Air force 16. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions



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Several schemes have been proposed for the implementation of SHM on space vehicles; ranging from centralized to distributed sensing networks, piezo to FBG sensors, embedded to surface mounted integration. Any approach is of interest that has the potential to monitor the system for changes in thermal conductance, structural stiffness, MMOD characterization, and EM characterization. Of critical importance is the technology required to make such monitoring hardware resilient to the hazards of long term space operation such that they can be reliably called to function during an anomalous event. The primary orbit of interest is GEO and MEO orbits. The environmental limits pertaining to temperature, radiation, charging, etc., will be highly dependent on the proposed approach and any submissions should focus on understanding the environmental conditions their technology solution will be vulnerable to and how they plan on protecting from it. Ideally, a proposed approach will specify environmental limits that it can fundamentally withstand with respect to temperature, radiated fluxes, and charge build up, prior to material or electrical failure of the design.

Resilient satellites need a low SWAP-C solution for quickly assessing the structural health of their satellites. Such a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) capability should be able to determine the integrity of the satellite’s structural components, as well as assess if electrical and mechanical connections are properly interfaced. If an error or damage exists, the SHM scheme shall determine the location and severity of the anomaly, so that technicians can quickly address the problem, or determine that the satellite structure has sufficient margin for continued operations.

PHASE I: Assess current state-of-the-art approach to meet space environmental conditions and identify methods of improving hardware robustness to mitigate operational risks. Determine cost, weight, power reqs, limits on performance for SHM design on representative 500-kg satellite. Small-scale hardware (H/W) demo encouraged

PHASE II: Refine Phase I design. Develop prototype for testing. Prototype to include at least three structural members connected in at least two different configs. Demo ability to detect sim damage. Damage of interest includes stiffness change, surface contact change and cracking in composites. Provide report detailing limits on design (damage size, delta torque values of mechanical fasteners, etc.) & H/W testing results. Design SHM scheme for resilient satellite including in-line sensor data processing.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Adapt technology to relevant space system and integrate during assembly phase. Evaluate technology impacts on program cost, schedule, and risk

REFERENCES:

1. Shawn J. Beard, Amrita Kumar, Xinlin Qing, H.L. Chan, Chang Zhang, Teng K. Ooi, “Practical Issues in Real-World Implementation of Structural Health Monitoring Systems,” Proceedings of SPIE on Smart Structures and Material Systems, March 2005.

2. Doyle, D., Hengeveld, D., Reynolds, W., “Investigation of Indirect Thermal Resistance/Conductance Measurements Utilizing Ultrasonic SHM Sensors,” Proc. Of 52nd AIAA SDM Conference, April 2011.

3. Doyle, D, et al., "The Spacecraft SHM Experiment, Part 1: Development for Space Flight," Proc. Of the 2015 AIAA SciTech conference, January 2015.

KEYWORDS: structural health monitoring, resilient, satellite





AF161-096

TITLE: On-orbit Calibration of Staring Imaging Sensors Using Innovative Techniques and Field-deployable Instrumentation with High Radiometric and Temporal Sensitivity

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop, test, and evaluate innovative measurement methods for calibration and performance characterization of on-orbit imaging sensors designed to detect temporal phenomena in the short-wave infrared.

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force is increasingly using space-based sensors in modes that exploit temporal phenomenology to detect and characterize a wide range of events. In order to further advance research on temporal signatures, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is seeking state-of-the-art measurement techniques for on-orbit calibration of staring imaging sensors that collect data in the SWIR. Of particular interest are sensors in geosynchronous orbits that make persistent observations of ground and military relevant events. These observations in many cases are challenging because the sensor is tasked to temporally resolve a dim, time-fluctuating signal superimposed on a bright atmospheric or terrain background. The problem is also often compounded by spacecraft jitter-induced clutter and sensor noise. As a result, AFRL is interested in sensor calibration measurement methods that provide high radiometric and temporal accuracy.

Proposals are therefore sought that develop, test, and evaluate measurement approaches for on-orbit, high sensitivity sensor calibration and characterization that are based on at least one type of calibration source, such as astronomic objects or ground-truthed objects. Multiple calibration sources are desirable to enable cross-calibrations for error reduction. For measurement techniques relying on natural or manmade ground-based calibration sources, a field-deployable approach is sought that allows for the collection of relevant ground truth at multiple locations such that vicarious on-orbit radiometric calibration procedures can be conducted throughout the sensor’s lifetime. In addition, a strong proposal should demonstrate a system-level approach to calibration data collection and analysis, including the capability to integrate sensor calibrations conducted prior to launch.

PHASE I: Demonstrate feasibility of an innovative method to address radiometric characterization of a high-framing, high dynamic range, SWIR sensor in geo-synchronous orbit. The approach should identify all major components of calibration and should design the required instrumentation or detail the utilization or refurbishment of existing instrumentation capable of radiometric and temporal ground truth.

PHASE II: Test and evaluate calibration approach including ground-truth campaign defined in Phase I. Produce relevant calibration data products.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Evolve the methods, procedures, and instrumentation developed under the first two phases to provide new capability options for DoD and industry to exploit dim, transient events for which changes in absolute intensity are critical to monitoring activities.

REFERENCES:

1. Joe Tansock, Daniel Bancroft, Jim Butler, Changyong Cao, Raju Datla, Scott Hansen, Dennis Helder, Raghu Kacker, Harri Latvakoski, Martin Mlynczak, Tom Murdock, James Peterson, David Pollock, Ray Russell, Deron Scott, John Seamons, Tom Stone, Alan Thurgood, Richard Williams, Xiaoxiong (Jack) Xiong, Howard Yoon, “Guidelines for Radiometric Calibration of Electro-Optical Instruments for Remote Sensing”, http://dx.doi.org/10.6028/NIST.HB.157.

2. Fred E. Nicodemus, George J Zissis, “Methods of Radiometric Calibration,” http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/6821, 1962.

KEYWORDS: on-orbit calibration, temporal imaging



AF161-097

TITLE: Novel High Transmittance Curved Surface Laser Eye and Sensor Protection

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate new high transmittance protection technology for large-area, curved and complex-shaped visors and optics. This topic is focused on developing laser and HPM solutions other than dyes and dielectric reflective coatings currently in use.

DESCRIPTION: LEP and sensor protection currently used by the Air Force incorporates cutting-edge technologies (absorptive dyes and/or reflective technologies) to protect against lasers at a variety of wavelengths in the infrared (IR) and visible portions of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. Dyes tend to be broadband absorbers–their absorption at wavelengths other than the desired wavelength(s) frequently reduces overall visible luminous transmittance (VLT) to levels that are not compatible for night use. Also, dyes tend to decompose at the temperature of molten polycarbonate and can be bleached by solar exposure and exposure to high irradiance levels. These effects complicate the need to achieve a desired level of laser protection, and dye decomposition products can produce unacceptable optical effects. Dyes can (in principle) be imbibed or coated onto eyewear after it is molded, but the VLT problem remains.

Reflective technologies (dielectric coatings and holograms) are applied after molding and can be made with sharp cutoffs around the wavelength(s) of interest, providing much higher VLT than dyes. However, only a select few functional reflective coatings have been placed on large or highly curved surfaces, and none have been placed on complex shapes. Further, protection provided by reflective technologies is dependent upon the angle of incidence of the incoming light. Narrow protective notches and high incident angles can cause the wavelength against which protection is desired to become uncovered by blue shifting at high angles.

For a highly curved or complex-shaped sensor or seeker optical train or visor, some of the light coming in from any direction will always be at a high incidence angle. So even if reflective technologies could be put onto large, complex surfaces, their usefulness is by no means certain. Because reflective technologies can be complex and time consuming to manufacture, the resulting eyewear or optical elements often very expensive to produce. Finally, because they reflect light, these technologies have been found to produce distracting (and sometimes obscuring) nuisance reflections in the visual field, so visual compatibility of the laser protection with the avionics display on the inside surface of a visor can be problematic.

This topic will focus on the design, fabrication, and validation of a solution that for seeker/sensor and LEP technologies not currently in use. The resulting visor/eyeware/optics will provide a minimum optical density (OD) of 4 (OD6 desired) in the near IR (700 to 1550 nm) but be transparent to visible light between 400 and 700 nm and free from internal reflections. Ideally, the LEP technology solution will create a passive barrier that protects against both continuous wave (CW) and pulsed laser threats, will be compatible with incorporation into a large platform polycarbonate visor.

The LEP solution performance should not be angularly dependent. The technology must be compatible with, and must not degrade the ballistic protection properties of, polycarbonate and other commercial optical polymer substrates and not be hygroscopic for long term submersion or high humidity environment degradation.

The proposed technology must provide high VLT (minimum of 70 percent-greater than 80 percent desired) and be color neutral in the visible range. This technology must also be compatible with new narrow band dye technology. In terms of optical quality, it is paramount that negative factors such as haze, distortion, aberration, prism, and artifacts are minimized so as not to impair visual performance or create distractions in the visual field.

The proposed solution should be compatible with military sensor/seeker/aircraft environments and be process application suitable for current military optical components in a manufacturing environment. It desired that the proposed solution also provide a high level of rejection for both laser threats and high powered microwave emissions as well.

PHASE I: Perform a technology feasibility assessment, and deliver a model of the conceptual solution, develop optical data and proof-of-principle devices to support the feasibility of the proposed solution, and a Phase II technology development plan. Show path to 80 percent broadband transmittance from visible and laser/high powered microwave protection greater than OD4, with OD6 desired.

PHASE II: Demonstrate the proposed solution by delivering seeker, sensor, eyewear and visor solutions incorporating the proposed technology with supporting performance data. Demonstrate in actual prototypes with on and off axis illumination against threats. Show performance over wide range of military environmental conditions and the manufacturability compatible with current military sensor/seeker/eyewear manufacturing processes. Provide a manufacturing transition plan/readiness assessment.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Air Force, Army and Navy have requirements for LEP for personnel. Potentially any field that uses lasers or laser eye protection-commercial aviation, medical/dental laser surgery, lab technicians, welding, manufacturing, laser research, consumer eye protection). Demonstrate the manufacturability.

REFERENCES:

1. “Beam Weapons Revolution,” Jane’s International Defense Review, pp. 34 - 41, August 2000.1C.

2. Sheehy, James B. and Morway, Phyllis E., “Laser-protective technologies and their impact on low-light level visual performance,” Laser-Inflicted Eye Injuries: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment, SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 2674, pp. 208 - 218, Stuck, Bruce E. and Belkin, Michael, Eds. (1996).

3. Visor performance specification, MIL-V-4351.

4. Physical and optical evaluation of reflective dielectric laser eye protection (LEP) spectacles, Human Effectiveness Directorate, Directed Energy Bioeffects Division’ Optical Radiation Branch, 8111 18TH Street, Brooks AFB, Texas 78235-5215, September, 2001.

5. ANSI Standard Z136.1. American national standard for the safe use of lasers, American National Standards Institute, Inc., New York, 2000.

6. ANSI Standard Z87.1 American national standard for occupational and education eye and face protection, American National Standards Institute, Inc., New York, 1993.

KEYWORDS: laser, visor, eye protection, laser eye protection, LEP, laser defense, laser filter, laser threat





AF161-098

TITLE: Enhanced Starting Reliability and High Altitude Operation of Internal Combustion Engines on Miniature Munitions

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: This topic seeks an innovative solution for a small aircraft engine to be capable of reliable self-start and high altitude operation after in in-flight dispense from a carrier aircraft.

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force has interest in developing a class of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and munitions which are dispensed from parent aircraft. These UAVs are typically stored in a launch tube with surfaces folded into a minimum volume, and example of which is the Common Launch Tube (CLT). Once safely separated from the parent aircraft, the UAV deploys surfaces and activates its propulsion system to regain controlled flight and proceeds with its mission.

A common denominator has surfaced in recent programs where the majority of UAVs launching from such systems rely solely on battery powered electric propulsion (EP). The choice of EP is frequently driven by the inherent high reliability of such systems, although other factors such as lower vibration and temperature come into play. However, in-flight dispense of UAVs requires that the propulsion system activate without any user intervention and thus have high reliability.

A major failing of EP is the reduced system energy density as compared to hydrocarbon fueled internal combustion engines (ICE). An additional failing is that EP vehicles typically retain all their mass throughout flight as compared to fueled aircraft which shed weight as fuel burns down, becoming more efficient as they do so. These two effects combine to severely limit range, endurance, and payload of EP aircraft as compared to similarly sized aircraft running on ICEs.

It would be desirable for in-flight dispensed UAVs to be powered by ICEs, and the hobby industry has numerous well-engineered engines in a wide range of sizes and designs. Furthermore, systems have been developed for onboard starting and power generation, however the majority of products are for larger engines, for example 100 cc and above. There are also fuel injected and supercharged options available, also for the larger engines. Last, many of the larger engines are capable of running on gasoline, have internal lubrication, and are available in 2 or 4 stroke options.

The class of vehicles dispensed from the CLT typically employ electric powerplants equivalent to a 7-15 cc ICE. The commercially available ICE's of this size typically run on a diesel glow fuel and are almost uniformly hand started, carburated and naturally aspirated. These engines are also notoriously difficult to start and require careful tuning of the carburetor and fuel for stable running. The small size of these engines render self-starting, power generation, and mixture sensing and control particularly difficult, limiting their ability to fly much outside of the altitude range they are tuned for.

This topic aims to explore innovative solutions to allow small ICE's to fulfill the propulsion needs of compressed carriage dispense with a high reliability such as a 95% successful start in less than 60 seconds similar to that which EP currently provides, while still maintaining a significant system energy density advantage over EP's and operation over a large altitude range. UAV's carried in the CLT are of particular interest to this topic, and propulsion solutions should be in this size range. The intended outcome is the development of an appropriately sized ICE capable of reliable self-starting and operation from sea level to at least 8,000 ft ASL, and preferably above.

PHASE I: Perform studies to determine limitations in reliable self-starting and altitude operation of existing small aircraft ICE's. Evaluate how added complexity and mass will affect ICE system energy density. Organize a plan to develop a reliable self start system and a methodology for enabling altitude operation, as well as developing testing concepts.

PHASE II: Perform trade study to determine best approach to design. Perform detailed development of mechanical structures. Fabricate prototypes and test self-starting ICEs in the desired range to characterize reliability, altitude capability, and system energy density. Iterate on design to increase reliability and decrease weight.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The results of this effort will be directly applicable to existing UAVs being dispensed from the SCLT. The Phase III will integrate the engine onto a platform and assess its feasibility compared to EP.

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.osengines.com.

2. http://www.systima.com/news/news.html.

3. http://www.sullivanuav.com/products/st_onboard.html.

KEYWORDS: UAV, munition, miniature, micro, unmanned, aircraft, engine, electric, battery, hydrocarbon, system energy efficiency, internal combustion engine, ICE, monopropellant, self-starting, altitude, reliability, efficiency, hands-off, tube launch, propeller





AF161-099

TITLE: Ultra Miniature Beam Steered Laser Radar System

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop real-time 3D laser radar system for use in mapping and collision avoidance for Group 1 (1-20 lbs) and Group 2 (21-55 lbs) small hand-launched and rail-launched remote piloted air vehicles.

DESCRIPTION: The AF is increasingly using more small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) to perform a variety of missions, but often there are technological barriers to their application. One such case is in doing mobility/roadability assessments, airfield surveys and obstacle assessments in remote areas, where placement of a large survey team and their equipment is not possible.

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