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TECHNOLOGY TO FACILITATE MONITORING FOR NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS

Description:

The Ground-based Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Research and Development (GNEM R&D) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administrations Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (DNN R&D). This program is responsible for the research and development necessary to provide the U.S. Government with capabilities for monitoring nuclear explosions. The mission of the GNEM R&D Program is to develop, demonstrate, and deliver advanced ground-based seismic, radionuclide, hydro-acoustic, and infrasound technologies and systems to operational agencies to fulfill U.S. monitoring requirements and policies for detecting, locating, and identifying nuclear explosions (see Reference 1). Proposals that enhance U.S. capabilities that also benefit the international monitoring capabilities in the context of preparations for a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) may be submitted. Research is sought to move toward commercialization of algorithms, hardware, and software that advance the state-of-the-art for event detection, location, and identification. Superior technologies will help improve the Air Force Technical Applications Centers (Reference 2) ability to monitor for nuclear explosions, which are banned by several treaties and moratoria. Grant applications responding to this topic must state (1) the current state-of-the-art, in terms of relevant specifications such as sensitivity, reliability, maintainability, etc., as well as the performance goal of the proposed advance in terms of those same specifications; and (2) address the commercialization path of any instruments or components developed. Due to the small market potential of treaty monitoring technologies, this call is focused toward already existing or emerging commercial products for other applications that could be modified-enhanced for treaty monitoring applications. The resulting treaty monitoring edition of the product(s) would hopefully provide a performance advantage that would also benefit the original market and thereby leverage existing markets. A near zero-maintenance, manufacturable, whole-air gas compressor is needed to improve gas collection technologies used in a variety of environmental sampling applications and nuclear test-ban treaty monitoring technologies. There is a need for an ultra-high reliable whole air compressor that can outperform all other commercially available compressors in terms of regular maintenance and Mean-Time-Between-Failure (MTBF). Current compressors designs have limited life operation before needing to be rebuilt or repaired. No commercially available compressors exist that can perform for years without regular maintenance. This call for an ultra-high reliability compressor is intended to get high performance prototypes transferred to a manufacturer where they can be produced to raise the state-of-the-art of commercially available units. Making these high performance units commercially available to existing applications should also reduce the cost of the high performance units. The compressor must be capable of compressing ambient pressure whole air into a high-flow air stream and- or must be able to compress the gas into a high-pressure vessel. The compressors must be designed so a common commercial entity can build the compressor without high cost special machining. Finally, the compressor must be able to run at 100% duty cycle with ambient air-cooling and be able to maintain operation in high vibration environments. The compressor must maintain adequate lubrication throughout the life of usage. The primary objective of this call is to produce a compressor that meets the requirements of subtopic a. That is, a successful proposal must be able to meet the minimum objectives of subtopic a. However, the stretch goal of this request is that that compressor should be able to meet all the requirements in subtopic subtopics a., b., and c. in a single compressor unit. The differences between the three subtopics are variable flow rates, outlet pressure and power requirements. There are two outlet pressure requirements of 100 psig and 3000 psig between all three sections. Subtopics a. and b. have outlet pressure requirements of 3000 psig and subtopic c has an outlet pressure requirement of 100 psig. The low pressure compressor (100 psig, section c) flow rate must vary from 40 to 100 SLPM with a 220V power requirement. It is conceivable to combine the objectives for the high pressure and low pressure output requirements by only changing out the compressor motor. The stretch goal for the high pressure compressor (3000 psig, subtopics a. and b.), is to achieve the variability in flow, from 2 SLPM to 500 SLPM, and pressures from 100 psig working pressure to 3000 psig pressurization pressure while meeting the power requirement of 220V, 115V to 28VDC, as stated above, all within a single unit. This may be achieved with a change of the motor of similar size and weight.
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