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Printed Low Voltage Munition Ignition Bridge


OBJECTIVE: Develop a printed low voltage Ignition Bridge for munition detonators and igniters that can be mass produced on standard/current production equipment. DESCRIPTION: Detonators and Igniters are used in munitions to initiate energetic materials to detonate or burn, resulting in propulsion or explosion. Since printed electronics and energetics is a relatively new technology, current printed igniters are produced in laboratory scale, not maximizing efficiencies of mass production. Additionally, the very small size of printed micro initiators may facilitate the use of additional energetics to enhance performance and lethality and may facilitate the integration of"smart fuzing"electronics within the warhead. Smart fuzing can increase munitions lethality effectiveness significantly. Recent advances in printing techniques demonstrate the capability for low-cost, mass produced ignition bridges. These techniques include, but are not limited to, screen and inkjet printing. This topic encourages new and novel mass fabrication approaches for low cost and variable volume production of ignition bridges with that will accommodate adaptable design changes. Designs should be amiable to inclusion of other manufacturing processes to construct complete detonators. Proposed technologies should investigate the utility of the process for deposition onto or into various flexible and rigid substrates, including but not limited to polymers, paper, circuit boards and ceramics. The ability to change the deposition process and/or equipment is an important design criterion, in this context"flexible"means that the processes and equipment can be used for many different purposes, not just for the prescribed design. This will facilitate lower production costs for smaller production runs because the equipment can be used for multiple products. This topic will result in a mass producible (in the range of 14,000 units per year) material solution that will provide ignition of MEMS based medium caliber fuzing as well as indirect fire cannon artillery post launch propulsion systems, resulting in increased reliability and performance of the fuze and/or post launch propulsion system. PHASE I: Perform an engineering study of current and future electronic printing production techniques that will demonstrate the feasibility of applying mass fabrication techniques to printed bridges in ammunition fuzes and boosters (medium and large caliber). The study shall include a product performance and heat transfer analysis, weight saving analysis, and a manufacturing cost analysis; and will conclude with production of generic design prototypes. Goals for the study are as follows: 1. Demonstrate by analysis that the technology can survive and perform safely and reliability in the high heat (160+ degrees F) and high shock (20,000+ g"s) environment of the ammunition and gun tube. 2. Realize a weight savings of at least 10 percent from the current designs (for example, the current Multi Option Fuze for Artillery (MOFA) weighs 1.85 pounds, application of this technology should reduce the weight to 1.67 pounds) 3. Realize a cost savings of at least 20 percent of the current unit costs (for example, the unit cost of the MOFA is approximately $300, application of this technology should reduce the cost to $240) 4. Demonstrate by analysis and prototype fabrication the feasibility of a pilot production run of 100 units in a 24 hour period Specific values related to cost, size/weight, and environmental conditions for each intended end item will be provided to the contractor after contract award for use in the analyses. PHASE II: Based on success of the Phase I study (as validated during Phase I by government Subject Matter Experts), Phase II efforts will focus on developing and producing specific material solutions that will provide ignition of MEMS based medium caliber fuzing as well as indirect fire cannon artillery and mortar fuze and post launch propulsion systems. The result will be new or modified designs that leverage the mass production techniques and equipment identified in Phase I, and a verification of the mass production capability by demonstrating the ability to produce at least 100 units of one design in a 24 hour period and switching to a different design on the same equipment to produce 100 in the subsequent 24 hour period. These produced items will then be tested in a simulated operational gun launch environment (most likely at a government facility) to validate performance is reliable, safe and survives the intended environment. The contractor is responsible for defining the pilot production procedures and simulated operational test procedures. The final report will include the design data developed in Phase II, results of the pilot runs and simulated operational testing (including all procedures followed), and a cost analysis of producing the designs given the selected manufacturing method(s). PHASE III: Phase III will qualify the successful Phase II designs in the end item, to include validation by all applicable safety review boards. This will result in insertion of the new technology in the end item as a product improvement or next generation design implementation. The results of this topic will also have widespread application to commercial electronics, particularly where miniature form factor and flexible geometries are required.
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