Army 17. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions



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REFERENCES:

1. Army FM 101-5 "Staff Organization and Operations"

2. Tracking Commander's Intent in Dynamic Networks (Martin, Carley, Sauk, Perrin and Woolley), MILCOM 2011 Military Communications Conference

KEYWORDS: mission plan, Military Decision Making Process (MDMP), mission, Course of Action (COA), replanning



A17-056

TITLE: Paratrooper Operations in GPS-Degraded Environments

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement.

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate the ability to track paratroopers through free-fall and landing, and locate other squad members to regroup after landing in a GPS denied environment.

DESCRIPTION: Paratroopers can provide a significant tactical advantage in a military operation due to their ability to rapidly deploy almost anywhere and with little warning. The downside is that they are vulnerable during the jump and may find themselves scattered outside of the drop zone after the jump. They need to quickly regroup, locating other squad members and equipment before proceeding with the operation. Currently they use a GPS receiver and predefined waypoints to regroup, however this approach is limited by the availability of GPS. Paratroopers may find themselves in a GPS degraded environment, separated from their equipment and squad members, with no accurate position. The capability to rapidly locate team members and equipment after landing would reduce the time they are separated and vulnerable, and enable them to quickly regroup and carry on with their mission. Furthermore, during the jump itself it is vital that they avoid colliding with other squad members and equipment, as this could prove deadly. A capability to detect squad members and equipment during the jump could help prevent these collisions, and insure the paratrooper is able to safely make it to the ground. Additionally, if the paratrooper was able to maintain an accurate position even in GPS-degraded environments, he/she may be better able to navigate through the fall, and land closer to the drop zone. The goal of this effort is to develop a low SWAP (Size, Weight, and Power) prototype that provides a solution for the desired capabilities to the paratrooper.

PHASE I: The vendor will develop a system architecture and conduct necessary tradeoff studies to prove the feasibility of the proposed approach.

PHASE II: Design and construct a prototype system which may be new, or may be modifications to an existing soldier navigation system, and demonstrate performance of key design elements.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The vendor will commercialize the system. Military application of this topic is directly applicable to paratrooper and special operations forces, as well as the dismounted soldier via the Assured PNT program, subprogram Dismounted PNT. Envisioned endstate is the ability of soldiers to conduct their missions in these environments, maintaining a high level of OPTEMPO, where the use of this technology is transparent to themselves. Commercial applications of this technology would also be directly applicable to commercial skydiving and supply drop operations.

REFERENCES:

1. Precision Airdrop Technology Conference and Demonstration (4th) 2007, Final rept. 22-25 Oct 2007, ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA, Bishop, Jamie; Meloni, Andrew; Benney, Richard, FEB 2008

2. Terrain Referenced Navigation Using SIFT Features in LiDAR Range-Based Data, AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT, Leines, Matthew T, 26 Dec 2014

3. RF Ranging for Location Awareness, Steven Michael Lanzisera and Kristofer Pister, EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley, Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2009-69, May 19, 2009

KEYWORDS: GPS-Denied, Navigation, Positioning, Localization, Paratrooper



A17-057

TITLE: Non-toxic Hydrophobic Coatings for Improved Infrared and Red Phosphorus Obscurant Performance

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement.

OBJECTIVE: To develop coatings for nanometer-sized metal flakes and rods which will reduce agglomeration and oxidation while maintaining infrared obscurant performance, and to develop coatings for red phosphorus which will be hydrophobic to eliminate phosphine production while not impacting burn rates or yield.

DESCRIPTION: The defense industry frequently leverages commercially available materials for use in military applications. These materials as packaged or prepared for the commercial sector may not be in the best configuration for use in military-unique items. Some of these materials, such as those frequently used in high-performance obscurants, typically exhibit poor shelf life due to oxidative degradation or hydrolysis. To reduce degradation, surface coatings are frequently applied to the raw materials. Coatings applied to raw materials for use in other industries (e.g. pigment or plastics) may interfere with dissemination, burn rates, or produce excessively toxic byproducts when the raw materials are used for obscuration. Candidate coatings must provide protection to very small metal particles (tens of micrometers in the major dimension and ten nanometers in the minor dimension) and red phosphorus (RP) used in obscurants. Thin, high-aspect-ratio metal flakes, rods, or other nano-geometries are frequently used for IR obscuration, however these metal-based obscurants are quickly oxidized without protective surface coatings. RP is a high-performance visual obscurant, but suffers from hydrolysis with water to form toxic phosphine gas. Microencapsulates currently used to coat RP often interfere with the final burn rate when used in an obscurant system. Novel coating techniques and materials are required to reduce degradation, improve dissemination, reduce agglomeration, and maintain obscurant performance.

PHASE I: Develop coating techniques and materials to reduce surface oxidation, inter-particle shear forces, and water reactivity of metal flakes and RP. Candidate material coatings shall not interfere with spectral absorptivity or scattering for metal-based obscurants and shall not cause particles to become agglomerated upon dissemination. Candidate material coatings shall not affect RP burn rates, yield, or adversely affect mechanical properties when pressed into pellets. Candidate materials and techniques shall produce a hydrophobic coating to eliminate the formation of phosphine. The materials and process developed under Phase I shall result in two pounds of coated metal nanoparticles and two pounds of coated RP. Materials developed under Phase I shall be delivered to the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center for material testing and further study.

An extensive review of coating materials and technologies shall be presented along with an analysis of alternatives for the top three alternatives for metal nanomaterials and RP coatings. The analysis of alternatives shall address issues such as: technological barriers and factors affecting application, material and process costs, material performance, durability, and feasibility to scale up.

The decision path to select the top alternative of each material and process solution for the metal nanomaterial coating and the RP coating shall be presented.

The materials and processes developed under Phase I shall result in two pounds of coated metal nanoparticles and two pounds of coated RP.

PHASE II: Scale up the process to produce batches in a minimum of one hundred pound increments or as a continuous process, while maintaining the same or better performances and efficiencies developed and demonstrated in Phase I.

A successful Phase II will demonstrate scale-up to production of the processes and materials that were proven in Phase I. This phase shall produce a minimum of twenty pounds of each coated metal nanoparticles and coated RP. This production process must be representative of the final industrial process.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The techniques developed in this program can be integrated into current and future military obscurant applications. Improved coatings are necessary to reduce the current logistics burden resulting from particle agglomeration. Coatings of RP will further reduce toxicity of this necessary obscurant. This technology could have application in other DoD interest areas including high explosives, fuel/air explosives and decontamination. Improved separation techniques can be beneficial for all powdered materials in the metallurgy, ceramic, pharmaceutical and fuel industries. Industrial applications could include electronics, fuel cells/batteries, furnaces and others.

REFERENCES:

1. Bohren, C.F.; Huffman, D.R.; Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles; Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1983

2. Marrs, T.C.; Colgrave, H.F.; Edginton, J.A.G.; Rice, P.; Cross, N.L.; The toxicity of a red phosphorus smoke after repeated inhalation; Journal of Hazardous Materials, 1989, 22 (3), pp 269-82

3. Li, J.; Wu, R; Jing, Z.; Yan, L.; Zha, F.; Lei, Z.; One-Step Spray-Coating Process for the Fabrication of Colorful Superhydrophobic Coatings with Excellent Corrosion Resistance; Langmuir, 2015, 31 (39), pp 10702–7

4. Watano, S.; Nakamura, H.; Hamada, K.; Wakamatsu, Y.; Tanabe, Y.; Dave, R.; Pfeffer, R.; Fine particle coating by a novel rotating fluidized bed coater; Powder Technologies, 2004, 141, pp 172-6

KEYWORDS: Infrared obscuration, agglomeration, red phosphorus and phosphine toxicity, degradation, coatings



A17-058

TITLE: Biotemplating for Synthesis of Metal Nanorods Used In Infrared Obscuration

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a method using bio-templating to synthesize high conductivity, infrared obscuration nanorods. Nanorod diameters should be as small as possible within the constraint of rod linearity. This may prove to be in the vicinity of 50 nm or might involve smaller nanostructures. There are three essential requirements for the nanorod produced. The length requirement is vital to the electromagnetic properties; the distribution must be relatively narrow with a length of about 3 µm in order to produce a strong resonance within the far infrared atmospheric transmission window (8 to 12 µm); there must not be debris of smaller sizes resulting from any of the processes involved. Even small mass percentages of these fines will destroy the infrared optical efficiency. Fines are generally defined as particles outside the operational window of the desired obscurant effect. Finally, the resulting nanorods must be easily separable.

DESCRIPTION: Smoke and obscurants play a crucial role in protecting the Warfighter by decreasing the electromagnetic energy available for the functioning of sensors, seekers, trackers, optical enhancement devices and the human eye. Recent advances in materials science now enable the production of precisely engineered obscurants with nanometer level control over particle size and shape. Numerical modeling and many measured results on metal nanorods affirm that more than order of magnitude increases over current performance levels are possible if high aspect-ratio conductive particles can be effectively disseminated as an unagglomerated aerosol cloud.

In spite of numerous publications, no one has yet demonstrated the IR optical attenuation efficiencies that would result from high conductivity coatings that are continuous along any low or nonconductive nanorod base having an appropriate narrow length distribution. A major issue with rod samples investigated to date is the quantity of “fines” contained in a sample, defined as non-target sized/shaped particles. Anything that is not a rod of the correct length contributes to electromagnetic attenuation in another portion of the spectrum and therefore only reduces the target performance. Recent publications report successes in metal coating of rod-like bacteria, viruses, DNA, amino acids and protein cages. Rod-like biological templates can have the following advantages for the synthesis of nanorods: (1) well-defined shape and dimensions on the nanoscale, (2) stability at broad pH ranges, (3) easy to purify in large scale, (4) mechanically robust, which allows the utilization of ultracentrifugation and sonication techniques during sample processing, and (5) virus particles are intrinsically monodisperse.

PHASE I: Demonstrate with samples an ability to produce nanorods with ~50 nm diameter or less, 3 +/- 1 micron length and conductivity of iron or better (10^5 mho/cm). Any metallic material meeting these criteria will be considered. Sample should have less than 10% fines by weight, and nanorods must be separable. Provide five 10 g samples of the highest obscurant performance material to ECBC for evaluation.

PHASE II: Demonstrate that process is scalable by providing 5 1 kg samples with no loss in performance from that achieved with small samples. In Phase II, a design of a manufacturing process to commercialize the concept should be developed. Given the laboratory preparation of high performance materials achieving scale-up while maintaining low percent fiber length distribution and uniform coating is non-trivial. The process should also examine tunability of materials through minute modifications to length, diameter, aspect ratios, conductivity, or coating material. This tunability should be achieved while still maintaining low percent fines.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The techniques developed in this program can be integrated into current and future military obscurant applications. Improved grenades and other munitions are needed to reduce the current logistics burden of countermeasures to protect the soldier and his equipment. This technology could have application in other DoD interest areas including high explosives, fuel/air explosives and decontamination. Improved separation techniques can be beneficial for all powdered materials in the metallurgy, ceramic, pharmaceutical and fuel industries. Industrial applications could include electronics, fuel cells/batteries, furnaces and others.

REFERENCES:

1. Bohren CF, Huffman DR: Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles. Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1983

2. Liu L, Hong K, Hu T, Xu M: Synthesis of Aligned Copper Oxide Nanorod Arrays by a Seed Mediated Hydrothermal Method. J Alloy Compd 2012, 511:195-197

3. Young M, Willits D, Uchida M, Douglas T: Plant Viruses as Biotemplates for Materials and Their Use in Nanotechnology. Annu Rev Phytopathol 2008, 46:361-384

4. Sotiropoulou S, Sierra-Sastre Y, Mark SS, Batt CA: Biotemplated Nanostructured Materials. Chem Mater 2008, 20:821-834

5. Lee LA, Niu Z, Wang Q; Viruses and Virus-Like Protein Assemblies Chemically Programmable Nanoscale Building Blocks. Nano Res 2009, 2:349-364

6. Valenzuela K, Raghavan S, Deymier PA, Hoying J: Formation of Copper Nanowires by Electroless Deposition Using Microtubules as Templates. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2008, 8:1-6

KEYWORDS: Biotemplate, nanorod, high conductivity, narrow length distribution, infrared obscuration

A17-059

TITLE: A Low-Toxicity, Non-Pyrotechnic, High Yield Visible Smoke Material

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a material that reacts with a component of the atmosphere when disseminated to produce a visible obscurant. The material will have to react nearly instantaneously upon release and be of such particle size as to produce agglomerates with the reacted component on the order of a micron or less. Packaging of the material will be a consideration to allow near instantaneous reaction and to prevent loss of effectiveness during storage.

DESCRIPTION: Smoke and obscurants play a crucial role in protecting the Warfighter by decreasing the electromagnetic energy available for the functioning of sensors, seekers, trackers, optical enhancement devices and the human eye. Nearly as crucial as performance is the safety of the material. Legacy visible smoke materials were developed decades ago and work very well. Unfortunately, the high performance is attended by toxicology and incendiary issues. The speculation in this topic is that there is a way to use creative chemistry/material science to duplicate or exceed the performance of the legacy smokes without the deleterious effects.

The reason for the high performance of chemically reactive smoke agents, such as phosphorus and hexachloroethane (HC) is that they have a yield factor greater than one. This increase in aerosol mass over the loaded mass is due to the fact that they undergo a hydration reaction when exposed to atmospheric moisture. This pulls the mass of the available moisture out of solution in the atmosphere and causes it to condense on the nucleation sites created by the chemical smoke agent aerosol. Therefore, the relative humidity affects the resulting smoke aerosol cloud formed from chemical reactive smoke and obscurant agents. Oxygen is a limiting factor when phosphorous smoke agents are used in a closed environment since the reaction requires oxygen to form an intermediate. This reaction with atmospheric oxygen and water vapor produces aerosol clouds with droplet particles sizes in the 0.5 to 2.0 micron range. These small droplets scatter light rays and produce a smoke which appears to be white.

One potential route of exploration is polymer chemistry. There is a class of polymers known as superabsorbent that can absorb up to 400 times its weight in water. If it is possible to modify the characteristics of one of these polymers to act quickly and in a smaller size regime, then it may be possible to compete with phosphorus in performance as a smoke.

Also, 80% of the atmosphere is nitrogen. The author is not aware of any mechanism that can take advantage of this fact, but it would be game changing.

PHASE I: Demonstrate in the laboratory a material capable of producing a white smoke instantaneously when exposed to the atmosphere. It must have a yield factor greater than one, and have no incendiary effect. Use a literature search or other means to demonstrate that the material has low human toxicity.

PHASE II: Refine the material to achieve a yield factor of 4 or greater. Prepare devices that will store and disseminate the material. Devices should be self-contained. Provide 5 such items to ECBC for measurement of obscuring performance achieved. In Phase II, a design of a manufacturing process to commercialize the concept should be developed.

Phosphorous, depending upon relative humidity, produces a yield factor of about 4, that is, 4 pounds of aerosol is produced for every pound of phosphorus in the munition. The goal of this effort should be to meet or exceed that number with lower toxicity.

Toxicity should be less than 1 mg/m3, which is the TLV/TWA (Threshold Limit Value over 8 Hours of work/Time Weighted Average over 8 hours of work) for phosphoric acid (the main component in phosphorus smoke) and for zinc chloride (the main component in HC smoke).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The material developed in this program could be revolutionary in scope and can be integrated into current and future military obscurant applications. Improved grenades and other munitions are needed to reduce the current logistics burden of countermeasures to protect the soldier and his equipment. This technology could have application in other DoD interest areas including decontamination and waste disposal. Improved moisture control techniques can be beneficial for the food, pharmaceutical and fuel industries. This material could have application for police and for firefighter training.

REFERENCES:

1. Bohren, C.F.; Huffman, D.R.; Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles; Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1983

2. Committee on Toxicology; Toxicity of Military Smokes and Obscurants, Vol 1; National Academies Press, 1997

3. Lundy, D.; Eaton, J.; Occupational Health Hazards Posed by Inventory U.S. Army Smoke/Obscurant Munitions; DTIC 276774, 1994

4. Eaton, J.C.; Lopinto, R.J.; Palmer, W.G.; Health Effects of Hexachloroethane (HC) Smoke; DTIC 277838, 1994

5. Milham, M.; A Catalog of Optical Extinction Data for Various Aerosols/Smokes; DTIC 034500, 1976

KEYWORDS: visual smoke, atmospheric reaction, yield, low toxicity



A17-060

TITLE: Sensors for Assessing SeaPorts of Debarkation (SPOD)s

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes

OBJECTIVE: Develop/demonstrate technologies for aiding in planning and conducting A2AD entry operations. Develop force projection support technologies that provide an ability to rapidly update beach topography and surf-zone bathymetry in the dynamic littoral zone from small aerial platforms with quantified uncertainty for improved maneuver support and battlespace awareness during littoral operations.

DESCRIPTION: Reconnaissance of the dynamic littoral zone requires technology that can provide rapid, robust geospatial data of shallow sub-aqueous (0 to -10 m depth) and low-lying sub-aerial terrain (0 to 10+ m elevation), nearshore waves and currents, as well as sediment characteristics to inform trafficability assessments. Small, mobile, unmanned systems offer unique platforms that can deploy a wide variety of sensors that will allow for frequent monitoring or rapid updating of these littoral processes and surfaces that may have changed significantly since the last reconnaissance mission, however current sensor packages do not provide the necessary data for collection of mobile, long-dwell imagery collection. Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to this problem—instead a fusion of technology (e.g. Long-dwell Electro-Optical or Infrared Imagery, Hyperspectral Imagery, Topo/Bathymetric Lidar) and analysis approaches (e.g. Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry, Bathymetric Inversions, etc) will be required to provide best estimates of littoral terrain, hydrodynamics, and geological properties, particularly in turbid, breaking-wave environments. In addition, state-of-the-art analysis approaches that will integrate these products into important GEOINT data are focused on model-data assimilation frameworks that require all data products to provide rigorous error estimates in addition to the measured quantity. Approaches are needed to quantify and propagate error through the data collection and processing algorithms.


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