AIR FORCE

12.1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Proposal Submission Instructions

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Air Force (AF) proposal submission instructions are intended to clarify the Department of Defense (DoD) instructions as they apply to AF requirements.

 

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is responsible for the implementation and management of the AF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

 

The AF Program Manager is Mr. Augustine Vu, 1-800-222-0336.  For general inquiries or problems with the electronic submission, contact the DoD Help Desk at 1-866-724-7457 (1-866-SBIRHLP) (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET).  For technical questions about the topics during the pre-solicitation period (09 November 2011 through 11 December 2011), contact the Topic Authors listed for each topic on the Web site.  For information on obtaining answers to your technical questions during the formal solicitation period (12 December 11 through 11 January 2012), go to http://www.dodsbir.net/sitis/. 

 

For additional information regarding the SBIR/STTR Programs, a Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Continuous Learning Module, FA010, entitled “Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR)”, may be accessed (subject to availability) at https://learn.dau.mil/html/clc/Clc1.jsp?cl.  It is recommended that those taking the course register as “General Public” and select “only browse the module not getting credit”.  Site performance is enhanced by utilizing Internet Explorer.  General information related to the AF Small Business Program can be found at the AF Small Business website, http://www.airforcesmallbiz.org.   The site contains information related to contracting opportunities within the AF, as well as business information, and upcoming outreach/conference events.  Other informative sites include those for the Small Business Administration (SBA), www.sba.gov, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, www.aptacus.org/new/Govt_Contracting/index.php.  These centers provide Government contracting assistance and guidance to small businesses, generally at no cost.

 

The AF SBIR Program is a mission-oriented program that integrates the needs and requirements of the AF through R&D topics that have military and commercial potential.

 

PHASE I PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

 

Read the DoD program solicitation at www.dodsbir.net/solicitation for program requirements.  When you prepare your proposal, keep in mind that Phase I should address the feasibility of a solution to the topic.  For the AF, the contract period of performance for Phase I shall be nine (9) months, and the award shall not exceed $150,000.  We will accept only one Cost Proposal per Topic Proposal and it must address the entire nine-month contract period of performance.

 

The Phase I award winners must accomplish the majority of their primary research during the first six months of the contract.  Each AF organization may request Phase II proposals prior to the completion of the first six months of the contract based upon an evaluation of the contractor’s technical progress and review by the AF technical point of contact utilizing the criteria in section 4.3 of the DoD solicitation    The last three months of the nine-month Phase I contract will provide project continuity for all Phase II award winners so no modification to the Phase I contract should be necessary. 

Phase I technical proposals have a 20-page-limit (excluding the Cost Proposal, Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a–j), and Company Commercialization Report).  

 

Limitations on Length of Proposal

 

The technical proposal must be no more than 20 pages (no type smaller than 10-point on standard 8-1/2" x 11" paper with one (1) inch margins.  The Cost Proposal, Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a-j), and Company Commercialization Report are excluded from the 20 page limit.  Only the Proposal Cover Sheet (pages 1 and 2), the Technical Proposal (beginning with page 3), and any enclosures or attachments count toward the 20-page limit.  In the interest of equity, pages in excess of the 20-page limitation (including attachments, appendices, or references, but excluding the Cost Proposal, Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a-j), and Company Commercialization Report, will not be considered for review or award. 

 

Phase I Proposal Format

 

Proposal Cover Sheets: The first two (2) pages of the proposal will count as the Cover Sheets no matter how they print out. This will count toward the 20 page total limit.  If your proposal is selected for award, the technical abstract and discussion of anticipated benefits will be publicly released on the Internet; therefore, do not include proprietary information in these sections. 

 

Technical Proposal:  The Technical Proposal should include all graphics and attachments but should not include the Cover Sheet or Company Commercialization Report (as these items are completed separately).  Most proposals will be printed out on black and white printers so make sure all graphics are distinguishable in black and white.  It is strongly encouraged that you perform a virus check on each submission to avoid complications or delays in submitting your Technical Proposal.  To verify that your proposal has been received, click on the “Check Upload” icon to view your proposal.  Typically, your uploaded file will be virus checked and converted to a .pdf document within the hour.  However, if your proposal does not appear after an hour, please contact the DoD Help Desk at 1-866-724-7457 (8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET).

 

Key Personnel: Identify in the Technical Proposal all key personnel who will be involved in this project; include information on directly related education, experience, and citizenship.  A technical resume of the principle investigator, including a list of publications, if any, must be part of that information.  Concise technical resumes for subcontractors and consultants, if any, are also useful.   You must identify all U.S. permanent residents to be involved in the project as direct employees, subcontractors, or consultants.  You must also identify all non-U.S. citizens expected to be involved in the project as direct employees, subcontractors, or consultants.  For these individuals, in addition to technical resumes, please provide countries of origin, the type of visa or work permit under which they are performing and an explanation of their anticipated level of involvement on this project.  You may be asked to provide additional information during negotiations in order to verify the foreign citizen’s eligibility to participate on a contract issued as a result of this solicitation.

 

Voluntary Protection Program (VPP):  VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system.  Approval into the VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.  An “Applicable Contractor” under the VPP is defined as a construction or services contractor with employees working at least 1,000 hours at the site in any calendar quarter within the last 12 months that is NOT directly supervised by the applicant (installation).  The definition flows down to affected subcontractors.  Applicable contractors will be required to submit Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer (DART) and Total Case Incident (TCIR) rates for the past three years as part of the proposal.  Pages associated with this information will NOT contribute to the overall technical proposal page count.  NOTE: If award of your firm’s proposal does NOT create a situation wherein performance on one Government installation will exceed 1,000 hours in one calendar quarter, SUBMISSION OF TCIR/DART DATA IS NOT REQUIRED.

 

Phase I Work Plan Outline

 

 

NOTE:   THE AF USES THE WORK PLAN OUTLINE AS THE INITIAL DRAFT OF THE PHASE I STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW).  THEREFORE, DO NOT INCLUDE PROPRIETARY INFORMATION IN THE WORK PLAN OUTLINE.  TO DO SO WILL NECESSITATE A REQUEST FOR REVISION AND MAY DELAY CONTRACT AWARD.

 

At the beginning of your proposal work plan section, include an outline of the work plan in the following format:

1)     Scope

List the major requirements and specifications of the effort.

2)     Task Outline

Provide a brief outline of the work to be accomplished over the span of the Phase I effort.

3)     Milestone Schedule

4)     Deliverables

a.      Kickoff meeting within 30 days of contract start

b.      Progress reports

c.      Technical review within 6 months

d.      Final report with SF 298

 

Cost Proposal

 

Cost proposal information should be provided by completing the on-line Cost Proposal form and including the Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a-j) specified below.  The Cost Proposal information must be at a level of detail that would enable Air Force personnel to determine the purpose, necessity and reasonability of each cost element.  Provide sufficient information (a-j below) on how funds will be used if the contract is awarded. The on-line Cost Proposal, and Itemized Cost Proposal Information (a-j) will not count against the 20-page limit.  The itemized listing may be placed in the “Explanatory Material” section of the on-line Cost Proposal form (if enough room), or as the last page(s) of the Technical Proposal Upload.  (Note:  Only one file can be uploaded to the DoD Submission Site).  Ensure that this file includes your complete Technical Proposal and the Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a-j) information.

 

      a. Special Tooling and Test Equipment and Material:  The inclusion of equipment and materials will be carefully reviewed relative to need and appropriateness of the work proposed. The purchase of special tooling and test equipment must, in the opinion of the Contracting Officer, be advantageous to the government and relate directly to the specific effort. They may include such items as innovative instrumentation and/or automatic test equipment.

 

      b. Direct Cost Materials: Justify costs for materials, parts, and supplies with an itemized list containing types, quantities, and price and where appropriate, purposes.

 

      c. Other Direct Costs: This category of costs includes specialized services such as machining or milling, special testing or analysis, costs incurred in obtaining temporary use of specialized equipment. Proposals, which include leased hardware, must provide an adequate lease vs. purchase justification or rational.

 

      d. Direct Labor: Identify key personnel by name if possible or by labor category if specific names are not available. The number of hours, labor overhead and/or fringe benefits and actual hourly rates for each individual are also necessary.

 

      e. Travel: Travel costs must relate to the needs of the project. Break out travel cost by trip, with the number of travelers, airfare, per diem, lodging, etc. The number of trips required, as well as the destination and purpose of each trip should be reflected. Recommend budgeting at least one (1) trip to the Air Force location managing the contract.

 

       f. Cost Sharing: Cost sharing is permitted. However, cost sharing is not required nor will it be an evaluation factor in the consideration of a proposal. Please note that cost share contracts do not allow fees. NOTE: Subcontract arrangements involving provision of Independent Research and Development (IRAD) support are prohibited in accordance with Under Secretary of Defense (USD) memorandum “Contractor Cost Share”, dated 16 May 2001, as implemented by SAF/AQ memorandum, same title, dated 11 Jul 2001. 

 

      g. Subcontracts: Involvement of university or other consultants in the planning and/or research stages of the project may be appropriate. If the offeror intends such involvement, describe in detail and include information in the cost proposal. The proposed total of all consultant fees, facility leases or usage fees, and other subcontract or purchase agreements may not exceed one-third of the total contract price or cost, unless otherwise approved in writing by the Contracting Officer.

 

(NOTE): The Small Business Administration has issued the following guidance:

“Agencies participating in the SBIR Program will not issue SBIR contracts to small business firms that include provisions for subcontracting any portion of that contract award back to the originating agency or any other Federal Government agency.”  See Section 2.11 of the DoD program solicitation for more details.

 

Support subcontract costs with copies of the subcontract agreements. The supporting agreement documents must adequately describe the work to be performed (i.e. Cost Proposal). At a minimum, an offeror must include a Statement of Work (SOW) with a corresponding detailed cost proposal for each planned subcontract.

 

      h. Consultants: Provide a separate agreement letter for each consultant. The letter should briefly state what service or assistance will be provided, the number of hours required and hourly rate.

 

i. Any exceptions to the model Phase I purchase order (P.O.) found at https://www.afsbirsttr.com/Proposals/Default.aspx (see “NOTE” within “Phase I Proposal Submission Checklist” section, p. AF-5).

j.  DD Form 2345: For proposals submitted under ITAR-restricted Topics, a copy of the certified DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement, must be included. The form, instructions, and FAQs may be found at the United States/Canada Joint Certification Program website, http://www.dlis.dla.mil/jcp/.

 

PHASE I PROPOSAL SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

 

Failure to meet any of the criteria will result in your proposal being REJECTED and the Air Force will not evaluate your proposal.

 

1) The Air Force Phase I proposal shall be a nine-month effort and the cost shall not exceed $150,000.

 

2) The Air Force will accept only those proposals submitted electronically via the DoD SBIR Web site (www.dodsbir.net/submission).

 

3) You must submit your Company Commercialization Report electronically via the DoD SBIR Web site (www.dodsbir.net/submission).

 

It is mandatory that the complete proposal submission -- DoD Proposal Cover Sheet, Technical Proposal with any appendices, Cost Proposal, Itemized Cost Proposal Information, and the Company Commercialization Report -- be submitted electronically through the DoD SBIR Web site at http://www.dodsbir.net/submission. Each of these documents is to be submitted separately through the Web site. Your complete proposal must be submitted via the submissions site on or before the 6:00 am ET, 11 January 2012 deadline.  A hardcopy will not be accepted.   

 

NOTE: If no exceptions are taken to an offeror’s proposal, the Government may award a contract without discussions (except clarifications as described in FAR 15.306(a)). Therefore, the offeror’s initial proposal should contain the offeror’s best terms from a cost or price and technical standpoint. In addition, please review the model Phase I P.O. found at  https://www.afsbirsttr.com/Proposals/Default.aspx and provide any exception to the clauses found therein with your cost proposal  Full text for the clauses included in the P.O. may be found at http://farsite.hill.af.mil. If selected for award, the award contract or P.O. document received by your firm may vary in format/content from the model P.O. reviewed. If there are questions regarding the award document, contact the Phase I Contracting Officer listed on the selection notification.  (See item g under the “Cost Proposal” section, p. AF-4.)  The Government reserves the right to conduct discussions if the Contracting Officer later determines them to be necessary.

 

 

The AF recommends that you complete your submission early, as computer traffic gets heavy near the solicitation closing and could slow down the system.  Do not wait until the last minute.  The AF will not be responsible for proposals being denied due to servers being “down” or inaccessible.  Please assure that your e-mail address listed in your proposal is current and accurate.  By early July, you will receive an e-mail serving as our acknowledgement that we have received your proposal. The AF is not responsible for notifying companies that change their mailing address, their e-mail address, or company official after proposal submission without proper notification to the AF.

 

 

 

AIR FORCE SBIR/STTR SITE

 

As a means of drawing greater attention to SBIR accomplishments, the AF has developed a SBIR/STTR site at http://www.afsbirsttr.com.  Along with being an information resource concerning SBIR policies and procedures, the SBIR/STTR site is designed to help facilitate the Phase III transition process. To this end, the SBIR/STTR site contains SBIR/STTR Success Stories written by the Air Force and Phase II summary reports written and submitted by SBIR companies. Since summary reports are intended for public viewing via the Internet, they should not contain classified, sensitive, or proprietary information.

 

AIR FORCE PROPOSAL EVALUATIONS

 

Evaluation of the primary research effort and the proposal will be based on the scientific review criteria factors (i.e., technical merit, principal investigator (and team), and Commercialization Plan).  Please note that where technical evaluations are essentially equal in merit, and as cost and/or price is a substantial factor, cost to the government will be considered in determining the successful offeror. The AF anticipates that pricing will be based on adequate price competition. The next tie-breaker on essentially equal proposals will be the inclusion of manufacturing technology considerations.

 

The AF will utilize the Phase I evaluation criteria in section 4.2 of the DoD solicitation in descending order of importance with technical merit being most important, followed by the qualifications of the principal investigator (and team), and followed by Commercialization Plan.  The AF will utilize Phase II evaluation criteria in section 4.3 of the DoD solicitation, however the order of importance will differ.  The AF will evaluate proposals in descending order of importance with, technical merit being most important, followed by the Commercialization Plan, and then qualifications of the principal investigator (and team).      

 

NOTICE:  Only government personnel and technical personnel from Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), Mitre Corporation and Aerospace Corporation, working under contract to provide technical support to Air Force product centers (Electronic Systems Center and Space and Missiles Center respectively) may evaluate proposals.  All FFRDC employees at the product centers have non-disclosure requirements as part of their contracts with the centers.  In addition, AF support contractors may be used to administratively process or monitor contract performance and testing.  Contractors receiving awards where support contractors will be utilized for performance monitoring may be required to execute separate non-disclosure agreements with the support contractors.

 

On-Line Proposal Status and Debriefings

 

The AF has implemented on-line proposal status updates for small businesses submitting proposals against AF topics. At the close of the Phase I Solicitation – and following the submission of a Phase II via the DoD SBIR/STTR Submission Site (https://www.dodsbir.net/submission) – small business can track the progress of their proposal submission by logging into the Small Business Area of the AF SBIR/STTR site (http://www.afsbirstr.com). The Small Business Area (http://www.afsbirsttr.com/Firm/login.aspx) is password protected and firms can view their information only.

 

To receive a status update of a proposal submission, click the “Proposal Status” link at the top of the page in the Small Business Area (after logging in). A listing of proposal submissions to the AF within the last 12 months is displayed. Status update intervals are: Proposal Received, Evaluation Started, Evaluation Completed, Selection Started, and Selection Completed. A date will be displayed in the appropriate column indicating when this stage has been completed. If no date is present, the proposal submission has not completed this stage. Small businesses are encouraged to check this site often as it is updated in real-time and provides the most up-to-date information available for all proposal submissions. Once the “Selection Completed” date is visible, it could still be a few weeks (or more) before you are contacted by the AF with a notification of selection or non-selection.  The AF receives thousands of proposals during each solicitation and the notification process requires specific steps to be completed prior to a Contracting Officer distributing this information to small business. 

 

The Principal Investigator (PI) and Corporate Official (CO) indicated on the Proposal Cover Sheet will be notified by e-mail regarding proposal selection or non-selection.  The e-mail will include a link to a secure Internet page containing specific selection/non-selection information.   Small Businesses will receive a notification for each proposal submitted. Please read each notification carefully and note the Proposal Number and Topic Number referenced.

 

In accordance with FAR 15.505, a debriefing may be received by written request.  As is consistent with the DoD SBIR/STTR solicitation, the request must be received within 30 days after receipt of notification of non-selection.  Written requests for debrief should be uploaded to the Small Business Area of the AF SBIR/STTR site (http://www.afsbirsttr.com)   Requests for debrief should include the company name and the telephone number/e-mail address for a specific point of contract, as well as an alternate.  Also include the topic number under which the proposal(s) was submitted, and the proposal number(s). Further instructions regarding debrief request preparation/submission will be provided within the Small Business Area of the AF SBIR/STTR site.  Debrief requests received more than 30 days after receipt of notification of non-selection will be fulfilled at the Contracting Officers' discretion.  Unsuccessful offerors are entitled to no more than one debriefing for each proposal. 

 

NOTE:  FAR 15.505 (a)(2) states the debrief, at the offeror’s request, may be delayed until after award.  However, under the AF SBIR Program, debriefs are automated and standardized.  Therefore, pre-award and post-award debriefs are identical.

 

IMPORTANT: Proposals submitted to the AF are received and evaluated by different offices within the Air Force and handled on a Topic-by-Topic basis. Each office operates within their own schedule for proposal evaluation and selection. Updates and notification timeframes will vary by office and Topic. If your company is contacted regarding a proposal submission, it is not necessary to contact the AF to inquire about additional submissions.  Check the Small Business Area of the AF SBIR/STTR site for a current update. Additional notifications regarding your other submissions will be forthcoming.

 

We anticipate having all the proposals evaluated and our Phase I contract decisions within approximately four months of proposal receipt.  All questions concerning the status of a proposal, or debriefing, should be directed to the local awarding organization SBIR Program Manager.  Organizations and their Topic Numbers are listed later in this section (before the Air Force Topic descriptions).

 

PHASE II PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS

 

Phase II is the demonstration of the technology that was found feasible in Phase I.  Only those Phase I awardees that are invited to submit a Phase II proposal and all FAST TRACK applicants will be eligible to submit a Phase II proposal. Phase I awardees can verify selection for receipt of a Phase II invitation letter by logging into the “Small Business Area” at http://afsbirsttr.com.  If “Phase II Invitation Letter Sent” and associated date are visible, a Phase II invitation letter has been sent.  If the letter is not received within 10 days of the date and/or the contact information for technical/contracting points of contact has changed since submission of the Phase I proposal, contact the appropriate AF SBIR Program Manager, as found in the Phase I selection notification letter, for resolution.  Please note that it is solely the responsibility of the Phase I awardee to contact this individual.  There will be no further attempts on the part of the AF to solicit a Phase II proposal.  The awarding AF organization will send a Phase II invitation including a link to detailed Phase II proposal preparation instructions to the appropriate small businesses.  Phase II efforts are typically two (2) years in duration with an initial value not to exceed $750,000.

 

NOTE: All Phase II awardees must have a Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) approved accounting system. It is strongly urged that an approved accounting system be in place prior to the AF Phase II award timeframe. If you do not have a DCAA approved accounting system, this will delay / prevent Phase II contract award. If you have questions regarding this matter, please discuss with your Phase I Contracting Officer.

 

All proposals must be submitted electronically at www.dodsbir.net/submission.  The complete proposal – Department of Defense (DoD) Cover Sheet, entire Technical Proposal with appendices, Cost Proposal and the Company Commercialization Report – must be submitted by the date indicated in the invitation.  The Technical Proposal is limited to 50 pages (unless a different number is specified in the invitation).  The Commercialization Report, any advocacy letters, SBIR Environment Safety and Occupational Health (ESOH) Questionnaire, and Cost Proposal Itemized Listing (a-j) will not count against the 50 page limitation and should be placed as the last pages of the Technical Proposal file that is uploaded.  (Note:  Only one file can be uploaded to the DoD Submission Site.  Ensure that this single file includes your complete Technical Proposal and the additional Cost Proposal information.)  The preferred format for submission of proposals is Portable Document Format (.pdf).  Graphics must be distinguishable in black and white.  Please virus-check your submissions.

 

FAST TRACK

 

Detailed instructions on the AF Phase II program and notification of the opportunity to submit a FAST TRACK application will be forwarded with all AF Phase I selection e-mail notifications.  The AF encourages businesses to consider a FAST TRACK application when they can attract outside funding and the technology is mature enough to be ready for application following successful completion of the Phase II contract.

 

NOTE:

1)     Fast Track applications must be submitted not later than 150 days after the start of the Phase I contract.

2)     Fast Track Phase II proposals must be submitted not later than 180 days after the start of the Phase I contract.

3)   The AF does not provide interim funding for Fast Track applications.  If selected for a Phase II award, we will match only the outside funding for Phase II.

 

For FAST TRACK applicants, should the outside funding not become available by the time designated by the awarding AF activity, the offeror will not be considered for any Phase II award.  FAST TRACK applicants may submit a Phase II proposal prior to receiving a formal invitation letter.  The AF will select Phase II winners based solely upon the merits of the proposal submitted, including FAST TRACK applicants.

 

AIR FORCE PHASE II ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

On active Phase II awards, the Air Force may request a Phase II enhancement application package from a limited number of Phase II awardees. In the Air Force program, the outside investment funding must be from a government source, usually the Air Force or other military service. The selected enhancements will extend the existing Phase II contract awards for up to one year and the Air Force will match dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000 of non-SBIR government matching funds. If requested to submit a Phase II enhancement application package, it must be submitted through the DoD Submission Web site at www.dodsbir.net/submission. Contact the local awarding organization SBIR Manager (see Air Force SBIR Organization Listing) for more information.

AIR FORCE SBIR PROGRAM MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS

 

The AF reserves the right to modify the Phase II submission requirements.  Should the requirements change, all Phase I awardees that are invited to submit Phase II proposals will be notified.  The AF also reserves the right to change any administrative procedures at any time that will improve management of the AF SBIR Program.

 

AIR FORCE SUBMISSION OF FINAL REPORTS

 

All Final Reports will be submitted to the awarding AF organization in accordance with the Contract.  Companies will not submit Final Reports directly to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).

 

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS for Topic AF121C-123

These special instructions apply only to topic AF121C-123, Transparency Sensor System,” and are in addition to the regular instructions listed at the beginning of the AF section of the solicitation.

 

This is a manufacturing-related R&D Critical SBIR topic.  The primary focus of the Phase I effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of developing, integrating and transitioning innovative process technologies in a manufacturing environment to support the production of inline materials for advanced weapon system(s).  For this effort, Phase I objectives are to define the requirements to establish an initial measurement capability to nondestructively measure and characterize inline thin film mat material in a production environment to ensure specification compliant materials are being produced.  In addition to demonstrating the proposed technology solution, successful offerors should also consider the technical, business and transition activities necessary to lower the risk of technology insertion into the integration processes of a joint service weapon system.

 

The Air Force plans to award two Phase I contracts on this topic, each limited to $150,000.  Phase I contracts  will be executed at an accelerated pace, a seven-month effort, including four months for technical effort and an additional three months for reporting.  The Phase I effort will identify and provide a proof of feasibility concept and a plan for the overall system concept and architecture.  Phase I results must demonstrate a technical solution meeting all program end requirements.

 

As this effort is focused on AF and joint service weapon system specialty material production, successful offerors may find it useful to dialog and/or partner with an AF/DoD prime in order to understand specific system requirements, implementation risks and transition windows.  Successful offerors may also benefit from consideration of technical readiness levels (TRL) as well as manufacturing readiness levels (MRL) when preparing responses to the Critical SBIR.

The primary focus of Phase II is to develop and implement to TRL/MRL 7 maturity the nondestructive evaluation measurement system defined under the Phase I effort.  The AF plans to award one Phase II effort of no more than $4M.  Examples of the additional information needed in the Phase II proposal package include the following:  innovative technical approaches to address the critical processes, associated return on investment (ROI), and potential related uses.  Also, the Phase II proposal must include both  business and transition plans.  Submission of a Phase II proposal will be by invitation only. At that time, special instructions will be provided for proposal preparation.

 

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS for Topic AF121C-125

These special instructions apply only to Air Force Topic AF121C-125, "Inlet/Exhaust Damage Registration Sensor,” and are in addition to the regular instructions listed at the beginning of the AF section of the solicitation.

 

This is a R&D Critical SBIR topic.  The primary focus of this effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of developing, integrating and transitioning innovative process technologies in the field environment to support the identification, characterization and registration of defects/damage in the inlet/exhaust specialty coating of advanced weapon systems.  For this effort, Phase I objectives are to define the requirements to establish an initial measurement capability to accurately and rapidly identify, characterize and register the defects to the aircraft coordinates.  In addition to demonstrating the proposed technology solution, successful offerors should also consider the technical, business and transition activities necessary to lower the risk of technology insertion into the integration processes of a joint service weapon system.

 

The Air Force plans to award two Phase I contracts on this topic, each limited to $150,000.  .  Phase I contracts will be executed at an accelerated pace, a seven-month effort, including four months for technical effort and an additional three months for reporting.  The Phase I effort will identify and provide a proof of feasibility concept and a plan for the overall system concept and architecture.  Phase I results must demonstrate a technical solution meeting all program end requirements.

 

As this effort is focused on AF and joint service weapon system inlet/exhaust specialty coating inspection and characterization, successful offerors may find it useful to dialog and/or partner with an AF/DoD prime in order to understand specific system requirements, implementation risks and transition windows.  Successful offerors may also benefit from consideration of technical readiness levels (TRL) as well as manufacturing readiness levels (MRL) when preparing responses to the Critical SBIR.

 

The primary focus of Phase II is to develop and implement to TRL/MRL 7 maturity the nondestructive evaluation measurement system defined under the Phase I effort.  The AF plans to award one Phase II effort of no more than $4M.  Examples of the additional information needed in the Phase II proposal package include the following:  innovative technical approaches to address all program end requirements and potential related uses.  Also, the Phase II proposal must include both business and transition plans.  Submission of a Phase II proposal will be by invitation only.  At that time, special instructions will be provided for proposal preparation.

 

 

Air Force Program Manager Listing

 

 

 

Topic Number

Activity

Program Manager

 

 

 

AF121-001 thru AF121-004

Air Vehicles Directorate

AFRL / RB

2130 Eighth Street

Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433

Larry Byram

(937) 904-8169

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-008  thru AF121-012

Directed Energy Directorate

AFRL/RD

3550 Aberdeen Ave SE

Kirtland AFB NM 87117-5776

Danielle Lythgoe

(505) 853-7947

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF112-016 thru AF121-033

Human Performance Wing

AFRL/RH

2610 Seventh, St, Bldg 441

Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433

Sabrina Davis

(937) 255-3737

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-036 thru AF121-051

Information Directorate

AFRL/RI

26 Electronic Parkway

Rome NY 13441-4514

Janis Norelli

(315) 330-3311

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-055 thru AF121-075

AF121-0084-087

Space Vehicles Directorate

AFRL/RV

3550 Aberdeen Ave SE

Kirtland AFB, NM 87117-5776

Danielle Lythgoe

(505) 853-7947

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-090 thru AF121-108

Munitions Directorate

AFRL/RW

101 West Eglin Blvd. Suite 143

Eglin AFB, FL 32542-6810

Shirley Schmieder

(850) 882-3362

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-111 thru AF121-133

AF121C-123, AF121C-125

Materials & Mfg. Directorate

AFRL / RX

2977 Hobson Way, Rm 406

Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433

Edwards AFB, CA 93524-7033

Debbie Shaw

(937) 255-4839

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-135 thru AF121-169

Sensors Directorate

AFRL/RY

2241 Avionics Circle, Rm

N2S24

Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

Claudia Duncan

(937) 528-8510

Julie Harris

(937) 528-8515

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-160 thru AF121-185

AF121-191,  AF121-192, AF121-194 thru AF121-195

Propulsion Directorate

AFRL/RZ

1950 Fifth Street

Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433

Mary Kruskamp

(937) 904-8608

Barb Scenters

(937) 255-9255

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-187 thru AF121-189

AF121-193

Propulsion Directorate West

AFRL/RZO

5 Pollux Drive

Edwards AFB, CA 93524-7033

Angela Harris

(661) 275-5930

 

 

 

 

AF121-197 thruAF121-201

 

 

46 TW/XPXR

101 West D Avenue Bldg 1

Eglin AFB, FL 93524-6843

 

Ramsey Sallman

(850) 883-0537

 

 

AF121-202 thru AF121-204

 

 

Arnold Engineering Development Center

AEDC/TTSY

1099 Schriever Ave Arnold AFB, TN

37389-9011

 

 

Dhruti Upender

(931) 454-7801

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-207 thru AF121-209

 

Air Force Flight Test Center

AFFTC/XPR

1 S. Rosamond  Blvd,

Bldg 1, Rm 103A

Edwards AFB, CA 93524-6843

 

Abe Attachbarian

(661) 277-5946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-212 thru AF121-215

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center

OC-ALC / ENET

3001 Staff Drive, Suite 2AG70A

Tinker AFB, OK 73145-3040

Becky Medina

(405) 736-2158

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-218 thru AF121-222

Ogden Air Logistics Center

OO-ALC / LHH

6021 Gum Lane

Hill AFB, UT 84056-2721

John Jusko

(801) 586-2090

 

 

 

 

 

 

AF121-224 thru AF121-227

Warner Robins Air Logistics Center

WR-ALC / ENSN

450 Third Street, Bldg. 323

Robins AFB, GA 31098-1654

Frank Zahiri

(478) 327-4127

 


Air Force SBIR 12.1 Topic Index

 

 

AF121-001                         Micro Scale Testing of High Speed Aircraft

AF121-002                         Intelligent Controller Development for Cooperative UAV Missions

AF121-003                         Structural Radio Frequency Electronics

AF121-004                         Intelligent Course of Action (ICOA) Generation for Air Vehicle Self-Defense

AF121-008                         Free-Space Quantum Key Distribution

AF121-009                         Uncued Faint Object Detection in LEO and GEO

AF121-010                         Feature Identification from Unresolved Electro-optical Data

AF121-011                         Daytime Detection and Tracking of Objects in a Geosynchronous or Geo-transfer Orbit

AF121-012                         Characterization of GEO Insertion Maneuvers Utilizing Spectral, Photometric, and Image

Analysis Techniques coupled with High Precision Orbit Determination Algorithms

AF121-016                         Curved Flat Panel Microdisplay (CFPM)

AF121-017                         Adaptive Gaming and Training Environment for Maintenance Operations

AF121-018                         Color symbology in helmet mounted visors and heads up displays

AF121-019                         Wide Spectral Response Focal Plane Array (FPA)

AF121-020                         Performance-Based Simulation Certification (SIMCERT) System

AF121-021                         Correlated Weather Visual and Sensor Effects for Distributed Mission Operations

AF121-022                         Debrief and After-Action Review Technologies for Electronic Warfare Simulation and

Training

AF121-023                         Cognitive Measures and Models for Persistent Surveillance

AF121-025                         Flexible Semi-Conformal Displays for Data Access in Military Field Operations

AF121-026                         Flightline Boundary Sensor

AF121-027                         3D Stereo Binocular Head Mounted Display (HMD) Technology for Joint Strike Fighter

(JSF) Aircraft and Simulation

AF121-028                         Measurement of Interpupillary Distance for Binocular Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs)

AF121-029                         Network Threat Monitoring, Intrusion Detection, and Alert System for Live, Virtual, and

Constructive (LVC) Operations for Space Training               

AF121-030                         Agent-Based Objective Performance Measurement Brief/Debrief and After Action

Review Suite for Cyber Warfare Training

AF121-031                         Enhancing Decision Making through Adaptive Trustworthiness Cues

AF121-032                         Efficient Computational Tool for RF-Induced Thermal Response

AF121-033                         Discourse Analysis for Insights into Group Identity and Intent

AF121-036                         Ultra-Fast Transfer Techniques to Download Data

AF121-037                         Next Generation Mobile Ad-hoc Networking (MANET) for Aircraft

AF121-038                         Joint Aerial Layer Network High Capacity Backbone Antennas

AF121-040                         Cloud/Grid/Virtualization Architecture for Air Force Weather

AF121-041                         Directional Partial Mesh Airborne Networking

AF121-042                         V/W Band Airborne Radomes

AF121-043                         Software Isolation from Evolution of Hardware and Operation Systems

AF121-046                         W-band Transmitter

AF121-048                         Dynamic Reallocation and Tasking

AF121-049                         Emerging Software Algorithms for Autonomous Sense Making Operations

AF121-050                         Link Analysis of Knowledge Derived from Social Media Sources

AF121-051                         Remote Attestation and Distributed Trust in Networks (RADTiN)

AF121-055                         Graphene Memory Device

AF121-056                         Integrated Li-Ion Battery Interface Electronics for Spacecraft

AF121-057                         Novel Environmental Protection for Multi-Junction Solar Cells

AF121-058                         High-Strain Conductive Composites for Satellite Communications (SATCOM)

Deployable Antennas

AF121-059                         Wide Temperature Optical Transceivers

AF121-060                         High Conductance Thermal Interface Material for Use in Space Applications

AF121-061                         Spacecraft Autonomy

AF121-062                         Light Weight Shielding for Satellite Protection from Severe Space Weather

AF121-063                         Joint Processing of Multi-band Signals with Information Assurance

AF121-064                         A Small Satellite-based System for Active and Passive Sounding of the Ionosphere,

Direct Current (DC) through High Frequency (HF)

AF121-065                         Space Particle Radiation Sensor

AF121-066                         Miniaturized Neutral Wind Sensor

AF121-067                         Broadband High Temperature Focal Plane Array (FPA)

AF121-068                         Innovative Technologies for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS)

AF121-069                         Advanced Space Energy Storage that Incorporates Long Cycle Life at High Depths of

Discharge           

AF121-070                         Compact Type I Space Encryption Hardware

AF121-071                         Multi-function Laser Module (MFL) for Enhanced Space Surveillance

AF121-072                         Dual-mode Wavefront Sensor for Space Surveillance

AF121-073                         Anti-reflective Coating for High-Efficiency Solar Cells

AF121-074                         Wide Field of View (FOV) High Gain Pulse Optical Amplifier

AF121-075                         Rigid-Panel-Solar-Array Deployment Synchronization Mechanisms for Rapid Assembly

and Reduced Cost

AF121-084                         Automated Distributed Data Fusion of Correlated Space Superiority Events

AF121-085                         Advanced Algorithms for Space-Based Next-Generation Infrared Sensor Exploitation

AF121-086                         Omni-directional Adaptive Imaging Sensor

AF121-087                         Automation of Satellite On-orbit Checkout and Calibration Process

AF121-090                         Modeling of Synergistic Effects for Cooperative Strike

AF121-091                         Miniature High-Altitude Precision Navigation Alternative

AF121-092                         High-Speed Weapon Radomes

AF121-095                         Mobile Target Secondary Debris (MTSD)

AF121-096                         Next Generation Static Warhead Testing (NG-SWaT)

AF121-097                         Weapon Burial Secondary Debris (WBSD)

AF121-098                         Guided Munition Delivery Accuracy Methodology for Weaponeering Against Moving

Targets (GuMDAM-AMT)

AF121-102                         Detection of Hostile Fire from the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

AF121-103                         Remotely Operated Sensor, Beacon, and Navigation Aid for Deep Battlespace (Remote

Sensing)

AF121-104                         Feature Representations for Enhanced Multi-Agent Navigation Strategies

AF121-105                         Infrared Panoramic Projection for Wide Field of Sensor Testing

AF121-106                         Autonomous Situational Awareness for Munitions

AF121-107                         Kinetic Energy Control Technologies for Explosively-dispersed Fragments

AF121-108                         Direct Detection Ladar Pulse Processing

AF121-111                         Lightweight Electromagnetic (EM) Shielding Structural Materials

AF121-112                         Near-Surface Residual Stress Measurements for Aerospace Structures

AF121-113                         Residual Stress Engineering for Aerospace Structural Forgings

AF121-114                         Lightweight Active Anti-Icing/De-Icing for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

AF121-115                         Fabrication and Process Optimization of Thick Laminates (= 40 ply) From High-

                                             Temperature Polyimide/Carbon Fiber Composites

AF121-120                         Surface Preparation of Organic Matrix Composites (OMCs) for Structural Adhesive

Bonding

AF121-121                         Porosity-Free Molded Surfaces for Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) Composites

AF121-122                         Advanced Process Control for Laser Sintered Thermoplastics

AF121-124                         Inline Material Sensor (IMS)

AF121-126                         Optical Filters on Thin Cover Glass

AF121-127                         Spatially Controlled Optical Attenuator

AF121-128                         Simulation of Small-Scale Damage Evolution During Processing of Polymer Matrix

Materials Systems

AF121-129                         Innovative Nondestructive Damage Characterization Methods for Complex Aircraft

Structures

AF121-130                         Computational Process Model Development for Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM)

AF121-131                         Passive Microfluidic Devices as Biological Fuel Cell Platforms

AF121-135                         Passive multi-spectral sensor for defense against hypersonic missiles (SAMs and A-A)

 

AF121-136                         Low Frequency Direction Finding Antennas for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

(SUAS)

AF121-137                         High Gain Ka-Band Data Link Antennas with Wide-Field-of-Regard (WFOR)

AF121-138                         Airborne Passive Radar

AF121-139                         Improved Real Time Geo-Registration Techniques For Airborne Imagery

AF121-140                         Multi-Sensor Data Compression

AF121-142                         Unified Move Stop Move Combat Identification

AF121-143                         Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) For Terrestrial Targets

AF121-144                         Wind Turbine Clutter Mitigation for Terminal Air Traffic Control (ATC) Radars

AF121-145                         HF Digital Receiver

AF121-146                         Passive Optical Taggants for Laser Designated Friend or Foe Identification

AF121-147                         Low Size, Weight and Power Direction Antenna for Common Data Link

AF121-148                         Virtual Receiver/Exciter (VREX) Generalized Simulator with Selectable Waveforms to

Support Radar and Software Analysis

AF121-152                         W-band Airborne SATCOM Power Amplifier

AF121-153                         V-band Microwave Power Module

AF121-154                         Low Noise Amplifier with Noise-cancelling for Satellite Communications

AF121-155                         Next Generation vacuum Nanoelectric Device

AF121-156                         Power Efficient Software Defined Radio (SDR) Mobile Architecture Technology for

Handheld Devices

AF121-157                         Quantitative assessments leveraging effects based analysis for degraded PNT

AF121-158                         GPS Enhanced Dynamic Spectrum Access

AF121-159                         Monolithic S-band Multichannel Transmit/Receive Module for Communication Phased

Array Antennas

AF121-160                         Laser Instrumentation for Development of Sensors Aboard Hypersonic Air Vehicles

AF121-163                         Performance Prediction for Airborne Multistatic Radar

AF121-164                         Conformal Coherent Optical Sensor

AF121-165                         Uncertainty-Preserving 3D Reconstruction from Passive Motion Imagery

AF121-166                         Low Cost Universal Reliability System On-A-Chip for Multi-Channel Characterization

AF121-169                         Bearings for High-Speed Cruise Missile Engine

AF121-170                         Prognostics Approaches for Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Propulsion and Vehicle

Systems in Harsh Environments 

AF121-171                         Optimizing Coating Processes and Chemistries for Enhanced Hot Section, Low Cycle

Fatigue (LCF) Life

AF121-172                         In Situ, Real-time Monitoring of the Properties of Engine Part Coatings

AF121-173                         Engine Health Management of Mechanical Systems for High Performance Turbine

Engines

AF121-174                         Adaptive Heat Rejection for Two-Phase-Enabled Aircraft Thermal Management Systems

(TMS)

AF121-175                         Hydration Tolerant, low Thermal Conductivity (K) Thermal Barrier Coatings

AF121-181                         Low-Temperature Sintering Processes for Ceramic-Coated Heat Exchangers

AF121-182                         Miniature Infrared Camera for High Temperature and High Pressure Applications

AF121-183                         Novel Silicon Carbide Epitaxy Process for Dramatic Improvements to Material

Characteristics, Cost, and Throughput

AF121-184                         Thermal Management for Military Aircraft High Performance Electrical Actuation

System

AF121-185                         Prognostic Health Management (PHM) of Electromechanical Actuation (EMA) Systems

for Next-Generation Military Aircraft

AF121-187                         Reconstruction Algorithms for High-Energy Computed Tomography Images of Rocket

Motors

AF121-188                         Techniques to Suppress Cavitation in Liquid Rocket Engines

AF121-189                         Novel Engine Cycles for Upper Stage Liquid Rocket Engines

AF121-191                         High-Frequency Sensors and Actuators for Scamjet Engine Controls

AF121-192                         Wireless Power for Battlefield Airmen Operation

AF121-193                         Mapping Liquid Mass Fractions in Optically Dense Rocket Combustion Chambers

AF121-194                         Spatiotemporal Dynamical System Analysis Tools for Very Large Data Sets

AF121-197                         Fire Suppressant Transport Model

AF121-199                         Aircraft Tire Thermal Measurment Device

AF121-201                         Massive Parallel SAR Scene Simulator

AF121-202                         High-Speed, Multispecies Sensing in Gas Turbine Engines and Augmentors

AF121-203                         Modeling and Simulation for Combined Space Environment Chambers

AF121-204                         Fabrication Process for Small, High-precision Aerodynamic Balances

AF121-207                         Floral Disruptor - Directed Energy Weed Abatement and Prevention Tool

AF121-208                         System Identification and Modal Extraction from Response Data

AF121-209                         Low Background Blackbody

AF121-212                         Re-evaluation of Oil Analysis Program

AF121-213                         Condition Based Maintenance: Planning and Implementation

AF121-214                         Wireless Technology for Probes and Accessories for Nondestructive Inspection Testing

Instruments

AF121-215                         Alternatives to Gold-Plate Engines for Test Cell Correlation

AF121-218                         Designer Soap for Washdown of Work Areas Where Hexavalent Chrome Paints/Primers

are Applied

AF121-219                         Chemical Treatment of Metal Finishing Industrial Wastes and Wastewaters in the

Presence of Chelating Substances

AF121-220                         Physiological testing for Hexavalent Chrome exposure in the human body

AF121-222                         Hand Held Real Time Particulate Loading Sensor

AF121-224                         Common Global Information Grid Interface for Electronic Warfare systems

AF121-225                         Just In Time (JIT) Aircraft Maintenance System

AF121-226                         Next Generation Aircraft Simulation Technology

AF121-227                         Common Operational Specific Emitter Identification (SEI) functionality for sustained

Electronic Warfare (EW) systems

AF121C-123                      Transparency Sensor System (TSS)

AF121C-125                      Inlet and Exhaust Damage Registration Sensor

 

 


Air Force SBIR 12.1 Topic Descriptions

 

 

AF121-001                         TITLE: Micro Scale Testing of High Speed Aircraft

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Electronics

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Formulate innovative approaches for design, manufacture, and test of “micro-scale” ramjet/supersonic combustion ramjet (RAM/SCRAM) experimental flight research.  Demonstrate affordable fabrication and test of the vehicles and/or enabling technologies.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Many established aerospace and emerging entrepreneurial companies are developing and flight testing small rocket technologies.  The Air Force Research Laboratory, through its Pathfinder program, is leveraging these emerging concepts to demonstrate enabling technologies for a next generation Reusable Boost System (RBS), including hypersonic flight with vehicle dry weights of only a few thousand pounds.  The goal of this SBIR project is to leverage these investments and techniques to design small, high performance experimental airbreathing vehicles that can be affordably fabricated and tested.   Technological trends facilitating small stages include an ongoing computer/software revolution enabling affordable design, integration and test; micro-miniaturization of electronics and mechanical actuators; integrated high and low temperature structural concepts employing high strength to weight composites structures; light weight structures and thermal protection supporting hypersonic flight; high thrust/weight small rocket engines, thermally choked ramjets, scramjets,  and  turbo-machinery.

 

Numerous hypersonic flight programs, to include AFRL’s X-51 and HIFiRE, ESA’s EXPERT, and Germany’s SHEFEX-2, exemplify the current state of the art in hypersonic flight experimentation.  There is a desire to drive the trend downward in both size and cost where practical.  Programs like X-51, with costs upwards of $100 million, have led to smaller, science-based experimentation efforts like the HIFiRE flights that can be done for less than $10 million.  Other changes that delivered savings include opting to use weapons ranges (such as Woomera in Australia and PMRF in Hawaii) for launches as opposed to man-rated launch ranges (such as Cape Canaveral in Florida). Additionally, the use of sounding rockets to boost the flight research vehicles (FLiRVs), instead of ICBM class rockets, is contributing to cost savings.  The development time needed to get to the first launch is also trending downward.  As the overall scale of the effort comes down from the demonstration level (X-51) to the flight experiment level (HIFiRE), the time to get to the first launch has been reduced from 7-8 years to 4-5 years.  A goal of this SBIR effort is to continue the trend and reduce the cost, development time to first launch, and vehicle weight by as much as 50%.

 

Approaches to flight testing the vehicle(s) developed in the present effort shall address the viability of technology transition.  Air-launched or ground-launched approaches must include realistic estimates for costs, including range costs, costs of flight-readiness and safety reviews, and costs associated with hardware modifications to ensure a successful flight testing program after Phase II.  It is the responsibility of the offeror to build a strong case for follow-on flight testing.

 

The offeror must demonstrate a clear understanding of applications for the RAM/SCRAM vehicles.  In the current SBIR solicitation, RAM/SCRAM implies an integral aeropropulsion concept including a low-speed propulsion system combined with a ramjet/scramjet propulsion system.  It is not required for the flowpaths to be shared between the two propulsion systems, although it may be beneficial.  Potential system applications include tactical hypersonic Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, upper stages for Responsive Space Access launch vehicles, and small tactical hypersonic missiles.

 

Similarly, a clear understanding of the technology is essential.  For example, RAM/SCRAM systems require high engine efficiency across a broad Mach range as well as very light weight airframe and propulsion technologies.  Demonstrating these technologies at small scale is very challenging and in some cases not practical.  Offeror’s are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of the technologies including scale-up effects.  Offerors may seek to design and fabricate an entire stage or only critical components.

 

PHASE I:  Define the technical challenge and quantify the attributes of the emerging technologies required to enable small, affordable RAM/SCRAM experimental vehicles.  Examine innovative approaches for design of the experimental vehicle that validates the enabling technologies, assesses feasibility/risk, and identifies the most technically effective and cost efficient approach.  Construct an operationally representative mission and develop trajectories for an operational RAM/SCRAM system with technologies enabled by the experimental vehicle.  Identify system level and technology applications of the proposed innovation.  As a threshold, the vehicle can include multiple stages, but the goal is to have the entire propulsion cycle and flight vehicle in single stage.  Although multiple system applications are encouraged at least one of the following missions should be evaluated for military utility:  1) a high speed tactical ISR reusable vehicle, 2) a reusable upper stage for a RBS capability, 3) a tactical hypersonic missile. An overall goal of this SBIR effort is to reduce the cost, development time to first launch, and vehicle weight by as much as 50% from the demonstrated HIFiRE program.

 

PHASE II:  Develop the detail level design of the vehicle defined in Phase I of this project.  Develop, demonstrate and validate the system design, critical hardware components and/or enabling technologies.  Demonstrate the experimental hardware or component prototypes developed in Phase I.  Required phase II deliverables will include any experimental hardware and a final report including design data, manufacturing and test plan, test data, updated future applications, etc.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATION:

Military Application:  Key military applications may include, but are not limited to:  1) a tactical hypersonic ISR aircraft 2) an upper stage for a RBS capability, or 3) tactical hypersonic missile 

Commercial Application:  Potential commercial applications include, but are not limited to:  1) high speed reconnaissance aircraft, and 2) commercial access to space systems.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  AFRL Reusable Boost System Pathfinder Pre-solicitation Notice on Fed Biz Opportunities, https://www.fbo.gov.

 

2.  European Space Agency (ESA) Hypersonic Flight Experiment, EXPERT - http://www.esa.int/esaMI/EXPERT/SEMYRKQORVF_0.html

 

3.  German Hypersonic Flight Experiment, SHEFEX-2 - http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/pac-symposium2009/proceedings/papers/s3_22turn.pdf

 

4.  US Air Force Hypersonic Flight Experiment, HIFiRE – Dolvin, Doug J., “Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation”, AIAA/DLR/DGLR 16th International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Bremen, Germany, October, 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: Hypersonic, combined cycle, ISR, space access, hypersonic cruise, hypersonic UAV, RPV

 

 

 

AF121-002                         TITLE: Intelligent Controller Development for Cooperative UAV Missions

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Information Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop learning algorithms for cooperative control and mission planning for unmanned aircraft.

 

DESCRIPTION:  As unmanned and autonomous systems become more prevalent in DoD, they will face increasingly complex and uncertain missions.  The ability to learn and adapt will be essential to maintain effectiveness in the face of uncertainty and adversary countermeasures. During the last decade, extensive research efforts have been directed at cooperative control for teams of unmanned vehicles. These problems typically involve elements of resource allocation, path planning, task assignment and scheduling, and Markov decision processes, complicated by uncertainty, task coupling, timing constraints, limited computation time, communication constraints, and dynamic mission elements (e.g., tasks).  Although great progress has been made in cooperative autonomous control for task execution, cooperative decision-making and mission management algorithms, once programmed, are typically static, and cannot adapt or learn in the presence of uncertainty, unforeseen changes to the mission topology, or adversarial manipulation.

 

It is clear that both intelligent control, which allows a system to react to previously unencountered situations in ways that maximize objective functions, and cooperative control, which merges local objectives and team objectives in an efficient manner, are important to future battlefield operations. Even task assignment algorithms for relatively small collections of unmanned vehicles become computationally difficult to solve. One definition of an intelligent control system is one which perceives its environment and modifies control actions to maximize its system performance. Key characteristics include learning, memory, and the ability to modify decisions based on learned information. Learning algorithms, once trained, may enable satisfactory solutions with faster computation times. Additionally, the system should be able to adapt and expand the space of actions available to the team beyond a limited set of pre-defined plays. The characteristics of the plant to be learned could include a UAV, a team of UAVs, including their communication and sensor capabilities and operator, and the entire battlespace with which the UAVs must interact.  Communication and sharing of information are critical factors. Communication can be imperfect and limited, with varying information across a fractionated system. Since learning convergence rates are typically slow, and data requirements substantial, offline learning likely will be necessary.  Combinations of approaches from control theory, operations research, and computer sciences may all be appropriate. Although some degree of adversarial threats to the UAVs should be considered, differential games approaches are not required.

 

A simulation environment is needed for the development of intelligent cooperative control algorithms in the UAV mission context, including both ISR and more challenging combat missions involving threats.  This environment will allow a variety of mission planning and control techniques to be studied, including those developed as part of this effort. A modular architecture is necessary, enabling other algorithms to be easily incorporated and tested.  The simulation environment could be used as a truth model to enable offline learning, and then modified for use in supervised learning, or to test existing controllers.  Development of effective cooperative intelligent control algorithms is necessary, both to fully exercise the simulation, and to demonstrate the potential value of learning in a cooperative system of autonomous assets.

 

PHASE I:  Define intelligent cooperative control architecture that could, with additional development, provide a learning capability for UAV mission planning and execution. It is expected that the proposer will already have a baseline simulation available, focused on either UAVs or ground robots.  All work should be at an unclassified level.

 

PHASE II:  Produce a medium-fidelity simulation for testing learning cooperative control algorithms for UAV operations, including some degree of adversarial threats to the UAVs. Develop algorithms that enable the UAVs to cooperate in mission planning and execution, learn from experience, and improve performance over time through changes to the decision and control system.  All work should be at an unclassified level.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Intelligent cooperative controllers will have many military uses.  As unmanned and autonomous systems become more prevalent in DoD, they will face increasingly complex and uncertain missions.  The ability to learn and adapt will be essential.

Commercial Application:  Learning algorithms that can solve complex decision problems will have extensive commercial application. The problems to be solved here are highly similar to vehicle routing and job shop scheduling problems.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Joshua Redding, Alborz Geramifard, Aditya Undurti, Han-Lim Choi, and Jonathan P. How, “An Intelligent Cooperative Control Architecture”, Proceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference.

 

2.  Ketan Savla and Emilio Frazzoli, “Game-theoretic learning algorithm for a spatial coverage problem”, Forty-Seventh Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, 2009, pp. 984-990.

 

3.  Shie Mannor and Jeff S. Shamma, “Multi-agent learning for engineers”, Artificial Intelligence 171 (2007) 417-422.

 

4. G.C. Chasparis, J.S. Shamma, and A. Arapostathis, "Aspiration learning in coordination games", 49th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, December 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: Cooperative control, learning, UAV

 

 

 

AF121-003                         TITLE: Structural Radio Frequency Electronics

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Sensors

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate concepts to support structural integration of RF electronic devices and systems in conformal load bearing antenna structures (CLAS).

 

DESCRIPTION:  The Air Force is developing RF CLAS to improve the performance of a wide variety of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), communication navigation identification (CNI), and electronic warfare (EW) functions, as well as air vehicle flight performance.  CLAS is a synergistic marriage of structure and antenna.  Antenna components are an integral feature of the structure in the CLAS concept. CLAS concepts developed to date primarily feature only passive antenna radiating elements and simple feed circuitry integrated in the structure.  To expand the performance potential of CLAS, there is a need to integrate active components and multi-level circuitry typically associated with conventional printed circuit boards.  This will enable capabilities such as reconfigurability, mode forming, and increased bandwidth.  One of the key technical challenges associated with this level of integration is the creation of electrical features on or within a structural component typically fabricated from structural materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).  There is also a need for conformal integration of antenna components on metallic components.  Specific technical challenges needing investigation and development include via fabrication between composite plies containing conductive traces, incorporation of low-noise amplifiers (LNA) into the radiating structure, attachment of dielectric material to metallic surfaces to act as a substrate for radiating elements, wire bond methods for active components such as RF MEMS switches, and connector attachment methods at ingress/egress points.   CLAS concepts require that the antenna components function and survive the air vehicle structural environment.   Typical environmental conditions include a maximum strain level of +/-6000 microstrain, cyclic fatigue to within 1000 to 2000 microstrain for greater than 100,000 cycles, temperature ranging from -60 to 180 °F, and 90% humidity.  The frequency range of interest is 30 MHz to 8 GHz.  The intent of this effort is to address the technical challenges and demonstrate the feasibility to integrate active components and multi-level circuitry in a representative CLAS concept.

 

PHASE I:  Develop one or more concepts, conduct exploratory fabrication techniques, down select concept (if needed), and fabricate specimen to demonstrate process feasibility and verify that performance goals are met.  Analyze both mechanical and electrical performance.

 

PHASE II:  Refine concept from Phase I and optimize for Phase II requirements.  Fabricate functional device using the refined concept and conduct comprehensive testing.  Deliver functional prototype to AFRL.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Any platform that would benefit from the drag reduction and weight savings offered by CLAS technology.

Commercial Application:  Similar to military -- any vehicle where weight and drag are important design considerations.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Calus, P., Conformal Load-Bearing Antenna Structure for Australian Defence Force Aircraft, 2007.

 

2. Calus, P., Novel Concepts for Conformal Load-bearing Antenna Structure, 2008.

 

3. You, C., Tentzeris, M., Hwang, W., Multilayer Effects on Microstrip Antennas for their Integration With Mechanical Structures, 2007.

 

KEYWORDS: CLAS, antennas, conformal, low-profile, load-bearing

 

 

 

AF121-004                         TITLE: Intelligent Course of Action (ICOA)Generation for Air Vehicle Self-Defense

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative concepts for an Intelligent Course of Action (ICOA) generator that is capable of autonomous air vehicle self-defense.

 

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force projects that future Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) will pose significant threats to U.S. air supremacy by denying access to previously accessible air space. A key requirement for preventing future air space denial and allowing advanced IADS penetration is the development of onboard autonomous vehicle self-defense for both manned and unmanned aircraft. An onboard autonomous self-defense system will allow for automatic and semi-automatic response to incoming threats in real time. The self-defense system must be able to detect, identify, monitor and track threats; determine the appropriate defensive measures; and employ those measures to defeat the threats.

 

A key component of the overall self defense system will be an Intelligent Course of Action (ICOA) generator. The ICOA generator will be responsible for ranking perceived threats, determining which threats to engage, with what weapons, countermeasures, maneuvers or combinations thereof, and at what time. Optimized use of limited resources will be a key to autonomously defending an aircraft in a complex hostile air space/anti-access environment. The ICOA is not required to detect, identify, and maintain threat tracks.  An ICOA generator will need to make real time course of action (CoA) decisions and provide a pilot, onboard or remote, the option to intervene in defensive adjudication. This ability to intervene is a key to pilot acceptance of the self defense system.

 

The proposed SBIR effort will conceptualize, design, and develop innovative approaches to ICOA generation as a part of an autonomous/semi-autonomous self defense system onboard a bomber class vehicle. Successful ICOA concepts will utilize a combination of available weapon systems, counter measures, and aircraft maneuvers in order to survive a dense future IADs penetration mission. The air vehicle will follow a pre-planned route during the mission using maneuvers as a means for improving engagement geometry. Inputs to the ICOA generator will include, but are not limited to, the available weapon systems, threat tracks, and the aircraft’s pre-planned route. Using these inputs the ICOA concept will output “intelligent” courses of action ensuring aircraft survival (e.g. use self defense missile against threat X). Available weapon systems include, but are not limited to, an undetermined number of self defense missiles and directed energy weapons. A successful ICOA concept will be adaptable to the quantity of available weapon systems on a per mission basis. Threat systems encountered will include ground based and airborne systems, ranging from surface-to-air missiles, air interceptors w/advanced air-to-air missiles, electronic warfare systems, directed energy systems, and combinations of these. The ICOA generator will be required to handle multiple simultaneous shots at multiple angles from the aforementioned threat systems. Successful concepts will encompass, but are not limited to, real time operation, minimization of input data requirements, adaptation to evolving threat capabilities, and adjustment to ownship self defense capabilities, with a potential for multi-ship operations consisting of up to four aircraft. The proposed approach will be implemented in accordance with an interface control document (ICD) provided by the Air Force, allowing the ICOA generator to be integrated into an existing constructive simulation environment. 

 

PHASE I: This effort will develop an initial concept for an ICOA generator. As part of concept development, the technical feasibility will be assessed and performance goals for the concept will be identified.  Required deliverables for the Phase I effort will include a technical report and prototype ICOA generator.

 

PHASE II: This effort will mature the concept and Phase I prototype for integration in a constructive simulation environment. The prototype implementation will be based on the provided ICD, but integration into the simulation environment will not be required. Required deliverables for the Phase II effort will include a technical report and the final ICOA generator prepared for implementation in the constructive simulation.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Autonomous self defense systems will be indispensable to all manned/unmanned aircraft. This technology may be expanded to manage offensive tasks. This technology may also be applied to enhance constructive analysis and training simulation systems.

Commercial Application: Autonomous self defense could be applied to commercial aircraft in order to counter potential terrorist threats. These types of algorithms play a critical role in improving efficiency in processes such as manufacturing, shipping, etc.

 

REFERENCES:

1. United States Air Force Chief Scientist. (2010). Technology horizons: A vision for air force science and technology during 2010-2030.Washington, DC: Department of the Air Force. Retrieved from http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100727-053.pdf.

 

2. Chief of Naval Research. (2009). Naval S&T strategic plan. Washington, DC: Department of the Navy. Retrieved from http://www.onr.navy.mil/About-ONR/~/media/Navy%20and%20Marine%20Strategy%20Plans/Naval-Strategic-Plan-2009.ashx.

 

3. Norvig, P., Russell, S., (2009). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

 

KEYWORDS: Autonomy, self-defense, unmanned aerial vehicles, manned aircraft, simulation, course of action, integrated air defense systems, resource manager, artificial intelligence

 

 

 

AF121-008                         TITLE: Free-Space Quantum Key Distribution

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a feasible operational concept for quantum key distribution between an Earth station and low-earth orbit (LEO), and advance the driving technology needs.

 

DESCRIPTION: Information management and information assurance (IA) are critical elements for all DOD operations and their importance is only expected to increase in the future.  Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) promises, in theory, perfectly secure key generation and distribution based on quantum physics rather than the computational complexity of certain mathematical problems. Given the progress in the development of QKD protocols, implementations and related technology over the past two and a half decades, QKD may be a feasible technology to support the information assurance needs that face both national security space (NSS) missions and commercial information security.

                                                                                         

Quantum cryptography technologies have become sufficiently mature to experience commercialization in recent years, and fiber-based QKD systems for terrestrial applications have been reported with bit rates in excess of 1 Mbit/s.  Owing to the signal losses and increased background noise associated with long-distance free-space propagation, proof-of-principle experiments involving free-space optical channels have resulted in many orders of magnitude lower bit rates.  Technical factors limiting the system bit rates can be attributed to the efficiency, speed, and noise characteristics associated with components and data management.  These include photon sources, single-photon detectors, and algorithms required to manage data, correct errors, and enhance security.  For optical links between space and earth, the limited aperture sizes in conjunction with absorption, diffraction and atmospheric turbulence can lead to significant optical losses.  Furthermore, scattering in the free-space channel can degrade signal-to-noise making daytime operation particularly challenging. 

 

The goal of this SBIR solicitation is to identify an operational system concept for free-space QKD between low-earth orbit (LEO) and an Earth station capable of secret key bit generation in excess of 1,000 quantum bits per second, and develop a key component of that system that is identified as essential to its operation.  Optical wavelengths of interest are those in the range of 750 to 1600 nm and within atmospheric transmission windows.  A successful proposal will define the operational concept for a QKD system and describe the corresponding measures of effectiveness for the system’s performance.  The proposal should also identify the main technological problems that must be overcome or developed to realize the proposed system.   The proposal will then identify limiting critical path technology(s) for development to support this system, and describe plans for the advancement of at least one of the limiting technologies to support the operational concept.  This solicitation seeks to promote the development of sub-system technologies that provide the efficiency, speed, and noise characteristics that are necessary to achieve rapid key generation, and system designs that are robust to daytime operation and LEO satellite dynamics.  The proposed key technology development(s) must be justified through analysis that includes the impact of the proposed technology development on performance of a space-ground QKD system with consideration given to security, size, mass, and power requirements. 

 

Responses should identify driving technologies that will advance state-of-the-art free-space QKD.  The proposal should demonstrate how the proposed innovation would impact secure key rates in QKD when considered together with a QKD protocol, atmospheric effects, electro-optical components, and beam control parameters.  Metrics for evaluating the approach will include the rate of quantum key generation in secret key bits per second, distance of optical link, the duration of the engagements and number of engagements per day allowed by the beam control approach including any limitations associated with daytime operation.  Practical consideration should be given to aperture and payload sizes associated with space-based systems.

 

PHASE I: Define a baseline QKD operational concept and associated measures of effectiveness.  This concept should identify the driving technologies and the associated measures of performance that are required to support this concept. For at least one of these key-defined technologies, a plan should be proposed to advance the technology to support the proposer’s defined system. The proposed plan shall be supported by analyses that integrate the proposed innovation with QKD security analysis for a given protocol with electro-optical and algorithmic phenomenology. 

 

PHASE II: Execute the technology advancement plan developed in Phase I.  Demonstrate and validate through appropriate characterization the prototype or critical aspects of the innovation.  The innovation should be both achievable within a phase II SBIR and result in a significant impact on achieving or exceeding the performance goals identified in the solicitation.  The phase II effort should include experimental demonstrations of any new techniques or components required to implement the system concept. 

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Encryption keys are needed for all DoD spacecraft, and many other operational systems. Ability to refresh keys on an as-needed basis to support future net-centric operations.

Commercial Application: Commercial secure communications will benefit in the same manner as military applications from this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Mink et al., “High speed quantum key distribution system supports one-time pad encryption of real time video,” Proc. of SPIE 6244, 62440M (2006).

 

2. C. Bonato, A. Tomaello, V Da Deppo, G. Naletto, and P. Villoresi, “Feasibility of satellite quantum key distribution,” New J. Phys. 11, 045017 (2009).

 

3. Hughes, Nordholt, Derkacs, and Peterson, “Practical free-space quantum key distribution over 10 km in daylight and night,” New Journal of Physics 4, 43 (2002).

 

4. Schmitt-Manderbach et al., “Experimental Demonstration of Free-Space Decoy-State QKD over 144 km,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 010504 (2007).

 

5. A. Tomaello, C. Bonato, V. Da Deppo, G. Naletto, and P. Villoresi, “Link budget and background noise for satellite quantum key distribution,” J. Adv. Space Res. (2011), doi:10.1016/j.asr.2010.11.009.

 

KEYWORDS: Quantum key distribution, free space propagation, atmospheric propagation, information assurance

 

 

 

AF121-009                         TITLE: Uncued Faint Object Detection in LEO and GEO

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a method to detect and track faint objects (greater than or equal to 14th visual magnitude) in any orbit around the Earth using ground-based electro-optics sensors, without prior knowledge of the object's orbit.

 

DESCRIPTION:  A key element of space situational awareness is the detection of new objects in space.  New objects can be either newly launched in space or existing objects that are newly detected on orbit.  As space becomes more crowded, the growing, large body of hard-to-detect objects (much of it debris) will impact the safety of our on-orbit assets.  Detecting and tracking dim objects is important in all orbital regimes.

 

Typically, only a small subset of objects is routinely monitored, with the vast majority either too dim (small) or their position too variable to maintain contact.  With the increasing number of objects in space, we should expect to have new objects appear that were previously unknown.  The purpose of this effort is to develop a capability to detect hard-to-detect (dim) objects in space and determine their orbital parameters.

 

For objects in  low earth orbit (LEO), one can track a known object, keeping the object in the field-of-view.  This enables the sensor to integrate over a long time, which increases the sensitivity and enables tracking dim objects.  In a surveillance mode, where the orbit of the object is not known, the object cannot be tracked.  The sensor either stares at or scans the sky, looking for objects.  In either case, the amount of time the object is in the field-of-view and therefore restricts the dimness of unknown objects that can be detected and tracked.  Innovative methods are needed to reduce the brightness of an object that can be detected in surveillance mode in a LEO orbit.

 

In a geosynchronous orbit (GEO), objects are moving much more slowly through the field-of-view.  Longer integration times are easier to achieve, making it easier to detect dim objects.  The difficulty in GEO is in detecting dim objects in proximity to bright objects.  Similar to detecting dim planets close by a bright star, a dim object close to a bright object in GEO is hidden in the glare of the nearby brighter object and is therefore difficult to detect.  Innovative methods are needed to detect dim objects in GEO, particularly nearby other brighter objects.

 

To be effective, in LEO, these new methods should be capable of detecting objects significantly smaller than a 10 cm object.  In GEO, it is desired to detect objects as dim as 19th visual magnitude.

 

PHASE I:  Develop innovative electro-optical sensor design concepts, scanning methods or processing algorithms to detect dim objects in either LEO or GEO orbital regimes.

 

PHASE II:  Demonstrate capability to detect dim objects in either LEO or GEO regimes.  Demonstration (simulation, laboratory and/or field testing) will show the improvement in detection of dim space objects over existing techniques. Demonstrations will show traceability to improved performance in an existing ground-based optical system. A single system is not assumed to work in both regimes. Document the new technology to enable transfer to military use.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The U.S. military will be able to utilize the new capability in the space surveillance network. This technology will enable fainter objects to be detected and tracked, providing a broader knowledge of all objects in orbit around the Earth.

Commercial Application:  Commercial satellite operations will benefit from the new capabilities.

 

REFERENCES:

1. R. Sridharan, A. F. Pensa, "U.S. Space Surveillance Network Capabilities," SPIE vol 3434, pp 88-100, 1998.

 

2. Donath, T., et al, "Proposal for a European Space Surveillance System," Proc 4th European Conference on Space Debris (ESA SP-587), p.31, 18-20 April 2005.

 

KEYWORDS: Surveillance, detection, tracking

 

 

 

AF121-010                         TITLE: Feature Identification from Unresolved Electro-optical Data

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop algorithms, techniques, or systems for estimating features of unresolved space objects from electro-optical data.

 

DESCRIPTION: For some electro-optical surveillance systems, distant objects of interest may be beyond the resolving capability of the sensor. In these cases, feature identification must rely on radiometric, spectral, and polarimetric measurements over time. Features can be used to quantify characteristics, such as albedo-area map and/or shape, configuration, rotational dynamics, and surface properties such as specular and diffuse albedo and/or emissivity. In addition, measured features can be used to match or discriminate with known objects or classes of objects and to identify their behavior. For example, photometric measurements from solar-illuminated asteroids have been used to estimate their spin state and shape. This approach relies on the inversion of time-resolved photometric data to produce a spin axis and rate estimate along with a shape assuming a fixed surface albedo.

 

The objective is to develop innovative feature estimation or matching approaches produced by new and/or existing electro-optical systems. Identified features should include error estimates and confidence levels in identifying and separating features. Feature extraction methods may be done with or without any prior knowledge of the object. With a prior knowledge, electro-optical measurements can be matched with a forward model.

 

There are obvious relationships between possible features and the underlying state of space objects, e.g., determining object spin from periodicities in temporal photometric measurements. We are looking for innovative approaches that go beyond the obvious relationships and create more powerful techniques that build broader relationships between space objects measurable signatures and important features of the space objects. The following examples suggest such possible broader approaches, but they are by no means exclusive or exhaustive:

 

• Combining unsupervised learning state variable methods (e.g., Kalman filter evolution of temporal behavior) with supervised pattern recognition methods

• Application of the evolving methods of data mining, such as unsupervised learning methods from statistical or information-theory based data clustering, to identify significant sources of features in large volumes of data

• Application of the recent merger of integral equation inversion methods with sparse mathematics optimization for direct approximation of the equations that govern the propagation of object features into the measured data

 

The breadth of approaches sought in this SBIR encompasses algorithms (computational methods), techniques (procedures of computation, analysis and archival compilation of relevant data) and systems (integrated devices, algorithms and techniques) that meet the goal of furthering broader knowledge and utility of unresolved electro-optical data.

 

Develop algorithms, techniques, or systems that provide the ability to identify features from a realistic non-resolved data set. The use of realistic radiometric forward modeling to correlate features with shape, size, material composition, attitude, or configuration is highly desirable. Provide a feasibility assessment of these algorithms.

 

PHASE I: Develop new concepts to identify features from unresolved optical data. Use of radiometric forward modeling is highly desired. Provide feasibility assessments of these algorithms and specify how they would characterize the physical structure of the object, such as size, shape, color, or how the object is oriented in space (spinning, in a stable attitude such as nadir pointing).

 

PHASE II: Evaluate concepts identified in Phase I for performance in correlating algorithm outputs with shape, size, material composition, attitude, and configuration. This may be demonstrated against typical space situational awareness (SSA) scenarios. Demonstrations used to test the developed techniques should use data on satellites for which there is an independent means of assessing truth.  Typical scenarios and data on satellites for testing will be provided by the technical POC, upon request.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: This technology will help national surveillance systems to maintain the space catalog by adding additional information in identifying objects in orbit.

Commercial Application: This technology is applicable in medical imaging, meteorology, and homeland security applications.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Wild, W.J., Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 368, Feb. 20, 1991, p. 622-625.

 

2. M. Kaasalainen, J. Torppa, and K. Muinonen, “Optimization methods for asteroid lightcurve inversion. II. The complete inverse problem,” Icarus 153, 37-51 (2001).

 

3. Brandoch Calef, John Africano, Brian Birge, Doyle Hall and Paul Kervin, "Photometric signature inversion," Proc. SPIE 6307, 63070E (2006).

 

4. Hall, D., Calef, B., Knox, K., Bolden M., and Kervin, P., Separating Attitude and Shape Effects for Non-resolved Objects, The 2007 AMOS Technical Conference Proceedings, Kihei, HI, 2007.

 

5. Hall, D., Surface Material Characterization from Multi-band Optical Observations, The 2010 AMOS Technical Conference Proceedings, Kihei, HI, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: Optical, infrared, identification, feature extraction, photometry, inversion, BRDF, unresolved

 

 

 

AF121-011                         TITLE: Daytime Detection and Tracking of Objects in a Geosynchronous or Geo-transfer

Orbit

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Provide persistent space situational awareness by detecting space objects in geosynchronous and geosynchronous transfer orbits using existing government infrastructure while minimizing long term operations and maintenance costs.

 

DESCRIPTION:  As the number of space objects in geostationary earth orbit (GEO) increases, timely knowledge of newly inserted satellite orbital elements becomes more important to effectively track the object. Both foreign and domestic GEO satellite placement involves a geo-transfer orbit (GTO) that transitions the payload from an initial low earth orbit (LEO) to its final GEO location. The most direct approach has been a Hohmann transfer involving an initial LEO burn that injects the spacecraft into a GTO orbit, followed by an apogee circularization burn at GEO.

 

Advancements in propulsion technology have resulted in significant deviations from traditional Hohmann GTO type trajectories. As a result, the early determination of the targeted final orbit becomes significantly more challenging. Maintaining line-of-sight custody of the newly launched object in GTO and into GEO is critical. Current radar methods are limited beyond LEO orbital distances requiring the discovery of new techniques to detect GEO and GTO space objects.

 

Detection of small objects at night is accomplished routinely with ground-based electro-optical telescopes around the world.  Techniques have been established for detection, follow up, and establishing tracks.  However, favorable maneuver geometry will happen regardless of time of day.  During the day, high background levels from scattered light limit the ability to detect and track space objects.  Techniques are needed that allow for remote sensing of space objects beyond low earth orbit (LEO) through the high background levels present in the visible wave band. Tracking during the day would provide verification of maneuvers during the day and would expand the capability to observe and track objects through GEO insertion.  Detection of 1m objects in a geosynchronous orbit during the day using a 1.6m telescope would advance state-of-the-art in space surveillance and tracking capability.

 

Solutions should be capable of demonstration at Maui Space Surveillance Site at Haleakala, HI, and may use existing assets at that facility.

 

There are an abundance of solutions that could solve the problem with a significant investment. Priority will be given to techniques that

1. Will use existing government infrastructure

2. Are low cost to operate and maintain

3. Detect more man-made objects in a greater volume around the geo belt

 

PHASE I:  Identify sensor configurations and collection techniques for daytime detection culminating in a preliminary design review for a detection system.

 

PHASE II:  Prototype demonstration of sensitivity limits in lab with known daytime target signal/background levels to approximate sky conditions. Following successful lab tests, a daytime demonstration of sensitivity at Maui Space Surveillance Site may use government or contractor equipment.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Worldwide detection and tracking of space objects near the GEO belt during the day.

Commercial Application:  Dim signal detection and camera optimization in high background conditions can apply to many remote sensing applications for detection of specific small dim targets such as security, locating specific plants and animals, and overhead imaging.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Dahm, W.J.A, USAF Chief Scientist Report on Technology Horizons:  A Vision for Air Force Science & Technology during 2010-2030, Volume 1, AF/ST-TR-10-01-PR, 15 May 2010.

 

2.  R. Sridharan, A. F. Pensa, "U.S. Space Surveillance Network Capabilities," SPIE vol 3434, pp 88-100, 1998.

 

3.  Bradford, L.W., “Maui4: A 24 Hour Haleakala Turbulence Profile,” Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, Sept 14-17, 2010.

 

4.  Flury, W, et al., “Searching for small debris in the geostationary ring,” ESA Bulletin, no. 104, pp. 92-100. Nov. 2000.

 

KEYWORDS: Daytime, Geostationary, Geosynchronous, Tracking, Transfer, Orbits

 

 

 

AF121-012                         TITLE: Characterization of GEO Insertion Maneuvers Utilizing Spectral, Photometric,

and Image Analysis Techniques coupled with High Precision Orbit Determination

Algorithms

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: The development of an algorithm that determines future orbital elements of a satellite from initial orbital elements given the observable characteristics of thruster plumes.

 

DESCRIPTION: Space technology needs are driving requirements in directions that conflict with design considerations for space and ground sensors. Dim object detection and characterization conflicts with our need for detecting the multitude of objects in a wide area from low earth orbit (LEO) to geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) and detecting space object changes. It is challenging for sensors to look in all directions at all times and detect anything other than the brightest signal. Fortunately, thrusting objects emit a signature that is often very bright providing an opportunity for change detection in a sensor optimized for covering a large volume of space. This will allow us to detect a change that would otherwise go undetected because of inherent system design limitations for detecting dim objects and providing sufficient repeated coverage over the sky.

 

However, detecting the change is only the first part of the problem. Embedded in the thruster firing are clues about the characteristics of the object and where it is going. Techniques are needed to determine space vehicle orbital elements immediately after an exoatmospheric maneuver given a known initial trajectory but no a priori thruster knowledge. Solutions may use spectral, spatial, or photometric plume characteristics in any wavelength that can be readily tested using ground-based telescopes. The observable phenomena must be sufficiently understood to come up with a reasonable collection scheme. Propulsion dynamics may be modeled using time-resolved observational data including particle size/density, temperature distribution, and resolved spectral signatures as a function of spatial extent over the evolving plume area. Particle size/density determination could be deduced from observed scattering phenomena with respect to viewing geometry and illumination conditions. Temperature can be determined via calibrated infrared measurements over the plume area. Highly resolved spectroscopic information within the plume may be obtained and used. Given the possible available data, the modeling tools should be able to predict, with confidence, the orbital elements of the satellite body.

 

Research is needed to develop extensive modeling and simulations to characterize radiometric parameters to estimate acceleration profile and trajectories from plume measurements and models of common satellite materials. This includes:

- Analyze viewing geometries and sensor locations

- Simulate all potential observation opportunities including daylight, terminator, and nighttime

- Investigate optical assets and sensor(s) for line-of-sight (LOS) tracking and plume capture, and spectral and spatial sampling capabilities gauged with respect to signal to noise ratio. Validate radiance models of selected orbit insertion kick motors

- Develop an inversion algorithm to fuse all data sources to determine new orbital elements

 

Proposals should build upon existing research of space thruster firing. Modeling and simulation experience should be detailed including evidence of maturity of the models to be used for conducting the research.

 

Evaluate sensors at the Advanced Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS) that can be utilized in the effort to demonstrate capability.

 

If requested, AMOS will facilitate data collection on cooperative objects with AMOS ground-based sensors including the SPICA-II spectrometer on AEOS (3.6m telescope). Other data collection locations and sensors may be requested and will be provided as available.  Access to data will require a secret security clearance.  Resulting data will be used to refine predicted performance.

 

Phase I:  Identify one or more postulated methods for determining orbital parameters utilizing LOS and plume information following a maneuver. Identify the associated modeling, simulation and data collection to support/refute/develop the technique. List assumptions, requirements, error tolerance and the resulting expected uncertainty of the calculation.  Predict performance and identify a plan to validate models.  Identify risks.

 

Phase II:  Conduct modeling and simulation eliminating overly challenging approaches and refining applicable models. Reduce risk and mature models by validating models with experimental field data of relevant space objects. Demonstrate robustness of algorithms by predicting space vehicle orbital elements immediately after an exoatmospheric maneuver given a known initial trajectory but no a priori thruster knowledge for at least 3 cooperative maneuvers.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Worldwide deployment of daytime detection techniques for space situational awareness for the DoD.

Commercial Application: Understanding and verification of space physics out to 36,000 km in Phase II will allow contractors to be prepared to propose new ideas for scientific discovery.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Airglow Hydroxyl Emissions. Sivjee, B.B. 1992, Planet Space Sci, pp. 235-242.

 

2. Ground-based Observation of TacSat 2 Maneuvers. P.F. Sydney, K. Hamada, M. Bolden, T.M. Kelecy, D.T. Hall, D. Archambeault, R.A. Dressler, Y. Chiu, D. Bromaghim, J.M. Ekholm, C.J. Finley, L.K. Johnson. 2011, JANAFF, p. 43.

 

3. Influence of the Internal Energy Model on DSMC Flow Results for Rarefied Spacecraft Plumes. Cline, Jason A. 2010, DTIC.

 

4. Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Modeling of High Energy Chemistry in Molecular Beams: Chemistry Models and Flowfield Effects. Wysong, M. Braunstein and I.J. 2000, DTIC.

 

5. An epoch state filter for use with analytical orbit models of low earth satellites. Montenbruck, Oliver. 2000, Aerosp Sci Technol, pp. 277-287.

 

KEYWORDS: Space Situational Awareness (SSA), maneuver characterization

 

 

 

AF121-016                         TITLE: Curved Flat Panel Microdisplay (CFPM)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a thin, curved image-generating microdisplay with simplified optics for use in digital visualization applications including near-eye advanced helmet--mounted systems, 3D, and other projection designs.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Displays, including miniature and microdisplays, are typically fabricated as rectilinear flat image-generating surfaces on glass plates or silicon wafers due to the limitations imposed by current manufacturing and available substrate technologies.  Such displays generate a rectilinear flat image that must be transformed into a curved image wavefront representation for projection to the eye.  The optical design problem is compounded by the need for an optical system with low étendue that efficiently uses the emitted light.  The overall optical efficiency is limited due to the fact that the initial image is rectilinear flat rather than curved to begin with.  Flat images force the design and use of a complex eyepiece optic (expensive train of lens elements) that efficiently collect s  and converts the flat image initially generated into a curved field-of-view (e.g. 40º solid cone) of optical flux relayed to the eye.  Volume, weight, and expense of the display optics often prevents the integration of microdisplays into applications where weight and space are critical.  Increases in field of view and acuity are also restricted.  Recent bio-inspired work has taken note that the retina of the eye is curved, which accepts the curved FOV optical flux arriving at the aperture (the pupil), which, in turn, enables a very simple lenses for sensors.  The objective of this topic is to apply the same techniques to microdisplays.  The recent advances fabrication techniques of curved focal plane arrays for sensors could be equally well applied to microdisplays.  Current digital microdisplays and sensors both involve the fabrication of microelectronics circuits at each pixel (display or sensor) of an NxM pixel array with die dimensions on the order of 10mm.  Curved device fabrication strategies include 1) array formation on a flat substrate that is then curved once into the final shape and 2) direct fabrication in the desired shape.  This topic is focused on the use of the techniques developed for curved microsensor devices to microdisplay devices.  High efficiency, yet simple near eye optics are required as well for integration and CFPM system evaluation.

 

PHASE I:  Design CFPM near-eye vision system with optics capable of being integrated to small form factor applications to provide visualization capability to pilots and other warfighters. Novel materials, microdisplay pixel structures, array readout schema, and fabrication techniques should be addressed via proof-of-principle experiments. Develop roadmap.

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate CFPM and demonstrate performance in laboratory environment.  Perform evaluation experiments and compare performance to comparable state-of-the-art classical, rectilinear flat, panel microdisplays.  Demonstrate synergistic capabilities of CFPM in support of HMS and other gear now worn or used by warfighters. Evaluate potential of CFPM in commercial applications to create an industrial base for affordable production. Deliver three units.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Military applications include helmet mounted display (HMD) systems for pilots (all aircraft), tankers, and dismounted combatants, other digital projection and near-eye digital vision systems, and dynamic holographic 3D display systems.

Commercial Application:  Commercial applications include high resolution displays (near-eye virtual image and projected real image) embedded in consumer electronics (computers, cell phones, camcorders), homeland security, and police.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  D. Shenoy, “Hemispherical Array Detector for Imaging (HARDI),” program focused on exploiting materials and processing methods to create curved focal plane to reduce optical elements and need for image post processing,  http://www.darpa.mil/mto/programs/hardi/index.html.

 

2. From the system point of view, the étendue is the area of the entrance pupil times the solid angle the source subtends as seen from the pupil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etendue.

 

3. Helmet mounted display, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmet_mounted_display.

 

4.  Design of Head mounted displays, www.optics.arizona.edu.

 

KEYWORDS: Curved flat panel microdisplay, étendue, helmet mounted display, HMD, 3D display, projection systems

 

 

 

AF121-017                         TITLE: Adaptive Gaming and Training Environment for Maintenance Operations

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an adaptive game-based approach to training for maintenance operators.

 

DESCRIPTION: Recently there has been a growing recognition of the potential role that interactive games may have as environments for training and rehearsal for military personnel. The growth of the military’s interest in gaming is exemplified by the Defense Advanced Research Project Administration (DARPA) DARWARS initiative and the US Army’s collaboration with the University of California Institute for Creative Technology. Further, significant advances in software agents to support learning that are based on either computational or cognitive modeling architectures or machine learning makes the development of lower costs, adaptive learning environments possible. Games, however, are not typically designed with either a research or training focus. This effort will explore the potential for applying gaming technology and agent architectures to the training of maintenance personnel. At the present time, the USAF maintenance community relies on very expensive part task trainers that in many cases are minimally interactive, and require human instructors to provide much of the content through hands-on demonstrations. These part task trainers are not flexible or tailorable to either differing contexts/situations for learning or to the learning needs of those who are the targets of the training. A gap exists between the instructional adaptability and fidelity of these static devices and the complex demands of learning how to troubleshoot and maintain modern aircraft systems and subsystems. This effort will explore the training utility of developing gaming environments that incorporate adaptive approaches to tailoring learning where complex maintenance tasks can be trained in realistic scenarios and simulations. By using a gaming approach, access to any classified system data would be eliminated, but the training that is provided could be conceptually valid and of sufficient fidelity to support the specific system tasks desired. In addition, this effort could permit a number of other, more research- and training-centric issues, to be examined in detail as they relate to gaming environments and to future commercial applications in the maintenance domain. First, more efficiently develop specific system or subsystem representations for the specific parts of the aircraft to be trained and that are associated with specific maintenance tasks. Second, identify and validate training strategies and scenarios that support the development and refresh of skills associated with maintenance performance in the operational environment. Specifically, what are characteristics of strategies and scenarios embedded in the game that support development and refresh of critical knowledge and skills? Third, develop specifications for performance measures and protocols for assessing proficiency and decay for the gaming environment and to inform the adaptive agents; Fourth, what are some preliminary guidelines for refresher training intervals for different classes maintenance skill and levels of expertise; Fifth, explore ease of incorporating Interactive Electronic Training Manuals (IETM). Finally, demonstrate real-time scenario authoring and skills tracking that can be integrated into other gaming/training environments.

 

PHASE I: Develop specifications for using gaming approaches to train maintenance tasks. Identify key features of the environment and explore alternative methods for adapting content based on performance and level of underlying knowledge about the system or subsystem.  The Government will coordinate field visits and will make subject matter experts and maintenance tasks available to the vendor.

 

PHASE II: Demonstrate a game based approach to training, rehearsal & exercise for maintenance ops. Develop and validate authoring methods, event management, tools, & trainee performance tracking and learning adaptation capabilities inside the gaming env. Explore connectivity feasibility among the gaming environment & a distributed mission training simulation environment. The Government will coordinate site visits and will make subject matter experts available for a field eval of the gaming environment with operational maintenance personnel.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Maintenance training is very expensive and typically requires access to real aircraft or other operational systems or very expensive mock ups. Game based environments offer a way to get higher fidelity training for maintenance tasks at lower costs.

Commercial Application: Key tasks for mx ops could be applicable to a variety of commercial trng requirements where gaming is also a plausible env choice. Key components of the gaming env developed would have application in virtually any complex systems mx environment.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Fong, G. (2004). Adapting COTS games for military simulation. Proceedings of the 2004 ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and its Applications in Industry (pp. 269-272). New York: ACM Press.

 

2. Gick, M. L. & Holyoak, K. J. (1987). The cognitive basis of knowledge transfer. In S. M. Cormier & J. D. Hagman (Eds.), Transfer of training: Contemporary research and applications (pp. 9-46). New York: Academic.

 

3. Ricci, K. E., Salas, E., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (2002). Do computer-based games facilitate knowledge acquisition and retention? Military Psychology, 8(4), 295-307.

 

4. Van Hemel, P.E., Judson King, W., & Gambrell, C.B. (1981). Simulation techniques in operator and maintenance training, performance assessment, and personnel selection. Computers & Industrial Engineering . Vol.5, Pages 105-112.

 

5.  List of FAQs from TPOC, 27 sets of Q&A, posted in SITIS 12/5/11.

 

KEYWORDS: gaming, maintenance operations, training environment

 

 

 

AF121-018                         TITLE: Color symbology in helmet mounted visors and heads up displays

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Human Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Design and demonstrate a prototype next generation multi color symbology for use in helmet mounted displays and HUD.

 

DESCRIPTION:  For a day helmet mounted display or HUD system, high ambient illumination can desaturate colors to a point that there are color recognition errors (e.g., confusing yellow and green). For a night vision system, the colors are in front of a night vision goggle and this shifts all colors toward green.  Varying natural backgrounds will further limit consistency in recognizing the color presented.  Assuming it's possible to come up with a set of colors that are easily distinguishable, the question is, which colors and how many to use at one time?

 

In addition, the use of color facilitates applications for tactical symbology that have not yet been explored, optimized, or standardized, especially air-to-ground, combat search and rescue, and Global Information Grid data links. 

 

PHASE I:  Perform a technology feasibility assessment and deliver a description of the conceptual solution, data to support the feasibility of the next generation of visor and HUD color symbology solution, and a brief outline of a Phase II effort.

 

PHASE II:  Construct and demonstrate a next generation of visor and HUD color symbology in a laboratory environment.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Adapt the laboratory next generation of visor and HUD color symbology to an airborne prototype with complete operational compatibility to validate this new color symbology system's performance characteristics.

Commercial Application:  Commercial aircraft and automobile head up displays.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Wyszecki, G and Stiles, W.S. (2000). Color Science. Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formula 2nd edition -Wiley Classics Library, Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York.

 

2. Havig, P., Martinsen, G.I., Post, D. L., and Ellanwanger, H., (2004) Effects of saturation contrast on color recognition in night vision goggles. Proceedings of the International Society for Optical Engineers: Helmet Mounted Displays.

 

KEYWORDS: Head up display, helmet visor, color symbology, helmet mounted display

 

 

 

AF121-019                         TITLE: Wide Spectral Response Focal Plane Array (FPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Research/develop low-cost solid-state focal plane array detector technology with high sensitivity, broad spectral response, and high spatial resolution to replace current night vision imaging technology.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Multiple airborne and ground-based mission applications would benefit by the capability of using a single FPA detector to sense and image objects and terrain scene content spanning a broad spectral band extending from the violet end of the visible spectrum to wavelengths of 5 microns or longer, with the flexibility to electronically select narrower spectral bands of interest (e.g., spectral binning) within the overall broad band of spectral sensitivity. (Front-end optics suitable for spectral bands within this overall bandwidth are a separate issue not considered or covered by this topic.) Multiple bands at discrete frequencies should be selectable to allow multi-spectral or hyper-spectral imaging of a target.  Such FPA technology should be entirely solid-state in nature, avoiding the need for (and fragility of) high-vacuum envelope packaging and sealing. Such FPA technology should have reduced weight, physical volume and power consumption compared to current technology approaches. Such FPA technology ideally should have a variable gain function allowing operation across a dynamic range spanning overcast starlight to noon daytime conditions without saturation; such gain adjustment ideally could be simultaneously and independently variable within multiple zones of the FPA down to cluster areas comprised of less than 10 pixels each to allow clear imaging of areas closely surrounding high flux point sources. Such FPA technology ideally would exhibit rapid temporal response allowing discrimination of pulsed sources down to the sub-microsecond level. Within the band of spectral sensitivity of current intensifier tube technology, the FPA technology would offer gain, radiant sensitivity, equivalent background input and resolution performance levels at least matching those of current state-of-the-art GaAs-based image intensifiers. Within the bands of spectral sensitivity of current thermal imaging technologies, the FPA technology also would offer minimum resolvable temperature difference and resolution performance at least matching that of current thermal imaging technology. The output of such FPA technology would be a video signal or data stream adhering to a standard nonproprietary format to facilitate the driving of head-mounted or hand-held displays, aircraft avionic displays, or other sensor fusion or video processing devices. The FPA technology approach would adhere to an architecture readily lending itself to mass production and associated low costs.

 

PHASE I:  Research, define, compare and document technical options. Determine a FPA technology concept capable of meeting all requirements in the description section.

 

PHASE II:  Prototype the proposed Phase I design concept and demonstrate initially in  ground and air environments.  Submit a complete technical report documenting all work under the effort.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Ground/airborne mission applications that require day/night-time imaging of scenes, objects, continuous wave/pulsed sources in spectral bandwidths encompassing visible spectrum through long-wave IR.

Commercial Application:  Industrial machine vision for high power laser material cutting and processing applications; also imagers for first-responder and search-and-rescue personnel.

 

REFERENCES:

1. SPIE OE Magazine: April 2004. Tuning in to Detection.

http://spie.org/documents/Newsroom/Imported/oemApr04/detection.pdf.

 

2. Rotor and Wing Magazine: 01 June 2004. Opening Night.

http://www.aviationtoday.com/rw/products/missionequip/1580.html.

 

3. Military and Aerospace Electronics: 01 March 2005. Scared of the Dark?

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/display/article-display/223589/articles/military-aerospace-electronics/volume-16/issue-3/features/technology-focus/scared-of-the-dark.html.

 

KEYWORDS: focal plane array, image intensifier, FLIR, thermal imager, dynamic range, high sensitivity, broad spectral response, spectral binning, multi-spectral, hyperspectral, temporal response, low power

 

 

 

AF121-020                         TITLE: Performance-Based Simulation Certification (SIMCERT) System

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and validate an integrated human- and system-performance-based technology for accessing the perceived fidelity (system credibility) of live, virtual, and constructive combat mission training and rehearsal systems.

 

DESCRIPTION: Until recent years, flight simulators were principally used to train instrument flight, takeoff and landing, and limited combat tasks. The critical subsystems needed to train, including the internal cockpit environment, instruments, avionics and control systems, closely mimic the real world aircraft. The military has recently started to use simulators for full mission combat training in the form of distributed mission operations (DMO) training. For the purposes of this topic we will focus the work on current generation modest to high fidelity fast-jet, air combat distributed simulation environments.  The environments of focus are composed of a cockpit with instrumentation and interfaces, a visual system and visual database of different parts of the world, a constructive player/forces generator, an instructor/operator station, and some type of debriefing or after action review station.  It is widely believed that DMO requires a more accurate and complete simulation of the environment, especially the out-the-window visual. It has proven difficult to measure the effects that reduced (or differences in) environmental realism has on training. As an example, the effect of limitations in out-the-window field-of-view and image resolution is difficult to quantify. Another example is how much the addition of different force cues might enhance training compared to simulation without such cues or with cues at a different level of fidelity.

 

The typical approach for simulator assessment focuses on measuring the physical fidelity to replicate the flight environment. A flaw to this approach is that physical fidelity provides no limitations to design (i.e., if physical fidelity can’t be achieved completely, what is a lesser degree’s value?). Physical fidelity is an attractive approach because it gives a clear and unambiguous reference point, but the most common design limitation in simulators is cost. A better approach may be to assess for perceived fidelity, or the simulator’s success providing the pilot with a perceptual, perceptual-motor and cognitive environment that yields no conscious distinction between simulator and airplane. The scientific approach to describing perceived fidelity is more similar to key elements of human-system integration, including: 1) user profiling, 2) task understanding, 3) task environment, or the attributes directly or indirectly affecting pilot operations, and 4) purpose of the design, for example, instruction vs. proficiency training. To be truly cost effective, it is important to be able to measure the quality of the simulation and how improvements benefit training. The amount of realism required in specific areas and the most effective compromises are difficult to determine. Although some data on overall training effectiveness may be determined by comparing simulator-trained pilots with control groups, such data is usually collected with little or no knowledge of the quality of the simulation. Therefore, the results provide no insight as to why transfer did or did not occur since the process does not isolate the effects of differences in system performance and how they affect pilot behavior and performance. Current methods of Simulator Certification (SIMCERT) are highly subjective, and do not isolate specific training problems and relate them to specific engineering solutions. New processes are needed to determine the effects of simulator subsystem performance objectively and specifically. This new process may include measurement techniques for determining changes in pilot behavior and performance. The processes must be able to isolate the effects of changes such as reduced or increased visual field-of-view or resolution or adding capabilities such as various types of force cues. Comparisons of pilot performance at a specific and objective level could be essential for determining whether simulator changes are needed and whether proposed solutions will solve specific identified problems.

 

PHASE I: Phase I will define a process for determining simulator system effectiveness for training transfer. It will include developing metrics and tools for determining the effectiveness of the simulation. The process will address critical tasks associated with combat that might be trained in DMO.

 

PHASE II: Phase II will define the process and develop the algorithms used to conduct effectiveness evaluations. It will verify these by conducting simulator effectiveness evaluations of typical combat training scenarios. Examples of validated scenarios will be provided by the Government.  Finally, it will demonstrate the utility of the process and tools to isolate the effects of simulator system performance on pilot behavior and performance. This tool will permit transfer of training studies on training simulations.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The ability to isolate the design characteristics of combat mission simulators which most efficiently facilitate transferred learning will greatly enhance the requirement development process in simulator acquisitions.

Commercial Application: The ability to isolate the design characteristics of commercial simulators which most efficiently facilitate transfered learning will greatly enhance the requirement development process in simulator acquisitions.

 

REFERENCES:

1 Department of the Air Force (1997). Distributed Mission Training Operational Requirements Document. (CAF [USAF] 009-93-I-A). Washington, D.C.

 

2. Department of the Air Force (2001). AFHDBK 36-2235, Information for Designers of Instructional Systems, Vol. 3, Application to Acquisition (Chapter 5). Washington, D.C.: HQ United States Air Force.

 

3. Alfred T. Lee (2005). Flight Simulation. Ashgate Publishing Company, Burlington, VT.

 

4.  List of FAQs from TPOC, 12 sets of Q&A, posted in SITIS 12/5/11.

 

KEYWORDS: flight simulation, combat mission training, distributed mission training (DMT),distributed simulation

 

 

 

AF121-021                         TITLE: Correlated Weather Visual and Sensor Effects for Distributed Mission

Operations

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Sensors, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop correlated visual, sensor, and threat weather effects for Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) based on authoritative weather data with directional visibility and volumetric clouds.

 

DESCRIPTION: Investigate and create a capability for common and correlated visual and sensor weather effects for DMO. An algorithm or numerous algorithms will be developed to ingest authoritative real world time-phased weather data from the Air Force Weather Agency and to output standard directionally dependent visibility and volumetric cloud data usable across modern DMO visual and sensor image generators and the XCITE threat simulation system. This capability will seamlessly use/interact with the existing DoD owned Cloud Scene Simulator (CSS) software. The weather data will be provided to the offeror, as well as CSS and XCITE software (or equivalents).  The intent is to support variable directional visibility based on sun/moon direction and local weather conditions as well as individual clouds, groups of clouds, fronts, thunderstorms, and layers of clouds supported by volumetric approaches. Dust and dust storms will be considered. Extensions or modifications to existing volumetric algorithm approaches can be considered as necessary to achieve this capability. Resulting sensor visibilities and cloud interaction should be unique per sensor and different, as appropriate, from each other and from unaided visual scenes. Weather effects on laser and laser markers will be investigated and solution paths will be proposed. 3D cultural features, moving models, and special effects visibilities as affected by weather will be considered and solution paths will be proposed.

 

PHASE I: Investigate weather, image generator, and threat system formats. Propose solution paths. Propose modifications and/or extensions to formats. Develop algorithms for directional visibility/volumetric clouds. Document algorithm code. Demonstrate results. Develop users guide.

 

PHASE II: Refine Phase I capabilities as necessary to develop a robust automated capability. Deliver a detailed user manual in hard copy and soft copy (Word document). Deliver highly documented source code. Demonstrate real-world time-phased weather based on authoritative data and interactions with CSS and XCITE in a DMO typical multiple image generator vendor visual and sensor scenarios.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: This capability will benefit military and civilian programs, to include Homeland Security applications, that require correlated real world time-phased weather.

Commercial Application: This capability will benefit military and civilian programs, to include Homeland Security applications, that require correlated, real-world, time-phased weather.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Sieverding, M. “The Emerging DOD Requirement for More Realistic Weather in Flight Simulation”, IMAGE Society 2010 Conference, Jul 2010.

 

2. Lerman, D. “Correct Weather Modeling of Nonstandard Days”, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization Summer 2010 Conference, Sep 2010.

 

3. Rietze, S. “Distributed Mission Ops Shape USAF Training Projects”, National Defense Magazine, Nov 2003.

 

4. Stephens, S. “Rehearsal Enabling Simulation Technologies”, The TSPG Journal, Nov 2009.

 

5. Stephens, S. “Correlated Realtime All Sensor Distributed Mission Operations”, The TSPG Journal, Nov 2010.

6. List of Q&A from TPOC, uploaded in SITIS 12/20/11.

 

KEYWORDS: weather, sensors, DMO, correlation, clouds, correlation

 

 

 

AF121-022                         TITLE: Debrief and After-Action Review Technologies for Electronic Warfare

Simulation and Training

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Electronics, Human Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop next-generation technologies/methodologies for debrief of Electronic Warfare (EW) training simulations in simulators, Distributed Mission Operations, and Live-Virtual -Constructive domains.

 

DESCRIPTION: Robust, realistic, and validated EW and counter-threat training has become critical to warfighter preparedness. Practice engagements accomplished in training are often difficult to recreate accurately in after action reviews limiting the effectiveness of the training received.

 

Current debrief methods and support technologies do not yet provide adequate debrief of EW, Electronic Attack (EA), threat detection/deception, communications, threat encounters/evasion, end game tactics/countermeasures, and weapons effects. This limited debrief capability reduces the training effectiveness of hybrid training scenarios which include operational real-world systems (live), real operators in simulators (virtual), and computer generated forces (constructive), or any combination thereof, in interactive LVC training scenarios. The entire engagement history: early detection, Integrated Air Defense System (ADS) interaction, target detection, target tracking, target engagement, reactions to countermeasures, specific threat tactics and adaptable threat tactics, re-engagement must be understood and analyzed to maximize training effectiveness.

 

The Air Force is seeking highly innovative solutions for the development of next generation methodologies and support technologies for debrief of EW training simulations which greatly enhance overall training/debrief effectiveness. Solutions should be compatible with, or adaptable to, distributed debrief capabilities.

 

Particular questions which must be addressed include (but are not limited to): What information/parameters must be collected and stored for effective Electronic Warfare debrief? What is the best way to format and store this data? What are the optimal protocols for (non-Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) compatible data) to transmit for distributed debrief? What simulator system functions and network data need to be collected and at what data rate or frequency to support robust debriefing? What simulator system improvements may be required to support robust debrief of EW simulations? What is the optimal, most intuitive debrief and presentation format for pilots and other system users to get the most training value from mission debriefs? What visualization and EW effects can be used during engagement for operators as well as for debrief? What methods can be used to show electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) effects or EA effects both by and against the trainee?

 

This task is intended to include members of the computational linguistics and informatics disciplines.

 

Innovation, feasibility, and training/debrief effectiveness are critical requirements for the technology being proposed for this solicitation.  This technology is not required to interface with any specific training simulation systems, but should rather develop new innovative EW training/debrief methodologies and technologies.  Access to specific government simulators is not required.

 

PHASE I: Provide a technical report determining the feasibility of the concept and anticipated training benefits, and provide a feasibility demonstration. The phase I task must include communications information analysis to feed a full requirements analysis to be performed in Phases II and/or III.

 

PHASE II: Phase II will result in developing/prototyping, demonstrating, and testing the concept proposed under Phase I and a technical report detailing the Phase II effort, including a full requirements analysis based upon phase I findings.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Technology would used by joint aircrews in live range and distributed simulation training practicing survival tactics in hostile EW environments.

Commercial Application: This work would provide direct applications to training debrief for law enforcement and homeland defense personnel in addition to widespread application to military training systems.

 

REFERENCES:

1. David W. Galloway, Patrick G. Hefferman, E. Allen Nus and Charles M. Summers, Electronic Combat Simulation in a Networked, Full Mission Rehearsal, Multi-Simulator Environment, TRW Avionics and Surveillance Group, Warner Robins Avionics Laboratory, ITSEC 1993.

 

2. Linda Viney A1, Tom McDermot A2, Craig A. Eidman A3, Susan McCall A4 , Networked Electronic Warfare Training System (NEWTS), The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Volume: 2007.

 

3. Michael R. Graham A1 and Glenn D. Cicero, Validating the Electronic Combat Environment in Aircrew Training Devices, The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Volume: 2007.

 

4. Wayne R. Philp, Modelling and Simulation of Electronic Combat, Electronic Warfare Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), PO Box 1500, SALISBURY SA 5108.

 

KEYWORDS: electronic, warfare, modeling, mission debrief, simulator debrief, electronic warfare training, flight simulation training, after action review, training event visualization

 

 

 

AF121-023                         TITLE: Cognitive Measures and Models for Persistent Surveillance

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate wide area, airborne-persistent surveillance imagery data exploitation analysis techniques with new approaches and integration methodology based on human cognitive task analysis. Focus is on real-time analysis and reporting. The Government does not intend to provide any Government Furnished Data (GFD) in support of either this Solicitation or of any contracts which may be awarded in response to it.

 

DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense is developing and fielding new wide area, airborne, electro-optical, and infrared surveillance capabilities. These capabilities bring with them new challenges with regard to the PCPAD (planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, and dissemination) required to achieve their implicit warfighter benefits. To date, consolidated operations centers, collection managers and analysts are struggling to effectively exploit wide area persistent surveillance data to its full potential. Current operational practice usually ignores the cognitive demands experienced by the intelligence analyst. Fresh approaches from a human centered perspective are needed for working with the wide range of sensors and the Gbps motion imagery data they collect. The research and development of new analyses techniques and approaches for persistent wide area motion and other sensor imagery that produces terabytes of information, leading to technique demonstration, refinement and incorporation into exploitation and analysis toolsets is the desired end-state of this SBIR.

 

War-fighting tasks which are expected to benefit from enhanced persistent surveillance capabilities would include near real-time data analysis and exploitation activities for mission operations support including intelligence for predictive battlespace awareness and operations planning; combat identification; course of action decision-aiding; targeting; and battle damage assessment.

 

Cognitive modeling research is required to better understand the cognitive (human mental thought processes, thinking and reasoning) demands inherent in exploitation and analysis of persistent surveillance feeds for time-dominant (i.e., phase 1) in-theater data analysis and exploitation. Based on these demands, measures of effectiveness (MOEs) are required to better understand the performance of both exploiters / analysts and their supervisors. The MOEs shall be used to develop new wide area EO/IR and other sensor motion imagery data analysis techniques and approaches including addressing the level of motion imagery data fidelity sufficient for intelligence analyses from an analyst perspective. Additionally, the MOEs shall be used to assess progress toward the development of an effective analyses capability.

 

Exploitation and sensor management capabilities are expected to both benefit from and to contribute substantially to persistent surveillance capabilities. The impact of dynamic sensor cross-cueing and “tip-offs” and the integration of non-imagery products and data bases (e.g., social networks) can be expected to enhance the accuracy/pedigree, completeness, timeliness, and relevance of persistent surveillance-based intelligence products. Sensor cross-cueing (regardless of sensor type) would entail passing of spatial and temporal type of information to tactical operations centers, intelligence analysts and operators. Cognitively-based research is also required to better understand the impact of persistent surveillance capabilities on human operator attributes to include confidence, avoidance of premature closure, and better information integration.

 

Analyst-aiding technologies which address data overload and/or multi-source integration will require research into the application of theory-based trust in automation models and metrics. These models and metrics are to be extended as necessary to meet the requirement of persistent surveillance.

 

PHASE I: Conduct applied cognitive-based research to define analyses approaches and techniques for wide area motion imagery (WAMI), and identify and define opportunities for analyst-aiding technologies where appropriate. Develop and apply MOEs to assess research progress and effectiveness.

 

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate new WAMI data analysis approaches and techniques, and develop appropriate tools and capabilities integrateable into motion imagery exploitation and analysis tool suites like AFRL’s Pursuer. Apply the cognitively-based MOEs to assess progress and effectiveness.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Near real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance exploitation; mission planning, target nomination, counter insurgency operations.

Commercial Application: Disaster response planning, management and execution; land use management; urban planning; disease management; multinational collaboration.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Deptula, D. A. and Francisco, M. (2010). Air Force ISR Operations: Hunting versus Gathering. Air & Space Power Journal, Winter 2010, pp. 13-17. http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj10/win10/2010_4_04_deptula.pdf

 

2. Price, S. C. (2009). Close ISR Support: Re-organizing the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Processes and Agencies. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. https://0-ww.hsdl.org/?view&doc=117677&coll=limited.

 

3. DARPA/IPTO (2010). Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System (ARGUS-IS). http://www.darpa.mil/ipto/programs/argus/argus.asp.

 

4. Endsley, M. R. (1995). Toward a theory of situation awareness in dynamic systems. Human Factors 37(1), 32-64.

 

5. Parasuraman, R., Sheridan, T.B., & Wickens, C.D. (2000). A model for types and levels of human interaction with automation. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, 30 (3), 286-297.

 

KEYWORDS: situation awareness, near real-time intelligence production, analyst-aiding, persistence, surveillance

 

 

 

AF121-025                         TITLE: Flexible Semi-Conformal Displays for Data Access in Military Field Operations

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a precious metal-free, soft, thin paper-like flexible display that has fast color switching rate and is viewable under sunlight, for rapid data display in field operations: air/sea/land.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Conductive polymer-based electrochromic devices have many attractive attributes such as being flexible, light weight and having low power consumption. Among their uses are sensors, smart windows, and flexible displays [1]. One of the most attractive electrochromic polymer conductive materials are Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and its derivatives due to the high-contrast ratios and availability of many colors [2]. As demand for flexible displays for military use has increased [3], we focus on research for suitable nano-based materials for display application. Three challenging problems to address in developing materials for conductive polymer-based flexible electrochromic displays are their slow color switching rate, governed by slow diffusion of counterions into the electrochromic material [4], color contrast [2], as well as the use of precious metals (e.g., gold) in the material’s electrochemical synthesis process [1,4].  Ref.[5] has proposed a mechanism to synthesize PEDOT nanotubes that could achieve very fast switching rate/electrochromic responses (<10 ms) and simultaneously provide high color contrast. The PEDOT nanotubes were synthesized electrochemically in the pores of the alumina template film using this mechanism. The thin nanotube wall provided a very short diffusion pathway and thus reduced the diffusion time of the counterions dramatically. This method directly addresses the first 2 problems for this particular nanotechnology-based approach, but a weakness lies in the fragility of the alumina template used in the fabrication. Moreover, there’s not a good solution shown in literature to address the third problem of avoiding use of precious metals for electrodes. Gold was a popular electrode choice in a number of studies in literature, but it is infeasible to use for large scale manufacturing and deployment for all practical purposes. This topic will investigate nanotechnology-based approaches that SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED to above-mentioned electrochromic-based methods, to obtain fast color switching, high color contrast and flexible displays that do not contain precious metal electrode such as gold/platinum. The flexible displays should afford economical manufacturing on a large scale.

 

Innovative solutions should therefore include the following properties: ability for base material (integrated with a low cost electrode) to provide flexibility without brittleness, for example, rolled up/out as desired without losing functionality; human-perceived acceptable contrast under different brightness of sunlight; screen transparency (applicable for window-type applications only); low power consumption; strength; light weight, and switching speed performance. Display should be able to withstand common field-encountered weathering effects, and view-ability should be night-vision compatible. The minimum acceptable thresholds for resolution should be: 320x240, and 4 bits per pixel for color resolution. Flexible displays will find applications such as augmented reality when displayed on aircraft windows, within pilots’ cabin rolled out when displaying certain information/maps needed by the crew, and rolled up into thin tubes to be stored when not used; integration into pilots’ garments, e.g., in sleeve areas/special eye goggles for convenient and quick retrieval/review of data during field operations, search and rescue missions, e.g., showing GPS information on garment sleeve as evader landed; and uses in night vision to facilitate data viewing under night flying/driving conditions.

 

PHASE I:  Develop innovative flexible display material that integrates low cost electrodes with a flexible base material such as, but NOT LIMITED TO electrochromic/PEDOT. Contractor shall demonstrate comparable/better physical properties (property details are shown in "Description" Section) than similar devices containing precious metal electrode.

 

PHASE II:  Contractor shall 1) select the best performing electrode material from Phase 1 for fabrication/testing of a bread board prototype flexible display; 2) develop a scalable manufacturing approach to fabricate pixilated displays of >= 3 by 3 inches on pilot scale, address issues related to scale-up and include cost for making/manufacturing the display; 3) fabricate small # (~12) of fully pixilated displays for AF testing.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Flexible display will support quick data viewing in field ops, night flying/driving conditions, on aircraft windows, rolled up/out as needed, in pilot garments, e.g., sleeve areas, goggles.

Commercial Application: Flexible display may support GPS screen in car windows, low powered electronic books/bill or ad boards, rolled out/up TV screens, info display in garments/shoes in front/back/sleeve areas.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Cho, S. I.; Choi, D. H.; Kim, S. H. and Lee, S. B.; Chem. Mater. 2005, 17, 4564-4566.

 

2. Kumar, A.; Welsh, D. M.; Morvant, M. C.; Piroux, F.; Abboud, K. A.; Reynolds, J. R. Chem. Mater. 1998, 10, 896-902.

 

3. Chemical and Engineering News Magazine, Jan 10, 2011, pp. 20 – 21.

 

4. Cho, S. I.; Lee, S. B.; Accounts of Chemical Research, 41 (6), 699 2008.

 

5. Cho, S. I.; Kwon, W. J.; Choi, S.-J.; Kim, P.; Park, S.-A.; Kim, J.; Son, S. J.; Xiao, R.; Kim, S.-H.; Lee, S. B. AdV. Mater. 2005, 17, 171-175.

 

KEYWORDS: nanotechnology, conductivity, display, polymer, flexible, resolution, contrast, viewable under sunlight

 

 

 

AF121-026                         TITLE: Flightline Boundary Sensor

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a flightline intrusion detection sensor (IDS) delivering high probability of detection and low-nuisance/false alarms.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The security of military aircraft at airfields has long been an important component of military forces around the world. One might think that since many of these sites are permanent facilities in the CONUS, then this issue could be easily addressed using today’s advanced electronic security equipment. Unfortunately, the physical constraints associated with an active flightline make this problem difficult to solve. Ported coaxial cable sensors have been used in this application since their introduction in the 1970’s. These sensors can be installed completely below grade, giving them a significant advantage over other technologies that require the installation of equipment above ground. Never-the-less, even ported coaxial cable sensors have encountered difficulties in maintaining acceptable nuisance/false alarm rates.

 

In most cases, critical assets are surrounded by a red line painted on the tarmac with onerous warning signs.  The objective of the red line is to discourage unauthorized people and vehicles from crossing the red line. The objective of the IDS is to detect, in near real time, intrusions into the protected area on the flightline.

 

Typically, service vehicles and people have free access along a service road on one side of a huge rectangular perimeter surrounding the mass ramp containing all of the aircraft.  Perhaps the most significant problem with flightline security intrusion detection is the fact that vehicular traffic moving along the service road can create a high number of nuisance alarms.

 

The primary objective is to correctly identify personnel and/or vehicles crossing the red line with a very high probability (p>.97) while minimizing false alarms potentially generated by personnel and/or vehicle movement within the protected area and/or external to the protected area.  The false alarm rate should be p<0.1).

 

Other capabilities sought include deployment in distances greater than 100 meters, ignoring movement within the protected area, non-detection of targets moving from the protected area to the non-protected area, ability to adjust the size of the detection zone, and allowing certain areas to be designated as access points.

 

PHASE I:  Prototype design and feasibility study of existing technology and commercial-off-the-shelf equipment to meet the requirements.  Allow for minor modifications to COTS equipment to meet requirements.  Testing of possible candidates and risk reduction studies relative to a potential Phase II.

 

PHASE II:  Develop and demonstrate a full-scale prototype system in field conditions.  The system shall be capable of operating in a working flight line environment and shall be electromagnetically compatible with the flight line environment.  Special attention should be given to RF emissions and susceptibility.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Security Forces to use sensor on flightlines where it is needed.

Commercial Application:  Possible use at nuclear power plants or other high asset facilities where perimeter abuts busy roads or thruways..  Perimeter security at industrial facilities, commercial airports, public transportation centers, etc.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Title: A Rapid Deployment Guided Radar Sensor-Presentation at International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology, October 2009 Zürich Switzerland.  Authors: K. Harman, W. Hodgins, J. Patchell, M. Maki.

 

2.  Title: Unattended Ground Sensor Technologies and Applications V, Edward M. Carapezza, Editor, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 5090 (2003) © 2003 SPIE · 0277-786X/03/$15.00.

 

KEYWORDS: Intrusion Detection, Flightlines, Nuisance Alarms, False Alarms, Red Line, Ported Coaxial Cable Sensors, Perimeter Security Sensors, Perimeter Security Systems

 

 

 

AF121-027                         TITLE: 3D Stereo Binocular Head Mounted Display (HMD) Technology for Joint Strike

Fighter (JSF) Aircraft and Simulation

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Demonstrate the potential for 3D stereoscopic symbology to aid in decluttering dense information displays, calling attention to time critical information, and develop a proof of concept simulation.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Head-mounted displays (HMDs) although in use for several decades now, have generally not taken advantage of 3D stereo capability to aid in decluttering of dense information displays.  Although 3D stereo has been used successfully to some extent for visualization and entertainment purposes, this success has not carried over to military or commercial flight applications.  The JSF HMD is a binocular, but non-stereo, HMD that could potentially be modified to exploit the use of 3D stereovision.  The results of research on the use of 3D stereo for these types of applications has been mixed; thus, the objective of this topic is to identify specific applications where 3D stereo results in improved performance, experimentally demonstrate improvement in performance, and develop a proof of concept device.  To be successfully implemented, it must also be demonstrated that the proof of concept device does not introduce eye-strain or discomfort.

 

PHASE I:  Provide a technical report and preliminary experimental data demonstrating the feasibility of the concept.

 

PHASE II:  Phase II will result in prototyping, demonstrating, and testing the concept proposed under Phase I and a technical report.  The prototype device will be delivered to the Air Force for further research and evaluation.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Military applications include both training and simulation as well as operational weapon systems, notably the JSF.

Commercial Application:  Commercial applications include commercial aviation training & operational systems, as well as the entertainment and visualization industries.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Melzer, J. E., and Moffitt, K. "HMD design – Putting the user first". In J. E. Melzer and K. Moffitt (Eds.), Head mounted displays: Designing for the user. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997, pp. 1–16).

 

2. Steiner, B. and Dotson, D.  (1990). The use of 3-D stereo display of tactical information.  Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, pp. 36-40.

 

3. Velger, M. (1998). Helmet-mounted displays and sights. Boston, MA: Artech House.

 

4. Williams, S., Parrish, R., & Nold, (1994).  Effective use of stereoptic 3D cueing to declutter complex flight displays.  Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems, Proceedings of the SPIE, 2177, pp. 203-210.

 

KEYWORDS: Head-mounted display, HMD, 3D, stereoscopic, displays, declutter, information display, JSF, simulation

 

 

 

AF121-028                         TITLE: Measurement of Interpupillary Distance for Binocular Head-Mounted Displays

(HMDs)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Biomedical, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Research and demonstrate the effectiveness of incorporating automated measurement of interpupillary distance for rapid individual customization of binocular Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMDs) used in the Joint Strike Fighter and simulated flight trainers.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The development of technology to quickly and easily customize an HMD based on an individual’s interpupillary distance (IPD) would reduce the time it takes to fit an HMD to a user, and would aid in the implementation of both dynamic vergence, and 3D stereoscopic information display using HMDs. Proper adjustment based on an accurate measurement of IPD may reduce the potential for eyestrain and discomfort, and would improve the accuracy of perceived depth for imagery displayed on the HMD. An individual’s IPD is typically measured using a pupilometer, which requires a 2nd individual to perform the measurement on the subject. Current methods of implementing dynamic vergence correction require pupilometer measurements to be made manually for each individual user, greatly increasing the time required to fit an HMD to a user.  This problem is compounded when multiple users with different IPDs are required to use the same simulator in succession. The objective of this topic is to research innovative methods for rapidly measuring IPD, incorporating that measurement into the adjustment of a binocular HMD, and generating imagery which is properly adjusted for stereoscopic depth for a particular individual. It is preferred that this method be fully automated and rapidly implemented by a single user, and require no additional/specialized training to implement, such that a user may don the HMD and rapidly begin using the system without concern for IPD measurement (i.e. a user’s IPD would be immediately and automatically measured, and the system would adapt accordingly).  Accuracy of the proposed solution should be comparable with the accuracy achieved by standard pupilometer measurements; the required frequency of measurement will likely depend on the solution proposed. There are currently no known solutions which meet this intent.  Human factors experimentation will be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution (e.g., fitting time of the HMD, effect on user comfort, and accuracy of dynamically adjusted HMD imagery). 

 

PHASE I: Provide a technical report demonstrating the feasibility of the concept.  The report should detail the proposed methods & technology implementation, and include a description of the human factors experimentation proposed to demonstrate effectiveness of the solution.  It is highly desirable that a technology demonstration and/or preliminary experimental data be presented at the conclusion of phase I.

 

PHASE II: Phase II will result in prototyping, demonstrating, and testing the solution proposed under Phase I, to include human factors experimentation using the prototype device. A technical report will also be produced describing the technology implementation and detailed analysis of the human factors data collected. The prototype device will be delivered to the Air Force for further research and evaluation.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Customization of binocular HMDs based on individual IPD would have military aviation applications in both simulation and training as well as operational weapon systems.

Commercial Application: Applications include commercial aviation for both training and operational systems, as well as additional applications in the entertainment and visualization industries.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Dodgson, N., "Variation and extrema of human interpupillary distance," Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XI, Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 5291, 2004, pp. 36-46.

 

2. Melzer, J. E., and Moffitt, K. (1997). HMD design – Putting the user first. In J. E. Melzer & K. Moffitt (Eds.), Head mounted displays: Designing for the user (pp. 1–16). New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

3. Robinett, W., and Rolland, J. (1992). A computational model for the stereoscopic optics of a head-mounted display. Presence, 1, pp. 45-62.

 

4. Browne, M., Moffitt, K., and Winterbottom, M. (2009). Improving the Utility of a Binocular HMD in a Faceted Flight Simulator. Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference, Orlando, FL.

 

5. Browne, M., Moffitt, K., and Winterbottom, M. (2008). Vergence Mismatch Effects in a Binocular See-through HMD. Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference, Orlando, FL.

 

KEYWORDS: head-mounted display, HMD, interpupillary distance, IPD displays, information display, dynamic vergence

 

 

 

AF121-029                         TITLE: Network Threat Monitoring, Intrusion Detection, and Alert System for Live,

Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Operations for Space Training

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms, Human Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  To develop an embedded network threat monitoring system that can be used to constantly detect intrusion attempts across LVC network enterprises and provide alerts and protection for integrated live systems partners and players.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Current network intrusion monitoring tools are not robust enough to be useful in high-- fidelity simulation environments in real time.  Moreover, the capacity does not currently exist which can identify, track, diagnose, and remediate/inoculate a high-fidelity network from these attacks without negatively impacting the training that is taking place.  Network/enterprise attacks are rarely known in LVC environments because identifying them and alerting engineers to the events unfolding has not been done to date.  An innovative tool is needed which will allow continuous monitoring and intrusion detection data to be collected, and specific threats and the locus for those threats to be identified. The tool should also be able to diagnose the threat and its potential impact on the LVC training event and to inoculate the enterprise against the attack.  The developed tools must enable system threat assessments evaluations to be displayed while the simulation is running so that remediation can occur in realtime.  In some cases, the identification of a network attack or intrusion attempt could result in a graceful degradation of capabilities while minimizing the impact on the training experience and on transfer of the training benefits to live space operations environments.  The tool should also be compatible with the current DIS and HLA standards, and be able to display entity attributes and specific threats to them.

 

The capability to provide real time network intrusion and attack detection, diagnosis and inoculation of ongoing network threats during an interactive simulation to live systems lash up does not exist today. Phase III Dual Use potential is significant since both the military and commercial sectors have devoted considerable resources to the development of highly complex operational systems based on network architectures. Reengineering systems to have the capabilities proposed to be developed in this effort is cost prohibitive, whereas developing this capability as one that can be added to existing LVC network systems is much more cost effective and flexible and will result in substantial savings to units in the field. The capability to provide real time network intrusion and attack detection, diagnosis and inoculation of ongoing network threats during an interactive simulation to live systems lash up does not exist today.

 

PHASE I:  Phase I will develop a prototype intrusion detection and alert tool for a DIS-compliant LVC space environment and provide a demonstration and report.

 

PHASE II:  Phase II will result in a fully integrated network monitoring, intrusion detection, and attack avoidance capability which is usable in real time in a space LVC environment and which provides the capabilities outlined above.  It will also result in test and evaluation of the developed tool and will provide documentation of results in a technical report.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Phase III Dual Use potential is significant since both the military and commercial sectors have devoted considerable resources to the development of highly complex operational systems based on network architectures.

Commercial Application:  Reengineering systems to have the capabilities proposed to be developed in this effort is one that can be added to existing LVC network systems and is cost effective and flexible and will result in substantial savings to units in the field.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Andel, Lt. T., Zydallis, Lt. J (1998). Coyote ’98 Data Evaluation. AFRL/VACD report.

 

2.  Bryant, R., Douglass, Capt. S., Ewart, R., Slutz, G. (1994). Dynamic Latency Measurement Using the Simulator Network Analysis Project. I/ITSEC conference.

 

3. Defense Modeling and Simulation Office.  (2005). High Level Architecture https://www.dmso.mil/public/transition/hla/.

 

4.  Purdy, Lt. SG Jr., Wuerfel, R., Barnhart, Lt. D., and Ewart, R. (1997). Network Evaluation for Training and Simulation. AFRL-VA-WP-TR-1998-3013.

 

5.  Rowe, N. C. and Schiavo S., An Intelligent tutor for intrusion detection on computer systems, Computers an Education, Vol 31, (1998), pp. 395 – 404.

 

6.  List of FAQs from TPOC, 21 sets of Q&A, posted in SITIS 12/5/11.

 

KEYWORDS: live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training, distributed mission operations, network threat assessment, network enterprise alert, LVC training effectiveness, LVC network enterprise security, DMO training effectiveness, DMO network security

 

 

 

AF121-030                         TITLE: Agent-Based Objective Performance Measurement Brief/Debrief and After

Action Review Suite for Cyber Warfare Training

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop an agent-based brief/debrief suite that provides cyber operators with objective feedback and after action review (AAR) capabilities for team and individual training.

 

DESCRIPTION: The recent STUXNET virus that disabled an Iranian Nuclear Power Plant, limiting Iranian nuclear capabilities, provides a current example of the far-reaching ramifications of cyberspace warfare and foreshadows the digital conflicts to come. Cyberspace operations are the virtual front line in the way the Air Force currently does and will fight wars for generations to come. Recognizing this, the mission of the United States Air Force now includes flying, fighting and winning in the cyberspace domain. In order accomplish this mission, the Air Force is quickly building a cadre of cyber warriors. Robust training capabilities like those in place in other air and space platforms need to be developed and applied to this vital war fighting domain.  Training capabilities are needed for briefing, debriefing, and providing AAR in the cyberspace domain. This effort will develop a tailorable brief, debrief, and AAR tool suite that captures team and individual performance from cyber training events. Furthermore, an agent-based model built into the architecture of the suite will aide instructors with trend analysis, recommendations and improvement of future training scenarios. Tools to be developed in the suite should include, but are not limited to, visualization and playback capabilities, real-time scoring and post-event data analysis to aid instructors in developing and leading AAR, as well as an information repository for future reference. This suite of tools will facilitate improved training performance, decision making, and knowledge sharing across the cyberspace career field.

 

PHASE I: Will focus on one cyber mission area. Agent-based objective measures of learning and performance will be defined and developed. Preliminary design specifications for the major components of the suite will be defined and demonstrated in a proof-of-concept.

 

PHASE II: Will fully develop, apply, test, refine, and validate the suite of tools to include the assessment methods for the mission area identified in Phase I. Additionally, two more cyber mission areas will be identified and measures and interfaces will be developed and demonstrated. The common approach, methods, and metrics will be fully documented to show how the tool suite could be modified and applied to remaining cyber teams.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The success of the Military is directly tied to the success of its networks. Cyber warfare training is not service specific; an objective performance measurement tool for cyber warfare training could be deployed throughout the Department of Defense.

Commercial Application: The Banking, Utility, and Telecom industries suffer from a lack of cyber warfare expertise. An objective performance measurement tool for cyber warfare training could be used to prepare a workforce to protect commercial networks.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Air Force Doctrine Document 3-12 (2010). “Cyber space Operations.” Lemay Center for Doctrine Development and Education; Maxwell AFB, AL.

 

2. Cyber Space Policy Review (2009). “Assuring a trusted and resilient information and communications infrastructure.” The White House, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Cyberspace_Policy_Review_final.pdf

 

3. Bennett, W., Jr., Arthur, W., Jr. (1997). Factors that influence the effectiveness of training in organizations: A review and meta-analysis. Interim Technical Report, AL/HR-TR-1997-0026.

 

4. Fowlkes, J. E., Lane, N. E., Salas, E., Franz, T., & Oser, R. (1994). Improving the measurement of team performance: The TARGETS methodology. Military Psychology, 6, 47-63.

 

5. Salas, E., Bowers, C. A., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (1995). Team processes, training, and performance. Military Psychology, 7, 53-139.

 

6. Savery, J.R.& Duffy, T.M., "Problem-based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework," Educational technology, September/October, P 31-38, 1995.

 

KEYWORDS: cyber training, agent-based models, after-action review tools, knowledge and skill assessment, embedded performance assessment, performance measurement, readiness evaluation, individual and team effectiveness

 

 

 

AF121-031                         TITLE: Enhancing Decision Making through Adaptive Trustworthiness Cues

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: To develop a capability to enhance decision making through the application of trustworthiness cues embedded in adaptive user interfaces.

 

DESCRIPTION: During military operations, there is a need to make quick decisions to uphold a tactical advantage, maintain safety, and accomplish mission directives. Nowhere is this more pressing than in cyber operations where operators need to assimilate large amounts of information and make decisions where the subsequent consequences may not be fully understood. These decisions can be based on complex and dynamic information sources for which uncertainty exists about the quality of data presented. It is these types of situations that knowledge is needed about what data to trust (Wang and Emurian, 2005) because of the ability of perceived trustworthiness to act as a strong cue that influences the quality of decision-making (Van’t Wout & Sanfey, 2008). Unfortunately, decision makers are presented with information in such a way that this vital information is rarely portrayed. Similarly, decision-aiding systems can provide recommendations about a course of action to take, but more sophisticated aids are aware of their confidence in their recommendations and need to convey this to the human operator as well.

 

Strategies and interface tools are needed that provide effective conveyance of trustworthiness information in order to build accurate and reliable human + machine trust and behavior (Hoffman et. al., 2009). Simply conveying the machine’s confidence level or perception of information certainty and trustworthiness may be neither the most efficient nor the most effective means of obtaining accurate trust and improved performance from the human and machine team, regardless of the innovativeness of the user interface. Instead, recent research on the creation (and destruction) of trust in machine systems must be taken into account to close the loop—and thereby provide an adaptive system which takes into account the human’s potential over or mistrust response in how it conveys recommendations (Bisantz & Seong, 2001).

 

Trust is a complex concept that can be influenced by many different factors, thus requiring a multifaceted approach (Oleson, Billings, Kocsis, Chen & Hancock, 2011). The addition of trustworthiness information will clarify the relevance and limitations of information used to support a decision by diminishing cases where action is based on incomplete or uncertain information, and suggesting ways to improve the provision of data to support the decision.

 

PHASE I: Provide design and demonstration of the methods, strategies, or tools for adapting a presentation to yield effective and calibrated trust. May include application and scenario development to support the identification and metrics for assessing trust.  Methods for assessing the benefit of information trust levels should be documented, including measures of effectiveness and measures of performance.

 

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype system based on the preliminary design from Phase I. All appropriate testing will be performed along with a critical review to finalize the design. Evaluate trust, workload and usage decision impacts in experimental trials with reasonable face validity.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Military applications of this technology range from high tempo and criticality situations such as command and control and weapons release to situations of comparatively reduced criticality such as intelligence interpretation and cyber security.

Commercial Application: Commercial applications can be as critical (commercial aviation, industrial processing, energy generation and transport) as well as more ubiquitous (e.g., deciding whether a given email is a phishing attempt or not).

 

REFERENCES:

1. Bisantz, A. M. and Seong. Y. (2001). Assessment of operator trust in and utilization of automated decision aids under different framing conditions. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 28,2,85-97.

 

2. Hoffman, R.R., Lee, J.D. Woods, D.D., Shadbolt, N., Miller, J., & Bradshaw, J.M. (Nov.-Dec. 2009) The Dynamics of Trust in Cyberdomains. Intelligent Systems. IEEE 24(6) pp.5-11.

 

3. Oleson, K.E. Billings, D.R. Kocsis, V. Chen, J.Y.C. & Hancock, P.A. (February 2011) Antecedents of trust in human-robot collaborations. Proceedings of the First International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA). IEEE pp.175-178, 22-24.

 

4. Wang, Y. D. and Emurian, H. H.. An overview of online trust: Concepts, elements, and implications. Computers in Human Behavior, 21, 105-125.

 

5. Van't Wout, M. and Sanfey, A. G. (2008). Friend or foe: The effect of implicit trustworthiness judgments in social decision-making. Cognition, 2005, pp. 108, 796-803.

 

KEYWORDS: trust,decisionmaking,human-machinecollaboration

 

 

 

AF121-032                         TITLE: Efficient Computational Tool for RF-Induced Thermal Response

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Biomedical

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a fast approach for predicting whole-body and localized thermal response of tissue due to RF exposures.

 

DESCRIPTION: Electromagnetic devices are used increasingly in society, with applications in communication, medicine, security, and defense, among other disciplines and technology areas. This has led to a great deal of research regarding the safety and potential health hazards of such devices. To aid in this study, sophisticated computational electromagnetic software tools have been created. These tools have been crucial to the development of international safety standards, and for compliance testing of new technologies with respect to these standards. For radio frequency (RF) exposures, the standard is typically a limitation on the specific absorption rate (SAR) in units of watts per kilogram. Alternatively, electromagnetic power density limits may be used for simplicity. The rationale behind SAR-based exposure limits is to minimize the risk of thermally induced adverse biological effects.

 

To further study RF-induced thermal effects, researchers have recently developed modeling tools capable of predicting temperature effects in realistic digital human models. These tools are useful for high-fidelity and high-resolution analysis of core-body and localized temperatures during RF exposure. These simulations, however, can be very computationally expensive and are generally useful for only a small subset of possible exposure conditions. Specifically, high fidelity voxel models may be used to predict the temperature evolution within the body while accounting for non-uniform SAR distributions.  To fully capture SAR "hotspots" and therefore maximum local temperatures, a voxel resolution of 2 mm or finer is often required, resulting in simulation runtimes of up to several hours for many cases.  Therefore, predicting the range of potential thermal outcomes due to thermoregulatory variability across a population of people may be time prohibitive.

 

To mitigate the computational burden of whole body thermal simulations, several approaches may be taken. These approaches can be broadly categorized into two primary methods: 1) Hardware acceleration techniques (such as GPGPU) may be used to create very high throughput thermal models and 2) heuristic or analytical approximation techniques may be used to estimate temperatures across a range of possible exposure/environmental conditions and human thermal capacities. A combination of these two approaches may also be considered. For example, computational models may be used to determine semi-analytical temperature response curves, and Monte Carlo-type simulations may then be used to predict the range of possible thermal outcomes.

 

The ideal solution should be able to simulate the evolution of temperature within digital human anatomical models at 2mm or finer resolution. For hardware accelerated techniques, such as porting computation to a Graphics Processing Unit, simulation speed should be on the order of 100x faster than comparable CPU simulations. Runtimes to simulate a one minute long RF exposure would therefore be on the order of seconds up to a few minutes. Analytical or semi-analytical techniques should seek to provide temperature predictions across a range of individuals or exposures in near real-time, i.e. a few seconds or less.

 

Biomedical scientists, health and medical physicists, and bioenvironmental engineers would all benefit from software that enabled efficient thermal simulations for RF exposures.

 

PHASE I: Determine the computational methods to be used, and develop prototype software that illustrates the effectiveness of the chosen method. The prototype software should illustrate the ability to predict both whole body and localized temperatures over time. Simulation runtime and model fidelity will be the metrics of success.

 

PHASE II: Extend the software created in Phase I to allow for a broad range of exposures. The software output should include both whole body and tissue specific thermal response. A user interface should be included for creating simulations and viewing results. Also during Phase II, the software should be fully developed and optimized with respect to computational runtime.  Finally, a validation of the developed software should be performed against empirical data.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Use by engineers and health physicists to study risks of accidental RF overexposure. Used by Air Force to predict potential of overexposure during engagement of novel directed energy systems.

Commercial Application: Use by engineers and health physicists to study risks of accidental RF overexposure. Use in hyperthermia treatment applications. Use in human thermal comfort research.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Electromagnetic and heat transfer computations for non-ionizing radiation dosimetry. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2000 Vol. 45

 

2. A Formula for Simply Estimating Body Core Temperature Rise in Humans Due to Microwave Exposures 2009 Proceedings of IEICE

 

3. FDTD analysis of body-core temperature elevation in children and adults for whole-body exposure. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2008 Vol. 53

 

KEYWORDS: computational modeling and simulation, radio frequency, thermal modeling, GPU, Graphics Processing Unit

 

 

 

AF121-033                         TITLE: Discourse Analysis for Insights into Group Identity and Intent

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop techniques for improved extraction and interpretation of discourse related to social identity, social categorization, and moral disengagement.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Discourse provides a window into the proverbial heads of an individual and a group, reflecting how they view themselves and how they view the world.  As part of an integrated methodology to fully assess and exploit our understanding of the patterns of life, discourse provides a mechanism to identify leading indicators of hostility, and this, in turn, would provide a powerful mechanism to cue, collect and interpret other direct and indirect sensor data.  For example, through discourse, individuals will provide signals related to the various mechanisms related to moral disengagement (e.g., use of language and images which dehumanize them).1  Discourse provides the understanding of values, attitudes and group norms (all key elements of how group social identity is constructed)2 critical for reasoning about current and likely future behaviors and ultimately group intent.  Without this understanding, analysts will always be reactive versus proactive.  While many people are focused on sentiment analysis (largely through an aggregated analysis of good and bad words as identified by Subject Matter Experts) as sufficient to assess mood or attitudes, this does not focus on group identity and thus does not provide the necessary information to reason about intent.  However, previous efforts by both DARPA (under the “Automated Sentiment Analysis” seedling effort) and previous AFRL efforts: Analysis of Discourse and Discursive Practices for Indications and Warnings 3 and Taliban Pashto Discourse Analysis have resulted in some foundational capabilities in terms of automated approaches for extraction of sentiment based on the context of who is speaking about whom/what and methodologies for extracting and interpreting in-group/out-group discourse and assessing integrative complexity4,5 (integrative complexity can be used to assess the likelihood of conflict/hostility as well as cooperation, so applicability is throughout the spectrum of conflict). The former is semi-automated, but does not focus on group identity and intent while the latter provide techniques for both exploiting information related to group identity and inferring intent (integrative complexity). 

 

Proposals are sought for innovative mixed initiative techniques (methodology and semi-automated processing) to combine the ability to extract information related to group identity, attitudes with the ability to support reasoning about group intent.  Proposals may focus on improving techniques in semi-automated processing (text analytics) individually; however, novel ideas that would lead to the development of a mixed initiative (human/computer) with both semi-automated processing of discourse and improved methodologies for interpretation, inference and analysis is not only encouraged, but desired.  Note that this topic is in the key technology areas of human systems (system interfaces and cognitive processing) and information systems technology (knowledge and information management) with the human systems technology area being primary.

 

The evaluation should evaluate both the semi-automated processing, but the ability to support improved analysis.  The mechanism to do that will be to have a comparative analysis of the processed output, a manually coded output for analysis with and without the integrative complexity scoring method. Due to the short time period of Phase I, it is preferable that currently available databases be used in the evaluation.

 

PHASE I:  Identify discursive mechanisms, techniques for extracting information about group identity, and indicators of moral disengagement.  Develop innovative techniques for group identity centric text analytics and evaluate their performance for a single language and a single domain.

 

PHASE II:  PHASE II:  Further develop the proposed techniques and evaluate their performance for multiple languages and/or domains/groups to show the generality of the techniques.  The evaluations should follow the same format as described under the Phase I description but for the new languages and domains.  Any databases collected for development and/or evaluation should be delivered to the contract sponsor.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Military applications include, Anticipatory ISR (e.g, Indications and Warnings (I&W), COA analysis for Effects Based Approach to Operations, Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations (i.e., conflict resolution, negotiations).

Commercial Application:  Commercial applications are similar to military applications but generally for different domains, such as: law enforcement, business (negotiations).

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Bandura, A.  “Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities,” in Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3:3, pp.193-209, 1999.

 

2.  Tajfel, H., and Turner, J.C. The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior. In S. Worchel & W. Austin (eds), Psychology of Intergroup Relations, Chicago: Nelson-Hall (pp. 7-24).

 

3.  Toman, P., Kuznar, L., Baker, T. and Hartman, A. “Analysis of Discourse Accent and Discursive Practices I&W”, AFRL-RH-WP-TR-2010-7580, September 2010.

 

4.  Suedfeld, P., Guttieri, K., & Tetlock, P. E. (2003). Assessing integrative complexity at a distance: Archival analyses of thinking and decision making (pp. 246-272).

 

KEYWORDS: social identity, moral disengagement, social categorization, text analytics, discourse analysis, sentiment analysis

 

 

 

AF121-036                         TITLE: Ultra-Fast Transfer Techniques to Download Data

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop technology for high speed transfer of data from solid state storage media to a secondary storage media.

 

DESCRIPTION: Numerous data acquisition systems are generating more and more data every year. This growth is exponential with both the greater bandwidth and acquisition speed of the devices increasing combined with greater numbers of these devices available for installation. Typical data rates are approaching 9Gigabytes per second. Large solid state disk (SSD) arrays are utilized to store this data. After a period of data acquisition, it is necessary to download the data for analysis. Presently, flash-memory-based SSDs are available with data transfer rates of 768 Megabyte per second interface data transfer rate. This results in a ratio of approximately 1.4 hours required for download of the original 1 hour data collection period accumulated data. There is a significant lag in data availability when accessing data collected by persistent acquisition system. In addition to the time lag, there is, with present practice of physically removing the SSDs from the acquisition system and installing into data extraction system there is a limited number of install/remove cycles possible. This is a material issue resulting from the handling involved.

 

This SBIR seeks to develop a novel approach, architecture, and design for transferring large quantities of collected data from the data acquisition system storage-area to post-processing storage-area and onto a network server at half the time it took to acquire and store the data within the acquisition system. Approaches may include, but are not limited to hybrid realtime and offline data downloading approaches, highly-parallel offline data transfer systems using novel hardware and software optimizations. A limiting factor is that in some instances, the realtime data extraction and transmission is necessarily of secondary priority to delivery of data to an end-user, i.e. may not be optimal data transfer rate at all times.Equally acceptable would be development of a new sustained high-speed read/write SSD chip architecture allowing increased interface data transfer rate.

 

PHASE I:  Develop a novel approach with sufficient architecture and design detail (to include detailed analysis) to show approach feasibility.

 

PHASE II:  Develop a detailed design and prototype of the hardware/software/algorithm constituting the approach and architecture and demonstrate its effectiveness in downloading imagery data to a storage facility and network server.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Near real time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance exploitation across multiple sensor domains; possible new anti-tamper implementation.

Commercial Application:  Faster large volume movie copying, improved computer data storage and access systems, improved high performance data access layers and retrieval.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Balakrishnan, M., Kadav, A., Prabhakaran, V., and Malkhi, D. 2010. Differential RAID: Rethinking RAID for SSD Reliability. ACM Trans. Storage 6, 2, Article 4 (July 2010), 22 pages. DOI = 10.1145/1807060.1807061  http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1807060.1807061.

 

2.  F. Chen, D. A. Koufaty, and X. Zhang, “Understanding intrinsic characteristics and system implications of flash memory based solid state drives,” in ACM SIGMETRICS, Seattle, WA, Jun. 2009.

 

3.  http://storageconference.org/2011/Papers/Research/2.Huang.pdf (paper title: Performance Modeling and Analysis of Flash-based Storage Devices).

 

KEYWORDS: high speed data transfer, data transfer parallelization, high performance data access layers

 

 

 

AF121-037                         TITLE: Next Generation Mobile Ad-hoc Networking (MANET) for Aircraft

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Information Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Development of next generation Mobile ad-hoc Networks (MANET) for airborne nodes in complex operating environments.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Current military operating forces consist of a complex mesh of next generation unmanned aircraft, rapidly deployable advance strike and stealth capabilities, ballistic missiles and legacy aircraft systems. Combined with complex operating environments consisting of contested Radio Frequency (RF) communications and cyber intrusions, these situations are difficult to pre-plan from an RF mission preparation perspective and even more difficult to implement as intended. Users may be left to fend for themselves as static operating channels are lost to signal interference and protocols are non-existent for routing of mission-critical information back to the Global Information Grid (GIG).

 

Next generation airborne networking protocols and network management tools are needed to reduce the network overhead and pre-planning necessary for these complex missions while ensuring the reliability and bandwidth affordability necessary for modern military networks. A solution is needed which implements the MANET construct while minimizing network overhead for small to medium sized operational networks (10-100 participants). Such a protocol should consider memory and processing limitations of legacy aircraft while addressing needs of next generation wireless communications systems.

 

Such a network, in addition to being robust to interference, jamming and other complex operating environments, should also exhibit Low Probability of Detection / Low Probability of Interception (LPD/LPI). Such considerations may include dynamic power adaptation, multi-hop routing, spread spectrum, Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) or other means which may be included in the MANET development. Each user’s seamless entry and exit of the self-configuring multi-hop network must also be considered, including network management in a constantly changing topography.

 

This solution should support a DoD/USAF requirement for a networking waveform to allow connection of a large number of mobile/airborne platforms to the GIG and each other without being limited by pre-configurations or having network management utilize a high percentage of the available bandwidth.

 

PHASE I:  Perform a technology feasibility assessment and deliver a simulation of the proposed MANET solution via OPNET, NS2, or other appropriate method. Also, develop a brief outline of a Phase II effort.

 

PHASE II:  Construct and demonstrate a MANET solution system for airborne nodes in a laboratory environment. Use hardware-in-the-loop with simulation environment and prototype system to demonstrate scalability of solution.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:

Military Application:

Adapt the MANET solution to an airborne prototype with complete operational compatibility to validate performance characteristics of the developed system.

Commercial Application:

Research could likewise improve robustness, bandwidth requirement, and network formation times for commercial aircraft MANETs.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Burbank, J.L.; Chimento, P.F.; Haberman, B.K.; Kasch, W.T., "Key Challenges of Military Tactical Networking and the Elusive Promise of MANET Technology," Communications Magazine, IEEE , vol.44, no.11, pp.39-45, November 2006.

 

2. Mueller, S.; Tsang, R.; Ghosal, D., “Multipath Routing in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks: Issues and Challenges,” Performance Tools and Applications to Networked Systems, Volume 2965, 2004.

 

3. Szczodrak, M. and Dr. Kim, J., “4G and MANET Wireless Network of Future Battlefield,” Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, New York, NY 10019 USA.

 

KEYWORDS: Mobile ad-hoc network, global information grid, radio frequency communications, network management

 

 

 

AF121-038                         TITLE: Joint Aerial Layer Network High Capacity Backbone Antennas

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop directional antennas for installation on space, weight and power-constrained platforms to support high-capacity point-to-point and point-to multi-point communications in airborne networks.

 

DESCRIPTION: Future Joint Aerial Layer Networks (JALN) (Ref. 1) will be composed of airborne, surface and ground-based nodes interconnected by Line-of-Sight (LOS) omni and directional radio and satellite links. Many of these nodes will be mobile and constrained by available space, weight and power availability, especially in the case of small unmanned drones. In addition to point-to-point connectivity to a single neighboring platform, some nodes will be capable of simultaneous connections to multiple neighbors. Antenna configurations supporting persistent or virtual point-to-multi-point connectivity between network nodes will allow the formation of a rich set of airborne network connectivity topologies.

 

Technical challenges in this technology include size constraints, conformal profiling to the platform, operation over extended frequency ranges, and operation within acceptable co-site interference levels. The effort should first focus on directional antennas for the existing CDL frequency spectrum (14.5 - 15.5 GHz). However, providing High Capacity Backbone connectivity at data rates, e.g., 274 Mb/s, in networks with more than just a few nodes, will require investigation of operation into multi-spectral CDL regions (UHF, L, S, C, X, upper Ku, Ka ). The Air Force is currently investigating approaches to multi-spectral CDL capability.

 

Antenna designs should be capable of supporting both persistent, synchronous (CDL-type) connections as well as virtual connections formed by directional time division multiple access (DTDMA) protocols. A tradeoff between these two technologies (synchronous, persistent CDL links vs. DTDMA time slot allocations) and their supporting technologies is required.

 

The contractor will explore and analyze antenna and diplexer technologies that will enable rapid pointing, acquisition, tracking, and frequency change agility while mitigating cosite interference effects. A family of directional antenna designs may be defined, each supporting its own frequency band(s) of the overarching multi-spectral CDL set of bands. The contractor will analyze the expected performance of each family member with estimates of their beam gain patterns, side-lobe structures, etc. over their assigned frequency range of operation. The contractor will illustrate the installation of antenna family members, based on frequency selection, on selected airborne and ground vehicles. These antennas should be interoperable with existing synchronous (e.g., Common Data Link) and directional TDMA (e.g., Highband Networking or C4ISR Radio) radio terminals. This interoperability will enhance the probability of technology transition to a prime contractor.

 

PHASE I: Analyze shortcomings of past directional antenna efforts to achieve high-bandwidth, long-range, low SWAP directional antennas. Evaluate recent advances in antenna technology to achieve the objectives described above. Propose novel concepts for antenna design and evaluate performance characteristics by simulation.

 

PHASE II: Develop , test and demonstrate prototype directional antennas operating over the CDL frequency range plus multi-spectral (UHF, L, S, C, X, upper Ku, Ka ) bands where feasible. Make modeling modules (e.g., STK, Opnet) available for third party analyses. Collaboration with directional terminal developers is desirable to facilitate transitioning of the technology.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: There are numerous military applications for lightweight, directional, frequency agile, conformal antennas on land, air and sea vehicles for communication networks as well as point-to-point links.

Commercial Application: Directional antennas will find commercial application the area of networking between commercial airliners and airborne internet access (especially over oceans).

 

REFERENCES:

1. Initial Capabilities Document for Joint Aerial Layer Network, v1.65, 26 March 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: directional antennas, airborne networking

 

 

 

AF121-040                         TITLE: Cloud/Grid/Virtualization Architecture for Air Force Weather

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

 

OBJECTIVE: Evaluate advanced cloud technologies against the variable performance needs of Joint Environment Toolkit to provide an elastic deployment of Air Force Weather Servers and be a pilot for other DoD enterprise-based programs.

 

DESCRIPTION: Perform a study of the application of cloud computing, utilizing concepts drawn from grid computing progress and taking advantage of advances in virtualization techniques, to address the variable performance needs of globally distributed system configurations such as the Operational Weather Squadrons (OWS). Use the requirements and architecture/design of Joint Environment Toolkit (JET) to determine what is the optimum cloud computing strategy and related technologies that would address the variable performance needs by providing an elastic deployment of Air Force Weather Servers. Direct access to the JET database will not be necessary, though more detailed information about the JET architecture can be made available after contractor selection.

 

The current proposed implementation for JET Increment 2 requires that servers at six globally distributed Operational Weather Squadrons (OWS) be able to each handle peak demand of weather analysis and forecast information from the 30-40 Weather Flights plus potentially 1000 or more other operational users within their area of responsibility. For this scenario, either enough computer servers must be purchased for each OWS to meet their peak demand or the capabilities provided to the users reduced. Another option is to consider shared resources among the different OWS sites. This option will be examined by evaluating the potential application of distributed databases and private/hybrid cloud computing systems for producing and disseminating Air Force weather information across the enterprise, in order to efficiently size the hardware requirements for JET at the OWSs and also provide for limited or no degradation of capabilities to the Weather Flights and other operational users in the event of the interruption of services at an OWS.

 

This approach will match well with the recent Air Force Chief Scientist’s Report on Technology Horizons, which emphasizes a switch in emphasis toward more agile, composable, and fractionated or distributed systems for the future, with a need for cyber resilience. A cloud computing platform could also address the need to switch from a platform emphasis to a capabilities emphasis.

 

A successful solution to this topic would allow Air Force Weather to purchase a more economical number of JET servers by leveling their demand across the globe while maximizing capabilities provided to the users. It is unlikely that all six OWSs will be subjected to maximum demand of their services at the same time. For example, if during the morning in Germany the 21st OWS needs more server capacity than is locally available it could seek to use spare servers at another OWS, such as the 17th in Hawaii where it would be the middle of the night. Additionally such a computing architecture could allow the OWSs to easily adapt to the locally changing levels of user demand based on strategic and tactical demands (e.g. hurricane rescue operations, unexpected threat events in different parts of the world). In addition to addressing pressing Air Force Weather needs, results from this effort could serve as a pilot study for implementation in other enterprise-based programs at the Electronic Systems Center (ESC) and across the DoD.

 

PHASE I: Document preferred cloud computing strategy for multiple data processing/storage hubs such as JET OWSs based on potential cost savings, mission enablement, information technology operating efficiencies, and optimization of resources. Examine the potential benefits of commercial-off-the-shelf and open-source solutions.

 

PHASE II: Develop the applicable reference model and architecture aligned to industry standards; design a cloud solution for a system of data processing/storage hubs addressing security, interoperability, and portability issues; provide a proof of concept prototype; and finally provide appropriate test results and quality assurance that the architecture could be successfully implemented for an operational system.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Proposed architecture would be implemented for a future JET Build and adapted for other similar ESC enterprises (e.g., Mission Planning). JET implementation could be expanded to other Air Force Weather product generation and dissemination systems.

Commercial Application: Proposed architecture would have application to enterprises that monitor weather data or are involved in the collection and dissemination of information through several hubs to and from many users such as transportation and utility companies.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A. D., Katz, R. H., Konwinski, A., et al. (2009). Above the clouds: A Berkeley view of cloud computing. University of California at Berkeley Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2009-28. Retrieved from http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2009/EECS-2009-28.html.

 

2. Daum, W. J. (2010). Report on Technology Horizons: A Vision for Air Force Science & Technology During 2010-2030. Retrieved from http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101130-062.pdf.

 

3. Greenfield, T. (2009). Cloud Computing in a Military Context. DISA Office of the CTO. Retrieved from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/disa/cloud_computing_military_context.ppt.

 

4. Mell, P. & Grance, T. (2009). Effectively and Securely Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm. NIST, Information Technology Laboratory, p. 8. Retrieved from csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/cloud-computing/.

 

5. Youseff, L., Butrico, M., & Da Silva, D. (2008). Toward a unified ontology of cloud computing [Electronic version]. Proceedings of the Grid Computing Environments Workshop, 2008, 1-10.

 

KEYWORDS: keyword1: cloud computing, keyword2: weather, keyword3: distributed computing, keyword4: distributed system economics

 

 

 

AF121-041                         TITLE: Directional Partial Mesh Airborne Networking

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop an Airborne Mesh Network capability that;

Utilizes directional antennas, utilizes Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and potentially Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), maintains backward compatibility with legacy terminals.

 

DESCRIPTION: Within airborne networks, directional links are desirable due to their increased range, capacity, and Low Observable (LO) capabilities. In order to form a network from these point-to-point links, past waveforms have utilized a linear network topology with each network participant having just two links (i.e. MADL, CDL). This topology is well suited for a network with a limited number of nodes. However as the network size increases, this topology is undesirable due to the linear increase in latency and the amount of bandwidth consumed by relaying traffic over multiple hops. Additionally because each point-to-point link is critical in preventing network segregation, a linear topology can pose network reliability issues.

 

There is a push to create a more fully connected airborne network. However, it is unfeasible for all platforms to simultaneously abandon their existing air-to-air communication capabilities in favor of a more scalable directional mesh waveform. Therefore, it is desirable to explore methods to evolve current linear topology networks into partial mesh networks. A critical part of this evolution is backwards compatibility with existing terminals which are only capable of linear networking. These existing terminals should be capable of existing anywhere within the partial mesh network and not be limited to the network edge.

 

PHASE I:

1. Identify conceptual approaches to a Directional Partial Mesh Network.

2. Identify and define the preferred approach through modeling, simulation and analysis.

 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate and validate protocols, algorithms, and simulation software to implement the selected Phase I approach.  Technical data will be provided to the offeror if needed for successful completion.  

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Increase the number and types of platforms able to connect into the airborne network. Improve the throughput, latency, and reliability of existing airborne networking technologies.

Commercial Application: Results from this work have applicability to cellular telephone and data networks, to vehicular networks, and to WiFi networking technologies.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Padjen, Robert, and Todd Lammle. "Chapter 1 - Introduction to Network Design". CCDP: Cisco Internetwork Design Study Guide. Sybex. 2000.

 

2. Adibi, Sasan, Amin Mobasher, and Mostafa Tofighbakhsh (eds). "Chapter 8 - Fourth Generation Networks—Adoption and Dangers". Fourth-Generation Wireless Networks: Applications and Innovations. IGI Global. 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: tactical networking, MANET, airborne networking, directional datalink, mesh networking, distributed decision-making,directional mesh waveform

 

 

 

AF121-042                         TITLE: V/W Band Airborne Radomes

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Information Systems, Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Development of a low loss, high reliability radome for V/W band frequencies suitable for airborne communication systems.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Communication systems are faced with the challenge of congested and decreasing spectrum.  To address this concern there is increased interest in the use of higher frequencies for communications.  A radome at these frequences is a technical challenge and will need maturation.

 

The radome mechanically protects the antenna and terminal electronics from the outside environment. In addition it has critical electrical performance parameters to ensure the communication signals pass through unperturbed.  Careful trade-offs must be made between the mechanical constraints on the aircraft and the electrical performance of the radome at these high frequencies. This development effort focuses on the development of an airborne radome and its associated material properties for operation at 71 to 76 GHz (receive) and 81 to 86 GHz (transmit). The radome could be used for such ISR collection platforms such as Global Hawk, U2 and Predator.  However use on fast movers should also be considered.

 

The mechanical properties of the materials are an important consideration.  Typically a fiber/resin composite is employed.  The mix of fiber to resin is important as well as the thickness. For airborne applications, at altitude, any moisture in the radome will freeze and expand leading to micro cracking in the radome.  Advanced materials may be an option, but they must be resilient to bird strikes, etc.  The durability of the material over the life is a consideration that is often overlooked, and will be addressed under this effort.

 

The dual frequency band nature of the radome enables the designer to optimize one band over another.  For this high frequency application, losses are greater at the transmit band and therefore minimizing the losses through the radome at the highest frequencies is the most critical.  Additionally the radome curvature is a factor in both the mechanical integrity of the radome as well as the electrical losses.  Typically the radome has curvature for aerodynamic performance.  The antenna underneath, as it turns, will impinge on the radome at different incident angles.  Multiple techniques have been employed to improve the electrical performance through high curvature regions of the radome, including tapering the radome wall thickness.  Innovative approaches will need to be explored to meet the desired insertion losses at these frequencies.

 

Finally, the manufacturing processes are continually advancing.  The frequency of operation is high, and therefore the manufacturing tolerances for this radome development will be very tight.  Consideration will be given to whether the processes are in place to support a radome design at these frequencies.

 

PHASE I:  Study/design the radome that is optimum for the goal of low cost in production.  The study will include both large and small radomes (assumes reflector antenna).  Detail the design in the final report.  Prototyping of material coupons will be required, along with material tolerance requirements and ability to extend to large design.

 

PHASE II:  Further develop the proposed technology for air to space applications.  Demonstration of the loss of the radome at V and W band will be required over the full scan.  It is intended that AFRL will eventually incorporate this antenna on an airborne fuselage and obtain full antenna patterns.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Improve the manufacturability to drive costs down and improve reliability. Verify the performance of the system on several military platforms.

Commercial Application:  Establish technical and business alliance with defense contractors and commercial system vendors to commercialize the technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Moneun, M.A.A et al, Hybrid PO-MoM analysis of large axi-symmetric radomes, Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transaction on; Volume 29, Issue 12, p. 1657-1666.

 

2. Meng, Hongfu et al,Analysis and Design of Radome in Millimeter Wave Band;State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Southeast University.

 

3. Hiuliang Xu: ‘Microwave and millimter Wave Near-Field methods for Evaluation of Radmoe Composites’, AIP Conference Proceedings; Volume 975, Issue 1, 976-981.

 

KEYWORDS: W-band antenna, V-band antenna, airborne, radome

 

 

 

AF121-043                         TITLE: Software Isolation from Evolution of Hardware and Operation Systems

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate a method to adapt legacy software to open system architectures compatible with evolving, net-centric information technology platforms.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The Space Surveillance Network (SSN) consists of dish radars, phased array radars and optical systems whose primary mission is to track and identify space objects. These aging systems consist of hardware and software no longer supported by industry where sustainment is becoming cost prohibitive. Each site has unique interface applications used to control the sensor, correlate data and send communications. Each interface is unique to the sensor and not cross-compatible with other sensors. Outdated operator workstation repair costs currently exceed the purchase price of a commercial off-the-shelf system. Sustainment projects or upgrades currently require a major investment of capital to re-host or rewrite the software to continue to operate the workstation on a newer, supportable platform. Unfortunately, due to the length of the process, the platform is typically obsolete by the final delivery date. The current system prevents capitalization of the benefits of newer, faster, and less expensive hardware and software.  Typical legacy software for operator workstations cannot be upgraded unless the hardware is upgraded. However, the necessary hardware upgrade does not exist, because the workstations in any form are no longer in production, and the original operating system is no longer supported. Space situational awareness mission requirements have also changed. As space becomes a more contested environment, surveillance systems must be able to react dynamically and synergistically to rapidly evolving events.  This will require legacy systems to be utilized in ways which they were not originally designed for.

 

This research seeks novel approaches that modernize the space surveillance network to meet future needs. Solutions must employ designs that enable cost effective sustainment and upgrades to ground station hardware and software. Development of a net-centric modular architecture with standard interfaces enables responsiveness to dynamic events, efficient hardware/software sustainment, plus intelligent data pre-processing. Responsiveness to rapidly developing space-based incidents requires SSN sensors have the automated capability to respond to taskings from either the control node or peer sensors, enabling the best observations and object identification on potentially troublesome satellites. Future needs of the SSN include on-site data reduction and processing (data fusion) on Metric Observations (METOBS) and Space Object Identification (SOI), to provide better Space Situational Awareness (SSA) more quickly in a cluttered space environment. Modular design of both hardware and software components creates a cost effective solution in ground station sustainment and upgrades. As with any modernization effort, a balanced solution finds the optimal combination of legacy and new components to meet mission needs and fiscal constraints.

 

Proposed solutions can focus on either net-centric ground station concepts capable of responding to dynamic space tracking events, or focus on data preprocessing and data reduction to enable data fusion, or both. All proposals must incorporate cost-effective and sustainable concepts.

 

PHASE I:  Design a cost effective, sustainable sensor ground hardware/software concept that not only incorporates existing functionality but also dynamic tasking and/or on-site data preprocessing/reduction for both METOBS and SOI data fusion.

 

PHASE II:  Design, develop, and demonstrate a concept prototype for critical portions of the sensor ground station.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:

Military Application:  A portable GUI system allows low cost upgrades and technical refresh of the platforms requiring only minor software changes if any, and provides more robust systems for evolving net-centric SSN.

Commercial Application:  Three areas have commercial applicability for this topic.  The first is development of innovative techniques to upgrade legacy systems, especially for either radar or electro-optical (EO) sensor sites.  Secondly, dynamic tasking techniques will have wide applicability to any dispersed, networked systems.  Finally, the data pre-processing techniques apply to any radar or EO system transforming data to relevant information.

 

REFERENCES:

1. POSIX.4 Programmers Guide, by Bill Gallmeister, O’Reilly Media, January 1995.

 

2. X Windows System Administrator’s Guide, Vol 8, First Edition, by Linda Mui, Eric Pearce, O’Rielly Media, October 1992.

 

KEYWORDS: GUI, Open-system-architecture, platform-independent-applications, Net-Centric SSN, Space Situational Awareness, Data Fusion

 

 

 

AF121-046                         TITLE: W-band Transmitter

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop an efficient, lightweight W-band (81-86 GHz) transmitter to support communications links between RPA’s, satellites and terrestrial terminals.

 

DESCRIPTION:  As the number of Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs) and associated battlefield sensors proliferates, requirements for additional military satellite communications capacity will likely continue for the foreseeable future.  In order to provide Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (AISR) data communications between the RPA, warfighter and data analysts, and to transfer command and control (C2) communications to the RPA from the operator using a satellite communications link during periods in which the RPA is operating BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight), the Air Force would like to explore utilization of frequency spectrum available at W band (81-86 GHz).

 

The Air Force would like to develop a RF (Radio Frequency) transmitter designed for operation on an airborne platform with output power greater than 50 watts and with power added efficiency of greater than 30 percent to meet these emerging SATCOM (Satellite Communications) requirements.   This research should support adjacent channel power ratio of less than -40 dB for a typical quadrature phase shift key modulation scheme in an effort to minimize spectral regrowth.  Additional challenging performance goals of interest include a center frequency of 83.5 GHz with a bandwidth range of +/- 3 GHz, a power input of less than 1 mW, a power output of greater than 50 W, harmonics of less than 10 dBc, amplitude ripple of less than .4 dB, a Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) of less than 1.3:1, a total system weight of less than 10 lb, a total system efficiency of greater than 30 percent, an operating temperature range of -40 degrees to +55 degrees centigrade, and reliability consistent with typical airborne terminal life of 10^5 hours.

 

PHASE I:  Investigate design approaches leading towards the W-band transmitter objectives stated above.  Select a promising technology alternative and demonstrate viability through modeling and simulation.

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate, prototype, and characterize for operating frequency, bandwidth, power consumption, output power, amplitude ripple.  Conduct accelerated life testing to estimate reliability.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Both commercial and military satellite communications data rates are expanding and could benefit from millimeter wave communications links.

Commercial Application:  Commercial as well as Military data rates will benefit.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Smith, Matthew, C.; Dunleavy, Lawrence P., “Comparison of Solid State, MPM, and TWT Based Transmitters for Spaceborne Applications”, IEEE, 1998.

 

2. Trew, R.J.; Shin, M.W.; and Gatto, V., “Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Electronic Devices for High Frequency Applications,” IEEE GaAs IC Symposium, 1996, pp 6-9.

 

KEYWORDS: Microwave, Power Module, W-band, Power Amplifier, Gain, Bandwidth

 

 

 

AF121-048                         TITLE: Dynamic Reallocation and Tasking

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate advanced decision support technology with the potential to provide dynamic reallocation and tasking in planning and conducting air-space-cyber activities across rapidly changing environments.

 

DESCRIPTION: A wide array of physical and information resources can be called upon when responding to a severe weather event, such as a hurricane or winter storm. The major challenge, when such a disruption occurs, is deciding how to effectively use available resources to preserve life and recover economic well-being. Organizing and directing such a response has many similarities with the command and control function exercised over military operations. With the growth in space-borne and computer network capabilities, the Air Force has an opportunity to combine these capabilities with its traditional aircraft capabilities to meet Service, Joint, and Coalition mission objectives. Exploiting the strengths and relationships among air, space, and cyber assets has the potential for achieving greater effects. These multiple assets however can be difficult to synchronize, owing to differences in time response, reliability, covertness, and a variety of other factors. Additionally, the very nature of conflict confronts commanders with constantly evolving adversaries and uncertainty about the operating environment. To prevail in future conflicts, commanders must be able to perform dynamic reallocation and tasking of air, space, and cyber capabilities within and across those domains, on a time scale ranging from milliseconds to days. This implies the need for varying levels of automation in both adaptive planning and dynamic reallocation of assets. Meeting the allocation challenge may also require novel approaches to optimization, applying techniques such as Genetic Algorithms, Simulated Annealing, A*, Heuristic Search, Iterative Repair, Linear Programming, Branch and Bound, Hill-Climbing, intelligent software agents, or hybrid approaches. Combined with near real time situational awareness and adaptive planning of operations, technology advances in Dynamic Reallocation of assets and efficient Tasking of air, space, and cyber resources could play a key role in achieving future national security objectives.

 

PHASE I: Generate representative scenarios using open-source data, to assist analysis and identification of potential solutions. Establish metrics and perform a trade study to recommend promising solutions. Design a concept for the prototype dynamic reallocation and tasking capability.

 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate the prototype for a representative command and control scenario, clearly demonstrating its ability to meet the desired capabilities within a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: This research would enhance network operations for DoD information technology systems, with potential extension to integrated command and control systems for synchronizing air-space-cyber operations.

Commercial Application: Follow-on uses for the technology are expected in numerous fields including Emergency response planning; Homeland security; Transportation logistics; Energy production/distribution; Financial market transactions; Industrial manufacturing.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Tavana, M., Bailey, M.D. and Busch, T.E. (2009) “Dynamic air tasking evaluation in a simulated network-centric battlespace,” Int. J. Operational Research, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.1–25.

 

2. McDonnell, J., N. Gizzi, and S. Louis. "Strike force asset allocation using genetic search." Int. Conf. on Artificial Intelligence, Las Vegas, NV. June 2002.

 

3. Bin Yu. “A Distributed Constraint-Based Algorithm for Dynamic Task Allocation Among UAVs” www.seas.upenn.edu/~chpeng/icra08workshop/BinYu.pdf

 

4. Xiangpeng Li, Dong Sun, Jie Yang. "Networked architecture for multi-robot task reallocation in dynamic environment," Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2009 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.33-38, 19-23 Dec. 2009.

 

5. Wei-Min Shen and Behnam Salemi. “Distributed and Dynamic Task Reallocations in Robot Organization,” Proc. 2002 IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1019–1024, Washington, DC, May 2002.

 

KEYWORDS: decision support, automated planning, scalable efficient allocation, dynamic re-tasking, optimization, robust command and control

 

 

 

AF121-049                         TITLE: Emerging Software Algorithms for Autonomous Sense Making Operations

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop scalable emerging computing algorithms capable of performing autonomous and sense making operations based on learning and/or training. Operations can include but are not limited to: complex semantic association, surveillance, and navigation.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Today’s computing information systems are continuously bombarded with sensor, machine, and user generated data. This data can originate and travel through multiple communication channels such as airways, wires, optical links, radar, radio, and/or cyber space. Thus, the main challenge information analysts face today is how to deal with the vast amounts of data available given that in order to process all this information would require beyond human abilities as clearly described in the recent Technology Horizons report by the Air Force chief scientist Dr. Dahm. “Although humans today remain more capable than machines for many tasks, natural human capacities are becoming increasingly mismatched to the enormous data volumes, processing capabilities, and decision speeds that technologies offer or demand; closer human-machine coupling and augmentation of human performance will become possible and essential”. As a result, this applied research topic seeks innovative ideas where emerging computing algorithms can be applied to intelligent information processing or autonomous sense making operations. The basic goal is to develop information software platforms capable of performing autonomous operations that would enhance the performance, operation, and decision making capabilities of the user by enabling autonomy to the system itself.

 

PHASE I:  Research and develop an innovative approach to meet the SBIR Topic objectives, and assess its feasibility. Develop the initial paper design and simulation prototype that demonstrate basic autonomous sense making application. A proof of concept is required to demonstrate feasibility of approach.

 

PHASE II:  Develop large-scale prototype demonstration, per Phase I requirements. Demonstrate sense making and autonomous operations for example but not limited to monitoring activities and navigation in denied environments using performer generated real-world and/or synthesized data. A working large-scale prototype is required that demonstrates increase in the complexity and autonomy of functionality performed by the system architecture.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Deliver scalable software tool able to fulfill a wide range of DoD needs for autonomous systems operations such as continuously monitoring information from various sources for situation awareness, navigation in denied environments, and sense making.

Commercial Application:  Business intelligence, persistent surveillance, data and trend analysis for example continuously monitoring information from various sources, competitors' pricing, background screening, and DoD contractors enabling autonomous decisions and analysis.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Dr. Werner J.A. Dahm, chief scientist, U.S. Air Force, “Technology Horizons: A Vision for Air Force Science & Technology During 2010-2030,” Vol. 1, AF/ST-TR-10-01-PR, 15 May 2010.

 

2. R. Pino, G. Genello, M. Bishop, M. Moore, R. Linderman, “Emerging Neuromorphic Computing Architectures & Enabling Hardware for Cognitive Information Processing Applications,” The 2nd International Workshop on Cognitive information Processing, CIP 2010, Elba Island, Italy, June 14-16, 2010.

 

3. James A. Anderson, “An Introduction to Neural Networks,” 1st Ed, MIT Press, New York, 1995.

 

4. Michael A. Arbib , “Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks,” MIT Press, New York, 1998.

 

5. Robert Hecht-Nielsen, “Confabulation Theory: The Mechanism of Thought,” Springer, New York, 2007.

 

KEYWORDS: Computational Intelligence, Neuromorphic Computing, Neural Networks

 

 

 

AF121-050                         TITLE: Link Analysis of Knowledge Derived from Social Media Sources

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

 

OBJECTIVE:  The objective of this research is to develop information technology to provide link analysis of knowledge extracted from social media communications. Relevant research approaches must address scalability, temporal analysis, and entity resolution.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Social media have become increasingly important for communication with intent to affect public opinion, political results and social behavior. (Ref 1)  Traditional knowledge extraction techniques have either focused on exploiting full-text written in natural language sentences, (Ref 2) or on deriving schematic and instance assertions from structured data repositories such as relational databases. (Ref 3)  Social media differ significantly from these data sources in a number of ways.  A complete communication may be created and disseminated in under a minute, allowing for many more communications from an individual author than in traditional full-text writing.  Many social media mechanisms allow anonymity, such that the care with which a communication is prepared and released is frequently less than what a fully attributable mechanism would warrant.  Social media communications are often retractable via deletion, and many are automatically deleted after a set period of time.  Archiving is common, but generally not for public consumption.  Many social media mechanisms limit the size of a communication, both reducing the amount of information available, and increasing the amount of linguistic innovation employed by authors to express the maximum amount of information.  Traditional text processing techniques such as word sense disambiguation and pronoun resolution, frequently thought of as intra-communication tasks, likely become dependent on time-delimited ‘sessions’ of multiple communications for proper handling.

 

The scope of the topic includes the development of link analysis techniques tailored to knowledge derived from social media communications (ontology, expert system, etc.).  The type of knowledge may be, but is not limited to, the identification of active entities (humans, organizations, software agents); the identification of plans; the identification of attributes; the identification of roles and role holders.  This link analysis capability must be highly scalable and able to manage datasets of 1,000,000 nodes and greater.  Further, this capability must conduct entity resolution with current databases and future entries to manage this data.  The offeror may provide a ‘seed’ knowledge base with which to align.  Measurement of Receiver-Operator Characteristic (ROC) metrics for extracted knowledge is critical.

 

There exists a strong military need to visualize knowledge extracted from social media communications with the same fidelity available from more traditional sources. Specifically an end user has identified the requirement to exploit social media to correlate between networks of various types. Social media of interest include blogs, Twitter-like messages, social networking posts, and bulletin board threads. Proposed methods must automatically analyze social media communications, extract relevant assertions made in them, derive attribution metadata and analyze new relationships of extracted knowledge temporally.

 

Proposers are encouraged to utilize open architecture and standards as well as provide how the approach will mitigate risk and minimize information assurance concerns.

 

PHASE I:  Complete a feasibility effort that provides an analysis framework design for knowledge extraction from social media communications. Conduct a proof of concept demonstration against a dataset with known characteristics.  Demonstrate the proposed algorithms and architecture can be matured during follow on phases, while mitigating technical risk.

 

PHASE II:  Produce a prototype system that is capable of extracting knowledge from social media communications automatically, and aligning that knowledge with an existing knowledge base.  The prototype should show statistically significant knowledge extraction accuracy (precision of 95%, recall of 95%) when tested on real-world samples of social media communications.  Open architecture and standards are encouraged.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Produce a fieldable system that can operate on social media sources that is highly scalable (>100000 communications per day) allowing users to visualize and analyze, while performing with high accuracy levels for extraction and entity resolution.

Commercial Application:  Successful development of the prototype capability would be of great interest to law enforcement, market analysts, polling organizations and social media mechanisms themselves.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Smith, Aaron; Lehman Schlozman, Kay; Verba, Sidney; Brady, Henry (2009).  The Internet and Civic Engagement.  Pew Internet.

 

2. Sekine, Satoshi; Nadeau, David (2006).  A survey of named entity recognition and classification.  University of New York.

 

3. Konstantinou, Nikolaos; Spanos, Dimitrios-Emmanuel; Mitrou, Nikolas (2008).  Ontology and Database Mapping: A Survey of Current Implementations and Future Directions.  Journal of Web Engineering.

 

KEYWORDS: Link analysis, knowledge representation, social networks analysis, information extraction, scalability, social media, entity resolution

 

 

 

AF121-051                         TITLE: Remote Attestation and Distributed Trust in Networks (RADTiN)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Remote Attestation and Distributed Trust in networks are required to enable secure and trusted transactions in a future, distributed NCO environment. Secure and trusted transactions are multi-agent, where an agent may be human or a remote device.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The Common Access Card (CAC) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) smart card issued as the standard identification for personnel. The CAC is used for authentication of personnel and to enable access to DoD computers, networks, and certain DoD facilities. The CAC enables encrypting and cryptographically signing email and official documentation, facilitating the use of PKI authentication tools, and establishes an authoritative process for the use of identity credentials. With the DoD’s increase reliance on networking (e.g. Network Centric Operations) and mobile computing technologies, authentication concerns extend beyond just personnel and include both the network and remote device(s).

 

Remote Attestation and Distributed Trust in networks are required to enable secure and trusted transactions in a future, distributed NCO environment. The transaction may be multi-agent, where an agent may be human or a remote device, and a device can be anything on the network from the network itself (including gateways and routers), desktop or server computers, or a smart phone, tablet, or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) type device.

 

Authorization and authentication in distributed systems are very different from those in centralized systems. The simplest way to achieve distributed security assurances is to close the system to outside agents. This approach neither solves the problem of insider threats nor allows the potential of NCO to be maximized. For this topic, it is assumed that cyber operations are being conducted in an open and contested cyber environment.

 

This topic seeks novel ways to establish trust in distributed computer networks in a multi-agent environment. Solutions may be software based, hardware based, or hybrid. Solutions should address horizontal trust (i.e. peer-to-peer systems) and vertical trust (i.e. systems outside the immediate network and/or enterprise). Solutions must also address both static trust (i.e. from system boot to the final operating environment loaded) to dynamic trust (i.e. continually evaluated during system operation). For this topic, use of advanced CPU features such as Intel VPro is allowed, but proposals are not limited to existing processor architectures. Proposals should also address the entire scope of information technology from ARM architectures in low power mobile devices, up to large server farm type systems.

 

PHASE I:  Design and develop techniques and technologies for remote attestation and distributed trust in networks, 2) Conduct a complete comparative analysis of possible approaches, and 3) Proof-of-feasibility demonstration of key enabling concepts.

 

PHASE II:  Develop and demonstrate a prototype that implements the Phase I methodology, 2) Identify appropriate performance metrics for evaluation, 3) Generate a cost estimate and implementation guidance, and 4) Detail the plan for the Phase III effort.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Computer and network defenses for the GIG and all other IT systems. DoD components and Department of Homeland Security can benefit from this research.

Commercial Application:  The growing importance of computers and networks to the nation's economic well-being and national security is dependent on a cyber defense strategy with the greatest opportunity for mission assurance.

 

REFERENCES:

1. A Framework for Distributed Trust Management, Lalana Kagal, Scott Cost, Timothy Finin, Yun Peng, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department, University of Maryland Baltimore County 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250; http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.21.8552&rep=rep1&type=pdf.

 

2. Trust Establishment in Mobile Distributed Computing Platforms http://www.isg.rhul.ac.uk/~allan/dtrust/.

 

3. DTT: A Distributed Trust Toolkit for Pervasive Systems http://www.ioc.ornl.gov/publications/lagesseDTT.pdf.

 

KEYWORDS: Remote attestation, distributed trust

 

 

 

AF121-055                         TITLE: Graphene Memory Device

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate a radiation-hardened graphene memory device suitable for long-term geosynchronous orbit space missions.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The rapid proliferation of satellite communications applications, such as Communications-On-The-Move and others, will likely necessitate the introduction of a new generation of digital processing technologies. Because memory devices are ubiquitous in any digital processing system, the Air Force is interested in supporting the advancement of emerging memory technologies. Recent research suggests graphene memory has several attributes that could make it attractive as a high-density space memory device. In particular, the large on-off ratio of graphene memory supports reduced bit error rates. In addition, as a two-port memory device, graphene lends itself to stacking, with potential for use in three dimensional (3-D) memory. The purpose of this topic is to support research to design and demonstrate a graphene memory device suitable for use in long-term geosynchronous space missions. Goals include immunity to destructive latchup, total ionizing dose tolerance to 1Mrad (Si), Single Event Effect (SEE) immunity to 60 MeV, operating temperature range from -40° C to +80° C, endurance > 1E9 read/write operations, retention > 20 years, access time < 10ns and component reliability consistent with 15-year, on-orbit satellite mission life.

 

PHASE I:  Design graphene memory device meeting goals identified above and validate through modeling and simulation.

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate prototype and characterize for access time, operating temperature range, reliability and radiation tolerance to total dose and single event effects. Expectations for this phase would include a working prototype that could be evaluated in a relevant environment.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Military applications include combat vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and satellites.

Commercial Application:  Graphene memory could find application in the commercial aerospace industry, including avionics and consumer electronics.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Morozov, S. V., K. S. Novoselov, M. I. Katsnelson, F. Schedin, D. C. Elias, J. A. Jaszczak, and A. K. Geim, “Giant intrinsic carrier mobilities in graphene and its bilayer,” Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 100, No. 1, pp. 016 602, Jan. 2008.

 

2. Chen, J.-H., C. Jang, S. Xiao, M. Ishigami, and M. S. Fuhrer, “Intrinsic and extrinsic performance limits of graphene devices on SiO2,” Nat. Nanotech., Vol. 3, pp. 206–209, 2008.

 

3. Bolotin, K. I., K. J. Sikes, Z. Ziang, G. Fudenberg, J. Hone, P. Kim, and H. L. Stormer, “Ultrahigh electron mobility in suspended graphene,” Solid State Commun., Vol. 146, No. 9/10, pp. 351–355, Jun. 2008.

 

KEYWORDS: graphene memory, non-volatile memory, endurance, retention, access time, radiation-hardened

 

 

 

AF121-056                         TITLE: Integrated Li-Ion Battery Interface Electronics for Spacecraft

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles, Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop innovative spacecraft power system interface for standardized Li-Ion battery package.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The state-of-the-art for the design of spacecraft battery and power electronics for interfacing the battery to the spacecraft bus are custom designed for each spacecraft. This leads to increased cost over the life cycle of a spacecraft due to the requirement to maintain the production facilities to produce replacement batteries for each satellite program for launches, which are delayed beyond the shelf life of the batteries purchased for the original launch date. Current practice for satellite programs that have batteries that age out is to replace them with new batteries and not fly over-age batteries. Because the battery structural, thermal and electrical interfaces are custom one-of-a–kind for each satellite program, the DoD must procure and maintain spare batteries for each program. With standardization, it may be possible for different satellite programs to establish a joint battery procurement strategy, which would reduce the number of batteries that are required to be purchased for spares and to replace over-age batteries.

 

The innovation required is to develop a standardized battery module that would have a common structural, thermal and electrical interface for a number of different satellite programs. To reduce the long-term costs associated with maintaining custom designed batteries, there is a desire to develop a smart, standardized battery module that could be used by many different DoD satellites. This battery module would be designed to interface with a nominal 28 VDC regulated spacecraft power bus. The battery module would be both intelligent and flexible, with the capability of providing between 200 and 400 watt-hours of stored energy to the spacecraft power bus, with a maximum depth of discharge in the Li-Ion batteries of 40% for low-earth-orbit applications and 60% for geosynchronous-orbit applications. It would also be inherently scalable--for spacecraft with requirements for energy storage greater than 400 watt-hours--by adding additional battery modules.

 

The battery module bus interface electronics package should be capable of drawing power from the regulated spacecraft 28 VDC bus for charging the battery, providing cell bypass circuitry to prevent overcharging individual cells in a series string, and delivering power to the 28 VDC bus whenever power demand from spacecraft loads exceed the power-generating capability of the solar arrays. The battery module should have the capability of supplying the required energy to the 28 VDC bus with one cell either open circuited or shorted.

 

The battery module should be radiation-hardened and be capable of supporting a 15-year mission in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and 5 years in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) after storage on the ground for 5 years.

 

PHASE I: Perform preliminary analysis and conduct trade studies to validate innovative battery module concepts. Acquire test results and related performance information, either in-house or through external test resources, in support of payoff estimates.

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate and deliver engineering demonstration unit. Show the flexibility of delivering reliable power with variable loads. Identify radiation-sensitive components and methods of shielding for spacecraft applications.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The availability of a standardized battery module, which could be applied to a wide range of spacecraft, will reduce life-cycle cost of satellite systems for military applications.

Commercial Application: Commercial communications satellites and NASA interplanetary missions could use this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Simburger, Edward J., Simon Liu, John Halpine, David Hinkley, Daniel Rumsey, James Swenson and Jennifer Granata, The Aerospace Corporation, Henry Yoo, Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, "Pico Satellite Solar Cell Testbed (PSSC Testbed) Design," Presented at the 20th Space Photovoltaics Research and Technology (SPRAT) Conference, September 25-27, Cleveland, Ohio, 2007.

 

2. Simburger, Edward J., Daniel Rumsey, David Hinkley, Simon Liu and Peter Carian, The Aerospace Corporation, "Distributed Power System for Microsatellites,: Presented at the 31st IEEE PVSC, Orlando FL., January 3-7, 2005.

 

3. Qian, Zhijun,Osama Abdel-Rahman, Hussam Al-Atrash and Issa Batarseh, IEEE, "Modeling and Control of Three-Port DC/DC Converter Interface for Satellite Applications," IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Vol 25, NO3, March 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: DC-DC converters, spacecraft power system, power management and distribution, Li-Ion batteries

 

 

 

AF121-057                         TITLE: Novel Environmental Protection for Multi-Junction Solar Cells

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a flexible, space-protective coating for flexible, thin, multi-junction solar cells that enables practical application in high-performance-solar-array deployment and support systems.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Advanced multi-junction space solar-cell technology with efficiencies (>35%) is expected in the near term for devices based on an Inverted Metamorphic (IMM) structure. In addition to high efficiency, the IMM device design results in a thin, flexible structure. The thin, flexible nature of these devices allows them to be stowed in a rolled configuration, which opens up the possibility of using innovative solar-array deployment and support structures. Innovative solar array configurations could achieve quantum-leap levels of solar-array specific power (W/kg) and stowed volume efficiency (kW/m3). An innovative space environmental protection scheme is therefore sought to maintain the flexible nature of the bare cell in the working array. The desired coating must maintain its flexibility while protecting the solar cell from ionizing radiation, Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) atomic oxygen, pre-launch humidity, and high-voltage discharge. The entire coating stack (Adhesive, “Cover Glass”, Anti Reflective, and Conductive Electrostatic Discharge) must have high transparency in the wavelengths that the solar cell is active (300 nm to 1800 nm), and maintain this high level of transparency (>90%) when subjected to space environment exposure. Desired design life is 5 years in LEO and 15 years in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). The coatings must also have high thermal emissivity and resist cracking during flexing and thermal cycling of the solar cells.

 

The solar array environmental protection technology should be capable of operation in a LEO for 5 years and in a GEO or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) for 15 years after storage on the ground for 5 years.

 

PHASE I:  Design a representative prototype for the proposed coating technology. Demonstrate coating compatibility with the IMM solar cell being developed by mainline space solar cell manufacturers. Limited pathfinder space environmental exposure testing of the coating is encouraged.

 

PHASE II:  Using the lessons learned from fabricating and testing prototype articles in Phase I, continue work to optimize and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the advanced coating. The prototype should be subjected to a complete complement of pathfinder space environmental testing.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  All DoD Spacecraft use multi-junction space solar cells for electric power generation. Thin solar cells with high efficiency will increase the power-producing capability of military spacecraft.

Commercial Application:  Commercial communications spacecraft and NASA spacecraft would use this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Liu, S., et al, “Space Radiation Environmental Testing on POSS Coated Solar Cell Coverglass,” Proc. 33rd IEEE PVSC, 2008.

 

2. Cornfeld, A. and J. Diaz, “The 3J-IMM Solar Cell: Pathways for Insertion into Space Power Systems,” Proc. 34th IEEE PVSC, 978-1-4244-2950-9/09, 2009.

 

3. Jenkins, P., et al, “TACSAT-4 Solar Cell Experiment: Advanced Solar Cell Technologies in a High Radiation Environment,” Proc. 34th IEEE PVSC, 978-1-4244-2950-9/09, 2009.

 

4. Stern, T., “Electromagnetically Clean Modular Solar Panels Using Components Engineered for Producibility,” Proc. 33rd IEEE PVSC, 2008.

 

5. Brandhorst, H., et al, “POSS Coatings as a Replacement for Solar Cell Cover Glasses,” Proc. IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 2006.

 

KEYWORDS: solar cells, coverglass, coatings, space

 

 

 

AF121-058                         TITLE: High-Strain Conductive Composites for Satellite Communications (SATCOM)

Deployable Antennas

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate hardware capable of withstanding large strains when folded with high-strain fiber-reinforced deployable composites.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Deployable structural systems are now capable of supporting significantly higher strains enabling for Satellite Communications (SATCOM) deployable Radio Frequency (RF) components such as antennas and mesh reflectors. Fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs) can be used as the structural backbone of deployable components as they are able to store strain energy when packaged and then release the energy in a controlled manner to perform the deployment function. The electrical conductivity in FRPs is orders of magnitude less than metals; for use as an RF component, conductive modifications are thus emplaced to improve electrical performance. However, in the rolled or otherwise packaged state, FRPs experience strains up to 4%—well beyond the elastic limit of typical conductive materials, such as copper (Cu). If subject to such high strains, plastic deformation, separation, necking or breaking of the conductor could occur; such issues could degrade the conductivity--or even generate open circuits between the composite interlayers. Some Cu alloys can increase strain thresholds, but the resulting conductivity drops as much as 55-78% (ref.1).  To realize these deployable RF components, this topic seeks solutions that provide additional conductivity to an FRP strain-energy structure without failing during storage or deployment.

 

Current research in this area has focused on making the structure itself a sensor by embedding conductivity into a flexible polymer in various approaches. The use of polymers as the matrix of a high-strain, conductive fiber-reinforced composite, however, is not addressed. Other research towards flexible printable electronics for conformal sensing applications, conductive thin-films, and carbon nanotubes in FRPs to improve conductivity has not proven useful in high-strain applications (ref. 2,3,4).

 

The key technology challenge is to provide requisite mechanical strength and conductivity associated with transmit/receive antennas while not hindering deployment function. Conductivity threshold is to exceed that of beryllium copper (BeCu) alloys (>22-45% International Annealed Copper Standard1) with an objective of 100% IACS. Both elastomeric and load-bearing FRP solutions are of interest, but preference is for a material that meets Young’s modulus for aluminum (~70 GPa threshold) and can elastically strain greater than space-grade BeCu alloys (threshold; objective is 3%). Preference will also be given to FRP solutions that minimize size and weight while permitting large cycle lifetimes. Furthermore, solutions should address susceptibility to electrostatic discharge (ESD)—which is the #1 cause for failure in space systems—as well as space environmental effects. Contractors are strongly encouraged to work closely with AFRL personnel and potential transition partners to ensure technical efforts are consistent with overall goals.

 

PHASE I:  Design high-strain, conductive FRP concept. Perform analysis of design electrical/thermal properties, strain profile, and effects of solution implementation with FRP, e.g., degradation of mechanical properties. Address methods/designs for interconnection. Perform bench-top testing of small-scale prototype for concept demonstration.

 

PHASE II:  Refine concepts and designs from Phase I. Conduct comprehensive testing and analysis with focus on electrical and mechanical performance, interconnectivity, and survivability/reliability in the appropriate operating conditions. Prototype should demonstrate both strain-energy deployment and subsequent antenna functions.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  A wide variety of military space systems are expected to benefit from more compact, lightweight, deployable RF components.

Commercial Application:  This research would benefit commercial SATCOM programs and other systems with design sensitivity to size and mass in the RF subsystem.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Davis, J. R., "ASM Specialty Handbook: Copper and Copper Alloys," ASM International, pp. 446-563, 2001. ISBN 0871707268.

 

2.  Huang, C., and Q. M. Zhang, “High Dielectric Constant Polymers as High-Energy-Density (HED) Field Effect Actuator and Capacitor Materials,” Proceedings of SPIE: Smart Structures and Materials 2004, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), Vol. 5385, pp. 87-98, 2004.

 

3.  Baltopoulos, A., et al., “Multifunctional Properties of Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes/Cyanate-Ester Nanocomposites and CFRPs,” Proc. SPIE, Vol. 7493, 74932G, 2009.  Available:  http://spie.org/x648.html?product_id=845657.

 

4.  Apaydin, E., Y. Zhou, D. Hansford, S. Koulouridis, and J. L. Volakis, "Patterned metal printing on pliable composites for RF design," Presented at Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium, July 2008.  Available: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4619581&isnumber=4618896.

 

5.  Gojny F., et al., “Evaluation and Identification of Electrical and Thermal Conduction Mechanisms in Carbon Nanotube/Epoxy Composites,” Polymer, Vol. 47, Issue 6, pp 2036-2045, March 2006.  Available:   doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2006.01.029.

 

KEYWORDS: conductivity, fiber reinforced polymers, composites, deployable structures, antennas

 

 

 

AF121-059                         TITLE: Wide Temperature Optical Transceivers

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a space-qualifiable, optical-transceiver technology that operates over a -55 C to 125 C temperature range and is suitable for high-data-rate satellite communications applications.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The Air Force is planning to develop a new generation of communications satellites with the capability of processing data at significantly higher rates.  Fiber optic infrastructure for intra-satellite communications will be required, including the development of space-qualified transceivers. Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL)-based transceivers offer power-efficient optical communications at data rates that will be of interest for the foreseeable future. VCSEL-based transceivers are offered as single channel or multi-channel components, offering scaling through data rate and number of channels. Current VCSELs are designed to operate in commercial environments, with a limited temperature range. At high temperatures, the VCSEL performance and reliability are degraded.

 

To achieve minimal signal distribution weight and power overhead, the Air Force seeks innovative small-business research in the area of space-qualified VCSEL-based transceivers that support high-data-rate signal distribution within the satellite and that operate over a wide temperature range. Goals include serial data transfer rate of at least 10 Gbps, operating temperature range between –55 deg C and + 125 deg C, optical link margin of 15 dB, operation over multi-mode fiber, radiation-hardened to total dose level greater than 1Mrad (Si), and reliability consistent with a 20-year, Earth-orbit satellite mission (including single-point failure immunity).

 

PHASE I:  Demonstrate the feasibility of a VCSEL-based transceiver operating over -55 C to +125 C.  Analyze and model innovative alternatives for packaging for a space environment. Take into account transceiver dynamic range, ease of optoelectronic packaging and manufacturing, and ruggedness. Validate design using modeling and demonstration.

 

PHASE II:  Utilizing data from Phase I, fabricate prototypes and test a wide-temperature transceiver for 10 Gbps data transmission over 50 micron core multi-mode fiber. Demonstrate and measure performance at room temperature and temperature extremes (–55 to +125 ºC).  At a minimum, measure the overall power consumption and link margin over temperature range.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Virtually all military satellites and avionics data processing subsystems could benefit from this research.

Commercial Application:  Virtually all commercial satellites and avionics data processing subsystems could benefit from this research.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Jonghyun, Park, Kim Taeyong, Kim Sung-Han, and Kim Sang-Bae, "A Passively Aligned VCSEL Transmitter Operating at Fixed Current over a Wide Temperature Range," Opt. Express 17, 5147-5152, 2009.

 

2. Kuchta, D. M., P. Pepeljugoski, and Y. Kwark, "VCSEL Modulation at 20 Gb/s over 200 m of Multimode Fiber using a 3.3 v SiGe Laser Driver IC," Tech. Dig. LEOS Summer Topical Meeting, pp. 49–50, 2001.

 

3. Suzuki, N., H. Hatakeyama, K. Fukatsu, T. Anan, K. Yashiki, and M. Tsuji, "25-Gbps operation of 1.1-mm-range InGaAs VCSELs for High-speed Optical Interconnections," Proc. Optical Fiber Communications Conf. Paper, 2006.

 

KEYWORDS: satellite fiber-optic components, Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL), optical signal distribution

 

 

 

AF121-060                         TITLE: High Conductance Thermal Interface Material for Use in Space Applications

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a space-qualifiable, high-conductance, passive, Thermal Interface Material (TIM) for use in space-based flanged heat-pipe-to-heat-pipe joints or for mounting relatively small area units with stiff baseplates and high power loads.

 

DESCRIPTION:  To meet emerging demands for high-capacity satellite communications, digital and radio frequency (RF) waveform processing requirements are anticipated to grow for the foreseeable future; implementationof these requirements will lead to generation of increasing amounts of waste heat. To minimize the thermal impact of waste heat on digital and RF component performance as well as improve component reliability, this effort is focused on providing a high-conductance thermal interface material (TIM) to be used for space-based flanged heat-pipe-to-heat-pipe joints or for cooling high dissipating, small area unit baseplates, such as Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs).

 

Goals of this research include a heat transfer coefficient >45,000 W/m2-K over an area of 2.5 inches x 3.0 inches, when conventionally fastened to the baseplate. To facilitate ground testing, the thermal conductance should not be impacted by environment (e.g. vacuum, humidity) or orientation. The TIM should be capable of operating over a temperature range of -40C to 125C along with 30,000 thermal cycles with a temperature difference of 15 C per cycle. In addition to the high conductance required, the TIM should be easily separable, debris-free, and require no significant cure time or elevated temperature. The TIM should be workmanship independent by utilizing materials, processes and controls that minimize the thermal vacuum testing required for recurring designs.

 

PHASE I:  Develop concepts to provide a robust, reliable TIM that has the potential to provide a heat transfer coefficient >45,000 W/m2-K. Demonstrate by analysis and/or test the feasibility of such concepts to meet all requirements stated above, including surviving the temperature range and thermal cycles, debris-free.

 

PHASE II:  Optimize and fully demonstrate a TIM capable of providing an effective heat transfer coefficient of >45,000 W/m2-K. Perform thermal performance testing and thermal cycling to confirm all above requirements have been met.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  This research would benefit all military satellite programs, including Wideband Global Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and global positioning satellite programs. TIMs are required for all high power electronic components used on military systems.

Commercial Application:  This research benefits virtually all commercial satellite programs requiring thermal management. Additionally, high conductivity TIMs have applications for computer processor heat sinks, commercial electronics, and personal/portable electronics.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Liu, J., T. Wang, B. Carlberg, and M. Inoue, "Recent Progress of Thermal Interface Materials," ESTC (2008), 2nd, pp. 351-358, 1-4 Sept. 2008.

 

2. Zhang, Yan, Cong Yue, Johan Liu, Zhaonian Cheng and Jing-yu Fan, "Study of the Filler Effect on the Effective Thermal Conductivity of Thermal Conductive Adhesive", ICEP, 638-642, 2009.

 

3. Carlberg, R., T. Wang, Y. Fu, J. Liu, and D. Shangguan, "Nanostructured Polymer-Metal Composite for Thermal Interface Material Applications", 978-1-4244-223, Electronic Components and Technology Conference, 2008.

 

4. Gilmore, D. G., “Spacecraft Thermal Control Handbook Volume I: Fundamental Technologies,” 2nd Ed, The Aerospace Press, El Segundo, CA, 2002.

 

KEYWORDS: thermal management, thermal interface material, TIM, heat pipe joints, TWTA mounting

 

 

 

AF121-061                         TITLE: Spacecraft Autonomy

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop software solutions supporting autonomous spacecraft operation.

 

DESCRIPTION: The command and control link between a satellite and the ground station can occasionally experience periods of outage from events ranging from high intensity space weather to periods in which the satellite is repositioned to a new orbital slot to accommodate changing mission requirements. The capability to autonomously implement an operational plan, which is a set of commands scheduled for execution at predetermined moments in time, ensures critical spacecraft operations can be carried out in the event the ground station-to-spacecraft communications link is lost. Recent research, principally by NASA, has shown artificial intelligence research has matured to become a viable means of maintaining short-term autonomous spacecraft control. The purpose of this topic is to support research towards increasing spacecraft autonomy while maintaining a high level of confidence in the spacecraft’s operational availability and, at the same time, minimizing the consumption of spacecraft resources. Research should seek compatibility with the existing command and control infrastructure such as the Air Force Satellite Ground Link System (SGLS) and the Air Force Consolidated Space Operations Center (CSOC). SGLS interfaces are available through the Internet. The introduction of autonomous operations into the spacecraft poses a significant risk and, therefore, research should strive to develop a progressive autonomy approach that can be gradually introduced to provide mission management with confidence in the technology and to evaluate benefits before fully committing to autonomous control.

 

PHASE I: Develop a fully-supported autonomous spacecraft concept and conduct feasibility for such a satellite system, including most major systems' self-supporting operation for a suitable Ops life. A limited scope, proof-of-concept of some aspect of that autonomous system is desired.

 

PHASE II: Address two threats, proposed solutions, tradeoffs, and scalability. For at least one of those threats, develop an autonomous-spacecraft prototype. Characterize for reliability. Demonstrate in a relevant environment.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: All military satellite programs, including Wideband Global Satellite Communications (SATCOM), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) could benefit from this research.

Commercial Application: All commercial satellite programs could likewise benefit.

 

REFERENCES:

1.Chien, S., B. Smith, G. Rabideau, N. Muscetolla, and K. Rajan, “Automated Planning and Scheduling for Goal-Based Autonomous Spacecraft,” IEEE Intelligent Systems, Vol. 13, No. 5, pp. 50-55, 1998.

 

2. Bernard, D., et. al., “Spacecraft Autonomy Flight Experience: The DS1 Remote Agent Experiment,” Proc. AIAA 1999, Albuquerque NM, 1999.

 

3. Cardoso, L.S., et al, “An Intelligent System for Generation of Automatic Flight Operation Plans for the Satellite Control Activities at INPE”, Proc. 9th Int. Conf. on Space Operations, Rome, Italy, June 2006.

 

4. Truzkowski, W., “Progressive Autonomy: A Method for Gradually Introducing Autonomy into Space Missions,” Proc. 27th Annual NASA Goddard/IEEE Software Engineering Workshop (SEW-27’02), 2002.

 

KEYWORDS: spacecraft, autonomy, intelligent agent, command and control, progressive autonomy, artificial intelligence

 

 

 

AF121-062                         TITLE: Light Weight Shielding for Satellite Protection from Severe Space Weather

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop cost-effective, lightweight shielding materials to protect satellites from severe space weather effects.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Both military and commercial satellites are at risk from large solar radiation events.  High-energy-charged particles produced by the sun can cause geomagnetic storms in the earth’s upper atmosphere, creating current surges within the satellite spacecraft that overstress microelectronics and lead to premature failure of the satellite as a result of latch-up and single event effects.  In addition, high-performance commercial microelectronics will play an increasingly critical role in future generations of communications satellite if they are to meet user demands for greater performance.  Advanced microelectronics provide substantial performance benefits relative to microelectronics from radiation-hardened foundries if ways can be found to address space environmental hazards through system design measures such as shielding.  In addition, shielding can serve multiple applications, such as structural support, thermal management, electromagnetic interference isolation, and radiation protection over 4-pi-steradian coverage. The purpose of this topic is to develop innovative ways of shielding spacecraft from severe space weather that permit the use of advanced commercial microelectronics through the utilization of a systems-engineering design approach meeting multiple objectives, thereby minimizing overall weight by comprehensively addressing structural, electrical, radiation, and thermal issues.

 

PHASE I:  Review current spacecraft shielding practices. Explore space weather radiation & other radiation sources as discussed in references. Explore shielding materials to materially reduce weight for a standard level of shielding & develop spacecraft-shielding design. Consider design approaches to be integrated into the structure for symbiotic performance

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate and demonstrate shielding designs and/or materials.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Military satellites--communications satellites, in particular--would like to leverage commercial microelectronics performance while minimizing weight associated with shielding their use.

Commercial Application:  A large variety of commercial sateliites could derive lifetime and mission-assurance benefits from this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Fan, Wesley C., Clifton R. Drumm, Stanley B. Roeske, and Gary J. Scrivner, “Shielding Considerations for Satellite Microelectronics,” IEEE Trans on Nuclear Science, Vol. 43, No. 6, 1996.

 

2. Mukati, A., "A survey of memory error correcting techniques for improved reliability," Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Vol. 34, pp. 517-522, 2011.

 

3.  Shin, M., and M. Kim, "An evaluation of radiation damage to solid state components flown in Low Earth Orbit satellites," Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vol. 108, Issue 4, pp. 279-291, 2004.

 

KEYWORDS: shielding, microelectronics, bremsstrahlung, high Z materials, electron scattering, cosmic rays, spacecraft

 

 

 

AF121-063                         TITLE: Joint Processing of Multi-band Signals with Information Assurance

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate advanced signal processing algorithms to enhance military Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver performance with information assurance.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Multiple radio navigation signals are, or soon will be, available from each Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite (L1, L2, and L5) and from other Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations. Current GNSS receiver design utilizes traditional separate code and carrier tracking loops, one for each signal, which are designed and operated separately. There are benefits to tracking all signals from each satellite using a joint tracking loop to mitigate frequency-dependent disturbance and interference, such as ionospheric and multipath effects. A joint-tracking filter is more realistic to implement than a vector-tracking filter, which involves multiple satellites and lengthy times to get the tracking loop closed. The same idea can be extended to working with multiple constellations. However, offsets in clock and reference standards must be taken into account to ensure interoperability.

 

However, civilian signals are more easily spoofed than military P(Y) and/or M-code. It would be even easier for an adversary to spoof signals from other, non-US controlled constellations. There is a clear need to address Information Assurance for position, navigation and time (PNT) solutions.

 

It is relatively easy for a single frequency signal to be spoofed. However, it would be more difficult to spoof two or more frequency signals in exactly the same way at the same time. As a result, joint processing of multi-frequency signals provides a means for integrity check prior to combining them to formulate a solution. In the same vein, cross-validation of solutions from different constellations may also serve as a means against spoofing. Such a joint processing will make it costly, if not impossible, to deploy a spoofing scheme attempt against all GNSS constellations. In addition, other means and techniques may be used for GNSS signals for information assurance. One example is signal characteristic-based intruder detection used in wireless communications networks.

 

PHASE I:  Determine the feasibility of developing advanced multiband signal processing algorithms that improve navigation accuracy in the presence of ionospheric and multipath effects and also develop an approach to validate signal integrity.

 

PHASE II:  Develop a prototype of multiple frequency GNSS receiver and demonstrate the candidate algorithms on the prototype in realistic environments and signal conditions.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Develop the hardware and software modules for transitioning the technology to current and future military receivers.

Commercial Application:  Technology developed under this effort will have potential applications to commercial GNSS receivers in surveying markets and urban environments and also in aviation applications, particularly as concerns about spoofing civilian signals arise.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Hurskainen, Heikki, Tommi Paakki, Zhongqi Liu, Jussi Raasakka, and Jari Nurmi, "GNSS Receiver Reference Design," Department of Computer Systems,Tampere University of Technology, August 2008.

 

2:  Hurskainen, Heikki, Tapani Ahonen, and Jari Nurmi, “Interface Specification - Navstar GPS Space segment/User segment L1C Interfaces,”  IS-GPS-800, 04 August 2007.

 

3. Proakis, John, and Masoud Salehi, "Communication Systems Engineering," Second Edition 2002, Prentice Hall,  ISBN 0-13-061793-8.

 

4:  Joint Chiefs of Staff (authors)  - “Information Assurance Legal, Regulatory, Policy and Organizational Considerations” – 4th Edition, August 1999.

 

5. Weijian, Wan and D. Fraser, “Multisource data fusion with multiple self-organizing maps,” Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions, Volume 37, Issue 3, May 1999.

 

KEYWORDS: GPS information assurance, joint processing data fusion, multi-band signal methodology

 

 

 

AF121-064                         TITLE: A Small Satellite-based System for Active and Passive Sounding of the

Ionosphere, Direct Current (DC)  through High Frequency (HF)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a novel satellite sensor for double probe electric field sensing and radio Topside Ionospheric Sounding (TIS).

 

DESCRIPTION:  The radio sounding of the ionosphere from space (TIS) has been established as a powerful technique for specifying the Electron Density Profile, EDP, of the topside ionosphere.  In spite of EDP being a top Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) priority in Space Situational Awareness Environmental Monitoring, SSA-EM, this technique has yet to be advanced to an acquirable technology because of a number of shortcomings in technology readiness level (TRL), such as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), practical size weight and power (SWAP), antenna technology, and, most importantly, onboard data processing. Early demonstration with the Alouette 1 & 2, and ISIS 1 & 2 missions (1970s), while scientifically successful, resulted in raw data files that took years to analyze and process.  The more recent IMAGE mission improved significantly on data conditioning, weight, power, and EMI, but was still limited by a spinning wire boom deployment system that cannot provide continual nadir sounding as needed for operational EM, nor be expected to survive in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) micro debris environment. TIS uses a radio transmitter to emit a swept or stepped range of frequencies and a receiver to analyze the reflection from points where the plasma frequency equals the radio frequency, thus giving the density at a range determined from delay.  Two orthogonal dipoles are needed to transmit and detect the desired polarization, and a third axis can provide angle of arrival information that can be useful in sensing a turbulent and structured ionosphere. The optimal dipole lengths are about 15 meters tip-to-tip (tuned for 10 MHz).

 

Another important ionospheric parameter is the electric field, which specifies the dynamic state of the ionosphere and is vital to early detection of RF signal scintillation, another key AFSPC SSA-EM objective.  The Double Probe (DP) technique for measuring the electric field is relevant to this topic as it uses booms similar or identical to the TIS. This topic calls for any or all components of a system that would ideally combine both the TIS and DP techniques in an instrument suitable for flight on small dedicated satellites or operational missions, in combination with other EM sensors, although a combined instrument is not required.  The envisioned platforms would accommodate slow rotation for sensor calibration, sun pointing, communications, and navigation requirements, but spin deployed booms are not expected to meet requirements. Boom development is not the focus of this effort, although boom specifications are anticipated.  The desired sensor will meet or beat as many of the following objectives as possible:   TIS and DP sounding period between 0.5 and 5 sec. Size as small as a 3U cubesat 10x10x30cm, or multiples of that format. Power and weight < 10 W avg and 10 kg (excluding booms).  Electric field range = ±500 mV/m with a sensitivity and precision of 0.1 mV/m.  EDP at 5% from 104cm-3 to 107cm-3.  It is also expected that all parts will be capable of surviving the thermal, vacuum and radiation environment of low Earth orbit, or have functionally direct replacements that will meet survival requirements without redesign.

 

PHASE I:  The Phase I effort will perform requirements analysis to determine the optimal sensing strategy consistent with current technology. A system block diagram should be developed, critical engineering challenges identified, and limited breadboard testing accomplished to demonstrate system feasibility.

 

PHASE II:  The Phase II effort should build and deliver a complete breadboard system with simulated booms suitable for bench-top evaluation, and a design suitable for subsequent fabrication for spaceflight.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Air Force Space Situational Awareness. This system will address Key Performance Parameters, EDP and ionospheric turbulence leading to disruption of communication and navigation satellite signals.

Commercial Application:  Environment monitoring architectures being planned now suggest a minimum of 3 to 30 orbiting platforms. A successful design would enjoy commercial success in supplying AFSPC, NOAA, and NASA needs.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Bilitza, D., “Topside Models: Status and Future Improvements,” Adv. Space Res., 47(12), pp. 12(17) to 12(26), 1994.

 

2. Bilitza, D., X. Huang, B. W. Reinisch, R. F. Benson, H. K. Hills, and W. B. Schar, “Topside ionogram scaler with true height algorithm (TOPIST): Automated processing of ISIS topside ionograms,” Radio Sci., 39(1), RS1S27, doi:10.1029/2002RS002840, 2004.

 

3. Benson, R. F., “Plasma physics using space-borne radio sounding,” CP974, Radio Sounding and Plasma Physics, edited by P. Song, et al., American Institute of Physics, Lowell, Massachusetts, pp. 20-33, 2008.

 

4. Chen, J.,  Z. Li, and C. S. Li, “A novel strategy for topside ionosphere sounder based on spaceborne MIMO radar with FDCD," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 116, 381-393, 2011.

 

5. Kutiev, I., P. Marinov, and S. Watanabe, “Model of topside ionosphere scale height based on topside sounder data,” Adv. Space Res., 37, 943-950, 2006.

 

KEYWORDS: double probe, topside sounder, radio sounding, ionosphere, topside ionosonde

 

 

 

AF121-065                         TITLE: Space Particle Radiation Sensor

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Battlespace, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Development of miniaturized (<1U), low-power, and relatively low-cost space radiation sensor(s) that provides local situational awareness about the space radiation environment, as well as inputs to global and/or theater-level space weather models.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The recent anomaly on the Galaxy 15 satellite highlights the need to have an understanding of the immediate space particle environment.  Having a sensor capable of characterizing the medium energy electron fluxes would have helped indicate the possibility of spacecraft charging and provided an early warning to the operators.  The space particle environment causes other environmental effects, such as total integrated dose, dose rate, single event effects, and displacement damage that are also of interest to the spacecraft operator.  In addition, recent efforts to improve radiation belt models for spacecraft design rely heavily on sensor input that is currently only sparsely available.  In both cases, particle flux as a function of incident energy and particle type (proton or electron) is needed.  For model improvement, angular resolution is also desired.

 

To address this issue, a highly miniaturized, space-radiation sensor(s) that can be placed as a secondary payload for monitoring the space particle environment is desired.  This sensor should focus on the medium energy range (50 keV – 10 MeV electrons, 1 MeV-100 MeV protons) trapped particle fluxes in earth orbit.  It should possess sufficient resolution to determine the energy spectrum and should have good dynamic range. It is also highly desirable to obtain particle flux as a function of incident angle.  A variety of technological approaches are encouraged to apply, such as novel magnetic spectrometers, folded particle telescopes, time-of-flight detectors, imaging detectors, particle track detectors, etc.  The ultimate sensor, including its power supply and processing unit, should fit into a less than 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) box that could be easily integrated onto existing satellites.  In addition, this unit should be lightweight, and low-power so that the payload imposes minimal requirements on the host spacecraft.  It would also be desirable to have a high-data-rate mode and low-data-rate mode so that it could be accommodated on satellites with limited telemetry, while also being capable of providing high-quality data on missions with more bandwidth.

 

PHASE I:  Develop and model sensor concept, as well as plans for sensor prototype, and path to a space qualified instrument. Possibly demonstrate in the laboratory key elements necessary to complete the prototype design.

 

PHASE II:  Assemble and test prototype instrument design to demonstrate its suitability for monitoring the space environment in a small form factor.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The availability of small, low-cost, space-radiation sensors would enable satellite operators to assess the hazards of the local space environment and provide inputs to radiation belt modeling that is used for spacecraft design and optimization.

Commercial Application:  Commercial communications satellites and NASA missions could use this technology in a similar manner to assess the radiation hazards of the environment to their satellites and spacecraft.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Ferguson, D., W. Denig, and J. Rodriguez, “Plasma Conditions During the Galaxy 15 Anomaly and the Possibility of ESD from Subsurface Charging,” Presented at the 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, Orlando, Florida, 4 - 7 January 2011.

 

2. Dichter, B. K., J. O. McGarity, M. R. Oberhardt, V. T. Jordanov, D. J. Sperry, A. C. Huber, J. A. Pantazis, E. G. Mullen, G. Ginet, and M. S. Gussenhoven, “Compact Environmental Anomaly Sensor (CEASE): A Novel Spacecraft Instrument for In Situ Measurements of Environmental Conditions,” IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, Vol. 45, No. 6, Dec. 1998.

 

3. Dressendorfer, P., J. Mazur, J. Schwank, T. Weatherford, and C. Poivey, “Radiation Effects-From Particles to Payloads,” 2002 IEEE NSREC Short Course Notebook, July 15, 2002.

 

4. O’Brien, T.P., “A Framework for Next-Generation Radiation Belt Models,” Space Weather, Vol. 3, S07B02, 2005.

 

KEYWORDS: space particle sensor, space radiation sensor, particle telescope, magnetic spectrometer, time-of-flight detector, particle imaging detector, particle track detector

 

 

 

AF121-066                         TITLE: Miniaturized Neutral Wind Sensor

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Design and build miniaturized neutral wind instrument to measure vector winds in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) under all solar and magnetic conditions.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Neutral winds have two significant impacts on the ionosphere and thermosphere: (1) they are a driver for scintillation and Electron Density Profile (EDP) in the ionosphere; and (2) they transport energized neutrals, which affect satellite drag forecasting. Scintillation, which causes communications outages in the equatorial region, and EDP are the two Key Performance Parameters in the DoD requirements for space weather. Scintillation and orbital drag are high-priority items in the list of required environmental impact products for Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). The Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite was launched in 2008 to specify and forecast scintillation. To this end, the mission measures neutral winds and electric fields, the two primary drivers for irregularities that cause signals to degrade in the ionosphere. The operational follow-on to C/NOFS is the Space Situational Awareness Environment Monitor (SSAEM). It was planned to duplicate the C/NOFS payload, and included neutral wind sensors. However a decision was made to fly 6 satellites at higher altitudes than is optimal for neutral wind measurements, and hence there will be no wind instruments on SSAEM. To supplement this and future missions that will follow SSAEM, we solicit designs of miniaturized neutral wind instruments that can be flown on small standalone platforms. During magnetic storms, large amounts of electromagnetic energy are deposited at high latitudes in the ionosphere. Immediately, this energy is converted into Joule heat and wind energy. Winds transport heated neutrals, raising thermospheric densities globally. One major consequence is an increase in satellite drag. In order to meet requirements for drag forecasting, it is essential that the winds be monitored and observations provide input to global circulation models.

 

This topic is directed at development of small, low-cost neutral wind instruments that could be flown as ionospheric or thermospheric monitors. The miniaturized neutral wind instrument should be capable of operating between 90 and 500 km altitude, and measure in-track and cross-track winds between 10 and 1500 meters per second with a maximum uncertainty of 10 m/s or 5%, whichever is greater. Temporal resolution should be 1 Hz or better. Desirable size should be compatible with cubesat missions, though not necessarily required to fit within a 1U cubesat. Mass should be less than 2 kg, and power consumption less than 6W. The proposed instrument should be capable of measuring global winds under all levels of solar and magnetic activity. It is desirable that proposers include approximate cost estimates of the final instrument after development as an aid in future mission planning.

 

PHASE I:  Develop conceptual design of miniaturized neutral wind instrument. Deliverable: laboratory test or simulation of performance of conceptual design.

 

PHASE II:  Build miniaturized neutral wind instrument. Deliverable: laboratory test results from instrument demonstrating that design will meet requirements.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Air Force operational monitors of scintillation will be launched which lack neutral wind observations. This topic addresses that need.

Commercial Application:  Global forecasting of the IT system requires input on neutral winds, which are important during magnetic storms.

 

REFERENCES:

1. De La Beaujardière, O., et al., "C/NOFS: a Mission to Forecast Scintillations," Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 66, 1573-1591, 2004.

 

2. Earle, G. D., J. H. Kelnzing, P. A. Roddy, W. A. Macaulay, M. D. Perdue, and E. L. Patrick, "A new satellite-borne neutral wind instrument for thermospheric diagnostics," Rev. Sci. Inst., 78, 114501, 2007.

 

3. Burke, W. J., C. Y. Huang, D. R. Weimer, J. O. Wise, G. R. Wilson, C. S. Lin, and F. A. Marcos, "Energy and power requirements of the global thermosphere during the magnetic storm of November 10, 2004," Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 309–318, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: winds, scintillation, storms, models, drag

 

 

 

AF121-067                         TITLE: Broadband High Temperature Focal Plane Array (FPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a high-sensitivity room temperature focal plane array (FPA) that responds over the visible to long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectrum.

 

DESCRIPTION:  There are many systems in which it is necessary to detect radiation over the entire visible to infrared spectrum. To obtain high sensitivity over the visible-to-long-wave spectrum, the usual approach is to use multiple detectors, each operating at its optimum temperature, often on separate FPAs that complicate the optical system. The need is to cover the full spectrum (visible to LWIR) with as high as possible sensitivity. One solution might be using multiple parallel linear arrays chosen to achieve maximum sensitivity in their respective spectral bands, all mounted as close as possible. Ideally, the various detecting materials would be mounted on a common readout integrated circuit (ROIC) to minimize spacing between the arrays and to have a single processing system. The desire is to have the maximum room temperature sensitivity while limiting the number of detector array materials. The array might consist of a silicon array, mounted next to an InGaAs array, next to a microbolometer array to cover the visible wavelengths and out to 11 um. The selected materials should be responsive to pulsed light (should have a <100us response time). Other solutions including compositional gradients of HgCdTe, followed by substrate thinning or removal for visible response, or strained-layer superlattice architectures that achieve lower-than-bulk levels of dark current, might be particularly attractive for this topic.  Resulting FPAs must survive over the typical military environment and temperature ranges.  Linear arrays of about a centimeter long are expected and spacing between separate detector materials should be less than one or two pixels (i.e. < 60um).

 

PHASE I:  The optimum detecting material(s) for a wide spectrum FPA shall be studied and their mounting, separation and connection to ROIC designed. FPA mechanical integrity over the military temperature range should be demonstrated.

 

PHASE II:  During this phase, a ROIC design should be completed with an option of fabricating a complete FPA. The functionality and mechanical integrity over the military temperature range and background-limited infrared photo-response against calibrated illumination should be demonstrated for the device.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The detector arrays could be used to measure and characterize transient phenomena that have a broad spectral content such as a gun flash, or measuring and characterizing an unknown laser in the battlefield.

Commercial Application:  The detector arrays could be used in a portable low cost laboratory instrument to measure transient phenomena that have a broad spectral content.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Wojkowski, J.S., H. Mohseni, J. D. Kim, and M. Razeghi, "Center for Quantum Devices," Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208,

http://lib.semi.ac.cn:8080/tsh/dzzy/wsqk/SPIE/vol3629/3629-357.pdf.

 

2. Shao, H., W. Li, A. Torfi, D. Moscicka, and W. I. Wang, "IEEE Photonics Technology Letters", Vol. 18, No. 16, August 15, 2006.

 

KEYWORDS: detectors, focal planes, ROIC, sensors, FPA

 

 

 

AF121-068                         TITLE: Innovative Technologies for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop technologies for satellites or space lift that increase their capability, reliability, and responsiveness. Develop smaller and more operable satellite and launch systems that maintain the capabilities of current larger systems.

 

DESCRIPTION: The DoD is actively pursuing the capability to assemble and launch a satellite within days, or even hours, of a battlefield commander''s notification. This capability is essential to meet the operational needs for a variety of Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) missions. Enabling technologies to achieve this goal involves miniaturization of the various satellite and space lift systems and components without loss of current capability. Smaller satellites are easier to store, integrate, and launch. In addition, smaller satellites are generally less expensive and can be easily duplicated to support multiple mission needs, while similar improvements to space lift components directly affect mass margin and launch capability.

 

The ORS Office is pursuing the development of miniaturized systems that include, but are not limited to: reconfigurable bus and payload components, standardized payload configurations, compact sensors, compact bus systems, flexible operations schemes, space lift components and rapid integration and calibration techniques. It is necessary to investigate creative solutions to avoid the need to develop custom hardware, software, and interfaces. The ORS Office will also consider novel modification endeavors to existing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components to meet the needs of this solicitation.

 

Contractors are strongly encouraged to work closely with the ORS Office and its contractors, if necessary, to ensure technical efforts are consistent with overall responsive satellite and space lift development goals. Proposed concepts should strive for designs that can eventually achieve a component fabrication and system integration time of a few days for the widest range of relevant satellite and space lift capability. In the near term, these techniques should cut integration time and component/mission costs in half.

 

The technical objective is to reduce the size of current satellites and space lift to one-half of their current mass and volume without loss of capability. This effort involves development of innovative advances in structures, power systems, propulsion, attitude knowledge and control, space lift, and sensor systems that maintain capability while reducing volume and mass for an ORS-class mission. These systems should use standardized interfaces and integration schemes that make the launch of the satellite more responsive and operable for missions and launch campaigns associated with the ORS-class missions.

 

PHASE I: Complete initial design, modeling and simulation (M&S) and possibly bench scale experiments to demonstrate feasibility of concept.  Utilize test results and M&S to identify key technical challenges, develop a mitigation strategy, and develop a Phase II program plan.

 

PHASE II: Design, fabricate, and test a prototype-level (Engineering Development Unit – EDU) concept that achieves the functional and interface specifications of the ORS Office’s mission configurations that mitigates the identified technical risks.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The proposed effort would develop satellite component technologies that are applicable to both commercial and military satellites. Demonstrate an integration strategy that will enable the assembly and checkout of a small satellite within a few days. 

Commercial Application:  The contractors that develop subject technologies will also market their products to commercial satellite vendors.  Demonstrate an integration strategy that will enable the assembly and checkout of a small satellite within a few days.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Watson, William A., "Rapid Spacecraft Development: Results and Lessons," Rapid Spacecraft Development Office, GSFC 2002 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, 2002.

 

2. Buckley, S., "Taking Advantage of Excess Spacelift Capacity-A Vision for the Future", Annual AIAA/Utah State University Conference on Small Satellites, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 13 August 2008.

 

3. Ledebuhr, Dr. A. G., "Microsats for On-orbit Support Missions," DoE Report, UCRL-JC-142900.

 

4. Yost, B., "Astrobiology Small Payloads," NASA/ARC Workshop Report, NASA/CP, 214565, 2007.

 

KEYWORDS: satellite bus, modular satellite, standardized satellite interfaces, spacecraft, payload, satellite, responsive space, responsive bus, space lift

 

 

 

AF121-069                         TITLE: Advanced Space Energy Storage that Incorporates Long Cycle Life at High

Depths of Discharge

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop an energy storage system with high specific energy density > 200 Wh/kg that is capable of 5+ years of ground storage and 60,000 cycles at depths of discharge > 60% and showing a pathway to 100%.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Military communications satellite payload power consumption is trending higher to meet exponentially increasing satellite communication capacity requirements in support of tomorrow’s warfighters.  The U.S. Air Force is interested in supporting advanced battery development that is capable of undergoing 5+ years of ground storage followed by 15 years of operational lifetime.  This can be up to 60,000 cycles for low Earth orbiting satellites. To meet typical mission needs, current state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries use shallow depths of discharge (< 30%) to improve cycle life.

 

To facilitate efficiency improvements in the energy storage system of space vehicles, improvements in energy density, depth of discharge, and cycle life are desired.  This proposal seeks innovative materials for use as electrodes and electrolytes in Li-ion batteries that can demonstrate beginning-of-life specific energy density > 200 Wh/kg and cycle life of 60,000 at >= 60% Depth of Discharge (DOD).  Demonstration of a pathway towards 100% DOD and 60,000 cycles is also desired.

 

PHASE I:  Develop, evaluate and validate innovative materials for use in Li-ion batteries that show promise for 60,000 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) cycles and demonstrate high specific energy density.

 

PHASE II:  Optimize the materials and processes learned from Phase I to produce a prototype Li-ion cell with specific energy density > 200 Wh/kg, and demonstrate long cycle life under 60-100% DOD LEO conditions.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  All Department of Defense spacecraft require some form of energy storage. The use of high-energy-density, high-depth-of-discharge batteries will improve power system efficiency and lifetime.

Commercial Application:  Commercial communications spacecraft and NASA spacecraft would use this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Hall, John C., Alice Schoen, Allen Powers, Pin Liu, and Kevin  Kirby, “Resistance growth in lithium ion satellite cells. I. Non destructive data analyses,” 208th Meeting of The Electrochemical Society, p. 467, 2005.

 

2. Sawai, Keijiro, Ryoji Yamato, and Tsutomu Ohzuku, “Impedance measurements on lithium-ion battery consisting of Li[Li 1/3 Ti 5/3]O4 and LiCo 1/2 Ni1/2 O2,” Electrochimica Acta,  Vol. 51, No. 8-9, pp. 1651-1655,  January 20, 2006.

 

3. Kusachi, Y., T. Kato, H. Ishikawa, and K. Utsugi, “The effect of dimethyl methanedisulfonate as additive to electrolyte for lithium ion batteries,” 208th Meeting of The Electrochemical Society, pp. 364,  2005.

 

4. Reid, Concha, “Low temperature low-Earth-orbit testing of Mars Surveyor Program lander lithium-ion battery,” 3rd International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 510-521,  2005.

 

5. Haa, Hyung-Wook, Kyung Hee Jeong, and Nan Ji Yun, “Effects of surface modification on cycling stability of LiNi0.8Co0.2O2 electrodes by CeO2 coating,” Electrocimica Acta 50, 3764-3769, 2005.

 

KEYWORDS: energy storage, batteries, long cycle life, high depth of discharge

 

 

 

AF121-070                         TITLE: Compact Type I Space Encryption Hardware

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: To establish an ultra-compact, ultra-low-power encryption/decryption certifiable solution for embedded space applications.

 

DESCRIPTION: Space systems necessarily employ encryption/decryption on their communications links, usually through dedicated box-level components referred to as encryption control unit (ECU). The ECUs for routine use in spacecraft command, communications, and control must be certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) as “Type 1” (literally approved for use in spacecraft to protect classified communications). While ECUs are in common use, they have excessive size, weight, and power, which is a significant impediment to dimensionally-constrained spacecraft, and compete for limited resources even in larger, tactically oriented spacecraft. We are keenly interested in more effective solutions, specifically the creation of stand-alone ECUs capable of supporting multiple encryption/decryption channels at 100 megabits/sec in less than 250-mW and within a 70x70x12.5-mm envelope with traditional space environment (i.e. > 100-krad(Si), no latchup, < 1 upset/year due to single event effects over a worst case temperature range of -55 to +125 deg C). Solutions must be Type 1 certifiable. We believe these specifications admit a large range of creative technology innovations, such as advanced radiation-hardened microelectronics, and advanced microelectronics packaging. Proposers are encouraged to explore the use of commercial algorithms, such as AES, and to devise effective architectures for integrating ECUs with other communications equipment.

 

PHASE I: Develop a design that meets the requirements for a Type 1 certified encryption device as outlined above. The effort should include a plan for Type 1 certification of the final design.

 

PHASE II: Finalize the design, fabricate the design, and test the design developed in Phase I for proof of operation and ability to be certified. Finalize the steps necessary for Type 1 certification.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Work with other industry partners and DoD offices to obtain NSA certification and develop a low-cost product line for AF or other DoD customers.

Commercial Application: Although the target customer will be DoD spacecraft with secure tactical links to theater warfighters, additional markets include next generation micro-satellites for secure commercial communications.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Schneier, Bruce. "Applied Cryptography," John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1996.

 

2. Ahmed, Z., et al, “Security Processor for Bulk Encryption,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Microelectronics, December 6-8, 2004.

 

3. Alexander, Dave et al, “Affordable Rad–Hard — An Impossible Dream?” Proceedings of the AIAA Small Sat Conference, August 11-14, 2008.

 

KEYWORDS: space communications, encryption, radiation-hardened electronics, fault-tolerant electronics, secure communication

 

 

 

AF121-071                         TITLE: Multi-function Laser Module (MFL) for Enhanced Space Surveillance

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop innovative laser-based technologies and design concept that can provide flexible capabilities in high-precision tracking and characterization of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space objects.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Laser tracking of remote objects can provide enhanced surveillance capabilities in terms of detailed characterization of the object, including the range, velocity, structural dynamics, coherent imaging and other parameters essential for object discrimination. Active laser tracking (ALT) has been successfully demonstrated with a cooperative object on the ground and in the air. Bringing the ALT technology to the level adequate for characterization of LEO space objects will require a significantly up-scaled laser module of the tracking system. The required operational performance of such a laser module should include the ability to combat losses along an extended propagation path, mitigation of the effects associated with atmospheric turbulence, and use of the object-scattered light for object characterization. In addition, the multi-function laser module (MFL) should harmonize the operation and performance of other on-board surveillance elements, including imaging and non-imaging sensors (subpixel processing, photometric, polametric, etc.) in order to derive orbital elements, known object parameters, etc. MFL should also provide these sensors with the reference signals and correction factors to improve their performance, fusing and analyzing the sensor signals to derive the data complimentary to that of the coherent sensor. Such operational requirements transform the laser-tracking unit into a MFL.

 

The objective of this topic is to develop an innovative laser-based technology and design concept of a ground-based MFL in support of the operation and control of an integrated multi-sensor space surveillance system. It is expected that the proposed MFL should enable the down-range resolution of 1 cm and velocity measurement accuracy of 1m/sec, while supporting the operation of other incoherent passive sensors by providing information essential for correcting the received signals. The MFL should support, control and synchronize the performance of a suite of passive sensors, to provide an enhanced space surveillance pattern. Distinctive MFL features should enable a high-resolution estimation of the object’s orbital parameters, and its velocity, while a suite of passive sensors provide a rich set of multi-band imaging data.  The module should be capable of delivering a steady signal/data stream for detection and tracking of the object in a cluttered environment for its characterization, discrimination and identification. Besides laser tracking, the multi-functional operations include support of the fusion of the various passive sensor modalities (imaging, subpixel and parametric) to extract the situation and significance information derived from these data streams.

 

PHASE I:  Develop novel conceptual designs of the MFL to sufficient detail to allow accurate estimation of its performance and risk analysis. Deliverables include the preliminary prototype design of a selected MFL design and a final report.

 

PHASE II:  Based on the findings from Phase I, develop a prototype MFL ready for assessment in a realistic operating environment. Detailed assessment should be accomplished through a field-test.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Tracking of low observable aerial targets, test flights, and test launches of missiles will benefit from the results of this research.

Commercial Application:  The precise tracking and illumination of satellites and aerial platforms have the potential to greatly enhance geodesy, navigation, and aerial photography.

 

REFERENCES:

1. http://cddis.nasa.gov/lw13/docs/papers/adv_greene_1m.pdf.

 

2. Chapman, S., E. Wildgoose, and S. McDonald, "Field testing of a next generation laser pointer/tracker," for IRCM Proc. of SPIE, Vol. 7115, 71150B-1.

 

3. Mehrholzm D.,and L. Leushacke, "Detecting, Tracking and Imaging Space Debris," ESA Bulletin 109, February 2002.

 

KEYWORDS: space surveillance, laser tracking, long range, coherent sensor, data fusion

 

 

 

AF121-072                         TITLE: Dual-mode Wavefront Sensor for Space Surveillance

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate innovative dual-mode (passive and active) wavefront sensing technology capable of characterizing the optical wavefront in the image-resolved operational scenario.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Adaptive optics (AO) methods are typically used to mitigate atmospheric turbulence-induced aberrations, enabling imaging with the resolution close to diffraction limited.  These systems require operation in high scintillation environments where branch points occur in the phase of the propagating laser beam. AO systems are effective for compensating atmospheric turbulence at low scintillation levels, where the intensity variance is less than one that is typical for astronomical applications. However, for applications that involve imaging over a long path, the cumulative turbulence effects can easily defeat the conventional technologies for adaptive optics. In this regime, deep atmospheric perturbations result in high levels of scintillation, branch points, and small coherence length Fried parameter (r0), resulting in imagery with a considerable reduction in information content compared to a diffraction-limited system with the same size aperture. Improvement and enhancement of imaging quality of any ground-based space surveillance system requires innovative approaches that enable an express measurement of large-amplitude wavefront errors on imaged-resolved objects.

 

This topic calls for a ground-based, dual-mode wavefront sensor (WFS) that can operate with an active laser beacon, as well as in a passive regime using the object-scattered light for data recovery. Since the surveillance system may have a ground-based, marine or airborne deployment, the measuring cycle should be performed almost in real time. The errors in WFS data associated with the mechanical instability of such a mobile platform and rapidly changing atmospheric perturbations have to be accounted for in the analysis of the proposed WFS performance. The solution should include thorough analysis of requirements and performance evaluation of the proposed WFS and should demonstrate a good grasp of all realistic effects, such as signal-to-noise in high scintillation and all forms of anisoplanatism.

 

Develop a proof-of-the-concept breadboard of a dual-mode (passive and active) wavefront-sensing system capable of characterizing the wavefront in the extended-scene imaging scenario.

 

PHASE I:  Conceptualize and design an innovative dual-mode wavefront sensor, and demonstrate in simulation that the proposed design is feasible for operation in a high-scintillation, branch-point environment. Provide a complete analysis of the proposed system, risk assessment, final report, including the initial system design and performance assessment.

 

PHASE II:  Build, test and demonstrate a laboratory extended-scene large amplitude wavefront sensing prototype with both hardware and software. Perform complete testing of the laboratory prototype system under various (active and passive) lighting and atmospheric conditions. Investigate ruggedizing the design and developing a real-time operational implementation code.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The products can be used to improve the spatial-temporal resolution, lower the noise floor and readout of 3D image construction for military laser systems.

Commercial Application:  The products can be used for collision avoidance, monitoring of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space debris and aerial vehicles, free-space communication and air turbulence monitoring at airport.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  McGraw, John T., and Mark R. Ackermann, "A 1.2m Deployable, Transportable Space Surveillance Telescope Designed to Meet AF Space Situational Awareness Needs."

 

2. U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet, "Morón Optical Space Surveillance (MOSS) System," http://www.peterson.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4742.

 

3. Fried, David L., "Branch Point Problem in Adaptive Optics," Journal of the Optical Society of America (JOSA) A, 15 (10), pp. 2759-2768, 1998.

 

4. Neal, D. R., W. J. Alford, and J. K. Gruetzner, "Amplitude and phase beam characterization using a two-dimensional wavefront sensor," SPIE Vol. 2870, pp. 72-82.

 

KEYWORDS: Sensing, Wavefront, Imaging, Adaptive Optics

 

 

 

AF121-073                         TITLE: Anti-reflective Coating for High-Efficiency Solar Cells

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop an advanced broadband antireflective coating active from ~300 to 1800 nm to enable high-efficiency solar cells.

 

DESCRIPTION: Currently used GaAs-based solar cells rely on a TiOx/Al2O3 coating to minimize reflection in the range of interest for energy conversion. The coating is sufficient for currently used triple-junction cells, but solar cells in development and future solar cells will suffer from inadequate antireflection of this coating in the longer wavelength (>900 nm) regions of the spectrum.

 

A new cell level antireflective coating (ARC) is needed that has reflectance less than 5% over the spectral range of 300 to 1800 nm and over a wide range of incident angles (+/- 45 deg). The coating must be optically matched and compatible with “inverted metamorphic” solar cell technologies and currently used adhesives/coverglass technologies.

 

The technology should be capable of supporting a 15-year mission in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and 5 years in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) after 5 years of ground storage with a degradation of less than 1% (< 1% solar cell power loss due to change in reflection and/or absorption in ARC).

 

PHASE I: Develop one or more candidate antireflective coating replacement materials.  Show feasibility through modeling of candidate materials, at a minimum.  Testing of some candidates would be of great interest if time and funding permit.

 

PHASE II: Using the lessons learned from Phase I efforts, develop prototypes and continue work to optimize and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The prototype should be subjected to a complete complement of pathfinder space environmental testing and characterization tests.  Test conditions should be governed by AIAA S-111-2005.  Coatings should demonstrate less than 5% reflectance loss over the spectral range of 300-1800 nm.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: All DoD Spacecraft use solar arrays for electric power generation. Development of coatings with superior properties will improve array operating performance.

Commercial Application: Commercial communications spacecraft and NASA spacecraft would use this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Aiken, Daniel J., "High performance anti-reflection coatings for broadband multi-junction solar cells," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp. 393-404, November 2000, ISSN 0927-0248, DOI: 10.1016/S0927-0248(00)00253-1.

(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V51-417WDTN-B/2/069e9db7ffc3c142f55a3bcf2274d4c4).

 

2. Hoang, Bao, Frankie Wong, and Victor Funderburk, Space Systems Loral, Mengu Cho, Kazuhiro Toyoda, and Hirokazu Masui, Kyushu Institute of Technology, “Electrostatic Discharge Test with Simulated Coverglass Flashover for Multi-junction GaAs/Ge Solar Array Design,” Proc 35 th IEEE PVSC Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 7-12, 2010.

 

3. Cornfeld, Arthur B., Mark Stan, Tansen Varghese, Jacqueline Diaz, A. Vance Ley, Benjamin Cho, Aaron Korostyshevsky, Daniel J. Aiken, and Paul R. Sharps, "Development of a large area inverted metamorphic multi-junction (IMM) highly efficient AM0 solar cell," Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 2008. PVSC '08. 33rd IEEE, pp.1-5, 11-16 May 2008. doi: 10.1109/PVSC.2008.4922610

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4922610&isnumber=4922425.

 

4. Woodman, R. H., L. González, J .B. Belcher, C. M. Ferreira, Infoscitex Corporation, Waltham, MA., D. Yuhas, C. Click, D. Haines, Schott North America Inc., Duryea, PA,, and J. Du, University of North Texas, Denton, TX., "Phosphate Coverglasses and Hybrid Adhesives – Protective Materials for Short-Wavelength-Cut-On Photovoltaics," IEEE paper 978-1-4244-2950-9/09.

 

KEYWORDS: solar cells, multijunction, antireflective coating, space environment protection, coatings

 

 

 

AF121-074                         TITLE: Wide Field of View (FOV) High Gain Pulse Optical Amplifier

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a high-gain,Wide Field of View (WFOV) optical amplifier of a short pulse laser emission that satisfies requirements and needs of an active laser tracking sensor.

 

DESCRIPTION: Active Laser Surveillance (ALS) technique is an effective tool for tracking and comprehensive characterization of remote objects. Existing laser systems do not meet the criteria required to accomplish this function in terms of the optical gain, Field of View (FOV), pump efficiency and form factor, especially when the mobile space surveillance systems are of interest. In order to satisfy the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) needs and provide the amplification required for a steadfast detection of a low-intensity optical signal, the preferred ALS system should ensure: (1) Wide FOV > 50 mrad; (2) Optical gain (for a non-saturating signal) > 30 dB per a single path; (3) Spectral band max at 1 um, (4) Gain durability up to 5 msec; (5) Unaltered wave-front of the transmitted signal with M2 < 5; and (6) Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) design at nominal form-factor.

 

Development of an optical amplifier technology with the above-cited operational parameters requires optimization of multiple design factors, including suppression of the super-luminescence, lasing of spurious-modes and thermal management. While the first two effects result in a decreased gain coefficient, a typical outcome of the ineffective thermal management introduces volumetric thermal distortions of the gain medium, resulting in aberrations of the wavefront of the transmitted signal. The proposed design concepts should account for all these constraints and related issues and minimize their effect on the quality of the transmitted signal.

 

Through modeling, simulation and experimental verifications complete a preliminary assessment of performance of the selected techniques. Provide a preliminary design of the module to be developed during Phase II. Verify noise figure and bandwidth capability that can meet requirements for active laser tracking and pointing in real operating environment.

 

Successive increase of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of this concept through incremental development, demonstration and validation with SBIR support will facilitate the transition of the resulting SBIR technology to an acquisition program. The government will integrate this technology, together with other relevant technologies, to implement a separate system level demonstration and performance validation of the Transportable Advance Integrated Multi-Sensor System (T-AIMS) concept.

 

PHASE I: Explore alternative design concepts for an optical amplifier that combines wide-field-of-view, high gain at low level of noise and aberrations of the transmitted wavefront. Select a preferred approach and assess its feasibility.

 

PHASE II: Using the Phase I design concept, integrate the version of the imaging optical amplifier that meets most space surveillance needs and requirements. Test the devices to determine its output and efficiency over a range of operating conditions likely to be required for ALS applications and optical communications at LEO range.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The technology developed under this effort will be used to advance the maturity of a Government reference concept/design named Transportable Advance Integrated Multi-Sensor System (T-AIMS).

Commercial Application: The technology will be used to advance the maturity of the space surveillance laser tracking system, which has the potential to enhance military or commercial geodesy, navigation and aerial photography.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Koechner, W., “Solid-State Laser Engineering,” Springer, 1999.

 

2. Koechner, W. and M. Bass, “Solid-state Lasers: A Graduate Text,” Springer, 2003.

 

3. Brignon, A. and J. P. Huignard, “Phase Conjugate Laser Optics,” Wiley-IEEE, 2004.

 

KEYWORDS: active laser surveillance, optical amplifier, wide field-of-view, optical amplification

 

 

 

AF121-075                         TITLE: Rigid-Panel-Solar-Array Deployment Synchronization Mechanisms for Rapid

Assembly and Reduced Cost

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop modular deployment synchronization technologies for rigid-panel solar arrays.

 

DESCRIPTION: Conventional rigid-panel solar arrays are typically deployed with either complex mechanisms or dynamically-tuned and damped hinges. Both approaches are typically engineered such that altering the number of panels incurs a significant amount of recurring engineering. For example, the mechanisms may only work with a specific number of panels, and adding two more panels would require a new mechanism to be designed, built, and qualified. With dynamically-tuned hinges, changing the number of panels requires new, uniquely designed hinges. A panel deployment synchronization technology that is not specific to the number of panels is needed. The technology must be unmodified and identical on each panel (i.e., not customized for a specific panel location) and allow for synchronization of a minimum of two panels and maximum of five panels. Unlike past arrays, this mechanism will enable solar arrays that are modular at the structural level as well as the panel level.

 

State-of-practice solar arrays are typically constructed based on point designs for specific missions. Designing, fabricating, and performing space-qualification testing on these arrays requires significant time and effort. In addition, conventional-array repairs during spacecraft integration caused by dropped tools or other integration mishaps require expensive touch labor and can delay the entire spacecraft integration flow. Delay of the spacecraft integration flow results in a schedule delay and high “stagnant” manpower cost (integration personnel being paid to wait for solar-array repairs to be completed). An added disadvantage of the conventional in-line solar-panel repair is questionable qualification traceability that brings space survivability into question. With the stated conventional approach to solar-array design, fabrication, and integration, it is difficult to achieve low-cost, highly-reliable solar arrays that minimally impact spacecraft integration timelines. The goal of this topic is to identify and develop innovative, standardized, modular deployment synchronization concepts that enable quick array design, simple integration, and easy module replacement with qualification traceability. At a minimum, the solar-array performance metrics of the concept (specific power, stowed efficiency) must equal the current state-of-practice values (50 W/kg, 10-15 kW/m^3). However, it is anticipated that designs will exceed the conventional solar-array performance metrics. Modular solar-array designs are sought for state-of-practice space solar cells, high-efficiency inverted metamorphic solar cells, and thin-film photovoltaics (a-Si, CIGS).

 

The solar-array deployment synchronization mechanisms technology should be capable of operation in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for 5 years and in a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) for 15 years after storage on the ground for 5 years.

 

PHASE I: Develop conceptual designs of the proposed approach based on preliminary analysis. Perform sufficient analysis and/or hardware demonstration of the kinematic functionality of the synchronization technology of the proposed design concept to show feasibility. Identify key technical challenges for Phase II.

 

PHASE II: Using the lessons learned from Phase I, design and fabricate a prototype that is clearly traceable to spacecraft integration. Rapid design, fabrication, integration, and line replacement should be clearly demonstrated on hardware at a system level.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Technology developed will be applicable to all military space platforms. Expected benefits include increased reliability (assured operation), reduced integration time, and reduced cost.

Commercial Application: Commercial applications will benefit from the developed technology through decreased solar array design, fabrication, and integration costs.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Weilun, C., et al, “Solar Array and High Gain Antenna Deployment Mechanisms of the STEREO Observatory,” Proc. AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference.

 

2. Barrett, R. et al, “Design of a Solar Array to Meet the Standard Bus Specification for Operation Responsive Space,” Proc. 48th AIAA Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, 2007.

 

KEYWORDS: modular solar array, deployment synchronization, solar array standardization

 

 

 

AF121-084                         TITLE: Automated Distributed Data Fusion of Correlated Space Superiority Events

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop technologies that would perform space system threat detection and data fusion using disparate space events.

 

DESCRIPTION: Numerous space-system decision-support tools are under development which focus on the monitoring and detection of events with satellite telemetry, space weather, intelligence, or the orbital catalog. Less mature are technologies focused on the aggregation of events that may be occurring across distributed heterogeneous data sources and the correlation of these activities for higher-level situational awareness; in the data-fusion literature this is often referred to as Level 2 fusion. The objective of this topic is to develop technologies to perform level 2 fusion for space situational awareness. Of particular interest are algorithm robustness and validation. Existing fusion systems, such as, but not limited to,  the Joint Directors of Laboratories (JDL) and Endsley fusion models, exist and so enable the modular design of detection, correlation, assessment, and response components. Candidate proposals for this topic should consider one of the existing fusion architectures and document their selected approach. A realistic demonstration using a candidate set of data sources and threat scenarios should be used and/or developed. Compatibility with net-centricity would be of high interest.

 

PHASE I: Provide a detailed description of the proposed approach along with applicable threat scenarios, data sources, and output conditions. The offeror should also deliver a plan for demonstrating the approach.

 

PHASE II: Extend the approach developed in Phase I, using at least three data sources with a robust set of threat scenarios using a realistic test environment, The deliverable consists of a document for the architecture, plus advantages and disadvantages of the approach. Highly desirable would be a robust demonstration using live data sources.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Tools for more effective and efficient management of military spacecraft operations.

Commercial Application: More efficient and effective satellite operations at NASA centers and commercial satellite operators.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Lee, Robert, "Anomaly Detection Using the Emerald Nanosatellite On- Board Expert System," http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Publication/11969648/anomaly-detection-using-the-emerald-nanosatellite-on-board-expert-system.

 

2. Linas, J., and C. Bowman, "Revisiting the JDL Data Fusion Model II," http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Paper/2351314.aspx.

 

KEYWORDS: Space situational awareness, data fusion, satellite anomaly detection

 

 

 

AF121-085                         TITLE: Advanced Algorithms for Space-Based Next-Generation Infrared Sensor

Exploitation

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Battlespace, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop advanced algorithms to improve multiple, closely-spaced object detection and state vector estimation for space-based, next-generation infrared (IR) sensors viewing cluttered scenes.

 

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks innovative algorithms for closely-spaced object detection and tracking. Space-based sensors provide enhanced worldwide missile detection and tracking capabilities, as well as battlespace awareness and intelligence data. There is a need for development of advanced algorithms that can provide real-time exploitation of this increased data volume using limited processing and bandwidth resources. There is potential for these algorithms to exploit improvements in resolution and sensitivity to detect and track closely-spaced objects over longer durations (enabling improved state vector estimation for trajectory prediction and multi-sensor hand-off), and to detect and track closely-spaced low-observables, such as midcourse ballistic missiles and lower altitude maneuvering targets, that cannot be detected with current wide field of view (WFOV) staring sensors. More specifically, a requirement is the development of algorithms to effectively detect and track large numbers of low-observable targets, which may maneuver in close proximity, and which may have intensities varying by two orders of magnitude or more. These closely-spaced objects may be unresolved, and only distinguishable with centroiding techniques or super-resolution methods. Additionally, a requirement is the development of algorithms to effectively suppress stationary and non-stationary background clutter, including solar scattering by clouds and aerosols, or from infrared airglow emissions, aurora, glint off sea surfaces and reflectance and emission from varied natural and man-made terrain features. This topic solicits development of innovative algorithms that can be shown to be implementable in an appropriate combination of satellite and/or ground-based enhanced processors, taking into account computation, storage, and communication resources.

 

PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility of proposed algorithmic approach for providing significant improvements in low-observable, closely-spaced-multiple-object detection and state vector estimation using space-based IR sensor data.  The deliverable shall be a report that documents the algorithmic approach, preliminary results, trade studies, and feasibility analysis.

 

PHASE II: Develop prototype algorithms into a tested software tool.  Demonstrate ability to meet operational specifications for rapid detection and computing limitations. Validate with simulated and real-world data that demonstrates the potential for the developed algorithms to detect and discriminate closely-spaced objects in a cluttered background environment and near the Earth limb.  The deliverable shall be software that demonstrates the implemented algorithm operating on simulated or real-world data.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: First use is envisioned for future enhancements of Space-based Infrared System (SBIRS), but could also be applied to the Space Surveillance Tracking System (STSS) operating in the wider-field of view (FOV) target acquisition mode.

Commercial Application: Concept may be useful for monitoring debris in lower-earth orbits, or for aircraft and traffic monitoring from higher-altitude aircraft.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Smith, M. “Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD’s SBIRS and STSS Programs,” CRS Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, Order Code RS21148, Updated January 30, 2006. http://www.losangeles.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5514; http://www.mda.mil/mdaLink/pdf/stss.pdf.

 

2. Zacharias, N., S.E. Urban, M. I. Zacharias, G. L. Wycoff, D. M. Hall, D. G. Monet, and T. J. Rafferty, “The Second US Naval Observatory CCD Astrograph Catalog (UCAC2),” Astronomical Journal 127:3043-3059, 2004.

 

3. Ewart, R., J. Jacquot, and P. Lew, “Space Algorithm Testbeds - Small Business Pipeline for Technology Innovation,” AIAA Space 2009.

 

4. Fernandez, M., A. Aridgides, and D. Bray, "Detecting and tracking low-observable targets using IR," SPIE Proceedings: Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets, (O.E. Drummond, Ed.), Vol. 1305, pp. 193 (1990).

 

5. Korn, J., H. Holtz, and M. S. Farber, "Trajectory estimation of closely spaced objects using infrared focal plane data of an STSS platform," SPIE Proceedings: Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets, (O.E. Drummond, Ed.), Vol. 5428, pp. 387, 2004.

 

6. Tartakovsky, A., A. Brown, and J. Brown, “Enhanced Algorithms for EO/IR Electronic Stabilization, Clutter Suppression, and Track-Before-Detect for Multiple Low Observable Targets,” AMOS, 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: Space-based-sensing, closely-spaced objects, clutter suppression, low-observable-targets, multiple-target-tracking

 

 

 

AF121-086                         TITLE: Omni-directional Adaptive Imaging Sensor

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop an omni-directional imaging sensor with a reconfigurable architecture to characterize space objects.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Space-based surveillance sensors for proximity protection should have the capability to acquire, track and characterize, on an effectively continuous basis, imminent threats posed by objects or space debris surrounding the space asset. An imaging sensor with spherical or complimentary hemispherical coverage is needed, with the capability to observe all directions simultaneously with appropriate resolution and frame rate. Once a set of threats has been acquired, the performance of the imaging sensor should rapidly adapt to higher frame rates and resolution to better characterize and track multiple objects moving at different angular rates relative to the space platform.

 

Considering the deployment of this sensor on a space platform, small form factors and no mechanical movement are essential architectural requirements. A wide-field-of-view capability is needed to search, detect and track an object in surrounding space, while a narrow-field-of-view system is required for reliable identification and characterization of the target.  Acquisition time better than 30 frames per second, imagery with resolution better than 10 micro-radians, and scalable magnification factor from 1:1 to 1:25 are required due to the relative high speed of the objects of interest. Solutions should also display resilience to anticipated countermeasures.

 

The overall goal of this topic is to create a paradigm shift in developing an innovative modular Wide Field of View (WFOV) active/passive space surveillance module while being constrained to small form factors. Innovative approaches are sought that can satisfy all of the functional and operational requirements.

 

PHASE I:  Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed imaging module, employing a combination of simulation and testing with distant ground or air objects.

 

PHASE II:  Fabricate and assemble a prototype of the imaging module and demonstrate ground based acquisition and tracking.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Space asset protection, tracking of rocket and mortar launches, UAV situational awareness, perimeter security of airbases, and first responders for homeland security.

Commercial Application:  Situational awareness for maneuvering large vehicles, security for large areas such as airports.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Matuski, W., H. Pfister, A. Ngan, P. Beardsley, and L. McMillan, "Image-Based 3D Photography Using Opacity Hulls," In SIGGRAPH '02, 427.437, 2002.

 

2. Nagahara, Hajime, Yasushi Yagi, and Masahiko Yachida, "Super Wide Field of View Head Mounted Display Using Catadioptrical Optics," Presence,  Vol. 15, No. 5, p. 588-598, 2006.

 

3. Li, Daqun, Jame  J. Yang, and Michael R. Wang, "Wide Field-of-View Target Tracking Sensor," Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7307,  p. 73070F, 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: Wide-field-of-view, narrow-field-of-view, spherical coverage, target search, detection and characterization

 

 

 

AF121-087                         TITLE: Automation of Satellite On-orbit Checkout and Calibration Process

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Space Platforms

 

OBJECTIVE:  Development of technologies that will enable automation and time minimization of the satellite on-orbit checkout and calibration process in support of Operationally Responsive Space class systems.

 

DESCRIPTION:  In today's environment Air Force satellites require a lengthy on-orbit checkout process before being placed into operation.  Depending on payload type, this period can last from weeks to several months.  Prototypes have been developed that perform functional checkout of satellite bus components autonomously via on-orbit scripts. In the near term, and with the acceptance of some risk and good software engineering, functional checkout of a satellite can be implemented autonomously with on-board scripts or models. In general, more complex methodologies are needed to perform autonomous payload calibration. In particular, the calibration of imaging sensor payloads can be very labor intensive, requiring nonlinear processes that are difficult to automate.  Autonomous calibration of these payloads requires more sophisticated reasoning systems that may require adaptive learning.  In addition, in some cases, fundamental sensor designs may be limiting factors in achieving long-term requirements of being able to perform rapid on-orbit checkout in less than one day.  It is still unclear how close we can come towards achieving the one-day requirement through intelligent software design and at what point fundamental sensor design changes are needed.  The objective of this topic is to explore this boundary for a representative set of sensors which would include electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR).

 

Proposals are sought that will analyze this problem and develop technologies that will help perform autonomous calibration for the representative set of sensors.  These proposals can be in the form of intelligent software algorithms and methodologies, fundamental design changes, or both.  Careful consideration should be given to how the proposed calibration method would fit within the overall on-orbit checkout process of the satellite.  Significant time savings may also be achievable by performing some level of calibration on the ground prior to launch.  A strong proposal should contain a system-level approach in which ground checkout prior to launch flows into on-orbit checkout.  Proposals that provide a solution that contains both bus checkout and payload calibration are strongly encouraged.

 

PHASE I:  The objective of Phase I is to provide a detailed analysis of the problem described and to propose a design which would optimize the payload calibration process with particular attention paid to time required.  If feasible, a prototype demonstration is strongly encouraged.

 

PHASE II:  The objective of Phase II is to extend the work performed in Phase I and to provide a detailed design and demonstration of on-orbit sensor calibration working in conjunction with full bus checkout.  Demonstrations using actual hardware are encouraged.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The proposed technology has high relevance to the spacecraft mission class Operationally Responsive Space (ORS).

Commercial Application:  This proposed effort has equal applicability to the commercial satellite domain.  NASA has spacecraft programs that could directly benefit from this research.

 

REFERENCES:

1. High Frontier: The Journal for Space and Cyberspace Professionals, Volume 6, Number 3, May 2010.

 

2. "Latest GPS Satellite Early Orbit Checkout Extended," GPS World, June 2009, http://www.gpsworld.com/gnss-system/news/latest-gps-satellite-early-orbit-checkout-extended-7108.

 

KEYWORDS: Satellite on-orbit checkout, satellite automation, satellite autonomy, satellite payload calibration

 

 

 

AF121-090                         TITLE: Modeling of Synergistic Effects for Cooperative Strike

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Improve assessment methodology to consider multiple weapon effects on a diverse or sparse set of targets. Requires new assessment & visual analytics to address synergistic effects, collateral damage, cumulative damage & multiple engagement tactics.

 

DESCRIPTION: Current weaponeering and engineering-level effectiveness methodologies treat weapon target encounters as singular or area events. The targets are single entities (elements) with fixed properties or uniform distributions of fixed elements. Once the encounter is complete, the damage is tabulated and a Pk is assigned.

 

In many current weapon engagement scenarios or "vignettes" of interest, targets are distributed in the scene and can have changing properties or mitigation. They may be attacked by a single weapon, multiple weapons simultaneously, or with an array of weapons distributed in time and space. We call these cooperative strike vignettes. To produce a weaponeering solution or independent assessment of a vignette or engagement scenario of this nature, requires novel modeling approaches. Currently many of these vignettes are created using the sum of multiple 1-v-1 encounters. This approach is not very efficient or analytically inaccurate for mission planning.

 

If the same target is attacked again, it is modeled in pristine condition because the current tools do not save details about the state of the target once the encounter is complete. There is no accredited modeling approach with the means to attack a damaged target and determine the additional damage caused by the second attack. With the desire to employ smaller precision munitions, more targets may require attacks using multiple munitions to achieve the desired level of damage. Likewise, in most encounters, the assessment is only made against the single target, without simultaneously considering potential damage to neighboring elements or people (collateral damage) from multiple weapon engagements.

 

In order to be useful to the analyst or warfighter, the methodologies will need to be computed quickly. Most engineering level models may produce an output in a matter of minutes or hours. Answers in a warfighter (weaponeering) tool are expected in seconds. A capable progression for the modeling tools from an engineering level simulation to weaponeering level calculations will be desired. The new analytical product will need to consider multiple targets, multiple weapons, multiple attacks, with temporal (delays) and spatial (relocation) variations occurring during and between the individual attacks.

 

PHASE I: Leverage state-of-the-art M&S: digital simulation, animation, and advanced design-of-experiments methodologies to provide visual analytics with sound statistical modeling to assess multiple small munition engagement from potentially multiple platforms in a complex target scene or vignette.

 

PHASE II: Devise a means to determine and test the accuracy of these new methodologies. Adapt or integrate methodologies into accredited weaponeering or analytically accredited effectiveness models.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Improved weaponeering tools for the warfighter. Improved tools for the engineering community to compare and contrast weapon concepts and tactics.

Commercial Application: Potential applications for visualization techniques, statistical applications, accident investigations, and failure analysis.

 

REFERENCES:

1. www.ajem.com

 

2. http://www.ara.com/Projects/p_MEVA.htm

 

KEYWORDS: Combined effects, distributed attack, lethality, vulnerability, modeling & simulation, weapon assessment, vignette analysis, cooperative attack, irregular warfare, collateral damage, mitigation

 

 

 

AF121-091                         TITLE: Miniature High-Altitude Precision Navigation Alternative

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Demonstrate a precision navigation system suitable for high altitude, high-speed applications without the aid of GPS.  System performance should approximate currently available strategic navigation systems for munitions.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Precision navigation without the use of GPS has received more attention from the warfighting community recently. The ability to maintain precision navigation without GPS is challenging. Current IMUs alone have too much drift to maintain necessary precision, unless aided by additional sensors or signals. For high altitude, EO/IR tracking of ground features becomes untenable when there is cloud cover. Other methods, or combination of methods, are required to achieve the necessary navigation precision for high-altitude, high-speed weapons in all-weather scenarios.

 

The Phase I effort should propose an innovative navigation system that meets the environmental and operational conditions below, with near-GPS precision without using GPS. The system is not limited to a single sensor. A combination of sensors and IMU devices is acceptable, as long as the software that filters/merges all information is included. Any components of the proposed solution that are not commercially available must be designed by the offerer as part of the SBIR effort. For Phase I, the new designs may be simulated for the purpose of demonstrating feasibility to meet the requirements, but for Phase II, the designs need to be developed into prototypes.

 

Vehicle operating environment:

1) weapon will be launched from an air vehicle;

2) no GPS is available during flight;

3) high altitude (up to 70,000 feet);

4) high speed (transonic through high supersonic);

5) all-weather

 

Navigation system requirements:

1) navigation system should weigh less than 20 pounds, but show a clear path to further miniaturization;

2) passive sensors are preferred, but sometimes-on active sensors may also be needed

 

The proposal needs to consider position initialization schemes. Initialization may be accomplished by information handoff from launch aircraft or from another source, early absolute position fix by the weapon itself, or a combination. For handoff, assume before launch that a quality aircraft navigation solution has been provided.

 

PHASE I:  Develop models, code, and simulations to adequately demonstrate that proposed navigation solution meets the requirements. Compare the proposed concept to available GPS accuracies.

 

PHASE II:  Build and demonstrate prototype hardware and software. Demonstration with surrogates, simulations, and scaled environment may be acceptable, provided analysis is presented that justifies testing assumptions. Deliverables include hardware and software prototypes, demonstration report and simulations used, comparison of prototype results to Phase I concept simulation and to GPS solution.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  As a GPS backup to any autonomous USAF air vehicle (weapon or UAV). Could also be a GPS backup to manned military aircraft.

Commercial Application:  Potential application to a commercial supersonic passenger or cargo aircraft, or NASA air vehicle.

 

REFERENCES:

1. "United States Air Force Chief Scientist (AF/ST) Report on Technology Horizons: A Vision for Air Force Science & Technology During 2010-2030", Volume 1, AF/ST-TR-10-01-PR, 15 May 2010.

 

2. M. Jun, "State Estimation for Autonomous Helicopter via Sensor Modeling," Journal of the Institute of Navigation, vol. 56, no. 2, 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: navigation, non-GPS navigation, alternate navigation, IMU, passive sensors, all-weather navigation sensors

 

 

 

AF121-092                         TITLE: High-Speed Weapon Radomes

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Research innovative technologies for high speed weapon seekers to enhance survivability of radomes/windows while preserving sensing performance.

 

DESCRIPTION: A new class of weapons which travel in the Mach 3-6 speed regime require new and advanced seeker technologies for precision terminal guidance. Traditional RF/IR seeker sensor approaches may experience severely degraded performance by environmental factors due to weapon speed and terminal trajectories through the atmosphere. Aero thermal effects, boundary layers, rapid accelerations, vibrations, and flight envelopes all push bandwidth, range, and survivability limitations of conventional seeker systems. Particularly problematic is the survivability and functionality of seeker sensor apertures due to exposure to large thermal gradients and boundary layers. Depending on seeker window/radome configuration, very high temperatures can be experienced by the seeker window. Expected temperatures for windows and radomes exposed to the airstream are up to 1250K. Current radome/window technologies and approaches are poorly equipped to handle these environments without further advancements. Therefore, direct or indirect approaches to survivable and durable windows/radomes while considering sensing performance in a high temperature and dynamic environment are needed.

 

Possible areas of study which directly address survivability and functionality through the environment are high temperature materials, multi-band/wide-band materials, more durable materials, active cooling concepts, and conformal phased array antennas. Indirect ways of protecting seeker apertures such as innovative mechanical shrouding for protection through mid-course and innovative optical layouts (i.e. multi-aperture) are of interest. With respect to functionality in the environment, techniques for imaging through boundary layers via mechanical designs or signal processing, and radar performance at high squint angles (as it is related to aperture design and placement) could also be considered.

 

Notionally, the weapons of interest will be air launched and both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions will be considered. For high speed engagements, the terminal phase starts at long ranges and has a very short timeline. Target phenomenology of interest is in the RF, MWIR, LWIR, multi-band RF/IR.

 

A portion of the results from a thermal analysis for a notional weapon can be requested by winning offerers. The thermal analysis utilized computational fluid dynamics simulations to assess stagnation point temperatures for common window/radome materials for different orientations in the flow field. Successful technologies developed under this SBIR could be utilized by seeker phenomenology experiments as early as FY13.

 

PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility of approach through analysis of proposed technology. Research should capitalize on modeling and simulation for proof of concept. Develop a plan for phase II research.

 

PHASE II: Develop prototype(s) based on Phase I findings and perform proof of concept experiments utilizing those prototypes.  Delivery of functional prototype(s) to government is desirable.  Leveraging wind tunnels or other national assets for thermal and environment experiments should be considered in Phase II execution where possible/relevant.  Where prototype development or testing is cost/schedule prohibitive, detailed modeling and corresponding experiments may be appropriate.  Models will be deliverable to the government.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: High speed weapon seekers for execution of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. High speed aircraft requiring electromagnetic apertures.

Commercial Application: Any application where sensing in hostile environments is necessary such as high temperature manufacturing, instrumentation for the physical sciences, and the commercial space market.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Lawson, S. M., Clark, R. L., Banish, M. R., Crouse, R. F., "Wave-Optic Model to Determine Image Quality Through Supersonic Boundary and Mixing Layers", Window and Dome Technologies and Materials II, SPIE Vol. 1488, 1991.

 

2. Klein, C. A., Gentilman, R. L., "Thermal Shock Resistance of Convectively Heated Infrared Windows and Domes", SPIE Vol. 3060, 1997.

 

3. Terry, D. H., Thomas, M. E., Linevsky, M. J., Prendergast, D. T., "Imaging Pyrometry of Laser-Heated Sapphire", Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, Vol. 20, #2, 1999.

 

4. Ziming, W., "The Calculating Models of Cooling IR Window and Window Background Radiation", Proceedings of SPIE Conference on Targets and Background: Characterization and Representation IV, SPIE, Vol. 3375, 1998.

 

KEYWORDS: Seeker, High Speed, Hypersonic, Guidance, Radome, Aero-optics, Boundary layer, High Temperature

 

 

 

AF121-095                         TITLE: Mobile Target Secondary Debris (MTSD)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop instrumentation and a methodology to quantify and assess secondary debris when a mobile target (or collateral concern) is affected by a conventional weapon explosive event.

 

DESCRIPTION:  With the concern over collateral damage caused by a conventional weapon explosive event, different types of damage mechanisms must be considered. One of these is secondary debris from the target or from nearby non-targets.  Secondary debris has been widely known to cause damage/injury to collateral concerns but the capability to predict it is lacking must be determined.

 

Mobile targets or nearby mobile non-targets (i.e. cars, armored personnel carriers, etc) produce projectiles of concern when they are damaged by the detonation of a conventional weapon.  There is a need to assess and quantify as a minimum the physics (shape, size, speed, and trajectory) of these debris projectiles originating from other than the weapon itself.  Then the damage potential of these projectiles needs to be assessed versus nearby collateral concerns.

 

A methodology and instrumentation must be developed to measure the characteristics listed above for the secondary debris from mobile targets.  This data must be collected accurately and economically from weapon tests and quickly reduced to be usable in models and weaponeering tools.

 

A model must be developed/modified to accept the test data.  Then it must be capable of using the data to provide potential effects caused by similar conventional weapons against similar mobile targets or nearby non-targets.  Then models must be developed/modified to account for these projectiles versus both targets and collateral concerns to support lethality, risk estimation, and collateral damage estimation. Any software developed must use good software engineering practices.

 

Finally an implementation plan must be developed to address how the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) Weaponeering System (JWS) tools must be updated or redesigned to take this information into account so that the warfighter effectively targets while accounting for these effects.

 

PHASE I:  The contractor will 1) define/quantify the parameters, 2) design/propose an instrumentation suite to collect the parameters, 3) develop a preliminary design for any model(s) to incorporate the data and effects/damage caused by secondary debris, 4) develop an implementation plan, and 5) deliver a final report.

 

PHASE II:  The contractor will 1) build and test the proposed instrumentation suite, 2) collect enough data to validate the equipment and support model development, 3) After data collection, any issues identified in the instrumentation suite will be corrected, 4) implement model(s) design(s) developed in Phase I, 5) update the implementation plan, 6) compare the collected data to the output from the model(s), and 7) deliver a final report.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The contractor will 1) deliver an instrumentation suite which will collect parameters defined in Phase I/II, 2) implement changes identified by the comparison from Phase II, 3) deliver a final implementation plan, and 4) deliver a final report.

Commercial Application:  Commercialization potential exists through the use of these predictive capabilities in the designing of vehicles and buildings resistant to secondary debris from car bombings, IEDs, etc.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  M. M. Swisdak, Jr., J. W. Tatom, and C. A. Hoing, “Procedures for the Collection, Analysis and Interpretation of Explosion-Produced Debris – Revision 1,” Final Report, 22-10-2007.

 

2.  X. Ma, Q. Zou, D. Z. Zhang, W. B. VanderHeyden, G. W. Wathugala, and T. K. Hassleman, “Application of an MPM-MFM Method for Simulating Weapon-Target Interaction,” LA-UR-05-5380, 12th International Symposium on Interaction of the Effects of Munitions with Structures, September 13-16, 2005, New Orleans, LA.

 

KEYWORDS: secondary debris, JWS, test instrumentation, lethality, risk estimation, collateral damage, mobile targets, projectiles

 

 

 

AF121-096                         TITLE: Next Generation Static Warhead Testing (NG-SWaT)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Design and develop innovative instrumentation, diagnostic techniques, and methodologies to quantify and assess synergistic blast and/or fragment effects resulting from the static detonation of conventional weapons.

 

DESCRIPTION:  With the concern over collateral damage by a conventional weapon explosive event, improved characterization of the explosive event is required.  A better understanding of the damage mechanisms and weapon effects is critical and requires robust methods and accurate techniques. While techniques exist to collect gas pressure, that is not the only damage mechanism. Missing data collection capabilities include: 1) combination of blast and fragments resulting from detonation of most conventional weapons, 2) unique damage mechanisms such as reactive fragments, thermobaric explosives, and MBX type explosives 3) measuring fragment propagation in obscured environments (i.e. within or just outside the fireball associated with the detonation of the weapon), 4) measuring the velocity, weight, volume, and trajectories of free flying fragments without "soft catching" them (i.e. correlating specific velocity with a given fragment without loosing any fragment characteristics currently collected), and 5) measuring the time rate of change (via optical, electromagnetic, or other methods) of temperature, chemical composition, and physical state of warhead detonation products.

 

Models must be developed/modified to be able to use this data to estimate the same parameters for other similar weapons.  The models must also be capable of estimating damage caused by the parameters collected against humans, fixed, and mobile targets to support lethality estimates, risk estimates, and collateral damage estimates.  Any software development will be done using good software development processes.

 

Finally an implementation plan must be developed to address how the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) Joint Weaponeering System (JWS) tools must be updated or redesigned to account for this information so that the warfighter effectively targets while accounting for these effects.

 

PHASE I:  The contractor will 1) define/quantify parameters to be collected, 2) design/propose instrumentation suite to collect the parameters, 3) a preliminary design for any model(s) to be created/modified to incorporate the data/effects of these parameters versus humans/fixed/mobile targets, 4) develop implementation plan, and 5) deliver final report.

 

PHASE II:  The contractor will 1) build/test the proposed data collection instrumentation suite/methodologies, 2) collect enough data to validate the equipment/support model development, 3) after data collection, any issues identified in the instrumentation suite will be corrected, 4) develop software model(s) from the preliminary design, 5) update implementation plan, 6) compare data collected to output from software model(s), and 7) deliver final report.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The contractor will 1) deliver instrumentation suite, 2) implement any changes to the software model(s) indicated by data comparison in Phase II, 3) deliver final implementation plan, and 4) deliver final report.

Commercial Application:  Commercialization potential exists in any industry that uses explosives including demolition, mining, tunneling, drilling, gas production through fracturing, and road construction.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Britt, J. R. and Ohrt, A. P., "The Design and Development of the AFRL Instrumented Blastpad and Analysis of Initial Test Programs," AFRL-MN-EG-TR-2004-7123, Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB FL, December 2004.

 

2.  D. Flynn, J. Wharton, and J. Dunnet, “Application of Integrated Trials Techniques for Blast Analysis of PBX Materials,” 2006 Insensitive Munitions and Energetic Materials Technology Symposium (Abstract # 3339).

 

3.  R. Ames and M. Murphy, “Diagnostic Techniques for Multiphase Blast Fields,” 24th International Symposium on Ballistics, 22-26 Sep 2008.

 

4.  P. S. Bulson, “Explosive Loading of Engineering Structures,” Taylor & Francis 1997.

 

5.  J. G. Anderson, G. Katselis, and C. Caputo, “Analysis of a Generic Warhead Part I: Experimental and Computational Assessment of Free Field Overpressure,” DSTO-TR-1313, July 2002.

 

KEYWORDS: Air Delivered Weapons, Conventional Weapon Effects, Collateral Damage, Blast, Fragments, Synergistic Effects, Test Instrumentation, Diagnostics, Fuel Air Explosives, Thermobarics

 

 

 

AF121-097                         TITLE: Weapon Burial Secondary Debris (WBSD)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop methodology to quantify and assess additional damage or potential collateral effects from secondary debris when a conventional weapon detonation is partially or completely buried.

 

DESCRIPTION:  With the concern over collateral damage caused by a conventional weapon detonation, different types of damage mechanisms must be considered. One of these is secondary debris from ejecta when a conventional weapon is partially or completely buried.  Secondary debris has the potential to cause damage/injury to collateral concerns that must be determined and minimized for all soil types. Additionally, if the weapon detonates underground next to a buried wall or structure or under a slab like a floor, sidewalk or runway; failure of that structure could result in additional damage or undesirable collateral effects.  Current analytic and weaponeering tools are unable to estimate these types of damage or undesirable side effects.

 

Buried or partially buried conventional weapons produce projectiles of concern from the earth itself, structures penetrated by the weapon (i.e. roadways, sidewalk, etc), and buried nearby structures (i. e. basements, bunkers).  In addition, partially buried weapons also have fragmentation and blast characteristics that can create damage.  There is a need to assess and quantify the quantity, shape, size, speed, and trajectory of possible projectiles resulting from a partially or completely buried detonation.  With that data in hand, analysts can begin to estimate the potential for additional or collateral damage resulting from the detonation.

 

A methodology and instrumentation must be developed/defined to measure characteristics listed above (as a minimum) for secondary debris from weapon complete or partial burial. A means must be developed to quickly and accurately take this data and estimate the characteristics listed above for the secondary debris from weapon burial. The models must be developed/modified to account for these projectiles versus both targets and collateral concerns to support lethality, risk estimation, and collateral damage estimation.There may already be finite element tools available that can accurately predict and characterize the crater and wall debris, but these analytic tools run too slowly to be useful for the warfighter and most analysts; models simulating these detonations need to complete in a matter of seconds to a minute or two at most. To validate the accuracy of the new tools, debris data must be accurately and economically collected from live weapon tests and quickly reduced to be usable in models and weaponeering tools. Any software development will be written using good software development processes.

 

Finally, an implementation plan must be developed to address how the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) Weaponeering System (JWS) tools must be updated or redesigned to take this information into account so that the warfighter effectively targets while accounting for these effects.

 

PHASE I:  The contractor will 1) define/quantify parameters to be collected, 2) design/propose collection instrumentation, 3) perform a preliminary design for all modeling efforts to estimate these parameters and the damage the secondary debris will do to targets and non-targets, 4) develop an implementation plan, and 5) deliver a final report.

 

PHASE II:  The contractor will 1) build instrumentation suite, 2) generate software model(s) from the Phase I preliminary design, 3) update the implementation plan from Phase I, 4) collect sufficient data to validate the hardware/support software development, 5) compare the data collected to results from the software model(s), 5) after data collection, any modifications needed to the instrumentation suite will be corrected, and 6) deliver a final report.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The contractor will 1) make modifications required from the results of Phase II for software and hardware, 2) deliver an instrumentation suite, 3) deliver the software model(s), 4) deliver a final implementation plan, and 5) deliver a final report.

Commercial Application:  Commercialization potential exists for any application of buried explosives.  An example would be hazard predictions for blasting to clear a path for roadways and railways.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  M. M. Swisdak, Jr., J. W. Tatom, and C. A. Hoing, “Procedures for the Collection, Analysis and Interpretation of Explosion-Produced Debris – Revision 1,” Final Report, 22-10-2007.

 

2.  X. Ma, Q. Zou, D. Z. Zhang, W. B. VanderHeyden, G. W. Wathugala, and T. K. Hassleman, “Application of an MPM-MFM Method for Simulating Weapon-Target Interaction,” LA-UR-05-5380, 12th International Symposium on Interaction of the Effects of Munitions with Structures, September 13-16, 2005, New Orleans, LA.

 

KEYWORDS: secondary debris, JWS, test instrumentation, lethality, risk estimation, collateral damage, bomb burial, buried explosives

 

 

 

AF121-098                         TITLE: Guided Munition Delivery Accuracy Methodology for Weaponeering Against

Moving Targets (GuMDAM-AMT)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop software to enhance weaponeering assessments for guided munition attacks against moving targets.

 

DESCRIPTION:  The US military employs the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) Weaponeering System (JWS) software to conduct weaponeering assessments for guided munition attacks against moving targets.  Current methodologies for generating and assessing delivery accuracy within JWS are limited in that the software is capable of only pairing a single munition against multiple moving targets and then assessing the best results i.e. weapon-to-target pair.  Ideally, a more effective methodology would pair all guided weapons of interest against all targets of interest, assess performance for all combinations, and statistically determine the best munition to attack a given moving target.  There is a need to research and develop a methodology to assess multiple guided munitions against moving targets.

 

There are multiple delivery accuracy parameters associated with assessing a guided weapon against a moving target, therefore, there is a need to research, characterize, and quantify these parameters which will then be incorporated into the new methodology.  Additionally, research would be necessary to define, characterize and classify a moving target dataset. Key parameters to consider but not limited to would be target mobility, target maneuverability, and Target Location Error (TLE), for all environmental conditions.

 

Due to the expansive and dynamic nature of the simulation world inside the Air Force, the expected employment strategy envisions software that is not tightly coupled with a specific simulation.  It should be flexible so that models developed for one simulation architecture will be usable in another with minimal effort.

 

As a baseline, the JWS model may then be used to compare the effectiveness of various combinations of guided munition vs. moving target interactions.  The resulting  research and methodology will provide adequate information to determine the best Standard Conventional Loads (SCL) for the XCAS/XINT (On-call airborne Close Air Support/INTerdiction) arena for moving targets.

 

Finally, the resulting software module must incorporate a user interface that accommodates the non-expert without hampering the productivity of the dedicated expert.  The non-expert should be able to create or adapt models to a specific simulation or scenario without in depth knowledge of the system.  However, the frequent user should be able to create new weapon sets quickly and efficiently.

 

PHASE I:  Research and define target sets, develop methodology and parameter requirements, construct roadmap and schedule for the development of the new methodology and data collection toolset.  A final report will be delivered detailing the research results.

 

PHASE II:  The contractor shall identify the affected modules in JWS.  Using the approach from Phase I, they shall develop the methodology and determine all parameter data required for those modules.  The contractor shall develop additional modules as required.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Expand software to produce a weaponeering tool for assessing and optimizing guided munition and moving target pairing.  A final report and briefing will be delivered.

Commercial Application:  Demonstrate non-military uses of the resulting software in fields such as Homeland Security and border safety.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  AAC/ENO, “Delivery Accuracy Working Group Roadmap for Modeling and Developing Delivery Accuracy Parameters For Munitions Attacking Moving Targets”, 6 Aug 2009

 

2.  JWS 2.0.1.

 

KEYWORDS: Delivery accuracy, weaponeering ,sensors, maneuverability, mobility, moving target ,JTCG/ME, JWS

 

 

 

AF121-102                         TITLE: Detection of Hostile Fire from the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a lightweight RPA Wide Field of View (WFOV) sensor system to detect, classify, direction of discharge and geolocate weapons fire, with sufficient accuracy and timeliness to support both direct and indirect engagement.

 

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force has the mission to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) from RPAs. The challenge is to meet a large area of ground coverage in support of persistent Wide Field of View (WFOV) imaging motion detection sensor systems. WFOV imaging motion detection sensors are typically low frame rate (2-30 Frames/s) compared to a fire detection system (1000-1500 frames/s) and may miss weapon fire events. The goal of this effort is to provide an event (enemy and friendly weapons fire) detection system that can provide real-time notification that can be overlaid on WFOV motion imagery by sensor operators. Data to be provided to sensor operators is to include weapons class (i.e., rifle, mortar, RPG, and shoulder fire missile weapons), direction of fire, location/geocoordinates of fire or general explosive events, and high-heat events such as camp fires and building fires. This sensor must be designed such that it can detect from a minimum altitude of 25,000 feet under live fire captive carry test conditions on a benign battlefield.

 

Basic sensing technologies and signal processing subsystems must have reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) for a hostile fire detection sensor on a current or near-term RPA platform to perform this mission. RPAs are becoming the primary platform for persistent battlefield surveillance.  The requirement for extended time on station determines to a great extent the available weight allocation for any hostile fire sensor system. Future RPA hostile fire sensor systems will take the form of Line Replaceable Units for legacy sensor payloads currently in use on the RPA fleet; therefore, the SWaP consumption of hostile fire sensor systems must emulate that of previous generation sensor systems without hostile fire sensing capabilities.

 

The hostile fire sensor system must demonstrate the capability to operate with both low false alarm rates and relatively high probability of detection under operational conditions. The additional capability to perform threat geolocation in support of not only direct attack, but indirect attack, necessitate a close coupling between the sensor system and some form of inertial measurement capability either integral to the sensor or available as part of the mission flight package for the aerial platform. The feasibility of meeting various sensor performance metrics using trade-space analysis must be performed using sensor component characteristics and available field measurements of weapon signatures.

 

The determination of military utility of a hostile fire sensor will be heavily dependent on its capacity to distinguish between friendly and hostile fire in order to avoid fratricide. There are different levels of fidelity currently defined for hostile fire sensor systems; most systems currently differentiate among weapon classes, but lack a significant capability to confidently declare a weapon type within a class.

 

Modeling and analysis is required to show the efficacy of the approach for different classes of threat systems. The prototype design is expected to be heavier and less capable than an operational sensor, but the design should address SWaP traceability between the captive carry prototype and an ultimate operational configuration for the hostile fire sensor. A Phase I/Phase II activity involving high fidelity scene generation, hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HWIL), operational tower and flight testing is desired. The objective is to demonstrate the technology can provide greater than 99 percent false alarm rejection rate and greater than 95 percent detection rate for urban and battlefield small arms and large arms settings. The hostile fire sensor system should be self contained, with the exception of external power, to operate and collect performance data for both ground and air live fire demonstrations.

 

PHASE I: Design, model, and analyze components for a WFOV hostile fire sensor system for detection of different classes of threat systems. Laboratory demonstration of the critical technology components is desired.

 

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype hostile fire RPA sensor system to support a WFOV live fire evaluation under benign battlefield conditions.  Using methods which may include hardware in the loop, tower, and/or flight testing, demonstrate the technology provides greater than 99 percent false alarm rejection rate and greater than 95 percent detection rate for urban and battlefield small arms and large arms settings.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: This technology could support Army, Marines and Air Force airborne WFOV Motion Imagery Systems to include Constant Hawk, Gorgon Stare, Angel Fire, Night Stare, and Wide Area Airborne Surveillance systems.

Commercial Application: This capability can also have direct capability for use on police and emergency response aircraft. The sensor can provide geopostional data for high-heat source fires, and urban gun battles.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Signal-to-Solar Clutter Calculations of AK-47 Muzzle Flash at Various Spectral

Bandpass Near the Potassium D1/D2 Doublet by Karl K. Klett, Jr. ARL-RP-0292 June 2010. A reprint from SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 7697.

 

2. Michael V. Scanlon and William D. Ludwig, Sensor and information fusion for improved hostile fire situational awareness, Proc. SPIE 7693 Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications XII, Monday 5 April 2010, Orlando, Florida, USA.

 

3. L. Zhang; F. P. Pantuso; G. Jin; A. Mazurenko; M. Erdtmann; S. Radhakrishnan; J. Salerno High-speed uncooled MWIR hostile fire indication sensor, SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8012 Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVII, Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editors, 801219, 20 May 2011.

 

4. S. A. Moroz et.al, Airborne Deployment of and Recent Improvements to the Viper Counter Sniper System, www.urf.com/madl/papers/Psc06ce3.pdf.

 

5. S. Snarski, et. al., Autonomous UAV-Based Mapping of Large-Scale Urban Firefights, SPIE Defense and Security Symposium Proceedings Vol. 6209, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications III, Orlando, FL, 5 May 2006.

 

KEYWORDS: sensors, hostile fire detection, Remotely Piloted Aircraft, RPA, Muzzle Flashes, detection and location, InfraRed, IR, Sniper location

 

 

 

AF121-103                         TITLE: Remotely Operated Sensor, Beacon, and Navigation Aid for Deep Battlespace

(Remote Sensing)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Research the feasibility of developing an expendable, precision deployable, remotely-operated sensor to detect meteorological conditions, vehicle/personnel mobility, and CBRN threats in denied territory.

 

DESCRIPTION: AFSOC dismounted operators need to clandestinely gather information/intelligence in denied territory to facilitate enroute mission planning, rehearsal, execution, and post mission debriefing. Operators lack modern sensors that can be inserted into denied territory with minimal human risk and be remotely operated to gather/transmit information back to mission planners or operators enroute to the objective. Sensors must be able to pass ground-oriented real-time information (i.e., meteorological data; chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear [CBRN] threat; and freeze frame imagery) to collection platforms for immediate use. Many unattended ground sensor efforts have been recently conducted but most are too large and heavy for precision deployment from a small UAS platform.

 

As the operating environment hostility and inaccessibility increases, accomplishing the task of precision placement and removal of sensors, beacons, and navigational aids becomes more difficult; therefore, this SBIR should leverage small unmanned aerial systems for device placement. Previous generation sensors were air dropped, but without precision emplacement. Newer sensors have been parachute dropped, but precision emplacement is lacking. What is needed is precise location emplacement of sensors to within 3 meters of a specific monitoring point. The device also should be camouflaged, expendable, and have a minimal operating “signature” to avoid detection by adversaries. Methodologies within the current defense communication infrastructure for autonomous or polled electronic exfiltration of data and/or remote physical exfiltration of data should be addressed in this design concept. The device should have capabilities for signaling with EO/IR/RF precision location for use in GPS degraded environments.

 

Communication protocols consistent with Air Force Special Operations Network formats must be included, i.e., multicast UDP/uni-cast TCP and interoperability with the QNT radios. The device should have low energy consumption and be capable of autonomous operation and remote configuration for at least four weeks, but preferably longer, in various operating environments, e.g., high elevation, high heat and humidity, freezing temperatures, rain, etc.

 

PHASE I: In Phase I, the contractor will address system and sensor level concepts along with validating concepts for data storage and infiltration. Methods of carriage, ejection, safe landing, and auto-righting will be shown by analysis and demonstration. Power requirements and methods will be addressed for up to 4 weeks or longer operation.

 

PHASE II: The contractor will develop and test prototype sensors with self location and heading data, imagery, acoustic, weather, CBRNE and other data. Successful laboratory and field demonstration will be conducted showing precision emplacement of the sensor probe as launched from small and large UAS platforms. Data and physical exfiltration methods developed will also be demonstrated along with signature management and camouflage techniques.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: A wide variety of missions in remote and/or denied areas, performed not only by Air Force special operations forces, but also by other services. Potential applications exist in homeland defense monitoring.

Commercial Application: Particular utility in search and rescue missions in remote areas; border patrol; and counter-drug operations. Natural disaster (nuclear/chemical) monitoring in denied areas.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Correll, J.T., “Igloo White”, http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2004/November%202004/1104igloo.aspx, 2004.

 

2. AN/GSR-9/10 Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS), http://www.bctmod.army.mil/downloads/pdf/UGS_09-9075.pdf.

 

3. J. Heyer and L.C. Schuette, Tactical Electronic Warfare Division, Unattended Ground Sensor Network, http://www.nrl.navy.mil/research/nrl-review/2004/remote-sensing/heyer/.

 

4. U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet, IGLOO WHITE, http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=13048&page=2.

 

5. Damian Toohey, Development of a Small Parafoil Vehicle for Precision Delivery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Thesis, http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/32457/61751396.pdf?sequence=1.

 

KEYWORDS: Unattended Ground Sensors, Beacon, Precision Air-Dropped, Sensors, Air Delivered Seismic Intrusion Detector, Acoustic and Seismic Intrusion Detector

 

 

 

AF121-104                         TITLE: Feature Representations for Enhanced Multi-Agent Navigation Strategies

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Sensors, Electronics

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Design, implement, and test novel feature representations in multi-agent autonomous mapping systems for enhanced navigation accuracy/reliability.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Current environmental mapping techniques provide reasonable quality for navigating in traditional battlespace scenarios. However, given the increasing frequency of today’s military operations being conducted in asymmetric hostile environments, the need for more robust mapping methods has become apparent. Techniques capable of obtaining maps with enough fidelity as to aid current navigation methods, without reliance on a priori information, will serve to broaden the operational envelope that currently exists. Future systems will almost surely be required to have the capability to negotiate complex scenarios that are characteristic of the modern battlefield.  A few of the more prominent characteristics include, but certainly not limited to, rapid environmental transitions (i.e., moving from indoors to outdoors), feature starved environments, densely cluttered environments, dynamic environments, and atypical feature shapes. The current explosion in multi-agent systems research has demonstrated the promise of such technology in addressing the mapping challenge. Multi-agent Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (MA-SLAM), in particular seems well suited for such a task. However, given that the available sensor suite will most likely be comprised of low-cost sensors, there will be some significant operating constraints that cannot be dismissed. Examples of the type of operating constraints mat include limited processing capabilities and constrained bandwidth requirements to name two.  One way to negotiate these operational constraints is through the use of novel compact feature representations.  Compact representation provide the benefit of requiring less bandwidth than full valued descriptions, and will require less memory for storage.  Needless to say, mapping and feature descriptions will play a vital role in the ability to operate anywhere at any time.  Multiagent systems, as defined here, are comprised of two or more sensor platforms capable of communicating and receiving environmental map data from other sensor platforms. The realized solution combining multiple agents, with innovative SLAM feature representation techniques will provide attractive capabilities in both military and civilian applications.  Although the physical operating parameters of any prototype design such as, size, weight, and power requirements are of interest, they should not be the primary focus.  Clearly, the smaller and more efficient any prototypes design is, the more attractive it may become.  However, the technical thrust, and hence the primary source of innovation should reside in the compact feature representation and map sharing methodologies.  NOTE: Any proposals submitted must be unclassified.

 

PHASE I:  Investigate the number of agents needed and what map information they need to share. Explore feature representations and communications bandwidth requirements. Simulate the algorithms as a proof of concept. Develop a prototype plan and test plan.

 

PHASE II:  Design the system architecture and build the required number of prototype agents.  Procure the required hardware to test the agents. Demonstrate the capabilities of the agents in a realistic scenario e.g., in an indoor environment. The required number and type of sensors/agents should be a result of the research conducted in Phase I.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Potential applications include counter IED, CSAR, and alternative navigation, particularly in asymmetric environments.

Commercial Application:  Potential applications include search and rescue, mapping, mining, robotics, in addition to applications mentioned for the military.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Adluru,N.; Latecki, L.J.; Sobel, M.; Lakaemper, R. “Merging Maps of Multiple Robots”. IEEE International Conference on Pattern Recognition, 1–4. Tampa, FL, 8-11 December 2008.

 

2.  Agostino Martinelli, Viet Nguyen, Nicola Tomatis, Roland Siegwart. “A relative map approach to SLAM based on shift and rotation invariants”. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 55:50–61, June 2007.

 

3.  Francois Chanier, Paul Checchin, Christophe Blanc and Laurent Trassoudaine. “Map fusion based on a multi-map SLAM framework”. IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems, 533–539. Seoul, Korea, August 2008.

 

4.  Jennings, J.; Kirkwood-Watts, C.; Tanis, C. “Distributed Map-Making and Navigation in Dynamic Environments”. IEEE International Conference on Robots and Systems, volume 3, 1695–1701. Victoria, BC, Canada, 13-17 October 1998.

 

5.  Joseph Djugash, Sanjiv Singh, and Benjamin Grocholsky. “Decentralized Mapping of Robot-Aided Sensor Networks”. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 583–589. Pasadena, CA, 19-23 May 2008.

 

KEYWORDS: Multi-Agent Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (MA-SLAM), Cooperative Localization and Mapping (CLAM), Multi-Robot Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (MR-SLAM), feature descriptors, map management, submap joining, Cooperative Navigation (CN)

 

 

 

AF121-105                         TITLE: Infrared Panoramic Projection for Wide Field of Sensor Testing

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a panoramic scene projector based on emissive infrared panels for multi-aperture sensor testing.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Multi-aperture wide-field-of-view sensors enable high situational awareness, agile autonomous operation in complex environments, and ego-motion estimation based on visual sensing of the relative motion of the surrounding inertial environment. Infrared sensing offers the additional advantage of nighttime operation and operation in dark obscured environments. Testing this class of sensor requires representation of the dynamic in-band environment around the vehicle over the sensors full field of regard. While visible dome projectors currently exist, infrared equivalents do not. In addition, dome projectors based on reflective dome surfaces and conventional LCD or DMD projection technology suffer from poor contrast due to the self illumination of the dome surface. In addition, projector timing artifacts, which may be unobservable by the human eye, may be unnacceptable for many sensor configurations. Flexible programmible LED panels exist in rectangular formats in the visible having a sparse resolution of approximately 1 cm. The waveband is incompatible with infrared test requirements, the resolution is inadequate, and the rectangular format is not compatible with building a spherical surface. Technology is required to build flexible emissive panels that can be digitally driven to display dynamic infrared scene content in a shape format that is compatible with constructing a panoramic test environment. The objective is to have calibrated output independent of the sensor attitude. Absorptive surface characteristics are desired to minimize reflection from other panels. While the current experience is with spherical environments, concepts based on cubic or alternative shapes are also of interest if advantage can be demonstrated by reducing cost and operational complexity, and the hurdles associated with spatial mapping and source uniformity can be overcome.

 

PHASE I:  Investigate concepts for application of emissive infrared technology for panoramic scene projection. Perform detailed prototype design for concept demonstration and concept definition for full panoramic projector implementation.

 

PHASE II:  Implement, integrate and demonstrate hardware and software solution(s) developed in Phase I. Execute an experimental program using the prototype hardware to demonstrate performance capabilities and limitations. Document the design concept and prototype experimental results. Design and document a final concept based on lessons learned during the Phase II activity.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Hardware-in-the-loop testing of future generation weapons using wide field of view sensors for situational awareness, obstruction avoidance and ego-motion estimations. Testing of night vision equipment.

Commercial Application:  Concept development and testing of robotic systems designed for night time operation that employ wide field-of-view or multi-aperture sensors. Testing of emergency response and law enforcement night vision equipment.

 

REFERENCES:

1. C. Ewing, "The Advanced Guided Weapon Testbed (AGWT) at the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate," AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference,12 Aug 2009, AIAA-2009-6129.

 

2. Joseph Giuliani, Daniel Hershey, David McKeown, Jr., Carla Willis and Tan Van, "Generation of large scale urban environments to support advanced sensor and seeker simulation", Proc. SPIE 7348, 734805 (2009); doi:10.1117/12.820254.

 

3. http://www.immersivedisplayinc.com/Gallery.html, example of visible panoramic display technology.

 

4. http://www.digiled.com/digiFLEX/, example of visible flexible LED panel technology.

 

KEYWORDS: Infrared, Projector, hardware-in-the-loop, dome, emissive, LED, panel, night-vision

 

 

 

AF121-106                         TITLE: Autonomous Situational Awareness for Munitions

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop enabling technologies for compact multi-functional ordnance that can adapt its lethal mechanisms on-the-fly to a diverse target set and diverse engagement scenarios.

 

DESCRIPTION: Future munitions must be precise, small, efficient, smart, and mission flexible. Their situational awareness in the terminal phase should be able to adapt to the target type, engagement, scenario, or mission constraints. For example, the terminal sense may want to command the ordnance to adjust its output from a high impulse blast for structures to a high temperature, low pressure blast for chem-bio targets, or change its fragmentation distribution from isotropic to directionally-biased to meet collateral damage constraints. This topic is emphasizing the munition sensors that are used for terminal burst point control. The Ordnance Division seeks cross-cutting technologies that advance rapid target detection, classification, and identification (potentially) by active on-board sensors that can determine range, range rate and target centroid for programming the required output. These munition sensors must function on platforms that may or may not have an active terminal seeker in the guidance loop.

 

Although not limited to this description, we are interested in the technologies that will enable high fidelity simulations of forward looking active imaging fuze sensor algorithms to be realized.  These algorithms will be hosted on advanced active imaging fuze sensors for the purpose of terminal burst point control and weapon mode decisions.

 

The main need is for synthetic scene modeling & simulation tools that support active imaging fuze sensors with multiple coherent receivers and whose production run time is fast enough at sub-millimeter wave frequencies to support iterative munition sensor design. Scene models should support both non-metallic terrain (concrete, asphalt, short grass, dirt, etc.) and metallic targets that have rough surface scattering and cavities.  The simulation environment should support a distributed architecture compatible with multiple independent processors while maintaining the phase information needed for multiple coherent receivers.  This simulation architecture should support development of innovative synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inverse synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), Joint Time-Frequency Analysis (JTFA), or other signal processing techniques that could be synergistically combined to actively image and classify a target of interest that is < 5 degrees off boresight of the weapon’s velocity vector.

 

PHASE I: The contractor will develop the concept(s) through modeling, simulation and analysis.  A small-scale demonstration or computer simulation to show proof-of-principle is highly desirable. Merit and feasibility must be clearly demonstrated during this phase.

 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and verify the concept technology using embedded algorithms or a high fidelity simulation environment. Deliverables consist of component demonstration hardware, experimental data, and high fidelity simulations.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Apply technology to terminal burst point control of ordnance suitable for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) and other low collateral damage scenarios. Enable technology for emerging directional ordnance concepts.

Commercial Application: Short-range, high-resolution, night/day sensors for Homeland Security operations and law enforcement operations.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Mehrdad Soumekh, “Synthetic Aperture Radar Signal Processing,” New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1999.

 

2. Donald R. Wehner, “High Resolution Radar,” 2nd Edition Boston: Artech House 1995.

 

3. Lazarov, A.; Minchev, C.; , "Spectral 2-D image reconstruction in ISAR with linear frequency modulated signals," Digital Avionics Systems, 2001. DASC. The 20th Conference , vol.1, no., pp.4E2/1-4E2/10 vol.1, 14-18 Oct 2001.

 

4. Seybold, J.S.; Bishop, S.J.; , "Three-dimensional ISAR imaging using a conventional high-range resolution radar," Radar Conference, 1996., Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE National , vol., no., pp.309-314, 13-16 May 1996.

 

5. Fawwaz T. Ulaby and M. Craig Dobson, “Radar Scattering Statistics for Terrain,” Artech House, 1989.

 

KEYWORDS: ordnance, selectable effects, active imaging, fuze sensor, radar scene generator, SAR, ISAR, JTFA, PEC target modeling

 

 

 

AF121-107                         TITLE: Kinetic Energy Control Technologies for Explosively-dispersed Fragments

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Weapons

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop enabling technologies for small, low-collateral-damage (LCD), fragmentation warheads with high lethality yet limited fragmentation footprints.

 

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force needs ordnance technologies for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT), closed controlled strike (CCS), and other missions with stringent low collateral damage (LCD) requirements. There are two possible approaches: (i) focused (i.e., directional) effects, or (ii) omnidirectional effects with reduced fragment fly-out. Each of these concepts is explained below.

 

(i)  Directional fragmentation gives both high efficiency and low collateral damage since all (or most) of the kinetic energy is focused on the intended target. Generation of directional fragmentation patterns is challenging and will require innovative and cutting edge technologies in detonation science and materials (e.g., wound graphite fiber and epoxy cases, multipoint initiation techniques, detonation wave shaping, etc.). The form fact is particularly problematic. Most small missile warheads are cylindrical, and these warheads project case wall fragments perpendicular to the missile axis, rather than parallel to the missile axis, toward the designated target.

 

(ii)  Alternatively, collateral damage may be minimized by limiting the effective range of the kinetic energy. This requires innovative materials and techniques to effectively change the fragment energy from lethal at close range to sub-lethal at intermediate range. This might be done aerodynamically (e.g., controlled deceleration via drag), mechanically (e.g., fragment breakup via shock mechanics), or chemically (e.g., reactive/consumable fragments).

 

This topic is predicated on pre-formed fragment warheads but it does not preclude natural fragmentation and fragmentation control techniques. Although this list is not meant to constrain other innovative concepts, technologies of interest include:

 

(a) Design and control of directional effects in pre-formed fragment warheads.

(b) Deconfliction of stacked forward-firing warheads in small-diameter geometries.

(c) Consumable fragments of reactive materials [Reference 2] that are highly lethal at short distances, but, through mass loss and/or velocity loss, have a greatly reduced lethal radius relative to inert fragments.

(d) Design and control of precision effects in rod warheads [Reference 1].

(e) The marriage of multiphase blast with pre-formed fragments, with the particulate phase including macro-particles up to micro-fragments.

 

PHASE I: The contractor will develop the system concept or sub-system component through modeling, analysis, and breadboard development. Small-scale testing to show proof-of-concept is highly desirable. Merit and feasibility must be clearly demonstrated during this phase.

 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate the component technology in a prototype based on the modeling, concept development, and success criteria developed in Phase I. Deliverables are a prototype demonstration, experimental data, a model baselined with experimental data, and substantiating analyses.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Ordnance suitable for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) and other low collateral damage scenarios.

Commercial Application: Homeland Security operations and law enforcement operations requiring low collateral damage.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Various authors, “Multifunctional Energetic Materials,” Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, Volume 896, 2006.

 

2. R. M. Lloyd, Conventional Warhead Systems Physics and Engineering Design, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, 179:79-192 (1998); ISBN 1-56347-255-4.

 

KEYWORDS: munition, ordnance, low collateral damage, warhead, explosive, energetic materials, reactive materials, fragment, fragmentation, multiphase blast

 

 

 

AF121-108                         TITLE: Direct Detection Ladar Pulse Processing

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Design and implement innovative HW and SW techniques to enhance the range accuracy, range resolution, measured intensity, and discrimination capability of linear mode direct detection ladar.

 

DESCRIPTION: Linear mode, direct detection, imaging ladar which captures both range and intensity information has broad applications in weapon seekers and ISR systems. There are many ladar system design trades that can be made to maximize dynamic range in intensity and increase range accuracy and resolution. Approaches which focus on improving detector sensitivity and optical performance tend to be material intensive, expensive, and only suitable for low volume production. Even applying commercially available detectors and optical components, receivers using traditional pulse capture techniques are often the limiting factor in both range and intensity performance. Techniques utilizing some combination of analog and digital receiver electronics to achieve dynamic range in intensity and centimeter class range resolution while using current lasers, detectors, and optical components is highly desired. In addition, the techniques must be implemented in an embedded computing environment in real-time. The primary application for this technology is weapon seekers, so data produced in a single or small number of measurements must be high quality. In other words, the ability to take multiple measurements at a single region to improve detection statistics over time is limited.

 

The direct detection ladar systems of interest utilize pulsed ladar systems operating at 10-35kHz, have 5-10ns pulse widths and have detector performance commensurate with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Si and InGaAs photodiodes. Application to both scanning and flash ladar systems should be considered.

 

Generally, multiple phenomenon exist which cause loss of scene information in ladar data. Techniques for accommodating or extracting scene information from saturated pulses, conditions of output power variability, and small target separation distance should be considered. The approach to accurately determine start pulse timing should also be understood. Techniques which are adaptable and modular (i.e. independent of optical response) would be highly desirable. Real time fusion of other data collected by low cost/tactical grade sensors to improve the ladar performance may also be considered.

 

PHASE I: Phase I effort should focus on proof of concept through simulation while taking advantage of simulated and representative ladar data for proof of concept. Design for implementation in hardware is essential (analog components and FPGAs). Final report should outline techniques used, design for implementation, and performance estimates.   The government will provide the representative data to the contractor upon award at the contractor’s request.

 

PHASE II: Phase II effort should implement HW and/or SW designed in Phase I into functional ladar system and result in delivery of HW and/or SW. Integration into AFRL/RW ladar assets is possible. Algorithms should be embedded in HW and run in real time for efficient data collection.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Use in seekers, ISR systems, fire control systems, & other machine vision systems with military utility. Pulse processing has also been shown to assist in ladar seeing through obscurants and occlusions.

Commercial Application: Applicable to a broad range of civilian machine vision problems such as in manufacturing, robotics, and transportation. Direct detection Lidar systems could also benefit from improvements in pulse processing techniques.

 

REFERENCES:

1. McMahon, Jason R., Richard K. Martin, and Stephen C. Cain. "Three Dimensional FLASH Laser Radar Range Estimation via Blind Deconvolution". J. Appl. Remote Sens., 4(043517), 2010.

 

2. Jordan, S.; , "Range estimation algorithms comparison in simulated 3-D flash LADAR data," Aerospace conference, 2009 IEEE , vol., no., pp.1-7, 7-14 March 2009.

 

3. Sundaramurthy, P.; Neifeld, M.A.; , "Super-resolved laser ranging using the Viterbi algorithm," Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, 2005. QELS ''05 , vol.3, no., pp. 2000- 2002 vol. 3, 22-27 May 2005.

 

KEYWORDS: Ladar, Receiver, Laser Pulse, Direct Detection, Range Estimation

 

 

 

AF121-111                         TITLE: Lightweight Electromagnetic (EM) Shielding Structural Materials

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Nuclear Technology

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Development and demonstration of lightweight high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) hardened composite materials.

 

DESCRIPTION: The US Air Force has several strategic nuclear weapon system modernization efforts in the developmental planning phase as well as periodic upgrades and modifications to existing legacy nuclear weapons systems. These systems will be required to survive and operate through a HEMP environment, which necessitates shielding of electronics from the resultant high-intensity fields with EM-protective materials. The radio frequency (RF) environment is defined by MIL-STD-464C and MIL-STD-2169B. Multilayer metallic shielding is typically employed, but can be heavy and subject to delamitation or separation of layers, especially with age or wear and tear caused by operations and maintenance.

 

A lightweight composite material is desired with EM properties suitable for shielding aircraft or missile electronics from the EM environment caused by a HEMP and ionizing radiation environment caused by nearby nuclear detonations. A solution is desired in which the EM shielding and ionizing radiation protection is incorporated directly into the composite matrix in order to avoid wear-and-tear and age-induced vulnerabilities caused by delamitation or layer separation. The technology must be able to readily replace traditional material systems without major redesign and exhibit weight advantages over standard metallic enclosures. Furthermore, it must be producible with existing composite manufacturing technologies and have comparable unit cost when in mass production.

 

The material should provide sufficient EM attenuation to produce internal field strengths 20 dB (threshold) /32 dB (objective) below the typical electronics immunity levels and ionizing radiation fluence below circuit upset levels.  These levels are defined by MIL-STD-464C and MIL-STD-2169B.

 

The appendix of MIL-STD-2169B is classified and only available to personnel with a Secret level clearance. Requirements for the Phase II are defined by MIL-STD-2169B and its appendix. Only contractors able to obtain a Secret level security clearance should submit proposals against this topic.

 

PHASE I: Establish feasibility and technical merit of proposed solution through modeling, design analysis, and laboratory experiments on coupon-level samples specifically focusing on performance against the MIL-STD 464 waveform. Assess any cost, performance, or manufacturability issues and recommend risk reduction activities to address them.

 

PHASE II: Manufacture and test a prototype enclosure/test article defined by the US Air Force sponsor to verify manufacturability and performance against the classified MIL-STD-2169B waveform. The hardened composite technology Technical Readiness Level (TRL) should be at 6 to 7 and the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) should be at 3 to 4 by the end of Phase II. Only contractors able to obtain a Secret level security clearance should apply.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Structurally incorporated lightweight EMP protection for next generation assets that will face hostile electromagnetic environments.

Commercial Application: Lightweight protection for avionic and communication systems on board commercial aircraft from personal electronic devices and stray radar energy.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Department of Defense Interface Standard, “Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Requirements for Systems,” MIL-STD-464C, Retrieved from http://www.everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD+(0300+-+0499)/MIL-STD-464C_28312/, 1 December 2010.

 

2. Department of Defense Military Standard, “High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) Protection for Ground-Based C4I Facilities Performing Critical, Time-Urgent Missions—Vol. 1: Fixed Facilities”, MIL-STD-188-125A, Retrieved from https://assist.daps.dla.mil/docimages/A/0000/0007/1249/000000014229_000000173722_YRNNPHFXPP.PDF?CFID=27815114&CFTOKEN=94644074&jsessionid=5c30fabe1b4251daae1a4d6e554a3e2a7722, 15 February 1994.

 

3. “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States From Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack—Critical National Infrastructures,” ISBN 978-0-16-080927-9, Retrieved from http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf, April 2008.

 

KEYWORDS: conductive composite, electromagnetic (EM) pulse, EM, electromagnetic interference (EMI) enclosure, EMI, hardening, high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP), HEMP, radio frequency (RF) shielding, RF

 

 

 

AF121-112                         TITLE: Near-Surface Residual Stress Measurements for Aerospace Structures

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop robust methods to measure near-surface residual stresses in complex aerospace structural components.

 

DESCRIPTION: Current design methods for aerospace structure often do not permit the explicit introduction of either bulk or localized residual stresses. Tensile residual stresses are one of many design uncertainties that are accounted for either through the use of conservative material property data or elevated margin of safety requirements. Modern, advanced design methods (e.g., finite-element analysis coupled with fatigue crack initiation and fatigue crack growth analysis) do enable lightweight, sophisticated designs with reduced safety margins; however, the uncertainty associated with residual stress limits the designer’s ability to fully optimize such structures (i.e., residual stress is often treated as a known unknown). Turbine engine and airframe manufacturers are aware of the potentially significant benefits that can arise from explicit accounting for residual stresses (namely, weight reduction in residual stress-free areas and enhanced structural integrity in tensile residual stress areas) and have begun to identify approaches for including residual stress effects in design.

 

To understand and predict the effects of residual stress on fatigue durability or crack initiation (as contrasted with damage tolerance or long crack growth) accurate and reliable residual stress data are required in the near-surface region over depths of roughly 0.025 to 1.25 mm (0.001 to 0.050 inch). Many methods currently exist for the measurement of such near-surface residual stresses; however, few have accuracy and repeatability in the full range of aerospace materials suitable for routine use in correlating fatigue performance with residual stress. Classical x-ray diffraction with layer removal can provide useful data in certain materials and surface conditions, but it also produces noisy and inconsistent data in a number of aerospace metals (e.g., titanium, nickel, and certain aluminum alloys), especially in the presence of large and/or highly textured grains, chemical variations, or multiple phases and precipitates.

 

An advanced method for residual stress measurement is required to further improve reliability of analyses involving residual stress effects. An improved residual stress measurement method would demonstrate the following characteristics:

 

• Applicable to aerospace structural materials (e.g., IN100, Ti-6Al-4V, AA7085, etc.)

• Measurement of residual stress to a depth of 1.25 mm (0.050 inch; or greater)

• Incremental depth resolution of 0.01 mm (0.0004 inch; or smaller)

• Measurement repeatability of ± 10% of the peak stress value (expected to be approximately 10 ksi) over the entire depth range

• Measurement accuracy of ± 10% of the peak stress value (demonstrated on a specimen with a well characterized residual stress distribution) over the entire depth range

 

PHASE I: Demonstrate a prototype surface residual stress measurement capability in a laboratory environment using a blind study to validate the method. With assistance from the TPOC verify relevance and viability of the approach with perspective users. Particular attention should be given in the proposal to the validation protocol of the technique.

 

PHASE II: Develop and construct a fully functional demonstration system capable of performing surface residual stress analysis for a representative aerospace component such as a superalloy turbine disk or aluminum airframe component. With assistance from the TPOC, demonstrate the capability for at least one relevant application with at least one prospective end-user.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The technology developed will be applicable to the design of more fuel-efficient and durable gas turbine engines and lighter weight unitized airframe structure.

Commercial Application: Commercial ships, airliners, and military transports have similar engines and airframes; thus, the technology will be applicable to the design of more fuel-efficient engines and lighter weight airframe structure.

 

REFERENCES:

1. D. Ball et al., "Toward Understanding the Impact of Bulk Residual Stress on the Life, Weight and Cost of Primary Aircraft Structure," 2010 Residual Stress Summit, Lake Tahoe CA, Retrieved from:

http://sem-proceedings.com/rss4/sem.org-4th-Residual-Stress-Summit-Ball-Toward-Understanding-Impact-Bulk-Residual-Stress-Life-Weight.pdf.

 

2. M.B. Prime, "Residual Stress Measurement by Successive Extension of a Slot: The Crack Compliance Method," Applied Mechanics Reviews, 52, 75-96, 1999.

 

3. M.J. Shepard and R. John, "Incorporating Residual Stresses in Life Management of Turbine Engine Components," 2006 Propulsion – Safety and Affordable Readiness Conference, Jacksonville FL.

 

4. M.J. Lee and M.R. Hill, "Intralaboratory Repeatability of Residual Stress Determined by the Slitting Method," Experimental Mechanics, 47(6), 745-752, 2007.

 

5. G.S. Schajer, "Hole-Drilling Residual Stress Measurements at 75: Origins, Advances, Opportunities," Experimental Mechanics, 50, 245-253, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: airframe structure, fatigue properties, surface residual stress

 

 

 

AF121-113                         TITLE: Residual Stress Engineering for Aerospace Structural Forgings

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop modeling and measurement tools to account quantitatively for the effects of bulk residual stresses on machining distortion and the fatigue life of complex aerospace structural components.

 

DESCRIPTION: In an industry-wide effort to reduce weight, increase durability, and reduce cost, traditional built-up aircraft structure and multipiece engine components are being replaced with monolithic structures fabricated from single-piece forgings (e.g., large bulkheads). Such forgings include a wide range of geometries (from bulkheads to integrally bladed rotors) and materials (aluminum, titanium, and nickel alloys). Due to the nature of forging processes (e.g., heat treating, quenching, and cold working), bulk residual stress fields develop during manufacture. These locked-in stress fields subsequently cause problems such as distortion during machining operations and significantly impact fatigue performance. Over the last decade, Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) methods and tools to quantify bulk residual stress fields have been developed for aerospace forgings. At the same time, new methods have emerged for the measurement of bulk residual stress fields (e.g., the contour method), and these have been successfully applied in aircraft engine and structural forgings. Consequently, for the first time, it is possible to envision a part acquisition/qualification scenario in which the bulk residual stress fields in a finished part are determined by the part vendor and delivered as a data package with each ship set. This residual stress data would become part of the data set used to determine whether or not the part meets the acquiring entity’s (OEM’s) qualification/acceptance criteria and would become part of the quality assurance process for forgings.

 

Developing a quality assurance approach for bulk residual stress management in forgings clearly depends upon the role of the quality data: whether it is used to assure a new production practice (i.e., first-article inspection), assure a group of parts prior to release (i.e., lot-release inspection), or to assure individual part characteristics (i.e., per-article inspection). A quality assurance procedure might use a baseline forging simulation to forecast the nominal residual stress field throughout the component volume. Next, a set of physical measurements would be defined consistent with the role of the quality data (i.e., first-article, lot-release, or per-article inspections). Further forging simulations using known process variabilities would then predict the expected variability of the residual stress field. These forging simulations combined with the residual stress measurement data would become the key elements of a quality assurance program.

 

PHASE I: Demonstrate the proof of concept for a combined bulk residual stress modeling-measurement quality assurance procedure on a first-article forging. With assistance from the TPOC verify relevance and viability of the approach with perspective users. Particular attention should be given in the proposal to the validation protocol of the technique.

 

PHASE II: With assistance from the TPOC fully demonstrate the bulk residual stress quality assurance procedure using production parts. This demonstration should be conducted in a fully relevant production environment. Develop a set of procedures defining a prescribed method of quality management for residual stress in forgings and a strategy for commercialization.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: The technology developed will be applicable to the design of more fuel-efficient and durable gas turbine engines and lighter weight unitized airframe structure.

Commercial Application: Airliners and military transports have similar engines and airframes; thus, the technology will be applicable to the design of more fuel-efficient engines and lighter weight structure.

 

REFERENCES:

1. D. Ball et al., "Toward Understanding the Impact of Bulk Residual Stress on the Life, Weight and Cost of Primary Aircraft Structure," 2010 Residual Stress Summit, Lake Tahoe CA, Retrieved from:

http://sem-proceedings.com/rss4/sem.org-4th-Residual-Stress-Summit-Ball-Toward-Understanding-Impact-Bulk-Residual-Stress-Life-Weight.pdf.

 

2.  R.A. Wallis, “Modeling of Quenching, Residual-Stress Formation, and Quench Cracking, Metals Process Simulation,” Vol. 22B, ASM Handbook, ASM International, 2009, p 547–585.

 

3. M.B. Prime, "Residual stress measurement by successive extension of a slot: The crack compliance method," Applied Mechanics Reviews, 52, 75-96, 1999.

 

4. M.J. Lee and M. R. Hill, "Intralaboratory Repeatability of Residual Stress Determined by the Slitting Method," Experimental Mechanics, 47(6), 745-752, 2007.

 

5. G.S. Schajer, "Hole-Drilling Residual Stress Measurements at 75: Origins, Advances, Opportunities," Experimental Mechanics, 50, 245-253, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: bulk residual stress, forgings, Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), ICME

 

 

 

AF121-114                         TITLE: Lightweight Active Anti-Icing/De-Icing for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a lightweight, low power, retrofittable solution for in-flight anti-icing/de-icing for RPAs.

 

DESCRIPTION: RPAs typically do not have any onboard anti-icing/de-icing system(s) to protect critical aircraft surfaces (i.e., wing and tail leading edges, engine inlet lip) from hazardous ice formation. Both commercial and military aircraft typically employ active anti-icing/de-icing systems such as bleed air, bladders, or other pneumatic devices to prevent the ice accumulation. These systems are bulky, heavy, and consume too much power for use on most RPAs. To ensure safety of flight, the FAA regulates flight into known icing conditions and requires an onboard anti-icing/de-icing protection system. FAA requires validation of aircraft anti-icing/de-icing system(s) for Icing Airworthiness Certification. Lacking an in-flight anti-icing/de-icing capability, the operators of unmanned vehicles rely on icing forecasts and onboard icing detectors to avoid icing conditions.

 

Previous research has yielded ice-phobic coatings, which reduced the forces required to remove ice from aircraft wings. However, these have not yet been validated on RPAs during actual flight. Many RPAs employ a laminar airflow design, which requires an ice-free wing in order to meet performance and stability and control requirements.

 

This solicitation requests the design, construction, delivery, and demonstration of a lightweight, low power consumption, reliable, maintainable, retrofittable icing solution for RPA flight critical surfaces (wing, tail, engine inlet lip). An in-flight anti-icing/de-icing capability must be demonstrated for the range of conditions up to 30,000 feet, temperatures from -22 to +32 °F, with a median droplet size of 15 to 40 microns and liquid water content 0.2 to 1.0 gram/cubic meter. This capability can be demonstrated in an icing wind tunnel in accordance with FAA guidance (Ref 1.).

 

PHASE I: Design a laboratory scale concept for in-flight anti-icing/de-icing. Develop a laboratory test plan and conduct screening tests to prove concept for stated droplet size, liquid water content, temperature, altitude, and speed.

 

PHASE II: Construct the active anti-icing/de-icing system developed in Phase I and demonstrate in an icing wind tunnel to stated requirements. During Phase II, identify and partner with an RPA manufacturer to retrofit and demonstrate the technology on a selected airfoil test article. This selected airfoil test article, no larger than 4'' x 6'', will be provided to the contractor by the government.  The contractor will need to address cost and schedule for the icing facility testing.  The tests performed in the icing facility should replicate conditions for the selected platform and be in accordance with FAA guidance.  Systems requiring electrical power consumption should be designed to be compatible with selected RPA platform. 

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: A lightweight, retrofittable icing solution would be of utility to both manned and unmanned small aircraft.

Commercial Application: This dual-use technology applies to both military and commercial aircraft concerned with icing.

 

REFERENCES:

1. 14CFR25, Appendix C to Part 25, “Part I—Atmospheric Icing Conditions,” and “Part II—Airframe Ice Accretions for Showing Compliance With Subpart B,” 2010, Retrieved from http://cfr.regstoday.com/14cfr25.aspx

 

2. FAA Safety Advisory, “Aircraft Icing,” Weather No. 1, 2008, Retrieved from http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa11.pdf

 

3. Aircraft Icing Handbook, Civil Aviation Authority, Version 1, 2000, Retrieved from http://www.caa.govt.nz/safety_info/GAPs/Aircraft_Icing_Handbook.pdf

 

KEYWORDS: ice accretion, light to moderate icing conditions, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), RPA, rime ice, runback icing

 

 

 

AF121-115                         TITLE: Fabrication and Process Optimization of Thick Laminates (= 40 ply) From High-

                                             Temperature Polyimide/Carbon Fiber Composites

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Rapid advancement and optimization of the fabrication and processing of a dual-use polyimide/carbon fiber composite system with high-performance thermal oxidative stability (= 500 to 550°F) for use in the production of turbine engine components.

 

DESCRIPTION: Numerous potential turbine engine applications, such as stators, fan inlet cases, ducts, and external flaps, exist for high-temperature, polyimide matrix, carbon-fiber-reinforced composites on Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems. For example, large-acreage, lightly-loaded components such as engine ducts are prime candidates for high-temperature polymer matrix composites as they can reduce weight by 40% over their titanium counterparts. For replacement of existing metallic components with polyimide composites, the new materials must be able to operate at elevated temperatures for thousands of hours. High-temperature polymer matrix composites can meet this objective.  However, the lack of robust cure cycles and inconsistent process fabrication prevents thick steps, flanges, or pad-ups from being exploited in design concepts. In fact, in some instances, part quality, variability, and defects can result in high production scrap rates well in excess of 20% for large finished parts, which can individually cost as much as $100K. To support emerging production capability of composite engine components and enhance further implementation of high-temperature composites, improvements in manufacturing yield and cost must be demonstrated.

 

The program goal is to improve high-temperature polyimide processing for future realization in manufacturing. The rapid processing advancement is required for a dual-use (military and commercial) polyimide system that can be manufactured for thick sections (= 40 ply) with high-performance thermal oxidative stability (= 500 to 550°F). The polyimide system must demonstrate high-temperature performance and durability equivalent to or better than PMR-15 but without the use of carcinogenic monomers.  It is desired that the polyimide/fiber system be somewhat mature (i.e., Technical Readiness Level = 3 to 4) upon award of the contract. It is preferred that the system be dual-use (military and commercial) to reduce cost to the US Air Force. Proposals utilizing optimized cure cycles for current commercially available polyimide systems will be accepted. 

 

The cure cycle and bagging scheme of the dual-use material must be developed and successfully demonstrated to routinely result in aerospace quality (< 20% scrap rate, < 2% voids) carbon-fiber reinforced, 40-ply, 12 in. x 12 in., laminated panels (Phase I). Representative duct subelements, such as flanges, access holes, steps, and pad -ups must also be demonstrated (Phase II). The system must retain statistically equivalent mechanical properties at ambient and 550°F for at least 1,000 hours in a dry environment.  In Phase I, a preliminary mechanical screening matrix, including uniaxial tension, 4-pt. flexure, compression, and glass transition temperature (Tg) testing according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods of 12-ply laminates, will need to be performed.  Mechanical testing at ambient and elevated temperature (550°F) and Tg testing at moisture saturated (wet) conditions is also expected to demonstrate the basic material properties.

 

In Phase II, representative subelements, based on geometries of interest provided by the government, should be manufactured with the improved process.  The part quality of the subelements should be evaluated for curved beam strength with the appropriate test specimen geometry and sampling method as defined in ASTM D 6415.  Resin kinetic and viscosity material information and real-time data acquired during optimized cure cycle should be provided.  In addition, a preliminary assessment of the yield and cost savings should be projected for the improved process.    

 

PHASE I: Develop robust manufacturing process concepts via fabrication of a 40-ply, 12 in. x 12 in., polyimide/T650 35 carbon laminate with < 2% voids as evidenced by C-scan and photomicrographs. Perform mechanical screening tests to establish basic properties and demonstrate hot performance (= 500 to 550°F use for 1,000 hours) using ASTM test methods. 

 

PHASE II: Advance effort to fabrication of larger parts and representative flange or duct subelements per ASTM D 6415 (same performance metrics as Phase I).  Further characterize kinetics, viscosity, mechanical, and physical properties through in-situ monitoring and other analysis methods.  Initial analytical material model development (kinetics/viscosity) is desired.  Provide a preliminary assessment of the yield and cost savings for the improved process.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Any turbine engine applications utilizing high-temperature, polyimide-matrix, carbon-fiber-reinforced composites on DoD weapon systems.

Commercial Application: Cost-competitive, dual-use polyimide/fiber system for commercial aircraft engine components, automobile engine components, etc.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Robert A. Gray, “Improved Manufacturing Technologies for Polymer Matrix Composite Engine Components,” Maverick Corporation, AFRL-ML-WP-TR-2007-4028, Accession Nos. DF666665 and ADB326128, Department of the Air Force, April 2007.

 

KEYWORDS: composites, manufacturing, polyimides, processing

 

 

AF121-120                         TITLE: Surface Preparation of Organic Matrix Composites (OMCs) for Structural

Adhesive Bonding

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop a process/method that can prepare Organic Matrix Composites (OMC) surfaces rapidly and consistently for structural adhesive bonding that can be performed at atmospheric conditions.

 

DESCRIPTION:  OMCs are utilized extensively in military aircraft due to their tailorability and high specific modulus and strength properties, which results in significant weight reductions. These composite structures come in many forms (e.g., skins, stiffeners, frames, spars, etc.) and must be joined together by fastening, bonding, etc. to form subassemblies which are in turn joined together to form larger components and then ultimately the complete aircraft. When adhesive bonding is the joining method (necessary to achieve more significant weight reduction and cost savings over mechanically fastened structure), the faying surfaces must be properly prepared in order to ensure a durable joint for the life of the aircraft. Common methods in use today for preparing these surfaces include abrasive techniques (e.g., sanding and grit blasting) and removal of a peel ply. These techniques provide fresh surfaces for bonding that are free from contamination, but they do little to enhance the faying surfaces basic bonding attributes. Plus these techniques have their downsides: mechanical abrasion, careful control of debris, residual fiber contamination, transfer of release agents, and limited high-temperature products.

 

Manual surface abrasion techniques (e.g., sanding and grit blasting) and simple use of peel plies alone is not of interest to this program.

 

PHASE I:  Demo a method to improve the repeatability of bonds in IM7/5250-4 laminates joined with 350 °F cure epoxy adhesive (AF191) while maintaining initial bond strength. Establish baseline values and perform mechanical tests to validate concepts (i.e., Double Cantilever Beam ASTM 5528) showing constituency of bonds (i.e., less dependence upon operator).

 

PHASE II:  Broaden testing to more materials systems of interest as well as the test environment: graphite BMI to Ti, glass BMI to graphite BMI, Graphite 5320-1 to Graphite 5320-1.  Demonstrate technique at lower and hotter temps characteristic of operating conditions (-65 °F, room temp, room temp moisture conditioned, hot (e.g., 270 °F), and hot moisture conditioned.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Increased use of composite bonding in aircraft leads to reduction in weight and cost savings. Also, potential applications to ground vehicles. Can be used during OEM as well as depot/overhaul operations.

Commercial Application:  The commercial aircraft industry is very interested in improved composite bonding techniques, as are other industries that use advanced composite materials.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  L.J. Hart-Smith, G. Redmond, and M.J. Davis, “The Curse of the Nylon Peel Ply,” Proceedings of 41st International SAMPE Symposium, pp. 303-317, March 24-28, 1996.

 

2.  B. Flinn and M. Phariss, “The Effect of Peel-Ply Surface Preparation Variables on Bond Quality,” DOT/FAA/AR-06/28, August 2006.

 

3.  P. Van Voast and K. Blohowiak, “Critical Materials and Processes Bonded Joint Issues,” Proceedings of FAA Bonded Structures Workshop, June 2004.

 

KEYWORDS: adhesives, bismaleimide (BMI), BMI, bonding, organic matrix composite (OMC), OMC

 

 

 

AF121-121                         TITLE: Porosity-Free Molded Surfaces for Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) Composites

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and demonstrate innovative mold preparation materials and/or processes for vacuum bag-only composite processing.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) or vacuum bag-only composite materials offer several advantages over autoclave-cured composites such as the following:

 

• Improved part quality through lower pressure and/or temperature processes that can reduce rework or repair by 20 to 30%,

• Improved dimensional control and repeatability that can reduce assembly costs by 10 to 20%

• Expanded supplier base that can reduce cost of composite parts by 30 to 40%

• Shared design databases that can expedite transition from prototype to production by 30 to 40%

• Lowered capital investment required

• Reduced autoclave bottlenecks during production

• Removed part size limitations (associated with autoclave processing) for designers and/or configurators

 

While the current generation OoA prepreg material systems (e.g., Cytec Engineered Materials’ Cycom®5320-1 or Advanced Composites Group’s MTM 47 and MTM 45-1) are competitive with autoclave materials systems from a mechanical performance standpoint, there are some inherent processing challenges which have not yet been overcome. For example, the low hydrostatic resin pressure during vacuum bag-only processing does not allow the epoxy resin to fully wet-out mold released tool surfaces. The result often leads to dry and/or pitted part surfaces. The dry and/or pitted surface is eliminated when the mold-released surface is covered with Teflon-coated glass fabric or Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP); however, these products are often difficult to conform and are not viable solutions for aircraft applications with even mild contour. Nonfly-away materials like peel-plies offer a solution, but these consumable materials add cost for materials and touch labor. Finally, surfacing adhesives also provide a solution, but add raw material cost, touch labor cost, and nonstructural, parasitic weight.

 

Innovative mold release materials, tooling materials, and/or surface architectures may provide valuable solutions to the apparent surface energy incompatibility for OoA materials and fabrication processes. This program is interested in understanding the processing fundamentals and developing sound approaches to address these surface pitting issues. Influencing factors complicating the processing may include surface roughness and surface energy of the material in direct contact with the first ply of OoA prepreg material, the cure processing conditions (temperature, ramp rate, and pressure), tooling material or mold material type and compatibility, fiber architecture (fabric, tape, fiber type and sizing), and resin chemistry and compatibility.

 

PHASE I:  Establish the baseline surface condition described above using an OoA carbon/epoxy fabric prepreg such as T650-35/5320-1 8HS fabric on a mold release Al tool (typical RHR 63). Identify the critical variable/mechanism(s) that create/eliminate surface pitting and develop an innovative approach to overcome this issue.

 

PHASE II:  After establishing the underlying pitting mechanism in Phase I, further develop and scale-up a viable solution suitable for production and repair. Generate a database of surface energy measurement requirements for common tooling materials, including aluminum, Invar, carbon/epoxy, carbon/BMI, polycarbonate, Teflon, & FEP. Demonstrate/validate that the solution permits successful OoA fabrication of primary structure regardless of tooling selection.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Will reduce cost, eliminate parasitic weight, and improve quality for OoA composite systems, which have applications to military aviation and ground vehicles. Applies to OEM and depot/rework operations as well as field sustainment.

Commercial Application:  Will reduce cost and improve quality for OoA composite systems, which have applications to commercial aviation, the energy industry, and others.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Gail L. Hahn, Gary G. Bond, and John H. Fogarty, "Non-Autoclave (Prepreg) Manufacturing Techonology: Part Scale-up with CycomR5320-1 Prepregs," Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) International Symposium, 56, 2011.

 

KEYWORDS: autoclave cured, mold release, out-of-autoclave (OoA), OoA, prepreg, vacuum bag

 

 

 

AF121-122                         TITLE: Advanced Process Control for Laser Sintered Thermoplastics

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Improve part quality and reduce manufacturing waste associated with Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) methods through improved process control and modeling.

 

DESCRIPTION: DDM technologies have demonstrated the ability to fabricate economically geometrically complex nonstructural components such as ducts, clips, brackets, and housings for multiple weapon systems. Compared to conventional manufacturing approaches and materials, manufacturing these components from high-temperature thermoplastics using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) provides many benefits, including cost and weight savings, little or no tooling being required, and large lead-time reductions. While sufficient for rapid prototyping applications, the laser sintering systems currently employed in DDM lack the necessary physics-based process-structure-property models, in situ sensing, and adaptive process control capabilities required to guarantee optimal part quality with minimum waste in an aerospace-relevant production environment. We seek innovative approaches to improving the process control and quality of laser sintered thermoplastic parts, including the development of novel process models, in situ monitoring of processing conditions, and real time part quality feedback.

 

PHASE I: Develop a proof-of-concept approach to improve the state of the art in process control and modeling for conventional SLS thermoplastics and demonstrate the technical feasibility of these approaches through engineering drawings and preliminary experiments.

 

PHASE II: Integrate the proposed solution in a production-relevant environment, demonstrate the fabrication of production-quality nonstructural aerospace components, and document the protocols and metrics to guarantee the performance of the solution.  Compare physical properties (porosity, density, tensile and compressive strength) with improved process control and modeling versus the baseline process.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Applicable to all military systems requiring quality high-tolerance, low-cost, lightweight, flight-rated, nonstructural plastic components (brackets, clips, etc.).

Commercial Application: Broad range of activities, including commercial aircraft, which require higher quality and lighter and cheaper parts. Biomedical field for use as personalized orthotics and prosthetics where cost and performance improvements are greatly needed.

 

REFERENCES:

1. B. Caulfield et al., “Dependence of Mechanical Properties of Polyamide Components on Build Parameters in the SLS Process,” J. Materials Proc Tech, 182, 477-488, 2007.

 

2. D. Bourell et al., “Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing: Identifying the Future of Freeform Processing,” Proceedings of the RAM Workshop, March 2009.

 

3. D.T. Pham et al., “Deterioration of Polyamide Powder Properties in the Laser Sintering Process,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: J. of Mech Eng Sci, 222, 2163-2176, 2008.

 

4. K. Senthilkumaran et al., “Influence of the Building Strategies on the Accuracy of Parts in Selective Laser Sintering,” Materials and Design, 30, 2946-2954, 2009.

 

KEYWORDS: additive manufacturing, direct digital manufacturing (DDM), DDM, in situ sensing, laser sintering, noncontact inspection, process modeling

 

 

 

AF121-124                         TITLE: Inline Material Sensor (IMS)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Design and develop a radio frequency (RF)-based, dual-polarized, broadband frequency inline material inspection sensor for real-time inspection for 100% of thin film and mat materials during material manufacturing.

 

DESCRIPTION: Specialty thin film and mat materials are utilized on modern-day aircraft for numerous reasons, including electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection, Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) applications, and lightning strike protection. These thin film and mat materials undergo rigorous manufacturing processes, and their EM properties must be closely evaluated to maintain specification compliance. For example, extreme temperatures and pressures are exerted on mat materials during the resin pre-impregnation (prepreg) manufacturing process, which may alter the physical and electrical properties of the material. The final performance of any specialty thin film or mat material is dependent upon a variety of factors, including overall thickness, proper coating application (in some cases), material electrical properties, and physical integrity of the final product. Physical or electrical defects must be identified and appropriately marked during the manufacturing process to ensure that defective material is not utilized during aircraft production. Having the ability to determine real-time physical and electrical compliance of specialty thin film and mat materials during manufacturing would be advantageous by identifying defective material early in the process and allowing for corrective action to be taken. This will result in reducing the manufacturing cost through the elimination of defective material and reducing the risk that defective material could be used in aircraft production.

 

The objective of this effort is to develop an RF-based, dual-polarized, broadband frequency inline material inspection sensor to monitor the material electrical and physical properties during the manufacturing of the specialty thin film and mat materials. Achieving the correct electrical performance of these materials is critical to ensure proper functionality when installed in various aircraft applications. Currently, there is no capability to rapidly assess the electrical and physical properties of thin film and mat materials during manufacturing. The IMS system will deliver a common multifunctional tool capable of measuring the physical and electrical characteristics of a variety of specialty thin film and mat materials in production today. The IMS must be easy to use, quick to perform measurements and determine material compliance/identify material defects, be able to measure through-transmission properties for 100% of the material area, and be easily integrated with existing thin film and mat materials manufacturing equipment.

 

PHASE I: Develop an RF-based, dual-polarized, broadband frequency Inline Material Sensor (IMS) concept based on requirements listed above. Design and demonstrate a bench-top system that proves feasibility of the inspection methodology by accurately characterizing the electrical and physical properties of representative specialty thin film and mat materials and by identifying defective areas.

 

PHASE II: Fully develop, fabricate, and demonstrate a prototype inline material sensor system to inspect the electrical and physical properties of specialty thin film and mat materials during manufacturing. Develop a control system that automatically detects and identifies electrically defective areas, ensuring 100% material coverage.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: This IMS will have application throughout the manufacture of numerous specialty material systems (including EMI, ESD, and lightning strike applications) utilized on countless military weapons systems.

Commercial Application: Tools and methods developed under this program to measure and evaluate the physical and electrical properties of thin film and mat materials are directly applicable to the private and commercial aerospace industry.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Richard Brown, RF/Microwave Hybrids: Basics, Materials, and Processes, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston MA, 2010.

 

2. Michel Mardiguian, EMI Troubleshooting Techniques, McGraw-Hill, 1999.

 

3. L.F. Chen et al., Microwave Electronics: Measurement and Materials Characterization, Wiley, 2004.

 

KEYWORDS: aircraft maintainability, advanced sensor, nondestructive evaluation (NDE), NDE, physical and electromagnetic material properties evaluation, point inspection tool, radio frequency (RF) material systems, RF, specialty materials

 

 

 

AF121-126                         TITLE: Optical Filters on Thin Cover Glass

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  To develop a multi-wavelength optical filter on a thin, 1 to 3 mm, solar cell cover glass. The filter designs should reflect multiple spectral notches in-band to the solar spectrum between 400 nm to 2500 nm while maintaining excellent throughput.

 

DESCRIPTION:  There are certain operational conditions in which it would be beneficial for solar cell components to suppress several spectral lines in the visible to short-wave infrared spectrum. Multiple optical coatings design programs are available where filter spectral performance parameters can be entered and optical filters can be designed based on various thin film layers with appropriate deposition materials. However, the thickness of the deposited thin films grows with the number of spectral bands to be rejected. Normally, this requires thicker glass to withstand the stresses of thin films. For some solar cell applications, it is desired to have very thin glass (1 to 3 mm) as the substrate for the optical coating. This requires special design and deposition techniques to balance the stress forces of the thin films on the solar cell cover glass.

 

The filter design should transmit visible to short-wave infrared wavelengths (400 nm to 2500 nm) across the solar spectrum, maintain excellent throughput (> 98%), and reject multiple narrow spectral bands to improve the efficiency of normal solar cell device operation. Specific rejection bands of interested will be recommended by the government team and provided to the contractor team. In addition, the optical filter should be reflective (better than 85%) beyond 2500 nm. The offeror should possess the deposition systems necessary to fabricate the individual optical coating designs.

 

PHASE I:  Investigate deposition approaches and develop a filter design capable of both rejecting multiple spectral regions and being deposited on a thin (1 to 3 mm) solar cell cover glass. The offeror shall demonstrate proof of concept and deposition system capabilities by fabricating an optical coating on solar cell cover glass.

 

PHASE II:  Demonstrate that the Phase I filter design can be accurately produced and meets all spectral performance parameters using the deposition process. Also, the stability and repeatability of the deposition process should be demonstrated by producing the designed filters in multiple deposition runs on thin solar cell cover glass.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Optical filters to improve the operational efficiency of military solar cell components or tailor the spectral performance of military electro-optic sensor systems.

Commercial Application:  Optical filters to improve the operational efficiency of commercial solar cell components or to tailor the spectral performance of optics in commercial electro-optic systems.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Thomas D. Rahmlow, Jr., Jeanne E. Lazo-Wasem, and Edward J. Gratrix, “Narrow Band Infrared Filters with Broad Field of View,” Retrieved from www.rugate.com/2065%20final.pdf, Undated.

 

2.  Bertrand G. Bovard, “Rugate Filter Theory: An Overview,” Applied Optics, Vol. 32, Issue 28, pp. 5427-5442, 1993.

 

3.  S. Ilyasa, T. Böckinga, K. Kilianb, P.J. Reecea, J. Goodingb, K. Gausc and M. Gala, “Porous Silicon Based Narrow Line-Width Rugate Filters,” Optical Materials, Vol. 29, Issue 6, pp. 619-622, 2007.

 

4. Stephan Fahr, Carolin Ulbrich, Thomas Kirchartz, Uwe Rau, Carsten Rockstuhl, and Falk Lederer, “Rugate Filter for Light-Trapping in Solar Cells,” OSA, Vol. 16, No. 13, p. 9332, 2008.

 

KEYWORDS: light control, optical attenuator, optical element, optical filters

 

 

 

AF121-127                         TITLE: Spatially Controlled Optical Attenuator

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE:  To develop an optical element in or on which an addressable reflective obscuration can be created of any controlled size and position.

 

DESCRIPTION:  There are viewing conditions in which it would be beneficial if an optical system component could suppress a bright source in the Field of View (FOV) so that the dynamic range of the sensor could be devoted to the lower intensity radiation from the scene. Potential applications include suppressing the sun in the FOV of a camera or viewing in the shadows of a building illuminated by bright sunlight. These applications would require that the location of the blockage be positioned to follow the bright source in the FOV.

 

Spatial light modulators have been developed, but only have extinction coefficients of 100 to 500. Reflective concepts using Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)-based digital micromirror devices have been developed that have relatively high extinction ratios, but scattering is a potential issue. The preferred implementation would be a transmissive optical element for either a flat or spherical surface. A VxOx film matrix has often been suggested as a potential attenuator, but its extinction coefficient is not sufficiently high for this application. Schemas that attenuate the optical coupling between fiber-optic bundles have achieved 30 dB of attenuation. MEMS configurations with tiny iris-like blades have also been used to suppress coupling between optical fibers. Another concept might be MEMS rotating blades that when parallel to the light path would have a small impact on the transmission, yet when rotated to be perpendicular to the light path would block the light. Although a single optical element may not fully attain the desired 105 attenuation, a pair of cross polarizers (polarizer and analyzer) in combination with any of these concepts might attain the desired attenuation. The polarizer pair would need to be parallel for the transmission and crossed for the obscuration. The size, weight, and power also should be considered when addressing the solution.

 

The objective of this SBIR task is to develop an optical element in or on which an addressable reflective obscuration can be created on a transmissive optical element of any controlled size and position. The obscured area, which should be variable from 30 um to 0.1 cm, requires an extinction coefficient of 105. The rest of the unobscured area needs to have high transmission in the visible spectrum and low emission. Response times of 100 ms to 500 ms would be adequate. Extension into the infrared would be beneficial. Ideally, the optical element should be capable of functioning in a space environment, including continuous direct solar illumination.

 

PHASE I:  Investigate materials and systems, which can achieve 105 extinction of the input light in a spatially controlled area with high throughput, high optical quality elsewhere, and low scattering and show the feasibility of achieving the required extinction in a design that is adaptable for use in space.

 

PHASE II:  Demonstrate a breadboard of a spatially controlled optical attenuator that satisfies the Phase I requirements.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  A controllable optical spatial attenuation element could be incorporated in sensors to suppress the sun in the FOV of a camera.

Commercial Application:  It could be used by police to suppress unwanted bright portions of a scene to aid in detecting persons in shadows. It could also be incorporated into cameras to take pictures looking into the sun.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Ryan D. Conk, “Fabrication Techniques for Micro-Optical Device Arrays,” Thesis, AFIT/GE/ENG/02M-04, Department of the Air Force Air University, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB OH, Retrieved from https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay2002/afit/afit-ge-eng-02m-04.pdf, March 2002.

 

2.  Kenneth D. Fourspring, Zoran Ninkov, and John P. Kerekes, “Subpixel Scatter in Digital Micromirror Devices,” Proc. of SPIE, Vol. 7596, 75960J-5, Retrieved from http://www.cis.rit.edu/people/faculty/kerekes/pdfs/SPIE_2010_Fourspring.pdf, Undated.

 

3.  S. Chen, X. Yi, H. Ma, H. Wang, X. Tao, M. Chen and C. Ke, “A Novel Structural VO2 Micro-Optical Switch,” Optical and Quantum Electronics, Vol. 35, No. 15, pp. 1351-1355, DOI: 10.1023/B:OQEL.0000009429.14136.3d, Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com/content/kg3151551l0v0074/.

 

4.  “Electrostatic MEMS Variable Optical Attenuator With Rotating Folded Micromirror,” Journal of IEEE Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Vol. 10, Issue 3, pp. 558, ISSN: 1077-260X, DOI:  10.1109/JSTQE.2004.828492, May-June 2004.

 

5.  R.R.A. Syms, H. Zou, J. Stagg, and H. Veladi, “Sliding-Blade MEMS Iris and Variable Optical Attenuator,” J. of Micromech and Microeng, Vol. 14, No. 12, pp. 1700-1710, DOI: 10.1088/0960-1317/14/12/015, Retrieved from http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/pls/portallive/docs/1/375907.PDF, 2004.

 

KEYWORDS: controllable reflective coatings/films, light control, optical attenuator, optical element, spatial light modulator

 

 

 

AF121-128                         TITLE: Simulation of Small-Scale Damage Evolution During Processing of Polymer

Matrix Materials Systems

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE: Selection, between alternatives to be developed, of a computationally effective model, including interfaces/interphases/other heterogeneities, addressing the development of damage in composites during manufacturing processes and early loading.

 

DESCRIPTION: Processing of advanced materials must overcome challenges presented by combinations of dissimilar materials, which in composite, hybrid and multifunctional materials systems may involve wide disparities of thermomechanical properties, geometric complexities, and associated stress and flow/curing issues as well as chemomaterial differences. Residual stresses in composite structures lead to dimensional control issues, and analyses predict that thermal stresses are significantly affected by interphases; their importance to the macrolevel response is illustrated by potential orders-of-magnitude effect on fatigue life [1]. Large residual stresses promote premature failures, including not surviving manufacturing. Prediction of stresses associated with the appearance and evolution of interphases and associated damage initiation and propagation requires three-dimensional analyses. Especially as a precursor to component-level analyses up to early post-manufacturing loadings including damage, the computational burden is severe. Molding and infusion processes involve finite deformations and mass transport affecting formation of interphases as functions of surface properties of the fibers, finish and matrix reactivity [2]; related problems of interest to the Air Force involve e.g. distributed actuation, morphing, and human systems. The present study focuses on analysis and experimental validation of damage and life prediction associated with manufacturing of complex materials systems as affected by microscale processes including interphase and heterogeneity evolution.

 

A model system for the analysis of these effects is offered by high-temperature composites. Much progress has been made in modeling meso- and larger-scale damage in composites, including effects of substantial numbers of discretely modeled, possibly intersecting, matrix and delamination cracks, e.g., [3]. However, present methods do not account adequately for the interface/interphase/heterogeneity developments driving failure. Thermosetting resins, for example, may experience variations of cross-link density, modulus, and strength when cured near an interface as opposed to a resin-rich region, e.g., [4]. An additional source of heterogeneity is the sizing material coating the fibers. The present topic emphasizes modeling and experimental analyses of failure of polyimide composites, e.g., MVK-14 and PMR-15, during processing and early loading. Objectives include to (a) quantitatively assess the magnitudes and spatial distributions of chemical and mechanical property inhomogeneities due to interphase regions, (b) describe the nature of interphases and identify the mechanisms and chemical kinetics by which they form, and (c) correlate degradation and damage predictions, which in general are coupled with macrolevel observations. To efficiently model the connections between reaction chemistry and stress in a region incorporating dispersed, differing constituents, thermodynamic mixture theory or related homogenization approaches can be applied. A variety of multiscale approaches can also be envisioned that rely on the explicit modeling of constituents, including interphases and their associated locally evolving boundaries. Preferred approaches to damage modeling will include the explicit representation of cracks, e.g., [3]. Acceptable computational procedures should guarantee numerically accurate solutions and be easily interfaced with widely used commercial software appropriate to larger scale (e.g. component) problems, e.g., ABAQUS, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, NASTRAN, etc. The numerical procedure should ideally be more rapidly convergent than standard approaches and highly parallelizable and should admit a range of unknown-type singularities in the solutions, e.g., [5]. However, widespread cracking presents special difficulties in addressing the many evolving boundaries; the optimum computational solution is sought. The product of the effort is commercially marketable software compatible with a commercial code and models the local effects of chemomechanical heterogeneities to address the damage resulting from processing and subsequent service histories of structural components.

 

PHASE I: Curing/damage modeling with interphases emphasizing a homogenization theory should be compared to a more detailed/discrete approach for inclusion of damage, computational efficiency, error, realistic residual stresses; models should be validated where possible by available solutions. Procedures exceeding quadratic convergence are beneficial.

 

PHASE II: A comprehensive experimental and modeling effort will address the formation of interphases and cracks in a polyimide matrix composite material during cure and early loading and the consequences of the local evolution of state on the macrolevel response. The local procedure must be compatible with a commercial code and application demonstrated to larger scale problems involving non-simple geometries, e.g. joints, out-of-plane contours, notches.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Cycle time to put new materials on Air Force systems is measured in decades. Multifunctional and hybrid materials, manufacturing dimensional control issues, and life prediction require improved analytical tools.

Commercial Application: Composite and hybrid structures are attaining preeminent importance in improving efficiencies in commercial air transportation. Manufacturing and life prediction concerns require wider exploitation.

 

REFERENCES:

1. S. Subramanian, K. L. Reifsnider, W. W. Stinchcomb (1995), “A Cumulative Damage Model to Predict the Fatigue Life of Composite laminates Including the Effect of a Fiber-Matrix Interphase,” Int. J. Fatigue, 17 (5), pp. 343-351.

 

2. B. K. Larson, L. T. Drzal (1994), “Glass Fiber Sizing/Matrix Interphase Formation in Liquid Composite Moulding: Effects on Fibre/Matrix Adhesion  and Mechanical Properties,” Composites, 25 (7), pp. 711-721.

 

3. E. V. Iarve, M. R. Gurvich, D. H. Mollenhauer, C. A. Rose, C. G. Dávila (2011), Mesh-Independent Matrix Cracking and Delamination Modeling in Laminated Composites, Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng, DOI: 10.1002/nme.3195, wileyonlinelibrary.com.

 

4. R. Sanctuary, M. Philipp, J. Kieffer, U. Muller, W. Possart, and J.K. Kruger (2010), “Trans-Interfacial Polymerization and Matter Transport Processes in Epoxy-Alumina Nanocomposites Visualized by Scanning Brillouin Microscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 114 (25), pp. 8396–8404.

 

5. F. Stenger (2010), “Handbook of Sinc Numerical Methods,” CRC Press.

 

6.  K. R. Rajagopal and L. Tao, Mechanics of Mixtures, World Scientific Publishing Co., Pte Ltd., Singapore, 1995.

 

7.  R. M. Christensen, Mechanics of Composite Materials, Wiley, 1979.

 

8.  S. Whitaker, The Method of Volume Averaging, Kluwer, 1999.

 

9.  V. A. Buryachenko, Micromechanics of Heterogeneous Materials, Springer, 2007.

 

10. J. Aboudi, Mechanics of composite materials: a unified micromechanical approach, Elsevier, 1991.

 

11. S. Nemat-Nasser, M. Hori, Micromechanics: overall properties of heterogeneous materials, Elsevier, 1999.

 

12. P. Suquet, Continuum Micromechanics, Springer-Verlag, 2003.

 

13. A. J. M. Spencer, Continuum Theory of the Mechanics of Fiber-Reinforced Composites, Springer-Verlag, 1984.

 

KEYWORDS: chemomechanical, damage prediction, inhomogeneous, Integrated Computational Materials and Manufacturing Science and Engineering (ICMSE), interface, interphase, hybrid materials, polyimide composites, polymer matrix materials, residual stress

 

 

 

AF121-129                         TITLE: Innovative Nondestructive Damage Characterization Methods for Complex

Aircraft Structures

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop new methods for inverting representative sensing signals to provide suitable values for the presence, location, and size of damage in representative generic complex aircraft structures.

 

DESCRIPTION: The use of electromagnetic methods (primarily eddy current), ultrasound, and thermal techniques to detect damage in aircraft is well established and is a key item to ensure the risk of structural failures meets the requirements of the Aircraft Structural Integrity Program of the United States Air Force. As the maintenance of the structural components of aircraft moves from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance, there is a need for innovative methods not just to detect, but also to characterize damage in structural components.

 

This topic seeks new and innovative methods to characterize damage in representative generic, yet complex aircraft structures while capitalizing on the over 25 years of research in this area. Common aerospace materials include aluminum, titanium and steel alloys, plus graphite-epoxy composites.   Methods that only address canonical shapes, e.g., plates and cylinders, are not sufficient to meet the intent of this topic, but could be stepping stones to reach the end objective.  Typical complex aircraft structures will have compound curvatures and/or multiple layers that are fastened together with potential damage being located in each of the multiple layers of such structures.  No specific aircraft structure is being targeted by this topic and, therefore, no specific geometric configuration information will be provided.

 

The damage characterization process must address the use of a single or minimal number of sensing elements and should focus on how the inversion from the received signal to a metric of damage presence, location, and dimensions would be accomplished. The overall approach can use automated analysis to assist in the determination of the damage characteristics, recognizing that this type of analysis has occurred in previous applications. It is anticipated that modeling will be a key element in any approach. Approaches using multiple sensing modalities can be integrated if needed. Recent trends of comparing the condition of a structural component to a baseline are of interest ONLY if they address the stochastic variability that makes such differential methods unreliable.

 

Guidelines for Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) capabilities required for setting inspection intervals are provided in Ref. 5. For example, rotary bolt hole eddy current inspection of mid bore cracks in titanium should detect cracks of 0.05 inch in depth and length, with 90% probability of detection and 95% confidence. Capability requirements are highly dependent on the inspection method and the application’s geometry and material. The innovative methods targeted by this topic must improve detection capability by at least 20% in pertinent damage dimensions with respect to existing methods. In multilayer structures, for example, proposed techniques could localize and size damage within 10% of actual in all dimensions, with 95% confidence. Geometric features such as radii, thicknesses, or heights can be used as reference for establishing the required accuracy as appropriate.

 

While the Phase I work can target a single material and a single damage type, the proposed approach should have sufficient flexibility to address structural components made from both metallic and composite materials. The technical effort should consider the various microstructures found in representative aircraft structural materials. The approach should address multiple damage modes such as fatigue cracks, stress corrosion cracks, and corrosion in metals plus delamination and porosity in composites. However, the exact damage mode is not as critical as the integration of realistic geometric complexity described above and associated stochastic boundary conditions into the characterization process. In addition, the approach should minimize, if not eliminate, any disassembly or other mechanical processing of the component. Another factor to consider is that the end product will be used by a NAS-410 Level II or equivalently trained and certified inspector.

 

PHASE I: Develop an approach and demonstrate the feasibility of the approach to characterize one type of damage in a typical complex aircraft structure as defined in the above topic description.  Demonstration in one type of material, e.g. a metallic alloy or composite, is acceptable.

 

PHASE II: Further develop the output of the feasibility product from Phase I to demonstrate the applicability of the approach to multiple damage types in multiple materials in typical complex aircraft structures defined in the above topic description.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Nondestructive damage characterization for geometrically complex structures should have extensive military applications, including aerospace, nuclear, and ground structure military applications.

Commercial Application: Aerospace, nuclear, and civil structures initiatives aiming to use current condition for maintenance scheduling decisions can use nondestructive methods to characterize damage features of interest.

 

REFERENCES:

Note: This list of references, while broad, is representative of the very large volume of research in this area, and proposals are expected to demonstrate reasonable awareness of previous work in this area.

 

1. Review of Progress in QNDE, Vols. 1 through 29, Plenum Press and AIP.

 

2. Research in Nondestructive Evaluation; Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation; and Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation.

 

3. Conference Sessions on Nondestructive Damage Detection/Characterization topics, Proceedings From SPIE; Proceedings From IEEE; Proceedings From SAMPE; and proceedings from other conferences.

 

4. Other related handbooks, e.g., ASM International and ASNT Handbook.

 

5. Recommended Processes and Best Practices for Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) of Safety-of-Flight Structures, Technical Report Number AFRL-RX-WP-TR-2008-4373, available at:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA493997

 

KEYWORDS: damage characterization, eddy current, electromagnetic methods, inverse problem, nondestructive evaluation (NDE), NDE, nondestructive inspection (NDI), NDI, nondestructive sensing (NDS), NDS, nondestructive testing (NDT), NDT, sensing elements, thermal techniques, ultrasound

 

 

 

AF121-130                         TITLE: Computational Process Model Development for Direct Digital Manufacturing

(DDM)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop computational techniques to describe a processing model for laser or electron beam-based metal power sintering/melting Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) processes.

 

DESCRIPTION:  DDM is the process of taking a digital representation of a part or component and manufacturing the resulting product using a direct, automated, three-dimensional fabrication technique. There are over 20 DDM techniques, all of which rely on an existing digital design to guide the material fabrication of the part. Selective laser sintering (SLS) uses a high-power laser that fuses metal; the unfused particles support the part. The metal powder can either be fed directly into the laser (or electron beam) path and consolidated or consolidated from a bed of powder (a.k.a. direct metal laser sintering, DMLS). Both processes are of interest in the manufacture of complex aerospace components such as turbine engine blades, aircraft structural details, and heat exchangers. The United States Air Force is interested in DDM processes due to its low sensitivity to design changes; ability to provide responsive short-run manufacturing; and the reduced startup investment, including the need for tooling and dies.

 

While there are several commercially available SLS and DMLS processes, computational models based upon first principle physics/thermodynamics and empirical heat transfer models are not well developed. Model development based upon integrated materials science and engineering principles is critical to the maturation of DDM processes. Robust processing models can reduce risk at every stage of engineering development and enable fast and agile technology development. They can also reduce by 50% the development cycle and application of material solutions to improve innovation, performance, maintainability, and affordability.

 

Computational techniques of interest must address either a commercially available SLS or DMLS process. Models and techniques under consideration should have been previously developed for similar metallurgical applications where the thermodynamics, chemistry, and/or physics of powder-based alloy processing can be applied to the DDM process of interest. The techniques developed shall consider metal/alloy composition; powder size (and size distribution); laser (or electron beam) energy, spot size, and residence time; and geometrical constraints of the process such as power feed rate, power bed conditions (if applicable), and manufactured part geometry. The computational techniques shall model the finished part microstructure, composition, and residual stresses.

 

The goal of this program is to describe these three components fully on a demonstration part manufactured on a commercially available DDM process and associated equipment. Systems engineering principles should be used throughout for quantitative decision making in areas such as defining critical processing parameters and type of component (structural, nonstructural, propulsion, etc.) selected for verification of the model.

 

PHASE I:  A candidate commercial DDM process shall be identified. Critical processing parameters such as candidate alloy composition, laser power and spot size, and geometry determined. One critical processing parameter shall be selected for computational modeling. An initial model shall be developed and a sample component processed to verify the model.

 

PHASE II:  A fully integrated computational technique shall be developed with the goal of describing a finished DDM produced part microstructure, composition, and residual stresses. Intermediate experiments shall be identified and conducted to verify the fully integrated computational technique as appropriate. An aerospace quality alloy and component shall be selected and fabricated with processing conditions determined based upon the developed model.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  The key advantage of DDM processes to military application is the potential cost and time savings of directly manufacturing complex components from a digital design. The elimination of tooling, dies, and casting molds would offer large cost savings.

Commercial Application:  Commercial propulsion and airframe applications would benefit from DDM. In addition, the timesavings from rapid prototyping designs for engineering development would benefit both commercial and military application.

 

REFERENCES:

1. W.K. Chiu and K.M. Yu, “Direct Digital Manufacturing of Three-Dimensional Functionally Graded Material Objects,” Computer-Aided Design, ISSN 0010-4485, Vol. 40, Issue 12, pp. 1080-1093, December 2008.

 

2. Jean-Pierre Kruth et al., “Part and Material Properties in Selective Laser Melting of Metals,” Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Electromachining, 16th International Symposium on Electromachining (ISEM XVI), Shanghai, China, 19-23 April 2010.

 

3. I. Gibson, D.W. Rosen, and B. Stucker, “Additive Manufacturing Technologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing[M],” Springer Science Business Media, LLC, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: computational models, computational techniques, DDM, direct digital manufacturing (DDM) process, direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), DMLS, selective laser sintering (SLS), SLS

 

 

 

AF121-131                         TITLE: Passive Microfluidic Devices as Biological Fuel Cell Platforms

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

 

OBJECTIVE:  Develop and construct devices that function as enzyme-based biological fuel cells. Final product should: use range of fuels, operate in flow through mode, exhibit minimal parasitic losses, and be amenable to scalable, conformal application spaces.

 

DESCRIPTION:  Biological fuel cells provide means for direct conversion of chemical energy to electricity using redox catalysts from biological systems (such as enzymes, organelles, or whole microorganisms) to oxidize fuels in the anodic half-cell reaction and then reduce terminal electron acceptor (usually molecular oxygen) in cathodic half-cell process.  An efficient biological fuel cell may provide sustainable, compact power sources for portable electronics and other niche applications by using alcohols, sugars, and other organic sources as chemical fuel sources.  The technology will decrease logistics burden for disposable batteries and decrease weight of many war fighter systems because power can be supplied by energy dense supplies that are part of materiel supply chain and by scavenging from the operational environment.  The technology may also decrease ecological impact and the energy footprint of deployed forces by eliminating disposable batteries and using sustainable devices for recharge.  Example near-term application may be distributed ground sensors that hold minimal metal content and display minimal environmental signature.  As the technology develops with increased power densities, the biofuel cells may power autonomous microrobots and other higher-power demand devices.

 

The concept and fundamental aspects of biological fuel cells have been explored for more than 20 years.  Contemporary biotechnology and nanotechnology practices enable controlled modification of bio-functionalized hybrid materials.  This deeper understanding of bio-electrochemistry guides selection of the best redox enzymes for catalysts and enzyme-based fuel cells, which can transition from experimental concept and emerge as a legitimate portable power technology.

 

The topic seeks development and demonstration of device that relies entirely on bio-derived catalysts for oxidation of wide range of organic fuels including alcohols, polyols, and carbohydrates as well as catalysis of the reductive cathodic reactions (such as oxygen reduction).  It is anticipated that oxygen will serve as the terminal electron acceptor for fuel cell device.  The anode catalysts should support utilization of a range of fuel sources (at least three different fuels should be demonstrated) with high coulombic yield (i.e., desire complete oxidation of fuel). The device shall not operate as bio-battery with finite reactants that are constrained in a fixed reservoir; instead, the system must operate in flow-through mode in order to enable a refillable power source for the system and sustained use of catalysts.  The device shall have flexible profile or means of fabrication that allows conforming design and integration in range of design spaces and concepts. Complete balance of plant measurements shall be established and zero or minimal parasitic losses are sought during device operation (e.g., pumping mechanism or other integration and parasitic losses should not exceed 10% or the energy produced by the device).  For example, the offeror may propose integrated, open-air system that would sustain passive operations in which simple biological fuels (e.g., methanol or glycerol) are utilized and can be repeatedly cycled by addition of fresh fuel.  Application of fuel cell architectures using conventional inorganic catalysts will not be considered.  Application of microbial-based biofuel cells are not of interest in this topic due to limited power density of the microbial systems.

 

PHASE I:  Design and demonstrate a passive flow mechanism to fill an enzymatic fuel cell. Both anodic and cathodic processes must be enzyme catalyzed.  Device provides power density of 0.1 to 1 mW/cm2 of electrode materials, with continuous output under flow through for at least 1 hour without application of external pumps or other power-consuming devices.

 

PHASE II:  Demonstrate design in a manufacturable prototype.  The device should operate >2 hours with <10% loss of power.  The balance of plant should exhibit no more than 10% parasitic losses (power for external load to total power produced).  The device should use more than three fuels (e.g., alcohols, polyols, or carbohydrates), preferably in mixtures. The device volumetric power density should be >10mW/cm3.  The device should have shelf life >1 month.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application:  Portable power from conversion of nonlogistics fuel for modest power demand devices (systems that require mW to W for extended periods of time).  Examples include distributed sensors, portable communication, and microscale robotics.

Commercial Application:  Portable power as above.  Examples include consumer electronics, implantable biomedical devices, surveillance systems, and environmental monitors.

 

REFERENCES:

1. M.H. Osman, A.A. Shah, and F.C. Walsh, "Recent Progress and Continuing Challenges in Bio-Fuel Cells. Part I: Enzymatic Cells,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Vol. 26, No. 7, pp. 3087-3102, 2011.

 

2. F. Qian and D.E. Morse, "Miniaturizing Microbial Fuel Cells," Trends in Biotechnology, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 62-69, 2011.

 

3. A.K. Sarma, P. Vatsyayan, P. Goswami, and S.D. Minteer, "Recent Advances in Material Science For Developing Enzyme Electrodes,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Vol. 24, No. 8, pp. 2313-2322, 2009.

 

4. M.J. Moehlenbrock, T.K. Toby, A. Waheed, and S.D. Minteer, "Metabolon Catalyzed Pyruvate/Air Biofuel Cell,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 132, No. 18, pp. 6288-6289, 2010.

 

5. T. Haruyama, "Design and Fabrication of a Molecular Interface on an Electrode With Functional Protein Molecules For Bioelectronic Properties,” Electrochemistry, Vol. 78, No. 11, pp. 888-895, 2010.

 

KEYWORDS: bioderived catalyst, bioelectrochemistry, biological fuel cells, bionano interface, cathodic process, cathodic reaction, disposable batteries, enzymatic fuel cells, functionalized nanomaterials, microfluidic, redox catalyst, refillable power source

 

 

 

AF121-135                         TITLE: Passive multi-spectral sensor for defense against hypersonic missiles (SAMs and

A-A)

 

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors

 

Technology related to this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) (DFARS 252.204-7009). As such, export-controlled data restrictions apply. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign citizens, including country of origin, type of visa/work permit held, and the Statement of Work (SOW) tasks to be performed. In addition, this acquisition involves technology with military or space application. Therefore, only U.S. contractors registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Services Center (DLSC), Federal Center, Battle Creek MI 49017-3084, (800) 352-3572, are eligible for award. If selected, the firm must submit a copy of an approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement.

 

OBJECTIVE: Design and demonstrate a new, innovative threat warning sensor system capable of detecting missiles at launch and in flight in sufficient time to execute effective defensive actions.

 

DESCRIPTION: DoD has been investigating warning concepts for several decades to protect aircraft from hostile threats. This SBIR topic seeks to investigate new, sensor concepts beyond what is currently being developed. (2-color imaging, multi-spectral focal plane array, hyper-spectral and AAR-47 UV concepts, etc.)  Innovative optical sensor designs may include operation in the infrared, visible and UV radiation bands if they can meet warning requirements. The sensor system must provide a wide field of view, detect the threat of an approaching missile at far enough ranges to employ a countermeasure with high probability of detection, and low probability of false alarm.

 

PHASE I: Determine feasibility of a new innovative missile warning concept different than current developmental and operational systems and produce a design that meets the following warning requirements: the sensor must cover a wide field of view, detect the threat of an approaching missile with high probability of detection  and low probability of false alarm, and at far enough ranges to employ one or more countermeasures.

 

PHASE II: Develop a working prototype module that demonstrates the capability of the new sensor system concept to meet performance requirements and provide design of a system for possible transition. Articulate a clear pathway toward productization.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:

Military Application: Integration of sensor system with future manned and unmanned aircraft systems (EW, flight control, avionics, propulsion) for enhanced survivability during combat engagements.

Commercial Application: Potential low-cost development program for a sensor system to protect commercial airliners from possible terrorist threat of  missiles.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Montgomery et al, "Performance of SIMAC algorithm suite for tactical missile warning", Proceedings Vol. 7298, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV, SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference 2009.

 

2. Montgomery et al, "Empirical modeling and results of NIR clutter for tactical missile warning, Proceedings Vol. 7300, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XX, SPIE Defense Security and sensing Conference 2009.

 

3. Sanderson et al, "Clutter and signatures from near infrared testbed sensor", Proceedings Vol. 6941 Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Mod