OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Microelectronics
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 topic seeks to develop a software platform that facilitates the delivery of Technical Data Packages (TDPs) with the necessary Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), including inspection and machine controller data, using neutral data exchange standards to provide a complete as-built assembly model. The envisioned platform will provide traceability throughout the manufacturing process (from design through final inspection), while maintaining a linked single fit-for-purpose Authoritative Source of Truth (ASoT) geometric model. The underlying models are expected to be agnostic of commercial computer-aided engineering platforms; i.e., the models should leverage open data formats.
DESCRIPTION: The Department of Air Force (DAF) is exploring new capabilities for obtaining accurate digital representations of their acquired weapon systems. In the current DAF acquisition practice, idealized computer-aided design (CAD) models are shared as part of the required technical data package (TDP) delivery. However, as with the complexity of any DAF asset, an “as-designed” model of an aircraft will not match the delivered physical asset. In other words, sustainment depots, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and other stakeholders, cannot rely on geometry and topology values defined in as-designed models for operational and sustainment activities. In short, geometric deviations naturally occurring across a distributed production system significantly impact overall acquisition costs, including assembly challenges, component re-work, and significant human labor. This goal of this effort is to demonstrate the utility of emerging industrial data standards for (1) efficiently curating manufacturing data from machine controllers and inspection activities, (2) exporting native as-designed or CAD models into a neutral, open data representation will limited loss of information, and (3) spatially relating the aforementioned manufacturing data and other relevant Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) to the as-designed model. Outcome of this effort will produce an as-built model per aircraft tail number that could be used as a more indicative TDP for DAF stakeholders. The effort is expected to leverage existing DAF partnerships with OEMs that own the native CAD models. End of effort should also provide the Air Force with a “template” that could be used across other DAF acquisitions.
PHASE I: This topic is intended for technology proven ready to move directly into Phase II. Therefore, a Phase I award is not required. The applicant is required to provide detail and documentation in the Direct to Phase II proposal which demonstrates accomplishment of a “Phase I-type” effort, including a feasibility study. The applicant should have defined a clear, immediately actionable plan with the proposed solution and the AF customer. Phase I type efforts include conceptualizing a data model that systematically links open data standards to realize an as-built model with PMI, such as dimensional data. Phase I type efforts would also include reporting on the readiness of the DAF partners, such as aircraft OEMs, in producing well-constructed neutral, open as-designed models.
PHASE II: Eligibility for a Direct to Phase Two (D2P2) is predicated on the applicant having performed a “Phase I-like” effort predominantly separate from the SBIR Programs. Under the Phase II effort, the applicant shall sufficiently develop the technical approach via a demonstration in a small number of use cases and appropriate documentation. Identification of manufacturing/production issues and or business model modifications required to further improve product or process relevance to improved sustainment costs, availability, or safety, should be documented. These Phase II awards are intended to provide a path to commercialization, not the final step for the proposed solution.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: A Phase III or Phase II enhancement should include upgrades to the software platform, further test and evaluation results, and provide delivery of system concepts. Phase III could also include additional model healing and other related efforts on OEM-specific data. Delivery of a field ready system for deployment for testing purposes is desired, as well as a high technology readiness, enabling further procurement.
- AFRL-2022-5873 [08 DEC 2022];
- International Journal of Production Research: Defining requirements for integrating information between design, manufacturing, and inspection [2022, VOL. 60, NO. 11, 3339–3359]
KEYWORDS: Technical Data Package; As-Built Digital Twin; Quality Informaiton Framework; Neutral Engineering Data Exchange Standards