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

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OBJECTIVE: To provide a compact, affordable, and reliable high resolution Lidar system which is invisible to night vision goggles and provides real-time beam configuration for improved autonomous capabilities.

DESCRIPTION: High resolution Lidar systems are the primary sensors used for vehicle automation, providing excellent object definition and scene mapping. However, these sensors typically use high precision mirrors and optics that are mechanically rotated to produce the required scan patterns. This approach results in a high cost sensor with relatively poor reliability. One of the most common Lidar systems used today is the Velodyne 32, a rotating system that operates in a -10°C to 60°C temperature range, uses the 905nm wavelength, has a maximum range of 100m, and costs around $30,000. There are other companies that provide cheaper models or models with better range but there are currently no models used on current systems that utilize the 1550nm wavelength and have real-time user configurable beams, two functions that are very desirable for military use.

The envisioned system is a compact and affordable high resolution solid state Lidar sensor that contains no moving parts for the highest level of reliability and longevity. The target life would be greater than 20,000 hours. These sensors would have a range of at least 100 meters with a 10% reflective target, a 2 cm or better range accuracy, a 0.1 degree or better angular resolution with a horizontal field of view (azimuth) greater that 120 degrees (180 degrees preferred) vertical field of view greater than 10 degrees, and a scan rate higher that 25 Hz. These sensors should be able to operate at the 1550nm wavelength to be invisible to current night vision goggles and at least at temperatures within the range of -25°C to 70°C. The sensors should weigh no more than 1kg, should be no large than 150mm in any dimension, and should have a power consumption of 15W or less. The price for the sensors should also be $10,000 per unit at most.

PHASE I: Design a proof of concept prototype for an affordable, compact solid-state Lidar sensor that meets the specifications outlined in the description. Beyond the desired specs, the Lidar should also have the ability to redirect its lasers in real-time to specific points of interest designated by a user or autonomous software system. This will provide greater functionality for autonomous system developers and designers. Delivered at the end of this phase will be a white paper outlining the proof of concept design and its feasibility.

PHASE II: The concept prototype will have its design refined and then be developed and built for component level testing. Demonstration and technology evaluation will take place in a relevant laboratory environment or on a military ground vehicle system. Delivered at the end of the phase will be at least 3 units for government feasibility and integration testing.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Mechanical packaging and integration of the solution into a vehicle will be achieved (TRL6) and technology transition will occur so the Solid-State Lidar can be used on military autonomous ground vehicle applications. The Autonomous Ground Resupply Science and Technology Objective (AGR STO) would be a potential entry point for this sensor’s application. The real-time configurable beams will also be an attractive feature for the automotive industry as it will provide new avenues towards how they approach autonomous behavior and the solid-state will provide more reliability.






KEYWORDS: LIDAR, LADAR, Solid-State, Laser, Imaging, Detection, Ranging


TITLE: Nondestructive Characterization of Transparent Armor

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground/Sea Vehicles

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 an apparatus to characterize transparent armor through nondestructive mechanisms.

DESCRIPTION: Transparent armor can be made from various transparent materials, e.g. glasses, plastics, transparent ceramics, and polymer interlayers. The layers of material can range from 0.01 inch thick to over 1 inch thick resulting in a transparent armor design that can be 6 inches thick overall with over 15 layers of differing materials. When the materials are manufactured into an end component it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to visually see how many layers of material make up the transparent armor, what material each layer consists of, and the thickness of each layer.

The goal of this topic is to develop a system that will characterize each layer of a transparent armor from the strike face through the interior surface. The output of the characterization will include the material properties of each layer in order to distinguish between closely related materials (e.g. soda lime silica glass versus borosilicate glass, polycarbonate versus polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), etc.), the thickness of each layer of material, and will combine the information about each layer to produce and overall transparent armor design. The instrumentation may be for use in the laboratory or in the field and shall not interfere with the function of the transparent armor’s end use.

PHASE I: Develop a set of tools for nondestructively characterizing the constitutive materials of the transparent armor. The tool set can use one or more material properties, such as density, sound speed, refractive index, etc., to distinguish between various materials of the same and/or different material classes. The tool set shall demonstrate the ability to characterize a simple material layup, for example soda lime glass, interlayer, and borosilicate glass layup or a polycarbonate, interlayer, and PMMA layup, which has been fabricated in a similar fashion to transparent armor. The samples at this level may be simple layups but should replicate the proper thicknesses of real world transparent armor. The output of the system can be raw data that consists of material information for each individual layer.

PHASE II: Continue development of the tool set to now include the combination of materials that replicate a “simple” transparent armor design, e.g. borosilicate glass, interlayer, soda lime glass, interlayer, PMMA, interlayer, and polycarbonate or any combination thereof. The output of the system should now select the material that the dataset characterized. The manipulation of the system should now be at the graphical user interface level if it is not already.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The overall system shall be refined to the point of being able to test various thickness and material solutions of transparent armor designs that are on fielded systems regardless of the number of layers and different materials in the design. The system shall operate with no known knowledge of the transparent armor design, such as overall thickness. The transparent armor is generally encased in a steel frame around its periphery that prevents accurate measurement total weight or density. The interface shall be with software a common user can manipulate to perform the characterization and produce precise and accurate results. The overall system shall consist of production ready components.


1. C.K. Jen, A. Safaai-Jazi, G.W. Farnell, and E.L. Adler, FIBER ACOUSTIC WAVEGUIDE A SENSOR CANDIDATE, Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation Vol 5A, Jan. 1986

2. A. Hammoutene, F.Enguehard and L.Bertrand, LASER-ULTRASONIC OPTICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF NONMETALS, Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, Vol. 17

3. Edited by D.O. Thompson andD.E. Chimenti" PlenwnPress, New York, 1998

4. Fioralba Cakoni, Michele Di Cristo, and Jiguang Sun, A Multistep Reciprocity Gap Functional Method for the Inverse Problem in a Multi-layered Medium, Complex Variables and Elliptic Equations Complex Variables and Elliptic Equations Vol. 00, No. 00, January 2008

KEYWORDS: Nondestructive evaluation, armor, transparent, glass


TITLE: Adaptive Armor Actuator Mechanisms

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground/Sea Vehicles

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 a model for a mechanism capable of moving an armor panel of at least 1 square foot with an areal density of 75 pounds per square foot (PSF) 10” horizontally in less than 2.5 seconds. The movement is intended to be repeatable and controlled from the interior of the vehicle and shall not pose harm to dismounted personnel.

DESCRIPTION: Conventional armor solutions currently being integrated are “not adaptable” in providing increased threat capability and protection from a greatly expanded set of threats. A solution is needed for threats that are not feasibly addressed with conventional armor systems. Conventional armor systems are essentially static and unable to respond to unanticipated changes in threats deployed against the system; essentially the army has limited potential to increase the capabilities of current static armor recipes in order to balance size, weight, and performance requirements.

Increased threat defeat using conventional armor is prohibitive due to the significant weight burdens associated with increased protection. Any increase in weight has secondary effects such as limited off-road mobility and increased logistics burden.

This SBIR topic solicits new, innovative approaches to incorporate mechanisms into an armor system to provide protection against increased threats. For the purpose of this effort the system shall be designed to interface with a 1” plate of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA) Plate that represents a surrogate vehicle structure. The mechanism needs to be capable of moving a 75 PSF armor panel 10 inches horizontally in less 2.5 seconds. The mechanism needs to be able to withstand automotive loading as well as environmental conditions typical of a combat vehicle. The proposal should discuss in detail how the system could be incorporated onto a vehicle platform and what the projected Space, Weight, Power, and cooling (SWAP-C) at the vehicle level.

The proposal shall not include a system that could be describe as an Active Protection System (APS). A system is considered an APS system if any of the two statements apply: 1. A light-weight hit avoidance vehicle defense system which, when integrated on a ground combat vehicle, can detect, track; and then interdict by diversion, disruption, neutralization, or destruction of incoming line-of-sight threat munitions. 2. A system that deploys a counter-measure that does not providing any inherent protection to the vehicle system when the counter-measure does not perform as designed.

PHASE I: Develop a mechanism capable of moving an armor coupon to meet the requirements stated. Identify critical technologies for realizing this concept. Conduct theoretical analysis, simulations, fatigue analysis, and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to prove feasibility of the concept. Phase I deliverables shall be analysis and simulation data, monthly progress reports, a final technical report, a final review meeting including presentation materials and sample materials of devices.

PHASE II: Design, Fabrication, and demonstration of the adaptive armor actuator mechanism proposed in Phase I. This prototype shall be tested to withstand cycling, automotive loads, and proposed an approach to address environmental conditions. Phase II deliverables shall include a prototype adaptive armor actuator mechanism, test data, monthly progress reports, semi-annual progress reviews, a final review, and final report, and a Phase II project summary.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The most likely Phase III transition path is integration of this technology into ground combat vehicles via vehicle system prime contractors.


1. Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Test, MIL-STD-810G, 15 April 2014

2. Human Engineering, MIL-STD-1472G, 11 Jan 2012

3. Standard Electronic and Electrical Component Parts, MIL-STD-202, 18 April 2015

KEYWORDS: adaptive, actuator, Linear, translation, control system, automation, pneumatic, hydraulic


TITLE: Field Instrumentation to measure, quantify, and characterize fuel contaminants

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground/Sea Vehicles

OBJECTIVE: Develop a portable instrument to rapidly detect, measure, quantify, and characterize solid particulate and free water contamination in aviation fuel.

DESCRIPTION: Legacy test methods for monitoring fuel contamination have not changed in 40-50 years. These methods are cumbersome, time consuming, and imprecise. Additionally they do not meet new diesel engine hardware manufacturer’s recommendations to limit particles based on size and distribution. Work performed by U.S. Army TARDEC has developed limits for particulate and free water contamination in fuel utilizing light obscuration particle counter technology [1]. These limits have been published in the JP-8 fuel specification (MIL-STD-83133) [2], and MIL-STD-3004D change 1, DOD standard practice for quality assurance/surveillance [3]. The shortcoming of the light obscuration particle counter approach is that it is unable to differentiate between solid particulates, free water droplets, and air bubbles entrained within the fuel stream during refueling operations [4]. The Army desires to develop instrumentation that will detect and measure fuel contaminants, characterize each contaminant detected as being a solid particulate or free water droplet, ignoring air bubbles. The instrumentation shall report the size distribution of contaminants present and quantify the level of contaminants present in the fuel.

PHASE I: Develop a concept and approach for the development of a ruggedized portable inline or online analytical instrument capable of analyzing fuels to determine the concentration of fuel contaminates. Conduct proof of principle experiments supporting the concept and providing evidence of the feasibility of the approach.

PHASE II: Develop, build, and demonstrate two (2) identical prototype portable analytical instruments capable of reporting solid particulate and free water contamination of fuel flowing through a two inch hoseline at 100 gallons per minute. The prototypes shall be delivered to the government.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Technology developed under this SBIR will have a significant impact on military fuel distribution and quality surveillance, the intended transition path is into the Army’s Petroleum Expeditionary Analysis Kit or other PM PAWS managed fuel distribution systems.


1. Schmitigal, J. “Laboratory Evaluation of Light Obscuration Particle Counters used to Establish use Limits for Aviation Fuel” TARDEC Technical Report 27480, 01 December 2015

2. Military Specification MIL-DTL-83133J, “Turbine Fuels, Aviation, Kerosene Types, NATO F-34 (JP-8), NATO F-35, and JP-8+100” 16 December 2015

3. Military Standard MIL-STD-3004D w/CHANGE 1, “Department of Defense Standard Practice Quality Assurance/Surveillance for Fuels, Lubricants and Related Products” 28 March 2016

4. Schmitigal, J., Bramer, J. “Field Evaluation of Particle Counter Technology for Aviation Fuel Contamination Detection – Fort Rucker” TARDEC Technical Report 23966, 10 June 2013

KEYWORDS: JP-8, F-24, Diesel, Jet Fuel, Contamination, Free Water, Aviation Fuel, Particulate


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