Manufacturing Issues for Multimode Seeker Domes
Small Business Information
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212, Annapolis, MD, 21401
AbstractMultimode seekers for missiles are becoming a reality with multiple technology development efforts underway across the services. Such seekers require protection from severe environments. The Joint Air to Ground Missile and the Small Diameter Bomb are two potential candidates for this technology. Proof-of-principle protective domes have been demonstrated for these seekers, but numerous technical and cost challenges remain in scaling the manufacturing processes to achieve desired production rates of 250/month. The amount of touch labor, reproducibility of the precursor materials, and repeatability of the processes are huge obstacles in the way of affordable manufacturing capabilities. The Optical Ceramics Division of Technology Assessment & Transfer (TA&T) will undertake to solve the aforementioned challenges. In the Phase I effort TA&T developed a cost effective process improvement plan for manufacturing transparent spinel domes at full scale production rates. The primary objective for Phase II is to implement the improved dome manufacturing processes and produce enough domes to demonstrate economies of scale. Exercising the process to the proposed degree will cause new opportunities for cost reduction to be revealed. Yields will be improved by identifying and eliminating sources of rejects.
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