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Electromagnetic Hardened Composite Enclosures for Aircraft Systems


OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of this topic is to demonstrate transitionable composite based enclosures suitable for protecting sensitive electronics from harsh electromagnetic environments such as High Power Microwave and Electromagnetic Pulse. DESCRIPTION: The traditional solution to electromagnetically hardening aircraft avionics (flight surface control hardware) enclosures, as well as sensitive electronics such as communication racks is to build heavy steel or aluminum boxes upwards of an inch thick, in which the electronics hardware is mounted. This adds excessive weight to the aircraft, reducing fuel efficiency / payload capacity; adds additional mechanical loads to the airframe resulting in increase structural maintenance or structural modifications. Composite based materials offer a lightweight and affordable opportunity to address the current electromagnetic environments experienced by aircraft as well as designing in protection for emerging requirements such as High Power Microwave (HPM) and Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) protection which has typically been waivered from programs due to cost and weight constraints of current metal solutions. This effort endeavors to produce affordable, corrosion immune, transitionable material technologies and hardware enclosures that demonstrate a significant advance in the state of the art in electromagnetic shielding. The enclosures shall demonstrate a 50 to 70 percent weight savings over traditional metal enclosures, demonstrate mechanical robustness to withstand traditional vibration and weight loads associated with standard flight profiles given the weight distribution of electronics placed within them. The enclosures shall meet or exceed applicable MIL-STD-461 , MIL-STD-464, MIL-STD-2169B requirements. Technology developed must be compatible with standard manufacturing practices in order to be considered affordable and transitionable. Examples of standard manufacturing practices are (but are not limited to) compression molding, injection molding, autoclave manufacturing, and emerging out of autoclave techniques currently used in industry. Technologies developed should be pervasive and meet broad hardening requirements as well as be scalable to manufacturing of both small and large enclosures. A secondary technical consideration is thermal management of the electronics in the enclosure. Technologies demonstrated should address passive methods for heat removal from electronic components they contain; the use of liquid cooling is not acceptable. This effort will inherently be ITAR restricted in both the Phase I and Phase II efforts. The Phase II effort will require a facility clearance. Awards resulting from this topic will have security / ITAR flow down requirements to subcontractors and universities in both the Phase I and Phase II efforts. PHASE I: The phase I activity will consist of demonstrating electromagnetic performance relative to metal analogs. Deliverables for the Phase I shall include a technical report detailing the technology developed and how it specifically addressed the goals defined in the description, a prototype demonstration showing proof of feasibility such as an enclosure roughly 12x24x6 inches in size. PHASE II: Phase II shall mature the technology from the phase one and in addition demonstrate the full mechanical, thermal and manufacturing scalability required to meet the goals defined in the description. Deliverables include quarterly progress reporting, full size, form, fit, function enclosures designed to specifications to be provided at the time of the Phase II award. PHASE III: Industry partnership and transition of the technology for dual use in domestic commercial air and/or automotive systems as well as DOD platforms is to be accomplished. REFERENCES: 1. http://web 2. 3.
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