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OBJECTIVE: Develop a lateral support system that is remotely operable, maintains launcher alignment, protects a launcher and payload from shock and vibration inputs while it is stowed within a missile tube environment, and is able to actively adjust to and react to a dynamic shock and vibration setting. DESCRIPTION: Currently, lateral support between the launch canister and the missile tube is provided by twelve hydraulic-actuated jacking foot assemblies that sit on studs mounted in the launch canister. Each jacking foot is approximately 8 inches high by 12 inches wide and contoured to generally match missile tube curvature. A neoprene pad is bonded to each jacking foot to prevent metal-to-metal contact and provide flexibility between the shoe and missile tube wall. The purpose of the jacking feet is to provide lateral support to the launch canister within the missile tube for depth changes and shock. The design and location of the lateral support system are a function of the missile geometry and weight distribution and provide no ability to accommodate changes in payload configuration. The current lateral support system is also a static system that cannot be accessed or adjusted with the launch canister in place. A significant effort is required to remove and repair current components and potentially destroys launcher components during removal. The large mechanical components also use up valuable tube space that could be otherwise mission-utilized. The deployment of a new or upgraded missile will require changes to the current fixed lateral support systems. The jacking feet and pads could be replaced with advanced materials or components that can be tuned and adapted by a control system that would allow varying payloads in a configured tube without labor intensive and consumptive removal and install operations. PHASE I: Develop operational scenarios and define parameters for payload flexibility and missile tube reconfiguration Develop concepts and perform trade studies and conduct analysis (e.g., Modeling & Simulation) Identify possible materials, components, and system design Perform full scale analysis of lateral support concept against defined shock and vibration scenarios. PHASE II: Perform component and subscale testing (i.e., shock, vibration, age-life testing) with scaled payload Perform full scale testing with representative payload Develop control system for integration with ship/fire control PHASE III: Transition concepts and technologies developed in Phase II to applicable launcher program(s) / area(s). Following the transition to launcher programs, work with the Launcher Branch to demonstrate a near tactical lateral support system"s functionality in conjunction with a representative payload shape in a simulated or relevant payload environment. The near tactical eject system needs to demonstrate the ability to protect the payload during a shock or vibration event and to adapt to alternate payloads. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The lateral support technology is applicable for multiple commercial applications requiring shock and vibration protection. For example, a support system using magneto-rheological materials has been applied in the automotive industry such that the technology reduces shock and vibration inputs into the car resulting from rough road conditions. REFERENCES: 1. Regelbrugge, Marc E.; Carrier, Alain C.; Dickson, William D.; (1995) Canceling vibrations with smart materials: a case study. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, v 2447, p 80-90, 1995 2. Song, G., Sethi, V., Li, H.-N.; (2004). Vibration control of civil structures using piezoceramic smart materials: A review; Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston. 3., Smart Materials: Emerging Markets for Intelligent Gels; Ceramics; Alloys and Polymers (Technical Insights)
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