, such as EEG, provide an affordable and relatively unobtrusive source of information about an airman’s mental state. Moreover, its temporal resolution, affordability, and portability make it an attractive choice for monitoring mental states. Unfortunately, such measures can be difficult to use in an operational context, requiring computationally expensive machine-learning algorithms and a lot of data in order to draw inferences. Cognitive architectures may be able to help bridge this gap by providing an explicit theory about the mental processes realized in neural activity. In addition, they allow one to account for unique task demands that may otherwise obscure or interact with the cognitive state of interest. Some of these architectures (e.g. ACT-R) have been expanded to map specific types of cognitive processes to specific populations of neurons. There is even some work deriving EEG predictions from ACT-R (Anderson et al., 2016; Zhang, Walsh, Anderson, 2016), but this work is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, in this work it has been shown that cognitive architectures can aid data analysis by constraining the number of possible statistical models that explain the data (Anderson et al., 2016). This effort will research and develop a general capability for deriving predictions of EEG signals based on a computational cognitive architecture, such as ACT-R or Soar. An architecture is preferred because it facilitates the specification of new models within the same framework. The BOLD signal prediction capability of ACT-R is a good example of the kind of technology we are seeking for EEG. This capability is based on the assumption that the activity of each model component is correlated with a different population of neurons. This hypothetical neural activity is then translated into a predicted BOLD signal based on assumptions about the temporal dynamics of the BOLD response. We seek software that functions in an analogous way, except that it yields EEG predictions instead of fMRI. Predictions can include waveforms of specific components (e.g. N400), probabilistic models of neural state (e.g. hidden semi-Markov models, Anderson et al., 2016), scalp distributions, or other components of the EEG signal. No government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities will be provided.
PHASE I: A successful research effort will produce the following deliverables: 1) A general framework for translating the processing of a cognitive architecture into EEG signatures, 2) An analysis showing how this framework can be applied to a well-established EEG finding, 3) A paper accepted to a relevant scientific conference.
PHASE II: A successful research effort will produce the following deliverables: 1) A validated method for predicting EEG signals based on the processes of a cognitive architecture, 2) A software toolkit implementing this method, 3) An analysis showing that the method can account for multiple well-established findings in the literature, 4) A paper submitted to a relevant scientific journal, and 5) A paper accepted to a relevant scientific conference.
PHASE III: Develop a software toolkit that facilitates EEG analysis by generating a predicted EEG model based on user inputs. Such inputs could include manual settings in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) or event streams from a task environment. The toolkit should also provide the ability to compare the predicted model with the actual dataset (some pre-processing on the user’s part may be necessary). This application would be useful for commercial companies that specialize in educational or training applications (e.g. ETS, Nielson, Kaplan) because it would provide a user-friendly way to generate an analysis model that can be used for state-detection in novel behavioral tasks. Universities may also license it for streamlining data analysis. Military applications include the capability to create custom EEG models that run in real-time, allowing for monitoring of a warfighter’s cognitive state in operational or training environments.
1: Anderson, J. R., Zhang, Q., Borst, J. P., Walsh (2016). The discovery of processing stags: Extension of Sternberg’s method, Psychological Review, 123(5), 481-50
2: Zhang, Q., Walsh, M. W., Anderson, J. R. (Preprint). The effects of probe similarity on retrieval and comparison processes in associative recognition, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
KEYWORDS: EEG, Cognitive Model, Physiology
Self-Learned Agents for Collective Analysis of Human Activities and Events in Aerial Videos
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop software agents that collectively detect and call out objects of interest, human activities, and events from aerial videos with individual agents self-learning and discovering scene content of various spatial, temporal, and/or semantic scales from unconstrained video feeds.
DESCRIPTION: Some of the most tedious tasks in aerial surveillance operations are online messaging and data entry to activity/event logs. Significant manpower is dedicated to this type of low-level mundane tasks instead of high-level cognitive analysis that is more productive for analysts. Although great efforts have been made during the last decade for automatic video annotation and activity recognition, the performance of these solutions vary significantly with respect to activity classes and the overall results are less satisfactory for operational use. Part of the reason may be that most solutions assume fixed probabilistic structures trying to learn and infer scene content at very different contextual scales. Moreover, the studies are limited mostly to structured video datasets of ground-level, close-in daily life activities which are different from raw, long-distance aerial surveillance footages. Recent advancements in semi-supervised and deep learning methodologies such as reinforcement learning [1, 2] and non-parametric Bayesian  techniques highlight the potential of self-learning and self-discovery of scene content at various contextual scales. In addition, reinforcement learning also demonstrates self-improvement capability in other scenarios such as playing game . AFRL is seeking innovative solutions that broadly explore self-learning and self-discovery concepts to address the aforementioned performance gap. Specifically, we are looking for a model of software agents that can collectively conduct online video analysis. Each agent is capable of detecting a category of patterns (e.g., individual movements, group formations, events, human roles, carrying objects, etc.) via autonomously attending to image content at different spatial, temporal, and/or semantic scales. To mimic aerial surveillance tasks, the government will make available a dataset for initial proof-of-concept purpose that includes low-resolution video segments of overhead views of soccer matches with ground truth in the form of time-stamped short text commentary of field activities. For prototype development and validation, additional datasets will be available including aerial full motion videos of common outdoor human activities with similar text commentary. The use of government datasets is optional as long as the proposed training datasets target human activities from overhead/aerial views, have the similar type of ground truth, and are clearly identified in the proposal. No other government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities will be provided. Although modeling multi-agent collaboration is desirable, the emphasis here is placed on the development of a self-learning paradigm. The solution is expected to be scalable with respect to the number and type of agents. The design of the model needs to be flexible and configurable for retraining or transferring the capability to actual surveillance footages in later phases.
PHASE I: Design and develop initial mathematical models and solution architecture. Provide in-depth feasibility and trade-off analysis on the best technical development path, theoretical model choice, computational architecture, data management, and potential risks and negation strategies. Conduct a proof of concept involving two or more self-leaning and inferring agents detecting one group of human activities from overhead/aerial videos of open fields.
PHASE II: Develop all aspects of the model into a functional prototype to demonstrate self-learning and inference capabilities of multiple agents targeting image content for objects of interest, various types of human activities, and events at different spatial, temporal, and/or semantic scales. Develop a simple front-end interface to facilitate end users to set up input/output analytical pipeline as well as configurable model hyper-parameters. Validate the performance against similar benchmark datasets as well as Air Force test datasets. Provide algorithm and use documentation.
PHASE III: Refine and optimize the Phase II prototype into a software product that facilitates human-centered ISR and battle field situational awareness by autonomously analyzing video feeds, responding to field inquiries, and generating data logs. Commercial applications could include smart boarder monitoring system and live-event broadcasting, etc.
1: Xu, K., Ba, J., Kiros, R., Cho, K., Courville, A. C., Salakhutdinov, R., & Bengio, Y., Show, attend and tell: neural image caption generation with visual attention, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning, pp. 77-81, 201
2: Yeung, S., Russakovsky, O., Mori, G., & FeiFei, L, End-to-end learning of action detection from frame glimpses in videos, in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 2678-2687, 201
3: Loy, C. C., Hospedales, T. M., Xiang, T., & Gong, S, Streambased joint exploration-exploitation active learning, in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 1560-1567, 201
4: Silver, D., Huang, A., Maddison, C.J., Guez, A., Sifre, L., Van Den Driessche, G., Schrittwieser, J., Antonoglou, I., Panneershelvam, V., Lanctot, M. & Dieleman, S., Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search, Nature, 529(7587), pp.484-489, 201
KEYWORDS: Reinforcement Learning, Nonparametric Bayesian Method, Deep Learning, Neural Networks, Human Activity Recognition, Video Annotation, Agent-Based Model
Electronically Dimmable Eye Protection Devices (EDEPD)
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop electronic eye protection goggle, spectacle or visor that is normally clear but dimmable for day use by Battlefield Airmen and pilots using advanced optical structures, nanomaterials, and fabrication techniques.
DESCRIPTION: Goggles, glasses and helmets for Battlefield Airmen and pilots have traditionally had to rely on donning/doffing/carrying separate units to maintain eye protection for operations under conditions across seven orders of ambient illumination from very dark (0.01 lx, moonless overcast night, inside of buildings/caves) to extremely bright (108 klx, full sun day). The current solution for dismounts is carrying two sets of goggles or eyewear, or leaving one behind. The current solution for pilots is to wear a helmet with two passive polycarbonate (PC) visors (one clear, one dark). Electronically dimmable transparency materials, activated either by photonic flux or electrical excitation, have been sought for over 45 years (see references) to enable a single visor design for dismounts and pilots. Unfortunately, no effort to date has yielded an approach that provides the optical performance sought by soldiers or aircrews. This topic seeks a single piece electronically dimmable eye protection controlled transparency implemented in eye protection gear (goggles, glasses, or helmet visors). The electronically dimmable eye protection device (EDEPD) visible light dimming performance sought is provided at three performance levels (threshold, objective, ideal) as follows: Tmax = Class 1 Clear state transmission = (70, 85, 100%), Tmin = Class 2 Neutral Gray state transmission = (30, 15, 10%), switching speed (8.0, 2.0, 0.5 s) in either direction, haze (5, 3, 1%), transmission uniformity (20, 10, 5%), color neutrality (tinting is significant, slight, not noticeable), lifetime (6, 12, 36 mo.), and number of transmission states (2 = on/off, 3 = on/off plus one intermediate, N = continuously variable). The EDEPD must fail clear when power is removed, and be compatible with both near-to-eye and direct-view visual displays. Differential dimming (none, 10% at eye patches, full asymmetric - Tmin on one side, Tmax on other side) of subareas is an additional desired capability. Other optical issues related to integration of the EDEPD into helmet mounted display systems must be identified and addressed to include (a) compound curvature, (b) trimmability, (c) capability to apply/deposit display light reflecting patch(s) on the inner surface and laser eye protective dyes in/on its substrate if an application requires. Metamaterials specially designed and produced to achieve the desired mechanical and optical performance sought should be considered. Improved engineering plastics should be considered for the substrate. For example, isosorbitol-based PC (Durabio) has reportedly better optical properties and should be explored to replace current BPA-based PC (Lexan) material in EDEPD. Space, weight, ergonomics, power, performance, and integration (SWEPPI) should be all be addressed in a single performance matrix for (a) an application focused on Battlefield Airmen or flight crew personnel and (b) an analogous commercial application. Fabrication techniques and manufacturing technology, including a plan for scaling for eventual production, must be addressed along with operational maintainability, and life cycle cost (LCC). Commercial applications and markets must be demonstrated that make the technology viable and affordable. Partnership with large businesses that develop goggles, spectacles, or helmet systems for DoD program offices must be demonstrated to ensure a technology transition pathway. The high and low transmission states of the EDEPD should be tested as described in MIL-DTL-43511D for the Class 1 (Clear) and Class 2 (Neutral Gray) visors, respectively. The EDEPD test plan should include other specification elements (e.g. for uniformity, defects, lensing effects) in MIL-DTL-43511D. No government furnished materials, equipment, data, or facilities will be provided.
PHASE I: Design EDEPD capable of being fabricated in a single-piece with complex-curvature for military goggles, spectacles, or aviation helmet. Model optical, temporal and color behavior. Explore novel structural, material, and fabrication technical elements via proof-of-principle experiments. Assess alternative substrate materials and dimmable metamaterials. Develop EDEPD roadmap.
PHASE II: Fabricate EDEPD and demonstrate performance in laboratory environment. Perform evaluation experiments and compare performance to published transparency control technologies for visors, goggles, and windows. Demonstrate in a representative form factor. Document technology readiness level and revise roadmap leading to products. Develop a test plan for use in a potential Phase III effort. Evaluate potential of EDEPD in commercial applications to create industrial base for affordable production.
PHASE III: Military applications include dust goggles for soldiers, spectacles for dismounts and pilots, helmet systems for pilots, and canopies/windows for cockpits and ground vehicles. Commercial applications include motorcycle helmets, windows in buildings and vehicles, dust goggles, and sunglasses.
1: (a) John P. Dobbins, Variable-Transmittance Visor (VTV) for Helmet-Mounted Display," final report (Jul 1976), DTIC Accession No. ADA027177, on contract to Rockwell Intl in Anaheim CA
2: claims to be first effort to develop VTV responding controllably with rapidity
3: based on liquid optronic medium in a sandwich-cell visor running on 28vdc aircraft power
4: accommodated 80:1 external luminance variations. URL: http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA027177 (accessed 7 Nov 2017)
5: (b) "Variable Transmittance Space Suit Visor," NASA Johnson Space Center SBIR Phase II report (1987) on contract to EIC Laboratories in Norwood MA (http://www.eiclabs.com)
6: demonstrated materials with electrically controllable optical properties in laminated structures with photopolymerizable H+ ion conducting polymers for optical switching and simplified mfr. URL: http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/successes/ss/097text.html (accessed 7 Nov 2017).
7: (a) Peiman Hosseini, C. David Wright, and Harish Bhaskaran, "An optoelectronic framework enabled by low-dimensional phase-change films," Nature 511, pp 206-211, doi:10.1038/nature13487 (10 July 2014)
8: (b) "Smart glass" wiki entry provides a review of devices, materials, and techniques used to enable electrical control of the amount of light passing through a window material. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_glass (accessed 7 Nov 2017).
9: (a) Neutral color e-Tint lens based on high-performance guest-host liquid crystals (GHLC) developed by AlphaMicron, Inc. in Kent OH, URL: http://alphamicron.com/ (accessed 7 Nov 2017).
10: (b) Inorganic electro-chromic (IEC) devices reported by Eclipse Energy Systems, Inc. in St Petersburg FL, URL: http://eclipsethinfilms.com/ (accessed 7 Nov 2017)
11: Organic electro-chromic (OEC) devices reported by Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) at Georgia Tech in Atlanta GA, URL: http://www.cope.gatech.edu/ (accessed 7 Nov 2017)
12: and (d) sprayable OEC devices reported by U Conn. spin-off Alphachromics, Inc. in Farmington CT, URL: https://sotzingresearchgroup.uconn.edu/ (accessed 7 Nov 2017).
13: (a) Francesco Monticone, Nasim Mohammadi Estakhri, and Andrea Alù, "Full Control of Nanoscale Optical Transmission with a Composite Metascreen," Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 203903 (2013)
14: (b) Nasim Mohammadi Estakhri, Christos Argyropoulos, and Andrea Alù, "Graded metascreens to enable new degree of nanoscale light management," Philosophical Transactions A Math Phys Eng Sci, 373 (2049) (28 Aug 2015)
15: (c) Alexandros I. Dimitriadis, Theodosios D. Karamanos, Nikolaos V. Kantartzis, and Theodoros D. Tsiboukis, "Effective-surface modeling of infinite periodic metascreens exhibiting the extraordinary transmission phenomenon," JOSA B 33 (3) (2016)
16: and (d) Junghyun Park, Ju-Hyung Kang, Soo Jin Kim, Xiaoge Liu, and Mark L. Brongersma, "Dynamic Reflection Phase and Polarization Control in Metasurfaces," Nano. Lett. 17(1) 407-413 (2017).
KEYWORDS: Electronically Dimmable Eye Protection Devices, EDEPD, Battlespace Visualization, Near-to-eye Display, Switchable Opacity Dust Goggles, Helmet Mounted Display Systems, Variable Transmittance Windows/ Canopies, Indoor/outdoor Transition Lenses For Eyewear
Darrel G. Hopper (711 HPW/RHCV)
Efficient and Faster Methods for Performing General Wave-Optics Propagation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop General Wave-Optics Propagation capabilities needed to obtain high fidelity solutions and model laser systems that are faster, efficient and more accurate.
DESCRIPTION: All approaches for performing General Wave-Optics Propagation uses the two-step Discrete Fourier Transform, or DFT, method. This requires that the beam is propagated a certain distance, then an inverse DFT is performed, this result can then be multiplied by a phase screen which simulates the atmospheric degradations. Then the result is DFT’ed again and propagated to the next distance. We do these steps as many times as we feel we need to fully and accurately describe the atmospheric turbulence characteristics. A typical amount is ten times, but it could be more. There are a variety of issues associated with the DFT. One is the number of samples N. If this N is chosen to be too small, then we can have aliasing. Thus, the tendency is to make N as large as possible to avoid aliasing. However, this will vastly decrease the computational speed, by approximately N^4. Not to mention the storage requirements levied on the computer. Thus, the requirements can be easily developed. The first thing to do is define a metric which would be used to compare this new method with the conventional two-step Discrete Fourier Transform, or DFT, method. For example Power in the Bucket. The next step is to compare computational speed and memory requirements to fully describe a representative atmospheric turbulence problem with the same characteristics. An improvement of X100 in computation and a reduction of 100 in memory requirements would be the goals. A second requirement is to compare the accuracy for this same representative atmospheric turbulence problem with the same characteristics. Another goal would be if the accuracy is only reduced by 10% from conventional wave optics code results. Then perform this same study for another metric, example would be Average Intensity, or Peak Intensity.
PHASE I: Phase I: Develop a General Wave-Optics Propagation for HEL systems that are composed of faster, efficient and more accurate methods for a single aperture, and later for multiple apertures. Demonstrate the model adequately addresses critical/key system engineering design constraints (e.g., diffraction, jitter, aero-optic disturbances, atmospheric propagation, beam control, radiometry, etc.) for the selected approach(es). Compare it to the standard propagation codes we presently have for accuracy.
PHASE II: Phase II: Using the model developed in Phase I, develop packaged modules that are user friendly with proper documentation and have the potential to be implemented in current commercially available propagation packages. When needed, validation experiments should be used to reduce risk of model uncertainty.
PHASE III: Phase III: Using the modules developed in Phase II, address Directed Energy Podded Laser System Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD), near-term missions such as site selection for high powered demonstrations or perform the trade-space analysis needed to field HEL systems with single and multiple/obscured apertures. Develop a more convenient way of defining different HEL system configurations and advance methods for bookkeeping the power lost to different HEL system configurations.
1: G. A. Perram, S. J. Cusumano, R. L. Hengehold, and S. T. Fiorino, "An Introduction to Laser Weapon Systems," (Directed Energy Professional Society, 2010).
2: J.D. Schmidt, "Numerical Simulation of Optical Wave Propagation
3: with examples in MATLAB", (SPIE Press, 2010)
KEYWORDS: General Wave-Optics Propagation, Laser Weapon Systems, Laser Weapon Modeling And Simulations, Two Dimensional Fourier Transforms
Richard A. Carreras
Attenuation Tracking for Frequencies from 3 kHz to 60 GHz
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate ability to assess the usability of the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum from 3 MHz to 60 GHz at individual nodes in a regional communications network.
DESCRIPTION: Assuring that important information is transmitted in a timely manner to intended recipients is critical to military operations in both peace and conflict. Natural and man-made interference can interfere with that process when RF systems are utilized. But natural and man-made interference generally has adverse impacts on limited regions of the spectrum, leaving others exploitable for use. In order to take advantage of this, it is imperative that operators have situational awareness of the condition of the propagation environment. Mesh or partial mesh networks of sensors for detecting propagation conditions across RF spectrum ranging from 3 MHz to 60 GHz show promise for providing a communications network with situational awareness of propagation conditions that may impede effective transmission and reception of information within their networks. This independent network requires a range of sensors/monitors to measure the propagation environment and provide awareness to the communication networks. Note these attenuated links can be caused by but are not limited to Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) events, scintillation effects, solar events and jamming effects.
PHASE I: Via rigorous analysis, modeling and simulation design a mesh network of localized sensors that will monitor the propagation environment across a broad spectral band (nominally 3 MHz to 60 GHz) and identify ideal bands/frequencies that may be exploited to ensure effective operation of the network. It is desired that RF interference reporting must be locally available at the respective mesh node, as well as globally at AOC or other control centers.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype, small-scale mesh network of sensors/monitors detecting and characterizing the RF spectrum from 3 MHz to 60 GHz. Further developments in this phase will look to automate the systems and recommend integration strategies into communication networks to automate spectral management.
PHASE III: Phase III will consist of algorithm development for spectral management to optimize network operation to insure highest quality channels utilized in given environment. Commercial applications: first responder communication networks Military applications: military communication networks
1: Davey, I. E. "Frequency Management and Spectrum Utilization for HF Broadcasting." Journal of the Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers 54 (1988): 38-4 INSPEC.
2: Deepak, Kumar Singh, K. Srinivas and D. Bhagwan Das. "A Dynamic Channel Assignment in GSM Telecommunication Network using Modified Genetic Algorithm." EATIS '12: Proceedings of the 6th Euro American Conference on Telematics and Information Systems (2012). ACM Digital Library
3: Passas, Virgilios, et al. "Online Evaluation of Sensing Characteristics for Radio Platforms in the CREW Federated Testbed." MobiCom '13: Proceedings of the 19th annual international conference on Mobile computing & networking (2013). ACM Digital Library.
KEYWORDS: Wing Command Post (WCP), Materials, Science & Technology (MST), HEMP, EMP, RF, Scintillation, Attenuation, Mesh Networking
Carbon Nanotube FET Modeling and RF circuits
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate the superiority of Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor (CNTFET) device and circuit performance over CMOS for RF applications
DESCRIPTION: CNTFET technology has the potential for integrating high-frequency (HF) (10–40 GHz) electronics as well as mechanical switches and oscillators along with high-performance digital signal processing and possibly even mm-wave sensing, all integrated on a single low-power all carbon nanotube (CNT) chip. Low power at high frequencies is achieved, among others, by the linearity of the CNTFETs. More recently CNTFET cut-off frequencies close to those of CMOS have been reported (for the relaxed channel lengths that can be reliably fabricated in research labs) despite the several technology related factors that presently limit the CNTFET performance. E.g., the number of CNTs per channel width (i.e. CNT density) and the current per CNT are just a fraction of the theoretical maximum number. While the improvement of the underlying limiting factors is already being addressed by materials and fabrication related research projects, it is presently unclear, under which structural conditions CNTFETs will start outperforming Si-MOSFETs. Structural conditions are, e.g., CNT density and current, contact resistance, as well as device layout and contact arrangement (such as top gate, bottom gate, double gate etc.). This solicitation calls for the detailed investigation of CNTFET device design and its impact on HF circuit performance in comparison to Si-MOSFETs and related circuits at the same channel lengths.
PHASE I: Establish a geometry scalable CNTFET compact model for HF circuit design and determine its parameters on fabricated devices. The structural conditions of the baseline CNTFET are adjusted to the best presently existing hardware. Scale the model to 130nm channel length and compare the HF device performance to widely used 130nm RF Si-CMOS, including all known parasitic effects. Make stepwise improvements of the structural conditions and device design to determine (a) the conditions for breaking even with CMOS and (b) the best CNTFET performance that can be expected. The outcome will be a compact model that will guide the design of practical CNTFET circuits and accelerate the development of commercial transistors based on this unique technology.
PHASE II: Based on the CNTFET compact model, design the key circuit blocks of transceiver front-ends at different frequencies: low-noise amplifier, mixer, oscillator, and power amplifier. Use ideal passives to be able to benchmark CNTFET vs. Si-MOSFET device performance. The goal is to demonstrate the superiority of scaled CNTFET technology over Si-CMOS for 5G and similar complex RF applications.
PHASE III: Fabricate CNTFETs along with the designed transceiver front-end circuits and perform experimental verification to simulation (with realistic passives). DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The CNTFETs and circuits can be used in both wireless communication systems and sensor systems such as biological and chemical sensing, operating at the lowest possible power dissipation. The selected company can further pursue for CNTFET space-qualifying prototyping and complete radiation qualification testing for potential inclusion in test flight, communications and sensing applications
1: Yu Cao,Gerald J. Brady, Hui Gui, Chris Rutherglen, Michael S. Arnold, and Chongwu Zhou "Radio Frequency Transistors Using Aligned Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes with Current-Gain Cutoff Frequency and Maximum Oscillation Frequency Simultaneously Greater than 70 GHz" ACS Nano, 2016, 10 (7), pp 6782–6790 Publication Date (Web): June 21, 2016
2: Yu Cao, Yuchi Che, Hui Gui, Xuan Cao, and Chongwu Zhou. "Radio frequency transistors based on ultra-high purity semiconducting carbon nanotubes with superior extrinsic maximum oscillation frequency" Nano Res. (2016) 9: 36 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-015-0915-7
3: Y. Cao, G. Brady, H. Gui, C. Rutherglen, M. Arnold, Z. Zhou, "Radio frequency transistors using aligned semiconducting carbon nanotubes with current gain cutoff frequency and maximum oscillation frequency simultaneous greater than 70 GHz", ACS Nano, Vol. , No., pp. -, 201
4: S. Mothes, M. Claus, and M. Schroter, "Toward linearity in Schottky barrier CNTFETs", IEEE Transactions On Nanotechnology, 14, pp372-378 (2015).
KEYWORDS: Carbon Nanotube, CNT, Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistor, CNTFET, RF Front-end Circuits, Transceiver, Schottky Barrier
Contour Based Image Segmentation
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate contour and shape based image segmentation for robust model based target detection, recognition, and tracking for airborne imagery and full motion video.
DESCRIPTION: Detecting and identifying objects, except for in very constrained environments, is an unsolved research problem. The volume of airborne imagery and full motion video content is ever increasing and it’s overburdening to the human eyes-on resources available. New techniques are needed to automatically detect and identify targets in airborne imagery and track targets in airborne full motion video. A method is needed to detect targets and partially obscured targets at multiple resolutions. The method should transform and compresses raw image pixel regions into collections of curves and shapes that can be used to automatically identify and tightly frame image regions of interest to discover a wide variety of objects against a non-engineered background. Performance should be evaluated by probability of detection verses probability of false alarm per effective pixel on target resolutions. Performance should be measured using industry accepted publically available bench mark data sets. A significant portion of the effort should involve selecting and or creating relevant bench mark data sets for comparison against other state of the art approaches and methods.
PHASE I: The Phase I effort should leverage industrial and academic advances to develop approaches to achieving target detection and recognition in aerial imagery and or full motion video at various image resolution and signal to noise levels. The method should be demonstrated on a variety of targets and landmarks from UAV aerial photography. Performance should be measured using industry accepted publically available bench mark data sets. Phase I should demonstrate Basic Principles, TRL 1.
PHASE II: Use the selected approach from Phase I to build and test a prototype system demonstrating the Technology Concept, TRL 2. The system should demonstrate the capability to detect extract and classify objects in at a meaningful probability of detection and false alarm rate in a relevant airborne imagery data set.
PHASE III: The Phase III program would port the Phase II architecture to real-time computational platforms to solve specific customer funded airborne image recognition problems for UAV target detection, pilot rescue or counter UAS detection.
1: Sebastien Razakarivony, Frederic Jurie. Vehicle Detection in Arial Imagery: A small target detection benchmark. Journal of Visual communication and Image Representation, Elsevier, 201
2: Biederman, Irving: "Visual Object Recognition," from An Invitation to Cognitive Science: Visual Cognition, Volume 2, Daniel Osherson and Stephen Michael Kosslyn, ed.
3: Grzywacz, Harris, and Amthor (1994): "Computational and Neural Contraints for the Measurement of Local Visual Motion," from Visual Detection of Motion, Andrew T. Smith and Robert J. Snowden, ed., Academic Press 1994, ISBN 0-12-651660-X
4: Stephen M. Kosslyn: "Image and Brain: The Resolution of the Imagery Debate," ISBN 0-262-11184-5
KEYWORDS: Image Feature Extraction, Content-based Image Retrieval, Computer Vision
Clearance of Aircraft Stores Carriage under Uncertainty
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop a Bayesian non-deterministic methodology exploiting flight test data to identify critical aircraft store carriage configuration tests and clear non-critical store carriage configurations by updated analysis.
DESCRIPTION: The clearance of numerous different store configurations  remains a challenge for fighter aircraft owing to the new store combinations requiring clearance, the challenging physics exhibited by complete aircraft, and the high cost of flight tests. The Air Force Seek Eagle Office has collected test data for the F-16 aircraft carrying many different store configurations. This data has been used as a basis for clearing most store configurations to be free of flutter or limit-cycle oscillation (LCO) either by analogy or by analysis, with flight test used to clear configurations in which confidence in analytical predictions is least. However, this vast data collection has not been used to update the uncertain mathematical models applied in clearance analyses. A Bayesian non-deterministic strategy has the potential to leverage this legacy data to make better clearance decisions, including the decisions of which configurations to test, with the goal of accelerating the certification process and reducing uncertainty. Significant attention has been given to modeling aerodynamic nonlinearities in previous attempts to predict LCO, which often occurs in the transonic regime. Recent work has shown that modeling structural nonlinearities contribute to LCO amplitude trends with Mach number . However, the modeling of the structural physics was heuristic and did not involve physics-based aircraft models and does not account for vehicle responses over a multitude of tests involving different store configurations. Bayesian model updating provides an approach to reduce the large uncertainties associated with modeling of structural nonlinearities, as well as, the modeling uncertainties associated with aerodynamic nonlinearities and detailed flow features  known to be important, particularly in resolving important shock structures, boundary-layer separations, and regions of vortex flow. Strategies are being developed to learn turbulence models from a set of training data or observations , one approach in a family of machine learning strategies potentially applicable to discern models that can effectively characterize aerodynamic and structural nonlinearities. New techniques providing analytical sensitivities of computed aircraft responses with respect to store parameters provide additional understanding of the parameters most critical to reducing uncertainty in clearance decisions.
PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate a Bayesian methodology for identification of critical store tests and clearance of non-critical configurations by inviscid analysis with structural nonlinearity. Improve model predictability using flight test data of approximately 10 configurations. Demonstrate that incorporating historical data improves model predictions.
PHASE II: Extend the methodology developed in Phase I to viscous flow (RANS) with analysis enriched with analytical sensitivities of flutter and LCO with respect to key store parameters. Improve model predictability using flight test data used in Phase I and that of additional configurations made available. Develop user-friendly software enabling rapid inclusion of new flight test data and the automation of the model updating process.
PHASE III: Transition the clearance tool to support the certification activities of preliminary design of next generation air platforms through fusion of models with scarce test data. Private Sector Commercial Potential: Applicability to the design and testing of commercial aircraft and marine vessels.
1: Johnson, M.R., and Dengri, C.M., "Comparison of Static and Dynamic Neural Networks for Limit Cycle Oscillation Prediction," J. Aircraft, Vol. 40, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2003, pp. 194-20
2: Zhang, Z., Chen, P.C., Wang, X.Q., and Mignolet, M.P., "Nonlinear Aerodynamics and Nonlinear Structures Interaction for F-16 Limit Cycle Oscillation Prediction," AIAA 2016-1796, Jan. 201
3: Denegri, C.M., Dubben, J.A., and Kernazhitskiy, S.L., "Underwing Missile Aerodynamic Effects on Flight-Measured Limit-Cycle Oscillations," J. Aircraft, Vol. 50, No. 5, Sept-Oct. 2013, pp. 1637-164
4: Alonso, J., Fenrich, R., Menier, V., Iaccarino, G., Mishra, A., Eldred, M., Jakemann, J., Constantine, P., and Duraisamy, K., "Scalable Environment for Quantification of Uncertainty and Optimization in Industrial Applications (SEQUOIA)," AIAA 2017-132
KEYWORDS: Aeroelasticity, Flutter, Limit-cycle Oscillation, Nonlinear Damping, Uncertainty Quantification, Bayesian Methods, Design Of Tests
Edwin Forster (AFRL/RQVC)
Small UAS compatible Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensors
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform
OBJECTIVE: Develop Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) compatible Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CRBNE) sensors for plume analysis and source detection.
DESCRIPTION: As Group 1 (<20lb) SUAS gain acceptance across the DoD, the number of potential applications is also increasing. Currently, these small UAVs are regularly used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), off-board sensing, and target acquisition and tracking. Another potential application for Group 1 SUAS is for CBRNE plume analysis and source detection. The advantages of using SUAS for this application are obvious in that it eliminates potential exposure for air crew or ground personnel. This effort should focus on developing CBRNE sensors compatible with Group 1 SUAS. Current CBRNE sensors like those used in base defense or airport security are too large for incorporation onto SUAS. Trade-offs may need to be made in system complexity, detection specificity, and detectability. Sensor development must fully consider SUAS flight profiles, algorithms for plume tracking and source detection, and strategies for rapid analysis consistent with SUAS. It is important to understand the constraints of SUAS in sensor development. Conventional wisdom for utilizing sampling sensors suggests that that the SUAS flight profile should sample the least disturbed air and have maximum dwell time. Novel approaches for addressing this challenge are welcome, but the CBRNE senor must be compatible with Group 1 SUAS constraints in Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) and flight performance. CBRNE sensor performance and algorithms for plume tracking and source detection will be evaluated for applicability on a SUAS platform for practical utility, including detection ranges, sensitivity levels, and specificity. Small SWAP CBRNE sensors have wide commercial applicability. They can be used in locations without dedicated power sources. In addition, they can be incorporated into unmanned ground vehicles for disaster relief or widely dispersed for early CBRNE detection and warning.
PHASE I: Design Group 1 SUAS compatible CBRNE sensors. Identify algorithms for plume tracking and source detection. Analyze predicted sensor performance using realistic SUAS flight profiles. Describe strategies for rapid data analysis.
PHASE II: Develop designs for incorporating CBRNE sensors onto Group 1 fixed wing and quadcopter SUAS. Describe how SUAS equipped with CBRNE sensors would perform plume tracking and source detection. Demonstrate CBRNE detection capability and sensitivity levels.
PHASE III: Build prototype system based on designs from Phase II. Test prototype systems in laboratory and flight test environments. Refine design based on outcomes of tests and customer feedback. Develop a manufacturing plan and/or select a partner for system production.
1: Ryan Altenbaugh, Jeff Barton, Christopher Chiu, Ken Fidler, Dan Hiatt, Chad Hawthorne, Steven Marshall, Joe Mohos, Vince McHugh, and Bill Nicoloff, "Application of the Raven UAV for Chemical and Biological Detection," Proc. SPIE Volume 7655, May 5, 2010.
2: Maynard J. Porter and Juan R. Vasquez, "Bio-Inspired Navigation of Chemical Plumes", 9th International Conference on Information Fusion, 10-13 July 2006, Florence, Italy.
3: Augustus Way Fountain and Jason A. Guicheteau (Editors), "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVIII", SPIE Proceedings Volume Number: 10183, June 30, 201
4: Clare E. Rowland, Carl W. Brown III, James B. Delehanty, and Igor L. Medintz, "Nanomaterial-based sensors for the detection of biological threat agents", Materials Today, Volume 19, Issue 8, October 2016, Pages 464-47
KEYWORDS: Plume Detection, Plume Analysis, CBRNE Sensors, SUAS
Paul A. Fleitz
Multiphysics Modeling of Dynamic Combustion Processes
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Develop zonal multiphysics ways to model dynamic combustion processes to capture only local physics essential for contributing to the larger scale behavior. Achieve an order or magnitude reduction in simulation time within acceptable error limits.
DESCRIPTION: Advanced combustion systems are becoming increasingly controlled by interacting multiphysics processes such as chemical kinetics, turbulence, multiphase flows, and acoustic motions. Increasingly modern computational capabilities are allowing complex combustion behavior to be explored in increasing detail. However, on the scale of overall system behavior, such simulations produce a corresponding volume of data that approaches unmanageability, and require a level of computational resources that are increasingly unavailable to most users. Such users, for instance those conducting design tradeoffs and others, require accurate yet tractable models that are executable within more modest resource constraints. High fidelity, detailed simulations need not be out of the question but need to be considered more to be for “training” accurate but more tractable models. The need of course is not new but new methods are required to take advantage of modern computational capabilities. Some examples include the following. Reduced basis methods  show promise but have been relatively unexplored for complex combustion dynamics systems. A-priori global physics reduction approaches have been a staple  but often need to be oversimplified and require considerable physical insight on the part of the modeler. Other approaches may be considered to be zonal or multiphysics in nature. These often involve adaptive in-situ determination of essential relevant physics in different regions. For example, Lu et al  examined on-the-fly reduction of chemical kinetic mechanisms for use in direct numerical simulations of turbulent combustion. Menon et al  studied the variation of the compressibility Z as a function of space in a turbulent combustion flow, and found that there were regions where a simple ideal gas equation of state formulation could be used and other regions where a more elaborate formulation was required. Other common suggestions include multiphysics approaches where some regions may be acceptably modeled using more efficient Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes equations, while other regions require more complex Large Eddy Simulations, and multiphysics approaches where some regions are modeled using reduced basis models which are coupled with other modeling approaches in other regions. Innovative new such approaches or combinations of approaches are solicited in this topic.
PHASE I: Identify and demonstrate the feasibility of innovative multiphysics approaches to modeling dynamic combustion processes.
PHASE II: Develop the innovation or innovations identified in phase I into a workable framework and demonstrate the approach on a variety of cases.
PHASE III: MILITARY APPLICATION: Combustion dynamics controls key factors affecting the performance of a large variety of military applications, including liquid rockets, solid rockets, gas turbines, and augmentors, and non-military applications, including large gas turbines for land based power. Multiphysics approaches would have large dual use impact.
1: Quarteroni, A., Maanzoni, A., and Negri, F., "Reduced Basis Methods for Partial Differential Equations," Springer, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-15431-2 (2016).
2: Sirignano, W.A., and Popov, P., "Two-Dimensional Model for Liquid-Rocket Transverse Combustion Instability," AIAA J 52 (12), pp. 2919-2934 (2013).
3: Lu, T., Law, C.K., and Chen, J.H., "Development of Non-Stiff Reduced Mechanisms for Direct Numerical Simulations," AIAA 2008-1010 (2010).
4: Guezennec, Masquelet, and Menon, "Large Eddy Simulation of Flame-Turbulence Interactions in a LOX-CH4 Shear Coaxial Injector," AIAA 2012-1267 (2012).
KEYWORDS: Combustion, Modeling, Dynamics, Multiphysics, Zonal, In-Situ, Adaptive
Optical Joining for Resilient Space Photovoltaic Integration
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this solicitation is to demonstrate enhanced resilience of coverglass interconnect cells (CICs) to man made threats while preserving performance measures.
DESCRIPTION: Electrical energy harnessed from space solar cells powers essential spacecraft operations, making the solar array a target for potential adversarial action. Man made threats, such as high temperature excursions, surpass the material limitations of heritage adhesives at the cell level. Silicone adhesives outgas and degrade at temperatures well below degradation temperature of III-V epitaxial materials. Resilient joining technologies with increased thermal contact conductivity and a degradation temperature similar to that of III-V epitaxial materials benefit commercial space applications, DOD missions, and terrestrial renewable energy markets. The focus of this solicitation is elimination of low temperature silicone adhesives commonly used in attaching protective coverglass to the solar cell. This may be achieved by chemical or mechanical means, excluding electrostatic bonding. The new joining layer should improve manufacturability, be crack resistant, reduce outgassing, and provide improved thermomechanical properties over silicone adhesives. The joining method must demonstrate optical transparency comparable to current adhesive materials. Proposed methods should be suitable for flexible and rigid arrays. Technical enhancements are sought to decrease vulnerability at the cell level, reduce parasitic mass loss, and preserve specific power of the array. This joining technology proposed should be capable of supporting a 15 year mission in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and 5 years in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) after ground storage for 5 years.
PHASE I: Perform preliminary analysis, develop concepts, and conduct trade studies to validate concepts for the joining method. Conduct preliminary risk mitigation experiments to validate joining approach. Identify impact to solar cell performance.
PHASE II: Fabricate and deliver engineering demonstration units of sufficient quality such that enhanced resiliency can be assessed. Demonstrate ability of technology to maintain cell performance at and after high temperature excursions. Identify technical and manufacturing risks associated with the technology.
PHASE III: Phase III further matures the technology developed in Phase II and should result in a solar technology which is ready to enter qualification testing according to AIAA S-111 and/or AIAA S-112.
1: Bailey, S. and Raffaelle, R., Space Solar Cells and Arrays, John Wiley pub, DOI: 10.1002/047001400ch10.
2: Lockheed, Survivable power subsystem program concept review, Wright Patterson AFB, Contract# F33615-88-C-2815, April 198
3: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, DW4219 RP Materials Testing, Report, 200
4: Carpenter B., Integration method for IMM photovoltaic devices, Aerospace FY12 End of Year Technical Report, Sept 201
KEYWORDS: Resiliency, Solar Cell, Spacecraft Power System, Coverglass
Jessica Buckner (AFRL/RVSV)
EGS Data Source Integration for Enhanced SSA
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Design a system that integrates the JMS Advanced Research Collaboration and Application Development Environment (ARCADE) with Enterprise Ground Services (EGS) data. This system will pull real EGS data into the system, process it, and add features to the ARCADE User Defined Operating Picture (UDOP) for operators.
DESCRIPTION: Current space vehicle and ground systems are highly stove piped, which leads to data management, security, control and a myriad of other issues. One of the goals of EGS is to expose this data to enable exploitation by applications and services. EGS standardizes the manner in which space vehicle and ground station data is managed. The application developed through this solicitation would be able to consume data from this prototyped software and alert a user of anomalous events when the bus detects them. The developed application within ARCADE will subscribe to an EGS Message Queue (MQ) bus or any type of publisher/subscriber architecture the developer chooses. This will alert the application whenever new EGS data has been de-commutated, is available and different from legacy telemetry readings. The developer should handle satellite abnormality events currently dispatched by the EGS architecture and update the ARCADE application’s interface appropriately. The developer will include plans on how the application will plug in into other ARCADE software tools currently used by the JSpOC. The application would have an interface to display the data, update whenever new data is available and eventually integrate into preexisting ARCADE software tools that currently track and display space vehicle trajectories. The system should be flexible enough to allow future developers to build additional applications from this development. Initial prototyping steps could also develop an EGS simulation tool within ARCADE to generate EGS data, subscribe to it and display it on an interface through a standard observer pattern (messenger/subscriber) implementation if it assists with development within the time/money constraints of Phase I. However, other implementation techniques are solicited and encouraged for receiving and handling data from the EGS bus architecture. An example end product of this work is an application in the current ARCADE software that displays space vehicle positional data from EGS and further processes the data to concurrently visualize vehicle trajectories. State of the art designs will maximize flexibility for development of future aps within ARCADE and interface with existing JSpoC applications. Partnership with government EGS architecture developers and commercial satellite/owner operators are encouraged.
PHASE I: Demonstrate an initial prototype that can subscribe to EGS MQ backbone and display data on an interface. Documentation will discuss how software will agilely update with different space vehicle telemetry and EGS data. A report will also discuss how the software will integrate into current ARCADE applications that display space vehicle trajectory data and visualize the vehicles in orbit.
PHASE II: Integration of software into ARCADE tools along with documentation discussing architecture and communication with EGS software backbone. A EGS simulation tool plugin will accompany software ARCADE integration that can generate telemetry data outside of acceptable bounds. These anomalous readings would be handled by the software and display alerts on the interface to alert user. Quarterly status and final reports including a case for continued ARCADE data subscription will accompany work.
PHASE III: Commercialization and partnership with government to refine the architecture that standardizes and pulls EGS data from satellite operators. ARCADE application would update accordingly with appropriate diagnostic data as more satellite operating center data sets are merged into EGS database.
1: Luce, Rick, Major, Space & Missile Systems Center, Space Superiority Systems Directorate, 2012 AMOS Conference paper. Joint Space Operations Center Mission System Application Development Environment, 12 Sep 201
2: Murray-Krezan, Jeremy et al. "The Joint Space Operations Center Mission System and Advanced Research, Collaboration, and Application Development Environment Status Update 2016", Proc. SPIE 9838, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IX, 13 May 201
3: Henry, Caleb. "DOD Prepares for Overhaul of Military Ground Systems." http://www.satellitetoday.com/regional/2015/09/14/dod-prepares-for-overhaul-of-military-ground-systems/ (accessed 2 April 2017).
4: Moltzau, Eric. "How to Improve Enterprise Ground Services for Space." http://www.spacewar.com/reports/How_to_Improve_Enterprise_Ground_Services_for_Space_99html. (accessed 22 March 2017).
KEYWORDS: Space Situational Awareness, ARCADE, JSPOC, Enterprise Ground Services
Adiabatic/Reversible Logic Test Chip
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: The goal of this STTR topic is to develop and characterize a test chip implementing adiabatic/reversible logic side-by-side with conventional logic to ascertain the potential applicability of adiabatic/reversible logic to space processing.
DESCRIPTION: The processing requirements for many space-based missions, such as ISR and SSA, are expected to grow dramatically in the next few decades, requiring much more processing be done in the highly energy-constrained space environment. This STTR topic will investigate the ability of adiabatic/reversible logic circuit design techniques to reduce the power requirements of future high performance space microprocessors and enable the efficient utilization of state-of-the-art processor technologies in space. This technology offers the promise of greatly reduced energy costs by recycling the energy used in logical operations at the device level, at the cost of lower operating speeds. This topic seeks to understand the power/speed tradeoffs of these techniques by implementing them in an adiabatic test chip. Currently, embedded versions of processor technologies sacrifice speed and memory capacity to save power by reducing clock frequency and voltage. For example, NVidia’s Tesla P100 GPU (Pascal architecture) is capable of delivering 4.7/9.3 TFLOPS of double/single precision performance, but require 250W of power. It’s low power embedded GPU cousin, the NVidia TX2, delivers 1 TFLOP single precision arithmetic with 7.5 W. Adiabatic logic variants such as two-level adiabatic logic (2LAL), split-level charge recovery logic (SCRL), and reversible energy recovery logic (RERL) have been shown to have some potential to reduce energy dissipation by factors of 10 or more depending on the speed at which the logic is run.- At least one university group is building a reduced instruction set processor using adiabatic techniques. For this effort, a non-rad hard test chip implementing representative functional blocks used in logic and memory circuits such as adders, shift registers, etc. will be designed using a range of conventional and adiabatic design techniques and implemented in a CMOS process for which rad-hard by design (RHBD) support exists. The proposed test chip and studies will enable the Air Force to determine whether adiabatic techniques can be combined with the highest performing commercial processor technologies to enable ultra-low power, high performance, digital processing for space.
PHASE I: The vendor will design a chip implementing representative test blocks of logic and memory devices in the best adiabatic circuit design techniques available. The chip should be built on 90 or 32 nm technology and operate at speeds in the range from 0.5-1.5 GHz. SPICE models describing the expected behavior of the chip will be developed and provided to the government.
PHASE II: The vendor will implement the design developed in Phase I in a standard CMOS process, experimentally characterize the power utilization of each test device and adiabatic design technique combination and compare the experimental power utilization with that predicted using the developed SPICE models. Test chips will be supplied to the government for independent testing.
PHASE III: The vendor will apply the lessons learned to the design of larger prototype circuits or low power microprocessor.
1: Tesla P100 and Jetson TX2 product descriptions at www.nvidia.com.
2: Mehrdad Khatir, Alireza Ejlali, Amir Moradi, "Improving the energy efficiency of reversible logic circuits by the combined use of adiabatic styles", INTEGRATION, the VLSI journal 44, pp. 12–21 (2011).
3: Venkiteswaran Anantharam, Maojiao He, Krishna Natarajan, Huikai Xie, and Michael P. Frank, "Driving Fully-Adiabatic Logic Circuits Using Custom High-Q MEMS Resonators." in ESA/VLSI, pp. 5-11, (2004).
4: C. O. Campos-Aguillón, R. Celis-Cordova, I. K. Hänninen, C. S. Lent, A. O. Orlov and G. L. Snider, "A mini-MIPS microprocessor for adiabatic computing", 2016 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing (ICRC), pp. 1-7, (2016).
KEYWORDS: Adiabatic Circuits, Reversible Circuits
Andrew C. Pineda (AFRL/RVSW)
X-ray Cinematography for Explosive Events
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop an affordable, multi-frame, radiographic imaging system for explosive events and other high-speed dynamic processes.
DESCRIPTION: Radiographic imaging is highly useful in characterizing case expansion and fracture in high speed explosive events but the number of images (set by the number of flash x-ray heads) is typically small. High speed video has a high number of frames but limited utility in the near field due to the fireball’s luminescence and optically-thick blast products. The objective of this program is to develop an X-ray cinematography (or pseudo cinematography) system to produce multi-frame images of projectile/fragment/particle motion inside a fireball or other visually-obscure media. The proposed system should be affordable, relatively portable, and survivable (with shielding) in blast/frag environments. Although not intended to restrict innovative approaches, capital costs might be reduced by using equipment commonly found on explosives and ballistics ranges (e.g., flash X-ray systems, Phantom, Simacon, Kirana high speed cameras) as components in the system. See References 1-5 for related work in x-ray cinematography. The goal of this effort is to develop a system with high flexibility across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Important attributes are resolution, number of frames, and frame rate.
PHASE I: The contractor will develop a system concept and demonstrate feasibility through breadboard development. Testing to show proof-of-concept is highly desirable. The test case should be a dynamic event but can be non-explosive to reduce cost. 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 X-ray imaging of an explosive event and analysis of the images. 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 x-ray imaging system for highly dynamic processes. The commercial application might include dynamic x-ray imaging systems and/or dynamic x-ray computed tomography (XCT) systems for the automotive and medical industries.
1: P. Helberg, S. Nau, and K. Thoma, "High-Speed Flash X-Ray Cinematography," 9th European Conference on Non-Destructive Testing, Berlin, September 2006,http://www.ndt.net/?id=3673
2: K. Thoma, P. Helberg and E. Strassburger, "Real Time-Resolved Flash X-Ray Cinematographic Investigation of Interface Defeat and Numerical Simulation Validation," 23rd International Symposium on Ballistics, Tarragona, Spain, 16-20 April 200
3: Stefan Moser, Siegfried Nau, Manfred Salk, and Klaus Thoma, "In situ flash x-ray high-speed computed tomography for the quantitative analysis of highly dynamic processes," Meas. Sci. Technol. 25 025009 (2014).
4: J. W. Tringe et al., "Time-sequenced X-ray Observation of a Thermal Explosion," International Conference of the APS Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, Nashville TN, 28 June – 3 July 2009, LLNL-PROC-415380,https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/37649pdf
KEYWORDS: Diagnostic, X-ray, Radiography, Imaging, Cinematography, Explosive, M&S Validation
Lasers Based on Gas or Liquid Filled Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fibers
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop mid-IR laser technology based on liquid or gas filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HCPCF) that is relevant to Air Force applications such as LADAR seekers, target illuminators, designators, target trackers, infrared counter measures, and standoff chem-bio detection.
DESCRIPTION: Current pulse and continuous wave mid-IR laser sources have design and performance limitations that constrain their usefulness in Air Force Applications. Current pulsed mid-IR laser sources generally rely on near IR lasers to pump a bulk nonlinear optical material, which requires angle or temperature tuning, to generate the desired wavelength. These systems tend to be mechanically complex, require free space optical alignment, and be fairly large. In addition, material selection for efficient nonlinear generation of mid-IR wavelengths is limited as well as the ability to create high peak powers. Quantum cascade lasers are attractive as CW sources but are limited to a few Watts of power and require temperature control. Mid-IR generation in HCPCF offers a potential means to mitigate the drawbacks of conventional technology. HCPCF offers a unique hybridization of fiber optic technology and gas/liquid laser technology which can enable efficient sources of mid-IR laser emission with great flexibility in emission wavelength, in a compact, mechanically robust design. Proper selection of the fiber type (photonic bandgap or inhibited coupling fiber) in conjunction with the active medium is done to ensure that the pump and generated emission occur with low loss. One can choose between nonlinear optical methods or direct laser action to produce a desired mid-IR wavelength. Fiber core size and length can be chosen to control loss, beam quality, and emission power. In recent years considerable work has been accomplished in mid-IR generation through both nonlinear optical and direct laser generation. (see references). For Air Force applications, the mid-IR generation should occur in atmospheric transmission windows in the 2-5um region. Beam quality should be near diffraction limited. Linearly polarized emission is desired but not mandatory. For pulsed operation, average power should be greater than 1Watt with pulse repetition frequencies of 1-20 kHz and full-width half max pulse widths in the multi-nanosecond range. For continuous wave sources the average power should be greater than 5Watts. Attractive technology development will result in monolithic, compact and mechanically robust designs. It is preferable that the laser system have a minimum of free space optics and no gas containment cells. For example, it is desirable that the HCPCF either be fusion spliced to a pump fiber laser or have solid core fiber spliced to entrance and exit ends of the HCPCF. In addition, the laser system should not require periodic gas/liquid charging and should have the potential to operate over a wide range of temperatures.
PHASE I: Design Air Force relevant innovative mid-IR laser showing significant advantages over current technologies. Document trade study narrowing design considerations to a final design concept. Conceptual design shall be analyzed/modeled to quantify strengths and weakness in performance. Analysis will include electrical and optical efficiency, size, weight, and power consumption, emitted wavelength, optical power, polarization, beam quality, repetition frequency, energy, and pulse width. Deliverables: Final report documenting conceptual design and all code generated for the modeling effort.
PHASE II: Finalize phase I design and build and test a prototype laser system. Analysis and models shall be updated to reflect design improvement or changes from Phase I. Deliverables: Final report, refined models, and prototype laser system.
PHASE III: Development of the technologies described above will have immediate application to laser systems in both military and commercial sectors.
1: Hollow-core Optical Fiber Gas Lasers (HOFGLAS): a review, A. V. Vasudevan Nampoothiri, Andrew M. Jones, C. Fourcade-Dutin, Chenchen Mao, Neda Dadashzadeh, Bastian Baumgart, Y.Y. Wang, M. Alharbi, T. Bradley, Neil Campbell, F. Benabid, Brian R. Washburn, Kristan L. Corwin, and Wolfgang Rudolph, Vol. 2, Optical Materials Express, 948, 2012
2: Cavity-based mid-IR fiber gas laser pumped by a diode laser, Muhammad Rosdi Abu Hassan, Fei Yu, Willian J. Wadsworth, and Jonathan C. Knight, Vol. 3, No. 3, Optica, 218, 2016
3: Efficient 9 m emission in H2-filled hollow core fiber by pure stimulated vibrational Raman Scattering, Zefeng Wang, Fei Yu, William J Wadsworth and Jonathan C Knight, Laser Phys. Lett. 11 105807, 2014
4: Efficient diode-pumped mid-infrared emission from acetylene-filled hollow-core fiber, Zefeng Wang, Walter Belardi, Fei Yu, William J. Wadsworth, and Jonathan C. Knight, Vol. 22, Optics Express, 21872, 2014
KEYWORDS: Hollow-core Photonic Crystal Fiber, Photonic Bandgap Fiber, Inhibited Coupling Fiber, Mid-IR Laser, Nonlinear Optics
Christian Keyser and Goodrich
Rapid Nondestructive Inspection of Traditionally Uninspectable Adhesively-Filled Composite Joints
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: Objective: Composite joints with tight radii, such as “pi (π)” or “T” joints, with features such as thick adhesive bondlines and “nuggets/noodles,” are uninspectable using traditional nondestructive inspection (NDI) equipment. The goal is to develop mature large-scale rapid inspection processes for these joint areas during manufacturing and correlate and demonstrate the disbond detection capabilities in these complex architectures.
DESCRIPTION: Polymer matrix composite, commonly referred to as composite, materials are challenging to nondestructively inspect due to the heterogeneous nature of the insulating resin and the conductive or insulating fiber reinforcement (i.e. carbon or glass fiber). Furthermore, the composite joint with 3-dimensional woven fabric materials and a very thick polymer-insulating adhesive bondline or adhesive nugget found in the complex “pi (π)” or “T” geometries is even more problematic. The triangular adhesive nugget/noodle is approximately 0.25” in height, 1.0” in width, and varying in length, but on the order of feet. In addition, access from the composite laminate skin/base is sometimes limited. Therefore, traditional damage/flaw detection technologies that use mechanical or manual scanning to interrogate the complex joint details have had limited success. As a result, these critical joint features are often limited in use as their structural integrity cannot be verified. However, it is believed that rapid imaging techniques may have some promise if the signal processing and interrogating energy source input methods can be adequately addressed. It is desired to nondestructively detect 0.2” (w) x 0.25” (l) and larger manufacturing disbonds, flaws, or foreign objects in the adhesive bondlines and thick adhesive nugget/noodle regions that have traditionally been deemed uninspectable with a large-scale rapid processing technique.
PHASE I: Develop an approach to demonstrate the imaging and rapid inspection capability on representative joints with adhesive nugget/noodles and complex internal architectures. Study the flaw size, excitation source, excitation mode, sensing/imaging methodology and signal processing as they relate to detection of disbonds, voids and foreign objects/materials in a composite joint with a significant adhesive fillet region. Perform laboratory testing to demonstrate feasibility.
PHASE II: Conduct sensitivity studies as a function of applicable parameters (i.e. flaws/damage (disbonds, voids, and foreign objects/materials) sizes, area coverage, stand-off distance, and material geometry/thickness). Understand the capabilities for multiple composite and adhesive material systems. Refine the excitation source/mode, sensor/imaging and signal processing to optimize performance. Perform verification testing on large, production representative structures and demonstrate rapid inspection times.
PHASE III: Work with the aerospace industry, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and appropriate open standard organization(s) to develop equipment and process standardization. Generate inspection criteria and NDI specifications for process implementation.
1: Travis J. Sherwood, Travis J., Brian G. Robins, Darrell D. Jones, Joseph D. Brennan, and Michael R. Anderson. Extrusion of Adhesives for Composite Structures. The Boeing Company, assignee. Patent US8216499 B 10 July 2012
2: Genest, M., et al. "Pulsed thermography for non-destructive evaluation and damage growth monitoring of bonded repairs." Composite Structures 81 (2009): 112-120.
3: Giurgiuti, Victor and Andrei Zagrai. Active Sensors for In-situ Structural Identification, Damage Detection, and Structural Health Monitoring. Report No. USC-ME-LAMSS-2000-10 University of South Carolina, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Doctorate of Philosophy Dissertation, August 2000.
4: McGushion, Kevin. M-Wave Inspection, NASA In-Space Non-Destructive Inspection Technology Workshop, Houston, TX, 29 February 201
KEYWORDS: Adhesive, Bondline, Nondestructive Inspection, Eddy Current
Capt. Dave Smith (AFRL/RXCA)
Development of Quasi-2D “MXene” Ceramic Fillers for Electromagnetically Responsive Composites
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this STTR is to develop safe and effective synthesis and scale-up processes for realizing new compositions of 2-D ceramic particles known as MXenes. Recently, MAX (Metal-Anion-Nitride/Carbide) phases have drawn significant interest in the materials science community. This STTR will support the study and development of new MAX phases that can be synthesized into MXenes with practical utility. The effort has several goals. First, produce novel MAX phases and their associated MXenes. Characterize their structure and composition as well as material properties such as electrical conductivity, magnetic permeability, dielectric constant, modulus, etc. Second, begin efforts to increase the scale of these processes to provide materials for dissemination and testing. Lastly, examine the theoretical potential for those phases yet to be created under this effort.
DESCRIPTION: The most common approach for creating light weight electrically conductive composites is the inclusion of electrically conductive fillers in a nonconducting matrix. These materials are used in myriad commercial and DoD applications, including electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic shielding. Many of these materials systems begin with a thermosetting or thermoplastic polymer to which electrically conductive fillers are added through processing steps including shear mixing, ultrasonic mixing, and polymer compounding. In these systems, careful trade-offs are made among toughness, cost, conductivity, and scalable processing approaches. Exfoliated MAX phase sheets are referred to as MXenes due to their 2-D like structure. The layered crystal structure of MXenes has been shown to simultaneously maintain high electron mobility and surface reactivity. The effect of this unique crystal structure is that the platelets can be easily dispersed while remaining electrically conducting as well as thermally and chemically robust. MXenes comprising atomic species that impart dramatically different magnetic, electrical, or optical properties are of particular interest for the Air Force. Potential Air Force applications for MXene based composites are many and varied. Light weight electromagnetic shielding is a pervasive need in Air Force systems. Space systems would especially benefit from composite materials that decrease weight while improving electrostatic discharge capability, electromagnetic shielding from stray RF fields, and robustness to thermal cycling. Ultimately MXenes have many potential applications for electrically conductive composites, plasmonic metamaterials, filtration/chelation, catalysis, chemical sensing, and more.
PHASE I: While some MAX phases have been shown to have promising practical utility as MXenes, only a fraction of the possible compositions have been explored to date. For example, the titanium-carbide compositions (Ti2C, Ti3C2) have already been extensively studied. Theorized phases offer a wide range of atomic compositions and the synthesis of these as MXenes for practical utility remains an open frontier. The Phase I project goal is to evaluate prospects for synthesis of new MXene phases, then synthesize and characterize the materials in a scalable manner. The project will aim to identify and synthesize no fewer than two new compositions in the family MnXn-1, where M is a transition metal, X is carbon or nitrogen, and n=2, 3, or 4 (here “new” means anything other than Ti3X2). Ideally, approaches that are likely to produce four or more new compositions are desired. Of special interest are compositions that may impart distinct magnetic properties to the MXenes, such as those in which the metal component is niobium, vanadium, chromium, or hafnium. Synthesis should be demonstrated with high purity (>90%) and in multi-gram scale batches. The contractor will deliver to the Air Force at least 2 g of purified material for each composition that they successfully produce. The contractor will provide characterization of the chemical composition, crystal structure, and particle morphology of the materials they produce. The characterization of electrical conductivity, magnetic susceptibility, elemental purity, surface energy, and other features comparable to theoretical predictions in the academic literature are also of interest.
PHASE II: The project goal is to increase the number of commercially available MXene compositions by expanding on the processes developed in Phase 1 to include even more unique compositions and by developing scale-up approaches for these new compositions. This includes developing synthesis protocols that are safe for humans and the environment. The effectiveness of the scale-up will be demonstrated by delivering to the Air Force 200 g of purified material for at least two MXene compositions outside of the TinXn-1 family. The contractor will demonstrate effective processing of these materials into free-standing films or composites suitable for applications, including the use of novel surface chemistry for effective dispersion in polymers. Potential applications include thermal management, electromagnetic shielding, electrochemical reaction surfaces, and toughened structural composites.
PHASE III: Potential Phase III goals include identifying and developing MXene-derived consumer products, developing responsive and agile synthesis approaches, and expanding potential applications space. Successful projects may seek to develop a viable path to commercialization for DoD and commercial applications by addressing issues related to safety, quality, throughput, packaging and transport, etc. at industrial scale. Phase III activity depends on the performance in the STTR-funded phases I and II, as well as the future goals, priorities, and budget of the Air Force.
1: Naguib, M. et al, "MXenes: A New Family of Two-Dimensional Materials," Advanced Materials, 2014, 26(7):992-1005
2: Ashton, M. et al, "Predicted Surface Composition and Thermodynamic Stability of MXenes in Solution," Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2016, 120(6), 3550-3556
3: Meshkian, R. et al, "Theoretical stability and materials synthesis of a chemically ordered MAX phase, Mo2ScAlC2 and its two-dimensional derivate Mo2ScC2 MXene," Acta Materialia, 2017, 125, 476-480
4: Shahzad, et al, "Electromagnetic interference shielding with 2D transition metal carbides (MXenes)," Science, 2016, 353(6304) 1137-1140
KEYWORDS: Conductive Composites, Nanocomposites, Electromagnetic Shielding, Electrostatic Discharge, Lightning Strike Protection, Light-weight, Multifunctional
Cervical Spine Health Improvement Products
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical
OBJECTIVE: Obtain a medical materiel solution that non-invasively collects cervical spine data to include position, velocity and acceleration; medical device output provides objective (pain independent) metrics for surveillance, risk assessment and measurement of intervention outcomes. Resulting solution will directly address Fleet requirements for improved surveillance and same-day evaluation of musculoskeletal injuries, specifically those of the cervical spine.
DESCRIPTION: Neck pain and cervical spine injury are mission degraders across the spectrum of military personnel, and a source of increased cost in terms of preventative actions, healthcare treatment and negative impact on productivity. While important work has been done describing the complex mechanisms of action in catastrophic injuries to the neck or extreme loading (i.e., high G-forces combined with heavy helmets), much more needs to be done in the field of longitudinal measurement over the course of a career, in order to better inform both clinicians and patients of changes in function prior to the point of serious injury. Likewise, occupational measurement tools are currently insufficient to provide accurate risk assessments in real-time environments. The current standard for cervical spine impairment assessment is Range of Motion (ROM). While providing critical information, ROM and postural information do not accurately model dynamic motion, either for normal or abnormal neck conditions. In addition, many studies rely on subjective measures, such as a questionnaire, that relies on pain as a metric. Pain as a subjective symptom is highly variable and confounded by many factors not related to the disorder. Existing Commercial, off the Shelf (COTS) sensors and software are currently capable of not only measuring positional data, but also velocity, acceleration and rotation in all axes of motion. However, these same sensors capture motion data, but provide no tools to interpret this data as a useful output for clinicians or occupational health specialists. To date, many modeling efforts have been developed that provide valid information regarding the mechanical properties of the cervical spine [1, 2]. When adapted for clinical or field use, these models may be effective for both prevention and treatment of cervical spine musculoskeletal injuries MSIs. The final requested product will use COTS inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors to collect positional data on upright subjects in a neutral cervical posture, as well as flexion, extension, lateral movements and rotations of the neck and head. Velocity and acceleration data will be recorded as well. The device should include software that analyzes and interprets the kinematic data to provide output that can be used in both occupational and clinical settings. The anticipated device should be user-friendly, provide an expedient measurement technique (under ten minutes), and be able to be used with existing work garments. Portability between test environments is critical. Similar devices for lumbar spine have already been commercialized .
PHASE I: Phase I will focus on concept design and feasibility testing of a technology solution that can be used to measure neck kinematics in industrial settings. There are three physical barriers to success that must be cleared in Phase I: proof that the performer can develop a data acquisition platform capable of collecting and analyzing the required data; design and early manufacture of an appropriate mounting platform for sensor placement; and acquisition and testing of COTS sensors to obtain the necessary data. Performance goals include the following: 1. Defining the necessary data needed to provide accurate and high fidelity results; 2. Development of a data acquisition platform capable of collecting data either wirelessly, or capturing data stored on a sensor for use in environments where wireless data transmission is not possible; 3. Development of a mounting platform for the sensors that can be quickly and reliably placed on human subjects of varying heights and body shapes, over light work clothing and designed for low complexity and ease-of-use. 4. Acquiring and testing appropriate COTS sensors for feasibility of requested data acquisition; 5. Physical and software modification(s) of sensors as needed to reduce or eliminate the effect of sensor drift, communicate appropriately with other sensors or data acquisition platform, and for use with a dedicated mounting platform. Human subject testing is not requested or expected for Phase I.
PHASE II: The sensors, mounting platform and data acquisition platform developed in Phase I will be employed to produce a functioning prototype that combines hardware and software to quantify kinematic measurements on human subjects. The second goal of Phase II is to collect and analyze data to develop algorithms capable of defining existing cervical function, injury risk and sincerity of effort. Measurements with human subjects should be validated with existing “gold-standard” equipment that can accurately define human motion, such as optoelectronic motion capture (Mo-Cap) systems. This validation equipment, which is typically bulky and not easy to transport, should not be considered as part of the deliverable device. Furthermore, while general population data acquisition is appropriate for initial database development, it is suggested that the STTR awardees attempt to obtain data from military populations early in the process, to ensure that our unique demographic population is accurately modeled for the required outputs. In either case, prototype testing may be requested through Federal laboratories, which could provide both MOCAP capability and access to military subjects. While testing would be conditional to Federal entity fund availability, no additional cost would be requested from successful proposal entities. Performance goals for Phase II include the following: 1. Final draft of test protocol submitted to Contract Officer Representative(s) (CORs) and appropriate administrative personnel, submission of IRB documentation to appropriate oversight boards, and recruitment of human subjects for data acquisition provided IRB approvals; 2. Refinement of sensors, mounting platform and data acquisition platform as needed to satisfy the stated objective; 3. Define required objectives for field testing, and developing test protocols for field data acquisition; 4. Define required objectives for clinical testing, and develop test protocols for clinical data acquisition; 5. Define prototype fabrication requirements for scalable manufacturing efforts; 6. Define storage and/or shipping requirements for possible shipboard deployment.
PHASE III: The vision for this device is to have a portable, easy-to-use tool that provides reliable, valid and objective kinematic assessments for warfighters in operational work settings, as well as a tool for clinical use. Potential customers include Navy Medical Logistics Command (NAVMEDLOGCOM) or US Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA). In the hands of an occupational specialist, the device would be able to assess injury risk across all industrial environments, providing empirical data to reduce neck injuries and assess prevention strategies. In the hands of a clinical team, the same measurement tool would be able to identify severity of any kinematic abnormality; monitor improvement over time; assist with treatment outcome evaluation and provide valid return to work metrics. In both cases the device should have the ability to discern sincerity of effort, which will be extremely valuable in the realm of disability claims, especially if longitudinal monitoring of the service member is routinely performed. To obtain this goal, awardees are expected to pursue FDA clearance / approval as a Class I/II medical device for clinical use, contingent on additional funding. The device, after Phase II completion, should be ready for use in the industrial sector and other occupational environments for cost-effective, objective surveillance and risk monitoring. Lumbar spine monitors are already commercially available; a cervical spine sensor would create a whole-spine approach to improving workplace safety and reducing injury risk and the associated costs.
KEYWORDS: Cervical Spine, C-spine, Neck, Injury Risk, Musculoskeletal Disorder, Occupational Health, Clinical Assessment, Kinematics, Sensor, Motion
LCDR Dustin Huber Ph.D.
Automated In-situ Large-area De-processing of ICs with High Throughput
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Sensors, Eletronics
OBJECTIVE: Develop an automated & high throughput technology, which performs similar to the gas assisted etch (GAE) focused ion beam (FIB)-scanning electron microscope (SEM) for delayering an entire IC to perform 3D chip reconstruction for use in reverse engineering and physical failure analysis applications.
DESCRIPTION: De-processing of Integrated Circuits (IC)s is an extremely important step in both reverse engineering and physical failure analysis. Additionally, thorough failure investigation of devices is crucial to maintain the functionality of DOD microelectronics systems. De-processing often involves utilizing various techniques; e. g., mechanical polishing, chemical etch, and reactive ion etch (RIE) in combination with one or multiple imaging techniques [1-2]. However, these IC de-processing methods have limitations. For instance, de-packaging and bulk silicon removal can cause device bowing due to induced-stress and cracking. Mechanical polishing can cause non-uniform delayering of material resulting in a non-planar surface. GAE plasma FIB can be utilized for de-processing of ICs; however, it may take a long time to de-layer an entire IC utilizing only the capabilities provided by the current GAE plasma FIB. Additionally, the GAE plasma FIB has a limited field of view; e.g., a sample area of 800 µm by 800 µm . Another method utilized for IC de-layering, which is complementary to the GAE plasma FIB technique, is the broad ion beam (BIB) milling. The BIB technique provides a larger field of view in comparison to the GAE plasma FIB; e.g., 10 mm by 10 mm . However, the BIB technique enables lower material removal rate compared to the GAE plasma FIB. Therefore, DMEA is seeking the development of a system or technology that can quickly and reliably delayer and image entire ICs in an automated process.
PHASE I: Perform a feasibility study for automatic de-layering of an entire packaged IC with one multi-functional technology that integrates multiple techniques. The end result of Phase I is a feasibility study report, which demonstrates all the rational justifications supported by scientific basis; e.g., mathematical calculations, for integrating the proposed techniques, which explicitly addresses the following items: 1. The developed technology is expected to conduct automatic de-layering and imaging of the device under study. 2. The feasibility study should identify the smallest IC node size the developed technology would be capable of delayering and imaging without the loss of necessary information. 3. The proposed system should be capable of de-layering large areas; e.g., 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm. The feasibility study should identify what the sample size limitations are of the developed technology. 4. The feasibility study should identify the minimum thickness of material that can repeatedly and consistently be removed on a heterogeneous sample. 5. The system is expected to perform de-layering of an entire IC with high throughput. The feasibility study should identify different overall processing times for varying sized samples, or identify a nominal processing time per unit area. 6. The proposed system is expected to be able to image the gate layer with enough resolution to adequately identify transistors of the target node size. 7. The feasibility study shall identify all potential delayering issues (including but not limited to dishing, cratering, lumbering, edge rounding, bulls-eye effects, smearing, die curvature, etc.) and how the developed technology addresses those issues. 8. The feasibility study shall consider the varying materials present in semiconductors (including but not limited to silicon, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, copper, aluminum, sapphire, tungsten, tantalum, etc.). 9. The feasibility study shall identify the full process flow, including any required IC sample preparation and tool operation.
PHASE II: Phase II will result in developing, assembling, prototyping, testing and transferring the technology studied in phase I. The performer is expected to illustrate the functionality of the technology through demonstration of de-processing and imaging a full IC, agreed upon by DMEA and the performer. The demonstration data should include data representing de-layering and imaging of the IC. The technology or the prototype should be fully tested and delivered, including characterization results, all generated files (e.g., CAD drawings, test results), operation instructions, and the test plan to the Government for further testing and verification.
PHASE III: Phase III will result in the expansion of the prototype system in Phase II into a tested pre-production system capable of performing automatic de-layering of packaged ICs with high throughput. This system has potential applications in both failure analysis and reverse engineering of packaged ICs both in commercial and government sectors.
1: D. Zudhistira, et al., Precision Xe Plasma FIB Delayering for Physical Failure Analysis of sub-20 nm Microprocessor Devices, ISTFA (2017).
2: R. Alvis, et al., Plasma FIB DualBeam Delayering for Atomic Force NanoProbing of 14nm FinFET Devices in an SRAM Array, ISTFA (2015).
3: E.L. Principe, et al., Steps Toward Automated Deprocessing of Integrated Circuits, ISTFA (2017).
4: E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc., Microelectronic Device De-layering using an Adjustable Broad‑beam Ion Source (2013).
5: G. Dellemann, et al., Advances in Multi-Beam SEM Technology for High-Throughput Defect Inspection, Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH and SEMATECH (2015).
KEYWORDS: FIB, SEM, De-processing, De-layering, Reverse Engineering, 3D Chip Reconstruction, ICs, Failure Analysis
Daric Matthew Guimary
Computer Vision Image Interpretation for 3D model reconstruction
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Conduct a proof of concept study to use single monocular satellite imagery to construct 3D urban environments.
DESCRIPTION: DTRA Reachback has the requirement to be able to apply the suite of CBRN hazard assessment tools to urban environments to more accurately model the transport and dispersion of materials in and around buildings. Currently, there exists a gap in the availability of current up-to-date OCONUS urban datasets that can be quickly ingested into the CBRN models used by Reachback. If data is available, it is typically a manual, time intensive process to convert the data into CBRN readable formats which requires a human in-the-loop thereby hindering the ability for Reachback to quickly respond to an event. Often however, the data is not available or it is severely outdated, especially with regard to remote regions in the world which prevents a more accurate consequence assessment with respect to plume dispersion and blast propagation within an urban environment. The problem is even more complicated by the fact that a vast majority of the current analysis occurs in remote war-torn areas where the "building-scape" changes quickly, and thus a solution is needed whereby cities can be quickly recreated, within minutes to hours, and are quantitatively accurate for areas of interest anywhere in the world. A large amount of research and practical application has focused on using stereoscopic parallax techniques which utilize multiple satellite images to compute the object height and base to create an extruded 3D object. However, for this to be successful multiple images with the appropriate nadir offsets and image overlap must be available. In remote areas, multiple satellite images with the required collection parameters are typically not available. To overcome this limitation, we are interested in a solution which requires only a single monocular satellite image to create a quantitatively accurate 3D reconstruction of the buildings and other manmade features for modeling purposes. Multiple approaches have been explored within academia and industry which aim to use a single image to derive a realistic three-dimensional scene. Various approaches have used machine learning techniques including using supervised learning to estimate distances to obstacles, or logistic regression to model spatial dependencies, or Markov Random Fields (MRFs) which capture the depth, orientation and relationship to other features within the images to create a 3D environment. However, much of the literature focuses on ground based photographs where the distance from the camera to the scene is minimal. Here, it is of interest to apply machine learning techniques to aerial and satellite based imagery to determine if a large urban area could be modeled and a 3D environment could be created. Of primary interest is the extraction of buildings into an output format, such as a shapefile, which could be ingested into CBRNE models.
PHASE I: The performer shall conduct a proof of concept study to identify the processes and algorithms most successful for extracting three-dimensional building features using monocular cues from a single satellite image and demonstrate this capability. The phase I deliverable is a report and a preliminary proof of concept demonstration detailing the advantages and disadvantages/limitations of the proposed methods to include confidence metrics.
PHASE II: The performer shall mature the algorithms to improve accuracy and explore if other manmade objects, in addition to buildings, could be extracted from a scene. The performer shall design, develop, and deliver a prototype, to include software code, to the government that can produce output files compatible with DTRA CBRNE tools. The phase II deliverable is a (1) report detailing the finalized approaches and analysis of performance, (2) proof of concept demonstration, (3) software code with installation instructions and a user’s manual.
PHASE III: Finalize and commercialize software for use by customers (e.g. government, satellite companies, etc.). Although additional funding may be provided through DoD sources, the awardee should look to other public or private sector funding sources for assistance with transition and commercialization.
1: Lin, Chungan, and Ramakant Nevatia. "Building detection and description from a single intensity image." Computer vision and image understanding 72 (1998): 101-12
2: Rouhani, Mohammad, Florent Lafarge, and Pierre Alliez. "Semantic segmentation of 3D textured meshes for urban scene analysis." ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 123 (2017): 124-13
3: Russell, Chris, Rui Yu, and Lourdes Agapito. "Video pop-up: Monocular 3d reconstruction of dynamic scenes." European conference on computer vision. Springer, Cham, 201
4: Saxena, Ashutosh, et al. "3-D Depth Reconstruction from a Single Still Image" International Journal of Computer Vision, (2008) 76: 53-6
5: Saxena, Ashutosh, et al. "Learning Depth from Single Monocular Images" Neural information processing system (NIPS) (2005) (Vol.18).
KEYWORDS: Image Interpretation, 3D Model Reconstruction, Single Monocular Satellite Image, Single Monocular Aerial Image, Building Extraction, Machine Learning
Discrete 3-D Electronics for Mobile Radiation Detection Systems
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Nuclear
OBJECTIVE: DTRA seeks to reduce size, weight, and power (SWaP) of complete electronic architectures to support physical design flexibility in mobile detection systems for the purposes of remotely investigating areas or targets of radiological interest. 3-dimensional (3-D) design and fabrication of discrete electronics [1-3] will reduce the volume of signal processing components by at least 2.5 times and includes solutions addressing parasitic inductance and capacitance that are inherent to 2-dimensional (2-D) printed-circuit board solutions. 3-D electronic layout will also enable highly-irregular form-factors to be achieved, allowing supporting electronics to mold around less flexible detection system components such as crystals, photon sensing devices, batteries and displays to the extent that electronics may have little to no influence on the final form factor and size of radiation detection systems (this also extends to many other fields). At the same time, solutions utilizing precise discrete electronic components will support rapid analog circuit design with development times and costs far less in comparison to integrated circuit development.
DESCRIPTION: DTRA is interested in novel mechanisms and technologies that can reach beyond the limitations of 2-D PC-board fabrication within radiation detection system architectures. Electronic architecture includes front-end signal processing, power distribution, and computational support for modern detection algorithms, data communication and storage. Front-end signal processing include high gain-bandwidth amplification of fast sensor signals. Techniques will not only provide reduced electronic volume, but will also provide solutions addressing parasitic inductance and capacitance that contribute to analog noise. Computational components must support algorithms of significant complexity including spectral anomaly-based methods for gamma-ray detection and isotope identification. Form factor is a primary influence in the mobility and operational capability of radiation detection systems. Designs for maximum detection efficiency are driven by radiation sensor shape and size, and are limited by physical performance aspects of the sensing materials and signal generation. Unfortunately, supporting electronics in signal processing, algorithmic computation, and power distribution often dominate the ultimate form factor of detection systems, drastically hindering the ability to optimize size and shape of detection systems with advanced capability (e.g., spectroscopy, embedded computational analysis, and wireless communications). Discrete electronic design and fabrication has traditionally been 2-D and rectilinear, with PC-board layouts and board-stacks which require mechanical design support in structure and in protection (e.g., shock absorption, light, and electromagnetic interference). To achieve ultimate design flexibility in shape and size, 2-D rectilinear electronics should be replaced with design and manufacturing methods to produce 3-D circuitry. Flexible substrates have greatly improved this capability, but still remain limited to 2-D fabrication with population of discrete components in a single plane.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the ability to design and fabricate a 3-D circuit that provides optimal analog signal processing for compact gamma-ray and/or neutron sensors in a form-factor 2 times smaller than traditional discrete electronic solutions. This includes the replacement of a traditional pre-amplifier and shaping/filtering for scintillator and semiconductor sensors.
PHASE II: Demonstrate repeatable and reliable manufacture of a complete 3-D electronic architecture that supports spectroscopic gamma-ray sensors and neutron sensors, with driving voltage, signal processing, and integrates with modern computational embedded devices such as single-board computers, or microcontroller platforms.
PHASE III: Team with a National Laboratory or commercial partner to develop a commercial search and identification instrument for military applications of interest to DTRA as well as domestic applications in the Secure the Cities Initiative and other DHS and State and Local security applications.
1: A. Lopes, E. MacDonald, R. Wicker, (2012) "Integrating stereolithography and direct print technologies for 3D structural electronics fabrication", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 18 Issue: 2, pp.129-14
2: Castillo, S., Muse, D., Medina, F., MacDonald, E. and Wicker, R. (2009), "Electronics integration in conformal substrates fabricated with additive layered manufacturing", Proceedings of the 20th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, pp. 730‐
3: Cham, J., Pruitt, B., Cutkosky, M., Binnard, M., Weiss, L. and Neplotnik, G. (1999), "Layered manufacturing with embedded components: process planning considerations", Proceedings of DETC99: 1999 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Las Vegas, NV, September 12‐1
KEYWORDS: Spectroscopic Gamma-Ray Detection, Embedded Nuclear Electronics, 3-D Circuitry
Dr. Hank Zhu
Elpasolite Scintillators with Mixed Halides for the Best Energy Resolution
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Nuclear
OBJECTIVE: DTRA seeks to investigate and develop enhanced materials for radiation detectors that combine high performance comparable to semiconductors with lower cost of production, demonstrate their performance in detection systems, and develop production path.
DESCRIPTION: One of the main drawbacks of the scintillators compared to semiconductor radiation detectors is their poor energy resolution. While there are scintillators that can achieve 3% energy resolution, achieving energy resolution well below 3% (in the range of 2% - 2.5%) has not been demonstrated in large enough crystals to enable systems integration. As a result, typically semiconductors are used when high energy resolution is desired. The cost of such system is much more expensive . In order to improve the situation, DTRA seeks innovative ideas for high energy resolution scintillation materials with low production cost. Developing new materials based on today’s best-known scintillator materials can be a cost-effective approach to achieve this goal. The elpasolite scintillator CLLBC (CsLiLa(Br,Cl)6), for example, has shown high light output (45,000 photons/MeV), good proportionality (nearly flat), and excellent energy resolution (3% FWHM at 662 keV) . It is capable of detecting neutron radiation with improved pulse shape discrimination for neutron/gamma separation. Recent studies into elpasolite compositions have shown that mixed halides (such as Iodide and Bromide) crystals can potentially provide even higher light yield with much smaller redshift while still maintaining the cubic crystal structure, hence deliver much better energy resolution that is approaching to 2% FWHM at 662 keV. Development of such high energy resolution scintillators in sizes needed for handheld radioisotope identification (RIID) systems is highly desired. In addition, a low intrinsic background is desired for more efficient and accurate radioisotope identification. The new scintillation materials should provide detection efficiency comparable to or better than NaI:Tl (Zeff of 50 and density 3.67g/cm3) and show potential for ~2% energy resolution at 662 keV. Neutron detection is desired, but not required. The materials must be demonstrated in the RIID configuration consisting of a large detector volume (e.g. 2” x 2”).
PHASE I: Identify the materials and their potential. Demonstrate pathways for meeting the radiometric (~2% FWHM at 662 keV) and cost (50% of LaBr3:Ce or less) performance goals with the feasibility studies at the end of Phase I.
PHASE II: Develop the selected methodology further to produce RIID size samples (1.5”x1.5” to 2”x2”) at projected cost and target energy resolution. Demonstrate the performance in prototype detectors that accomplish the goals of gamma-ray detection in comparison to high performance current materials (e.g. LaBr3). The detectors shall not be dependent on post-acquisition analysis of data and shall demonstrate radio-isotopic identification capabilities consistent with N42.34  (areas where the prototype diverges from the standard should be identified). Develop manufacturing and commercialization plans for implementing the research in production and dissemination of the scintillators, respectively.
PHASE III: DUAL USE APPLICATIONS. Team up with a National Laboratory or commercial partner to develop a commercial instrument for military applications of interest to DTRA as well as domestic applications to support first responders and regulatory inspections, border and port security, power plant maintenance and environmental clean-up and produce systems at the TRL level of 6.
1: G. Knoll, Radiation Detection and Measurement, Wiley, 2010.
2: Shirwadkar, et al."Novel scintillation material Cs2LiLaBr6−xClx:Ce for gamma-ray and neutron spectroscopy." 2012 IEEE Nucl. Sci. Symp. & Med. Img. Anaheim, CA, 201 1963-196
3: ANSI N434, American National Standard Performance Criteria for Hand-Held Instruments for the Detection and Identification of Radionuclides.
KEYWORDS: Radiation Detection, Scintillation Materials, Low-cost Fabrication Methods, Gamma-ray Detection, Radio-isotope Identification Or RIID
Dr. Hank Zhu
Advance X-ray Transport and Radiation Response Analysis (XTRRA) Toolkit Improvements
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea, Materials, Sensors, Electronics, Space Platforms, Weapons, Nuclear
OBJECTIVE: Update and modify the XTRRA Toolkit to provide a recent, corrected, and document version to the radiation effects community. Implement a longer-term plan to transition the XTRRA toolkit to a new group of subject matter experts and developers. Provide training, documentation and support to the community.
DESCRIPTION: The XTRRA Materials program provides the community with the test-verified capability to perform X-ray driven impulse response analysis of materials. The existing material models in current XTRRA code used to model x-ray induced shocks, stress impulse and elastic-plastic flow are based on material equation-of-state (EOS) models of solid materials. Metallic foams, additively manufactured metals, alloys, carbon foams, synthetic compressible materials and other related compressible materials represent a new class of materials where the shock and stress impulse response cannot be modelled using normal material equation-of-state (EOS) models. These new compressible materials are being used in military systems and cannot be accurately modelled to evaluate their response to x-ray effects to assess nuclear survivability. New compressible (porous) material models are needed to be incorporated into the XTRRA code to enable more accurate model results. Modifications to the porous model P-α developed at Sandia National Laboratory, and modified by others is expected to be able to provide the appropriate modeling capability. To enable code verification and validation of this new model, the addition of a plate impact modeling capability should also be added to the XTRRA code. This will enable code to data comparison with data that has low experimental uncertainties thus supporting the development of validated compressible material models.
PHASE I: Due to the new compressible materials that arebeing used in military systemsthat cannot be accurately modelled to evaluate their response toX-ray effects to assess nuclear survivability, updates to the XTRRA toolkitis needed.The performer is required to adda plate impact modelling capability that supports material model verification by comparison to experimental data; add a porous material model to support experiments using additively manufactured materials; and update the Graphic User Interface (GUI)asnecessary.
PHASE II: DTRA continues toupdate, debug, andmodify the XTRRA toolkit from Phase I for long term application. Provide XTRRA toolkit training sessions to the community, update based upon Beta Testing and Training Feedback,update the software, andintegrate Toolkit into NUCS.
PHASE III: None
1: DTRA-TR-16-78, Advanced X-ray XTRRA Modeling, Simulation, and Test Report.
2: Report. Newlander, C D, and J H Fisher. "XTRRA – An Improved PUFF-Type Hydrocode for Material Response Analyses." Journal of Radiation Effects, Research, and Engineering 33 (1): 208–1
3: AFWL-TR-88-66, "Thin Film Transport (PUFFTFT) Computer Code Development.
4: AFRL-TR-76-43, "PUFF74 – A Material Response Computer Code".
5: DTRA-TR-99-26-V1, Missile/Interceptor Prompt X-Ray Hardness Design and Test Protocol Volume I - Testable Hardware Program.
KEYWORDS: X-ray, XTRRA, Radiation Transport, X-ray Response And Analysis, NIF, Z-Facility, GAMBLE II, PDI, PVDF, Calorimeter, XTRRA DLP, Cold X-ray Source, XeAr
John F Davis
Systematic Fatigue Test Spectrum Editing Using Wavelet Transformations
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea, Space Platforms
OBJECTIVE: Develop an improved loading spectrum development methodology utilizing wavelet transformations, and other signal processing techniques, to produce a loading spectrum optimized to reproduce real-world loading while minimizing cost and schedule requirements.
DESCRIPTION: Ideally, a fatigue test should exactly reproduce the loading conditions experienced by a given component or part during the entirety of its service life. However, current methods make it prohibitive to run a fatigue test in this manner. The U.S. Navy has relied mainly on traditional truncation methods with arbitrary criteria to reduce the length of test spectra in full-scale and component testing. These conventional methods do not address spectrum compression in multi-axial loading situations and account for material memory effects during fatigue loading. Currently, spectrum editing and compression in the form of truncation is carried out to reduce the total number of cycles while maintaining fatigue damage imparted into the test article. Appropriate clipping levels are also determined. Early experiments of accelerated fatigue testing in laboratory settings relied on techniques such as increased loading frequency, increased load level, and removal of small amplitude cycles from the time history to accomplish these goals. The techniques, some still in use today, are carried out with an empirical set of guidelines and recommendations and rely on experienced personnel and/or extensive coupon testing. The current “trial and error” empirical methodology approach has shortcomings in the high cycle range with both damage replacement and clipping. Success in fatigue signal editing is determined by the reduction in spectrum length achieved while maintaining equivalent fatigue damage and representative failure modes. The automotive industry popularized and currently employs a different wavelet analysis technique to characterize stress time histories. Wavelet analysis decomposes a time series into a time-frequency space, showing the dominant frequency modes and how these modes change with respect to time. Compared to the traditional Fourier analysis decomposition of a given signal, the wavelet transform can address nonstationary signals, or signals whose characteristics change as a function of time. A wavelet bump extraction methodology was demonstrated on an automotive fatigue spectrum with promising results with respect to fatigue life comparisons between the original and compressed signals. However, the automation heuristics were based solely on global signal statistics and were not optimized to deliver the best performance in terms of maximum signal compression. Wavelet transforms, specifically the Morlet wavelet, have also been used to perform quicker and more accurate accelerated testing of wind turbine blades. Wavelet approaches to spectrum editing provide a more rigorous and systematic way of determining the most appropriate fatigue spectrum for a given test article. A wavelet approach for spectrum editing is desired for broadband aerospace fatigue spectra [Refs 7, 8, 9] including buffet and sonic fatigue that include both high and low frequency and amplitude content to deliver reductions in spectrum length while maintaining fatigue damage, load interaction effects, and producing fleet-representative failure modes. This wavelet approach for spectrum editing should perform well in the high cycle range, achieving better damage replacement and reducing clipping. The solution should also be optimized to deliver the best performance in terms of maximum signal compression. The developed spectrum editing tool should enable the user to edit spectra based on user selected parameters (e.g., length/cycle count, damage equivalency, and upper/lower amplitude bounds) and provide a way to graphically inspect the data.
PHASE I: Design and demonstrate the feasibility of a spectrum editing concept on a publicly available aerospace fatigue spectrum including both high and low frequency and amplitude content. Buffet and sonic fatigue are specific areas of interest. Demonstrate that the edited spectrum maintains equivalent damage and representative failure modes. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype spectrum editing tool that can deliver reduced length spectra for a variety of publicly available aerospace fatigue profiles. Conduct critical tests on a contractor-fabricated or procured sample set of aerospace aluminum alloys to validate the tool. Extend the wavelet editing to multiaxial situations and demonstrate the approach for simple non-proportional load histories.
PHASE III: Develop and deliver a fully integrated spectrum editing tool that can deliver a variety of edited spectra based on user-selected parameters including length/cycle count, damage equivalency, and upper/lower amplitude bounds. Accelerated testing is required in many industry sectors to assess component life performance in order to determine required design enhancements and identify any service actions to meet service life goals. These industries include aerospace, automotive, ship building, oil and gas, heavy machinery, and electronic equipment manufacturing. The proposed spectrum editing/compression techniques can be used directly and thus save testing times in these industries.
1: Frost, N., Marsh, K., and Pook, L. "Metal Fatigue". Oxford: Clarendon Press, 197 http://www.worldcat.org/title/metal-fatigue/oclc/1258430
2: Nopiah, Z. and Osman, M. "Statistical Optimisation Techniques in Fatigue Signal Editing Problem". AIP Conference Proceedings, 2015, 1643(776). http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/4907527
3: Torrence, C. and Compo, G. "A Practical Guide to Wavelet Analysis". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 1998, 79 (1). http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0477%281998%29079%3C0061%3AAPGTWA%3E0.CO%3B2
4: Newland, D.E. "An Introduction to Random Vibrations Spectral and Wavelet Analysis". 3rd edition. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 200 http://www.worldcat.org/title/introduction-to-random-vibrations-spectral-wavelet-analysis/oclc/828932080&referer=brief_results
5: Abdullah, S. (2007). "The Wavelet Transform for Fatigue History Editing: Is it Applicable for Automotive Applications?" Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2007, 2(2), pp. 342-34 http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/jeasci/2007/342-34pdf
6: Pratumnopharat, P., Leung, P., and Court, R."Application of Morlet Wavelet in the Stress-Time History Editing of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Blades". 2nd International Symposium on Environment-Friendly Energies and Applications, 201 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6294048/?part=1
7: Edwards, P. R., and J. Darts. Standardised Fatigue loading Sequences for Helicopter Rotors (Helix and Felix) Part Background and Fatigue Evaluation. No. RAE-TR-8408 ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (UNITED KINGDOM), 198 http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a15662pdf
8: Edwards, P. R., and J. Darts. Standardised Fatigue loading Sequences for Helicopter Rotors (Helix and Felix) Part Final Definition of Helix and Felix. No. RAE-TR-8408 ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (UNITED KINGDOM), 198 http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a15662pdf
9: Heuler, P., and H. Klätschke. "Generation and use of standardised load spectra and load–time histories." International Journal of Fatigue 27, no. 8 (2005): 974-990. https://www.infona.pl/resource/bwmetaelement.elsevier-12225d1a-70d6-35d1-b770-d3b42049a4f8
KEYWORDS: Accelerated Testing; Spectrum Editing/Compression; Clipping And Truncation; Damage Equivalence; Failure Mode Preservation; Wavelet Transforms
Advanced Command and Control Architectures for Autonomous Sensing
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative system-of-systems approach to air vehicle command and control (C2) that facilitates a high degree of autonomy combined with highly efficient human interaction.
DESCRIPTION: Achieving higher levels of autonomy in uncertain, unstructured, and dynamic environments is critical for maritime situational awareness. Currently, many contributing elements such as decision engine technology and operator interfaces that would facilitate the desired level of autonomy exist as disparate elements yet to be integrated into a synergistic application. A variety of autonomous platform and sensor control approaches are under development. Multiple vessel classification and identification approaches are being pursued and fusion techniques are maturing to combine information to build knowledge of patterns of life and quickly identify abnormal or threatening behaviors. Key mission sets that the C2 approach should address run the gamut from participation in the Global War on Terrorism to conducting maritime security and interception operations and participating in numerous coalition operations. Increased autonomy changes the nature of operator involvement, creating significant new challenges in the areas of human-machine interaction. The Navy seeks autonomous platform and sensor systems command and control approaches that support intelligent decision-making and provide understandable and predictable behavior. Overall system architecture may leverage state-of-the-art C2 applications such as the Navy’s Minotaur Mission Processor as the basis to build in greater levels of autonomy.
PHASE I: Develop the system architecture and demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative C2 structure for autonomous operations. Provide a detailed description of the overall approach and an assessment of the underlying autonomous engine’s understandability and predictability. Develop a detailed architectural description clearly identifying all primary functional elements and the development required to sufficiently mature the approach. Prepare a software development and support plan that maximizes the flexibility of the application and its ability to be easily enhanced in the future. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop a prototype C2 application using the framework developed in Phase I. Demonstrate the capability in a representative operational airborne maritime surveillance environment.
PHASE III: Complete the development and testing of the application on a suitable Navy maritime surveillance platform. Transition the technology to the Navy as a software upgrade to its candidate maritime surveillance platforms. The application is generally applicable to multiple autonomous sensing systems for security, law enforcement, border protection, or exclusive economic zone monitoring.
1: Jain, A. K., Duin, R. P. W., and Mao, J. "Statistical Pattern Recognition: A Review". IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume: 22, Issue: 1, Jan 2000, pp. 4-3 DOI: 10.1109/3824819
2: Benavoli, A., Chisci, L., Farina, A., Immediata, S., Timmoneri, L., and Zappa, G. "Knowledge-based system for multi-target tracking in a littoral environment". IEEE Transaction on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, VOL. 42, NO. 3, November 200 DOI: 10.1109/TAES.200248193
3: Duda, R.O., Hart, P.E., and Stork, D.G. "Pattern Classification". New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001, pp. xx + 654
KEYWORDS: Autonomous Sensing; Command And Control; Maritime Surveillance; Unmanned Aircraft; Radar; Patterns Of Life
Scalable Technology for Manufacturing Large Composite Components Using Nanostructured Heaters
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Ground Sea, Materials
OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative approaches to manufacture large component aircraft structures using nanostructured heaters.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy is seeking an innovative aircraft manufacturing method to produce primary structures for future air platforms using nanostructured heaters. This approach should generate temperatures up to 500° Celsius (C) reliably and in a stable manner, sufficient to manufacture thermosets and thermoplastic parts. This innovative method should not require autoclave or oven cure. This approach will target aerospace-grade, carbon epoxy (C/Ep) laminate as its initial validation material. A principal cost driver in making quality composite parts is the need for an autoclave. An autoclave provides the temperature and pressure needed to fabricate parts made from the family of aerospace resins such as Carbon/Epoxy (C/Ep) and Carbon/BMI systems. While the autoclave cure remains the gold standard, it has limitations on part sizes and high costs associated with the process. For large parts, getting time in the autoclave is often the bottleneck. There has been sustained research in developing resin systems and fabrication processes that allow composites to be cured without pressure in a vacuum bag, but still in an oven. One aerospace manufacturer has estimated that out-of-autoclave processes can save it up to 50% of manufacturing costs of fuselage and nacelle components and be up to 40% quicker by eliminating idle time waiting for an autoclave [Ref 3]. Recent developments in nanostructured heaters show promise in producing temperatures as high as 500°C and can be used to produce high-quality parts. Such heaters can act as envelope heaters or can be embedded in lamina interfaces where, besides providing heat, these nanostructure heaters also aid in resin impregnation. Such systems have the potential of producing parts of autoclave quality without requiring an oven. Since no autoclave or oven is needed, these heaters have the potential of curing very large parts, with length dimensions exceeding 100 feet, which typically will not fit in an autoclave. While fabrication of such a large part is not required, it is expected that at the end of the program the scalability of the process to such dimensions will be demonstrated. Although not required, it is recommended that offerors work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
PHASE I: Develop the concept in the context of eventual demonstration of producing an airframe fuselage component. Demonstrate the feasibility of the approach for an aerospace grade C/Ep laminate by comparing the quality and mechanical properties of a nanoheater cured composite to a conventionally cured composite. Suggested standards are ASTM D2734 for porosity measurement, and ASTM D234, D3039, and D5379 for mechanical property testing. These tests are not mandatory and the offeror can propose the tests best suited for the proposed technology. Develop Phase II plans for producing prototype(s).
PHASE II: Build upon the results from Phase I, fabricate and test a prototype subcomponent representative of a fuselage panel or a control surface of a Naval air platform, such as a wing panel. The demonstration article should be at least 10 ft by 5 ft and have a contour representative of the part selected.
PHASE III: Transition the developed solution to an existing platform, conceivably in conjunction with the OEM, for potential cost savings. The secondary approach will be to transition the nanoheater curing technology to Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The cost pressures in commercial aviation are tighter than in military aviation. Commercial aviation is also leading the way in replacing metallic airframe structures with composites. Thus, the technology will be highly applicable to commercial aviation for reducing production costs.
1: Lee, J. et. Al. "Aligned carbon nanotube film enables thermally induced state transformations in layered polymeric materials." ACS Appl Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7(16), pp. 8900-890 doi:10.1021/acsami.5b01544
2: Nguyen, N, et. Al. "In Situ Curing and Out-of-Autoclave of Interply Carbon Fiber/Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper Hybrid Composites Using Electrical Current." Advanced Engineering Materials, 2016, 18 (11), pp. 1906-191 doi: 10.1002/adem.201600307
3: Derber, A. "Out of Autoclave, Into Production." MRO-Network.com. http://www.mro-network.com/manufacturing-distribution/out-autoclave-production
4: ASTM D2734-16, Standard Test Methods for Void Content of Reinforced Plastics, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org
5: ASTM D2344 / D2344M-16, Standard Test Method for Short-Beam Strength of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Their Laminates, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org
6: ASTM D3039 / D3039M-17, Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org
7: ASTM D5379 / D5379M-12, Standard Test Method for Shear Properties of Composite Materials by the V-Notched Beam Method, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org
KEYWORDS: Composite Fabrication; Out Of Autoclave; Out Of Oven; Large Composite Parts; Nanoheaters; Energy Efficient
Real-Time Validation of Machine Intelligence Controlling Unmanned Vehicle Autonomous Operations
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Info Systems, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop a machine intelligence system that provides real-time validation and trust in decisions made by unmanned vehicles implementing machine intelligence to control autonomous vehicles.
DESCRIPTION: If an operator was to control multiple autonomous vehicles operating in potentially different domains and executing mission goals from onboard machine intelligent systems, it is important that the operator be provided support in terms of validation that the unmanned vehicle machine intelligence is making the correct decisions regarding their autonomously generated mission parameters. As operators delegate more control to autonomous systems, the risk increases that the system might make an inappropriate decision, before that decision and resulting action is detected by the operator. Therefore, a high-fidelity decision aid is required to provide oversight to the operator that a complex system of multiple vehicles is operating correctly, safely, and within existing rules. In case of inappropriate actions, the operator should be provided recommended corrective actions with probabilities of success to mitigate/resolve issues. The operators must be assured that autonomously operating vehicles would adhere to applicable legal (e.g., rules of Law of Armed Conflicts) and ethical principles [Ref. 8] in the decision processes that are being made by autonomous vehicles. Because of the many, perhaps swarms of, autonomous vehicles that the operator must track, an intelligent process is necessary. This process must be able to observe ongoing autonomous operations and assure that decisions made are appropriate for the situation. The primary goals are to provide real-time validation of the ongoing autonomous operation, and through machine learning techniques establish and develop trust in the autonomously operating vehicle's decision-making process. The tool should alert the operator if the autonomous vehicle is taking inappropriate action, for example as an extremely rare case, readying itself to launch a weapon without operator concurrence/approval. The tool must validate and verify system performance while providing accurate and timely feedback, and ultimately increase operator trust in the autonomously operating system’s behavior.
PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a conceptual tool that meets the requirements in the Description. Produce prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Design and develop a prototype tool based on the Phase I concept and demonstrate the performance in a simulated environment. However, if feasible, a live demonstration would be preferred.
PHASE III: Refine and enhance the prototype tool resulting in a final product and demonstrate the capability in an operational setting. Transition the developed technology to appropriate systems such as the Department of the Navy Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO (U&W)) Common Control System (CCS). Companies such as Amazon are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for delivery of parcels would glean benefits from this proposed tool. As companies embed or increase autonomous behavior in the UAV operation, this tool will aid in validation and verification of the embedded autonomy, which in essence will build trust in the operation of the autonomously operating UAVs.
1: Finn, R.A. and Scheding, S.J. "Developments and Challenges for Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles." Intelligent Systems Reference Library, January 2010. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/R_Finn/publication/289726773_Developments_and_Challenges_for_Autonomous_Unmanned_Vehicles_A_Compendium/links/5800386c08aec3e477ead0fpdf?origin=publication_detail
2: Clare, A.S. Cummings, M.L., and Repenning, N.P. "Influencing Trust for Human-Automation Collaborative Scheduling of Multiple Unmanned Vehicles." Human Factors, Vol. 57, No. 7, November 2015, p. 1208, https://hal.pratt.duke.edu/sites/hal.pratt.duke.edu/files/u13/Influencing%20Trust%20for%20Human%E2%80%93Automation%20Collaborative%20Scheduling%20of%20Multiple%20Unmanned%20Vehicles.pdf
3: Kuipers, B. "How Can Robots Be Trustworthy?" Computer Science & Engineering, University of Michigan. http://qav.cs.ox.ac.uk/autonomy_morality_trust/img/KuipersMoralityTrustWorkshop1pdf
4: Hall, B.K. "Autonomous Weapons Systems Safety." National Defense University Press, Joint Force Quarterly 8 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/Article/1223911/autonomous-weapons-systems-safety/
5: Tucker, P. "The Air Force Doesn’t Know How to Test Its Future Robotic Wingmen." Defense One, Oct.20, 201 http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/10/military-unsure-how-test-future-autonomous-drones/132525/
6: Huang, S, et al. "Enabling Robots to Communicate their Objectives."11 Feb 201 arXiv:17003465 [cs.RO]. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1700346pdf
7: Pike, L., Stewart, D., and Van Enk, D. "Unmanned Autonomous Verification and Validation." Position Paper. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5405/e13e7d8fba11ca945e4faf9641e9f89769dpdf
8: Stansbury, R.S., Olds, J.L., and Coyle, E.J. "Ethical Concerns of Unmanned and Autonomous Systems in Engineering." 121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 15-18 June 201 https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/32/papers/8996/download
KEYWORDS: Autonomous Operation; Verification And Validation; Computational Trust; Machine Intelligence; Real-time; Unmanned Vehicle
Blending Classical Model-Based Target Classification and Identification Approaches with Data-Driven Artificial Intelligence
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Info Systems
OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative techniques that combine the robustness and explainability of model-based target identification and classification approaches with the potential to optimally establish feature vector coefficients using data-driven, deep-learning artificial-intelligence approaches.
DESCRIPTION: The most robust state-of-the-art target classification and identification approaches rely on expert knowledge and model driven principles to mimic the methods used by expert human operators in manual target classification and identification. These approaches rely on the identification of a set of target features that allow one target to be confidently separated from other, different targets. This STTR topic seeks to evolve from classification ranking systems based on a distance metric with pre-assigned feature weights to a more optimal classifier in which the selection of features and their weights are determined automatically from a statistical analysis of the collected feature vectors data for each sensor. Such an approach provides the rationale for feature selection and weighting as it is based on measured feature variance vector for each sensor. Furthermore, the statistical analysis of collected feature vectors enables the calculation of accurate matching confidence within the classifier. This provides the needed explainability to quantify to what extent the operator should trust the classification results. The efficacy of the approach should improve with the accumulation of operational data. Sensor systems to be considered are imaging radar, electro-optics, imaging infrared, and electronic support measures. Applications include maritime vessel and overland vehicle classification and identification.
PHASE I: Assess feasibility of incorporating deep-learning approaches into target classification and identification beginning with a statistical analysis to determine the relative importance of features derived from templates and progressing toward the determination of feature vectors from sensor data. Outline methods and determine feasibility of evolving from a traditional approach of matching measurements to pre-defined features and weights, incorporating data-driven, deep-learning approaches to determine feature vectors from field data. This would include the association of field feature measurements for each sensor with database templates, registration and statistical analysis of all sensor feature measurements, determination of relative importance of features derived from templates, and deep-learning methods for determination of feature vectors from field data. Finally, develop an architectural plan for in-flight, operator-assisted database augmentation. Develop prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Further mature Phase I-developed algorithms and architectures for integration into the target classification and identification application. Plan requirements for and conduct data collection to support algorithms and software testing.
PHASE III: Perform any required modifications to the algorithm and real-time code to be hosted in the transition Program of Record as desired by the Navy. Support modeling and simulation efforts as well as software integration, field testing, and performance analysis in the specific application. The application will need to adapt to the sensor capabilities and interfaces on the specific aircraft type. Ultimately, the goal is to correctly classify a ship to find naval class from amongst all of the combatants and non-combatants of the world. Non-naval vessels can be classified to general type. Maritime activities such as in the U.S. Coast Guard, shipping monitoring, and the Department of Homeland Security—any officials that have the need to know what ship traffic exists—can benefit from this technology. The basic core of the algorithms and fusion may apply to land-based commercial vehicle tracking as well.
1: Geng, J. et al. "Deep supervised and contractive neural network for SAR image classification". IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Volume 55, Issue 4, April 201 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7827114/
2: Mason, E., Yonel, B., and Yazici, B. "Deep learning for radar". Radar Conference (RadarConf) 2017 IEEE, pp. 1703-1708, 2017, ISSN 2375-5318, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7944481/
3: Nguyen, A. et al., "Deep neural networks are easily fooled: High confidence predictions for unrecognizable images". Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), IEEE, 201 http://www.evolvingai.org/files/DNNsEasilyFooled_cvpr1pdf
4: Zhang, L., Zhang, L., and Du, B. "Deep learning for remote sensing data: a technical tutorial on the state of the art". Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine IEEE, Vol. 4, pp. 22-40, 2016, ISSN 2168-683 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7486259/
KEYWORDS: Artificial Intelligence; Deep Learning; Data Driven; Expert System; Maritime Classification; Radar
Algorithm Development for Assessment of Energetic Materials under Vibration Exposure
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Platforms, Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a physics-based algorithm for assessment of energetic material wear, failure, and decomposition while under vibration exposure for use in compressing service life vibration phenomena into an equivalent laboratory test.
DESCRIPTION: Vibration-induced stress and associated wear accumulation over time, as a result of the platform carriage environment, is one of the reasons weapon systems can fail to perform their intended function. In terms of evaluating the effects of the service-use vibration environment on weapon systems, it is preferable to conduct laboratory vibration testing in real-time to most effectively assess exposure consequences. However, in most instances, real-time testing cannot be justified based on cost and/or schedule constraints; therefore, it is common practice to compress the service life vibration environment into an equivalent laboratory test. For vibration environments, which vary in severity throughout the service life of the weapon, the duration of the laboratory test environment can be reduced by scaling the less severe segments of the service use vibration environment to the maximum levels of the service use environment through use of an acceptable algorithm. If metal fatigue is a significant potential failure criterion for the weapon system within its service use environment, laboratory testing of the weapon system using maximum service use vibration levels to compress test times is an acceptable practice within strict limits; namely, test amplitudes should not be over-exaggerated / accelerated merely to achieve short test durations. Excessive laboratory test amplitudes may lead to unrepresentative failures, and create extreme design requirements rather than designing to actual in-service conditions, resulting in additional program cost or even program failure. The most commonly used method for calculating a reduction in laboratory vibration test duration is the Miner Palmgren hypothesis which uses a fatigue-based power law relationship to relate exposure time and amplitude. The Miner Palmgren algorithm is based on metal fatigue only and does not support assessment of weapon system energetic materials (e.g., warhead explosives and rocket motor propellants). Because a laboratory vibration test compression algorithm does not exist for energetic material, current practice within industry and the DoD is to assess energetic materials under laboratory vibration test conditions using the Miner Palmgren algorithm. It is well understood by the energetic technical area expert (TAE) community that use of the Miner Palmgren algorithm is highly insufficient for energetic assessment of vibration exposure, and could result in erroneous service use suitability decisions leading to loss of life and equipment and failure to accomplish mission objectives.
PHASE I: Design, develop, and demonstrate feasibility of a physics-based algorithm for assessment of energetic material wear, failure, and decomposition while under vibration exposure for use in compressing service life vibration phenomena into an equivalent laboratory test. Conduct a feasibility assessment that will include identification and characterization of energetic material properties required for input to the algorithm. Sample materials will be available to Phase I awardees. Develop prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
PHASE II: Based upon the results of Phase I, develop a prototype algorithm and validate its capability through analytical and experimental demonstrations. Analyses and experimental results should predict and validate wear, failure, and decomposition failure modes.
PHASE III: Conduct a full-scale vibration test on a tactical weapon energetic system such as a warhead or rocket motor. Conduct testing in at least two separate case scenarios: e.g., one test case will introduce an induced failure mode that can be progressively tracked and validated throughout testing; one test case will demonstrate successful energetic service life for a given lifecycle of vibration exposure. Transition the final product to appropriate users. The technology developed will benefit the private sector in terms of energetic concerns for space launch vehicles as well as contractor weapon system development and evaluation.
1: Environmental Engineering Considerations And Laboratory Tests, MIL-STD-810G w/change1, 15 April, 201 www.atec.army.mil/publications
2: Hazard Assessment Tests For Non-Nuclear Munitions, MIL-STD-2105D, 19 April 201 http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-2000-2999/MIL-STD-2105D_34120/
KEYWORDS: Accelerated Vibration Testing; Vibration Induced Damage; Energetic Wear, Failure, And Decomposition; Miner Palmgren Hypothesis; Energetic Material Properties; Physics-Based Algorithm
Human-Machine Teaming with Machine Learning Algorithms
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems, Sensors, Human Systems
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop an innovative human-machine teaming (HMT) methods in conjunction with machine learning algorithms.
DESCRIPTION: Significant research and development has been applied to machine learning algorithms to perform tasks such as target detect, track, identification, and characterization. Characterization could include activities or intent of the target. The hypothesis is that automating these processes will improve the efficiency of human intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) analysts that were previously performing these tasks through manual processes. A critical capability need is to develop innovative HMT methods and a test bed capable of analyzing the HMT aspects for this problem. Studies should include trust based analysis. This effort is not aimed at the advancement of the machine learning algorithms unless these advancements directly impact the HMT capability. In the case of ISR analysts, automation could assist in both real-time and forensic workflows. While the automation of repeatable human tasks has been demonstrated to improve efficiency in many practical applications, there are several challenges that must be overcome before trust in the automation is accepted. Simply replicating the task as performed by the human may not ensure improvement in efficiency. Algorithms often fail to provide the same accuracy and precision obtained by a human, but can provide a less accurate solution at a faster rate; leading to the need for innovative approaches to the HMT aspect. The development of these approaches requires interaction with a fully functional form of the algorithms. Furthermore, the algorithms must be tested at a wide range of accuracy and precision to capture variations in operating conditions that occur in operational environments.
PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to design protocols for executing HMT studies and develop a prototype test bed. These protocols should include salient metrics for both quantitative and subjective analysis of the HMT studies. The primary deliverable will be a final report that will include hardware and software designs as appropriate. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.
PHASE II: Further develop, install, and demonstrate an enhanced prototype test bed determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study. The prototype test bed will demonstrate novel HMT approaches. Labeled target Full Motion Video (FMV) data will be provided by the Government. While the initial prototype test bed is expected to work with FMV data, the capability being developed must be extensible to a broad range ISR data types. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Analyst Test Bed (ATB) is a hardware/software environment that enables assessment of tools and processes specific to ISR analysts and located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This AFRL facility may be utilized to support this research effort.
PHASE III: In Phase III, the prototype system will be matured and finalized. A technology transition plan will be developed for consideration by USSOCOM program managers. Commercialization applications include other Government agencies and commercial sectors relying on automation of analysts processes.
1: Redmon, Joseph, and Ali Farhadi. "YOLO9000: better, faster, stronger." arXiv preprint arXiv:16108242 (2016) and Girshick, Ross. "Fast r-cnn." In Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on computer vision, pp. 1440-144 2015
2: Kosiorek, Adam R., Alex Bewley, and Ingmar Posner. "Hierarchical Attentive Recurrent Tracking." arXiv preprint arXiv:17009262 (2017)
3: Li, Wei, Rui Zhao, Tong Xiao, and Xiaogang Wang. "Deepreid: Deep filter pairing neural network for person re-identification." In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 152-15 2014
4: Ahmed, Ejaz, Michael Jones, and Tim K. Marks. "An improved deep learning architecture for person re-identification." In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 3908-391 2015
KEYWORDS: Human-machine Teaming, Machine Learning, Analyst Workflows, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, ISR
SOCOM Program Manager