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Corrosion Protection of High-Value Test & Evaluation Assets


OBJECTIVE: This research and development effort is to provide significant enhancement to the corrosion protection of high-value missile defense test & evaluation facilities, equipment and components. DESCRIPTION: Missile defense test programs require the placement and utilization of test assets at remote austere facilities. Research and development in improved methods for extended-life corrosion protection in highly aggressive environments is needed. Interested firms are encouraged to employ substantial latitude in proposing advanced material concepts and processing techniques that can be applied to meet these needs. Resulting enabling materials and process technologies should be readily adaptable to commercial applications, providing for dual-use applicability. Technical areas of interest include, but are not limited to: 1) Surface Preparation of Existing Metallic Structures: Advances in coating technologies such as Metal Wire Arc Spray [1] and Self-Priming Topcoats [2] are very innovative, however these technologies still require extensive and difficult substrate surface preparation prior to topcoating. Novel and innovative approaches are sought to provide rapid and robust surface preparation solutions [3] for large metallic structures (radars, transporters, erectors, launch stands and other support facilities) exposed to marine environments. These proposed solutions must ensure that the substrate surface is properly prepared to accept advanced coating systems and technologies and maintain maximum topcoat performance over the life of the coating system. 2) Galvanic Protection Systems for Large Metallic Structures: Impressed current systems and sacrificial anodes have been used extensively in the pipeline industry and for large fuel and water storage tanks for many years. This same technology could prove useful for metallic structures exposed to harsh marine environments. Innovative approaches to adapting both passive [4] and active [5] galvanic protection for BMDS metallic structures could prove useful in reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of MDA assets. 3) Fiber Reinforced Composites for Structural Applications: The use of fiber-reinforced composites has found their usefulness in many applications [6]. The strength-to-weight ratio and the corrosion resistivity of composites make them attractive for large structural applications. The Missile Defense Agency employs the use of transporters, erectors and launch stands in harsh marine environments. A need exists to investigate the viability of using composite technology to supplement and/or reduce the use of structural steel in this environment. Proposals addressing the design of new components as replacements for existing structural components should also address the problems associated with bonding composites to metals and the fire-resistive properties of these structural members. 4) Removing of Corrosion-Inducing Atmospheric Particulates from Interior Spaces: Corrosion in interior spaces due to the deposition of atmospheric salts is very problematic. Innovative solutions are sought for removing corrosion-inducing atmospheric particulates (e.g. chlorides and sulfides) in the interior spaces of the facilities housing BMDS assets. PHASE I: Conduct experimental and/or analytical efforts to demonstrate proof-of-principle of proposed technology. Investigations shall consider the viability, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of solutions to reduce and mitigate the effects of corrosion on large metallic structures. If applicable, produce test coupons of materials and measure relevant properties. Assess fabrication cost and impacts on service methods, safety, reliability, sustainability, and efficiency. PHASE II: Based on the results and findings of Phase I, demonstrate the technology by developing a prototype in a representative environment. Demonstrate feasibility and engineering scale up of proposed technology as well as identify and address technological hurdles. Demonstrate the system"s viability and superiority under a wide variety of conditions typical of both normal and extreme operating conditions. Identify and assess commercial applications of the technology. PHASE III: Successfully demonstrate direct applicability or near-term application of technology in one or more ballistic missile defense element systems, subsystems, or components. Demonstration should be in a real system or operational in a system level test-bed. This demonstration should also verify the potential for enhancement of quality, reliability, performance, and reduction of total ownership cost of the proposed subject. Commercialization pathways should be identified for both military and civilian applications. DUAL USE/COMMERCIALIZATION POTENTIAL: Equally important to military utility is the transferability of proposed technologies to corrosion protection in aerospace, automotive, and industrial uses. The proposed technology should benefit commercial and defense systems through cost reduction as well as improved reliability and sustainment. As enabling technologies, it is anticipated that commercial and industrial transferability and applicability of such technologies will be high.
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