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Advanced Enabling High-Speed Technologies

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Hypersonics

 

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: Delivering combat power and lethality in a conflict requires responsiveness, intensity and the ability to deliver munitions at range.  Historically only two of these criteria could be accomplished with a high degree of execution, with the third being sacrificed due to physical constraints of the delivery system architecture.  A paradigm shift in high-speed systems technology could close this gap, thus making all three achievable.

 

DESCRIPTION: This Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) topic is seeking technologies related to the recent advances in additive manufacturing techniques, materials, propulsion combined cycles and hot structures.  

 

Additionally, cryogenic fuel combinations often provide the high thrust to weight and specific impulse needed to achieve high change in velocities (delta V), but are not readily available and require exotic storage and handling requirement.  Design and development of propulsion solutions which exploit high density, storable and rapidly loadable propellants are sought.    

 

Finally, operational systems and subcomponents that operate in these high-speed environments are subject to unknown or unpredictable conditions that current state of the art computational fluid dynamic or other models cannot simulate or predict performance.  Advancements in the understanding and characterization of novel fluid dynamics which enhance propulsion performance are also desired.   

Performers will explore novel approaches and develop prototypes that ultimately demonstrate, in whole or part, appreciable increases in thrust to weight, fuel efficiencies (Isp) and propellant mass fractions over the current state of the art high-speed technologies

 

PHASE I: This topic is soliciting Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals only. Therefore, Phase I proposals will not be accepted or reviewed. Phase I feasibility will be demonstrated through evidence of: a completed feasibility study or a basic prototype system; definition and characterization of properties desirable for both Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian use; and comparisons with alternative state-of-the-art methodologies (competing approaches). This includes determining, insofar as possible, the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of ideas appearing to have application to the core objective of achieving coherence between a cooperating set of commodity devices. Proposers interested in submitting a DP2 proposal must provide documentation to substantiate that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility described above have been met and describe the potential military or commercial applications. DP2 documentation should include:

•           technical reports describing results and conclusions of existing work, particularly regarding the commercial opportunity or DoD insertion opportunity, and risks/mitigations, assessments;

•           presentation materials and/or white papers;

•           technical papers;

•           test and measurement data;

•           prototype designs/models;

•           performance projections, goals, or results in different use cases 

This collection of material will verify mastery of the required content for DP2 consideration. DP2 proposers must also demonstrate knowledge, skills, and ability in computer science, mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, and software engineering. For detailed information on DP2 requirements and eligibility, please refer to the DoD BAA and the DARPA Instructions for this topic.

 

PHASE II: The goal of the Advanced High-Speed Enabling Technologies topic area is to design and evaluate enabling technologies at the system and subsystem level, as well as advance the state of the art in modeling and simulation, and performance evaluation and prediction tools that aid in robust design. Proposals for physical hardware should include development, installation, integration, demonstration and/or test and evaluation of the proposed prototype system. Proposals for software or advanced tool development should include a development approach anchored in the physics of the problem as well as ways to validate the software against existing test data or accompanied with a plan to test relevant hardware and collect the needed date. 

 

Phase II will culminate in a system demonstration using one or more compelling use cases consistent with commercial opportunities, DOD opportunities, and/or insertion into a DARPA program.  

The Phase II effort consists of a Phase II base of 12 months and a Phase II option of 12 months.

 

Phase II fixed payable milestones for this program should include:

•           Month 1: Phase II Kickoff briefing (with annotated slides) to the DARPA Program Manager (PM) (in person or virtual, as needed) including: any updates to the proposed plan and technical approach, risks/mitigations, schedule (inclusive of dependencies) with planned capability milestones and deliverables, proposed metrics, and plan for prototype demonstration/validation.

•           Months 3, 5, 7: Technical progress reports detailing technical progress made, tasks accomplished, major risks/mitigations, a technical plan for the remainder of Phase II (while this will normally report progress against the plan detailed in the proposal or presented at the Kickoff briefing, it is understood that scientific discoveries, competition, and regulatory changes may all have impacts on the planned work and DARPA must be made aware of any revisions that result), planned activities, trip summaries, and any potential issues or problem areas that require the attention of the DARPA PM.

•           Month 9: Interim technical progress briefing (live system demo with annotated slides) to the DARPA PM (in-person or virtual as needed) detailing progress made (include quantitative assessment of capability developed to date), tasks accomplished, major risks/mitigations, planned activities, and technical plan for the remainder of Phase II, the demonstration/verification plan for the end of Phase II, trip summaries, and any potential issues or problem areas that require the attention of the DARPA PM. 

•           Month 12: Quarterly technical progress reports detailing technical progress made, tasks accomplished, major risks/mitigations, a technical plan for the remainder of Phase II Base Period (with necessary updates as in the parenthetical remark for Months 3, 5, and 7), planned activities, trip summaries, and any potential issues or problem areas that require the attention of the DARPA PM.

•           Month 15, 18, 21 (Option Period): Quarterly technical progress reports detailing technical progress made, tasks accomplished, major risks/mitigations, a technical plan for the remainder of Phase II Option Period (with necessary updates as in the parenthetical remark for Months 9 and 12), planned activities, trip summaries, and any potential issues or problem areas that require the attention of the DARPA PM.

•           Month 24: Final architecture demonstration and testing with documented details of the system or subsystem components being developed under the effort.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III Dual use applications (Commercial DoD/Military): Phase III work will be oriented towards transition and commercialization of the developed Advance Enabling High Speed Technologies. The proposer is required to obtain funding from either the private sector, a non-SBIR Government source, or both, to develop the prototype software into a viable product or non-R&D service for sale in military or private sector markets. Phase III refers to work that derives from, extends, or completes an effort made under prior SBIR funding agreements, but is funded by sources other than the SBIR Program. 

 

Primary Advance Enabling High Speed Technologies support will be to national efforts in both commercial and military applications for novel propulsion technology applications in manned or unmanned air and space platforms. Such technology can be used for commercial transportation (point to point), high speed delivery of critical materials and supplies, and providing responsiveness to highly fluidic environments.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. H.D. Perkins, D.E. Paxson, “Summary of Pressure Gain Combustion Research at NASA”, NASA/TM—2018-219874, April 2018
  2. P. Wolanski, “RDE research and development in Poland”, ShockWaves (2021) 31:623–636, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-021-01038-2
  3. B. Blakey-Milner, P. Gradl, G. Snedden, M. Brooks, J. Pitot, E. Lopez, M. Leary, F. Berto, A. du Plessis, “Metal additive manufacturing in aerospace: A review”, Materials & Design, Volume 209, 1 November 2021.

KEYWORDS: Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC), Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE), additive manufacturing, materials and hot structures

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