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Commercial Technologies for EMP Hardening and Electrical System Protection

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Microelectronics;Trusted AI and Autonomy;Advanced Computing and Software;Directed Energy (DE);Integrated Network System-of-Systems;Space Technology The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: The end state of this effort is to create a robust and resilient nation that is well-prepared to face EMP threats, protecting its citizens, critical infrastructure, and military capabilities. AFGSC is interested in commercial solutions that address the following five key areas: 1. Advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies 2. Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure and including EMP protected Power and HVAC systems remain operable and ensure equipment maintains a certain temperature for optimal function 3. Rapid detection and monitoring of EMP events 4. EMP-protected communication networks and data centers 5. EMP risk assessment and mitigation strategies The successful completion and integration of the projects would lead to the following outcomes: Enhanced EMP protection: Electronic systems and infrastructure across various sectors would be equipped with advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies, minimizing the potential damage from E1, E2, and E3 EMP components. Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure: The energy infrastructure would be designed and maintained to withstand the effects of EMP events, ensuring uninterrupted power supply and preventing widespread blackouts during EMP incidents. Rapid response capabilities: Advanced sensors and monitoring systems would enable prompt detection and assessment of EMP events, allowing for swift decision-making and coordinated responses to minimize the impact on national security, public safety, and critical infrastructure. Secure communication networks and data centers: EMP-protected communication networks and data centers would ensure the continuity of essential services and military operations during and after an EMP event, reducing the risk of communication disruptions and data loss. Proactive risk management: Advanced tools and methodologies for assessing and mitigating EMP risks would be widely adopted, enabling stakeholders across various sectors to make informed decisions on resource allocation, policy-making, and emergency response planning. DESCRIPTION: AFGSC is interested in commercial solutions that address one or more of the following five key areas: 1. Advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies 2. Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure 3. Rapid detection and monitoring of EMP events 4. EMP-protected communication networks and data centers 5. EMP risk assessment and mitigation strategies Advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies: Topic Description: This research area focuses on the development of innovative materials, methods, and designs to protect electronic systems and infrastructure from the effects of EMP events. Key objectives include identifying and developing new materials with exceptional EMP shielding properties, exploring active shielding systems, and investigating fault-tolerant designs and redundant systems. Examples: a. Research and development of new materials, such as nanocomposites and metamaterials, that demonstrate exceptional EMP shielding properties and can be integrated into electronic devices and infrastructure. b. Exploration of innovative shielding techniques, such as active shielding systems that can detect and neutralize incoming EMP threats. c. Investigation of advanced hardening methods, including fault-tolerant designs and redundant systems, to minimize the impact of EMP events on critical electronic components and infrastructure. d. Collaboration with industry and academia to accelerate the transition of cutting-edge research findings into practical applications and commercial products. Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure: Topic Description: This research area aims to improve the resilience and reliability of the power grid and energy infrastructure against EMP threats. Research efforts should focus on advanced transformer designs, novel energy storage solutions, adaptive control systems, and best practices for power grid operators and utility companies. Examples: a. Design and development of advanced transformer designs that are resistant to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) and can maintain their functionality during and after EMP events. b. Research and implementation of novel energy storage solutions, such as grid-scale batteries and supercapacitors, to ensure uninterrupted power supply during EMP incidents. c. Investigation of advanced control systems and strategies that can automatically detect and respond to EMP threats, minimizing the impact on the power grid and energy infrastructure. d. Development of best practices and guidelines for power grid operators and utility companies to enhance their preparedness for EMP events. Rapid detection and monitoring of EMP events: Topic Description: This research area seeks to develop advanced sensors, monitoring systems, and data analytics techniques for the rapid detection, assessment, and response to EMP events. Key objectives include designing highly sensitive sensors, creating real-time data processing algorithms, integrating sensor networks into a centralized platform, and developing early warning systems. Examples: a. Development of highly sensitive sensors and monitoring systems capable of detecting and measuring the characteristics of EMP events in real-time. b. Creation of advanced data analytics techniques and algorithms to process and analyze large volumes of sensor data, providing accurate and actionable information for decision-makers. c. Integration of sensor networks and monitoring systems into a centralized platform, allowing for real-time situational awareness and coordinated response during EMP incidents. EMP-protected communication networks and data centers: Topic Description: This research area focuses on the design and implementation of EMP-protected communication networks and data centers, ensuring the continuity of essential services and military operations during and after EMP events. Research efforts should explore novel communication protocols, architectures, and hardening techniques for existing and emerging communication technologies. Examples: a. Research and development of novel communication protocols and architectures that are inherently resilient to EMP threats. b. Design and implementation of EMP hardening techniques for existing communication networks and data centers, including shielding, grounding, and redundancy measures. c. Investigation of emerging technologies, such as quantum communication and satellite-based systems, that can potentially enhance the resilience of communication networks against EMP events. d. Development of best practices and guidelines for communication service providers and data center operators to enhance their preparedness for EMP incidents. e. Collaboration with international partners to share knowledge and expertise in building EMP-protected communication networks and data centers. EMP risk assessment and mitigation strategies: Topic Description: This research area aims to develop advanced tools, methodologies, and strategies for assessing and mitigating EMP risks across various sectors and critical infrastructure. Key objectives include creating modeling and simulation tools and designing cost-effective and scalable mitigation strategies. Examples: a. Creation of advanced modeling and simulation tools to evaluate the potential impact of EMP events on various sectors and critical infrastructure. b. Development of cost-effective and scalable mitigation strategies that can be implemented across different industries and sectors. c. Design and implementation of training and education programs to raise awareness about EMP risks and promote a culture of preparedness among stakeholders. PHASE I: Key Area 1: Advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies Objectives: Determine the feasibility of novel EMP shielding materials and hardening techniques, identify potential materials and methods, and conduct initial laboratory tests. Expectations: Develop preliminary material properties, design guidelines, and selection criteria for promising materials and techniques, such as nanocomposites, metamaterials, and active shielding systems. Key Area 2: Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure Objectives: Assess the feasibility of advanced transformer designs, energy storage solutions, and adaptive control systems for enhancing power grid resilience against EMP threats. Expectations: Establish design concepts, performance benchmarks, and initial use cases for promising solutions. Key Area 3: Rapid detection and monitoring of EMP events Objectives: Explore the feasibility of advanced sensors, monitoring systems, and data analytics techniques for rapid detection, assessment, and response to EMP events. Expectations: Develop initial sensor designs, monitoring system architectures, and data processing algorithms; identify potential use cases for establishing feasibility. Key Area 4:EMP-protected communication networks and data centers Objectives: Assess the feasibility of novel communication protocols, architectures, and hardening techniques for enhancing the resilience of communication networks and data centers against EMP events. Expectations: Establish design concepts, performance benchmarks, and initial use cases for promising solutions. Key Area 5: EMP risk assessment and mitigation strategies Objectives: Evaluate the feasibility of advanced tools, methodologies, and strategies for assessing and mitigating EMP risks across various sectors and critical infrastructure. Expectations: Develop initial concepts for modeling and simulation tools, mitigation strategies, and training and education programs; identify potential use cases for establishing feasibility. PHASE II: Phase 2 Key Area 1:Advanced EMP shielding and hardening technologies Objectives: Further develop and optimize selected materials and techniques, design and fabricate prototypes, and perform rigorous testing to evaluate performance. Expectations: Deliver functional prototypes demonstrating effective EMP shielding and hardening, establish operating parameters, and develop testing requirements and success criteria. Key Area 2: Resilient power grid and energy infrastructure Objectives:Develop and optimize the selected designs and solutions, create prototypes, and conduct comprehensive testing to evaluate performance and reliability. Expectations: Deliver prototypes of advanced transformers, energy storage systems, and control systems; define operating parameters, testing requirements, and success criteria. Key Area 3: Rapid detection and monitoring of EMP events Objectives: Further develop and optimize selected sensors, monitoring systems, and data analytics techniques; design and fabricate prototypes; and perform extensive testing. Expectations: Deliver functional prototypes demonstrating real-time detection and monitoring capabilities; establish operating parameters, testing requirements, and success criteria. Key Area 4: EMP-protected communication networks and data centers Objectives: Develop and optimize the selected protocols, architectures, and techniques; create prototypes; and conduct comprehensive testing to evaluate performance and reliability. Expectations: Deliver prototypes of EMP-protected communication networks and data centers; define operating parameters, testing requirements, and success criteria. Key Area 5: EMP risk assessment and mitigation strategies Objectives: Further develop and optimize selected tools, methodologies, and strategies; create prototypes or pilot programs; and perform extensive testing and evaluation. Expectation: Deliver functional prototypes of modeling and simulation tools, implement pilot mitigation strategies, and design comprehensive training and education programs; establish testing requirements and success criteria. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III / Dual-Use Objectives: Transition the developed technology into commercial and government applications, refine and scale up production, and pursue certification and standardization. Expected TRL at Phase III entry: 6-7 Transition planning: Obtain necessary government approvals, collaborate with relevant stakeholders, and identify additional government and commercial opportunities for technology adoption. REFERENCES: 1. Glasstone, S., & Dolan, P. J. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons; 2. United States Department of Defense and the Energy Research and Development Administration; 3. NATO Standardization Agency. AECTP 250 - Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Requirementsfor Systems; 4. Radasky, W. A., & Wik, M. W. The Early-Time (E1) High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid. Metatech Corporation; 5. Kappenman, J. G. Geomagnetic Storms and Their Impacts on the U.S. Power Grid. Metatech Corporation. KEYWORDS: EMP; shielding; hardening; technologies; materials; active shielding; fault-tolerant; nanocomposites; metamaterials; power grid; energy infrastructure; transformers; energy storage; control systems; resilience; reliability; grid-scale batteries; supercapacitors; geomagnetically induced currents (GICs)
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