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Army 14. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions

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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 solicitation.
OBJECTIVE: Develop, investigate, and validate a novel optical primary optic for a wide field of view semi-active laser spot-tracking missile seeker based on a biologically-inspired compound eye for use in the near-infrared spectrum. Provide effective rejection of solar interference, and allow tracking of a target by a missile in flight without the need for a gimbaled sensor.
DESCRIPTION: The US Army employs semi-active laser optical sensors on many missile platforms to provide precision guidance to targets. The Army now places a strong emphasis on low-cost missile seekers for use on relatively small missile platforms. The Army requires a novel, non-moving (strap-down) seeker solution in order to reduce cost and complexity as well as enable use on small missile platforms. The Army has a need for a missile seeker system which will not require the use of a moving mechanical structure, such as a gimbal, to maintain track on a target. A strap-down missile seeker must still evaluate the same wide field of regard as that which may be covered by an equivalent gimbaled sensor. A semi-active laser seeker must also operate in an environment which may be rich with background radiance, such as when the sun may be located in the sensor field of view.
Small invertebrates have eyes specifically tailored for their tasks [1]. Many of those tasks include wide-field source tracking in high-background environments. The Army therefore recognizes the corollary that a biologically-inspired compound eye-type sensor may provide a novel solution to the problem of a strap-down semi-active laser seeker.
PHASE I: Create a design for a novel compound eye seeker and provide performance estimates, analyses, and simulations, to include -but not limited to- resolution, optical throughput, and any measures to predict rejection of solar or other radiation outside of a selected near-infrared band-pass and angles of interest.
The novel seeker optics shall be capable of detecting and tracking a target illuminated by a selected laser operating in the near-infrared (900nm-1100nm) wavelength region. The novel seeker optics shall enable narrow band-pass filtering of the source to a 10nm (threshold), 2nm (objective) transmission bandwidth, which shall be effective throughout the entire field of regard of the seeker. The novel seeker design shall allow tracking of the intended laser source throughout the sensor’s field of regard when in the presence of a bright background source (i.e. the sun) located at any field point greater than 2 degrees (threshold), 1 degree (objective) from the intended source.
The novel seeker design shall allow implementation on a missile platform as small as 2.75 inches and as large as 7 inches in diameter. The novel seeker shall provide a field of view not less than 25 degrees. The Army will not likely require a field of view greater than 50 degrees. The novel optic shall optimize tracking accuracy and light collection ability while simultaneously providing the previously-stated capabilities. A typical detector sensor for this application is a quadrant detector less than 9.25mm in diameter. The Army shall prefer such a solution for ease of implementation, but will consider other reasonable detector configurations in the interest of cost to performance benefits.
Potential risks to achieving a low sensor cost with the proposed concept shall be identified in Phase I. Rough order of magnitude cost estimates on known components are encouraged in Phase I reporting in to reduce risk earlier in the potential Phase II effort. The seeker design shall identify any assumptions or requirements regarding sensor/detector configuration or any additional optics required for the operation of the seeker.
Phase I proposals will be technically evaluated on the perceived ability of the technology to meet the previously-stated desired system performance goals as well as achieve future cost goals.
PHASE II: Construct and deliver to the Army a prototype sensor system based upon the Phase I design which shall consist of a complete assembly of the novel optical technology, sensor/detector device, electronics for sensor operation, and any hardware or software required to obtain complete signal output from the sensor. The Army technical point of contact shall provide any additional detailed requirements, sensor recommendations, and detector module hardware as necessary, pending a Phase II award.
Detailed design analysis and verification thereof shall be performed as part of the Phase II effort. The army shall use results from the analysis effort to run detailed performance models and simulations. The awardee shall provide detailed cost estimation for prototype and production-level quantities of the seeker.
PHASE III: Development of the optical technology described herein will have immediate application to laser communications in both military and commercial sectors. The technology should find ready applications in laboratory applications. Additional military spin-offs would include missile warning sensors.

[1] Land, M.F., Nilsson, D.E., Animal Eyes. Oxford Animal Biology Series. Oxford University Press, 2002.

[2] Patent US 7,587,109 B1, “Hybrid Fiber Coupled Artificial Compound Eye,” Spectral Imaging Laboratory, Francis Mark Reininger, Sep. 8, 2009.
[3] J. Barth, A. Fendt, R. Florian, et al., "Dual-mode seeker with imaging sensor and semi-active laser detector," Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 6542 (2007).
[4] J. English, R. White, "Semi-active laser (SAL) last pulse logic infrared imaging seeker," Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 4372 (2001).
KEYWORDS: seeker, laser, optics, sensor, compound eye

A14-009 TITLE: High Capacity Materials and Advanced Engineering for Thermal Batteries

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 solicitation.
OBJECTIVE: Future thermal battery performance demands a substantial increase in potential and energy density over the current state-of-the-art. The objective is to develop high potential and high capacity thermal batteries based on advanced electro-chemistry and engineering technologies pushing the boundaries of the current state-of-the-art.
DESCRIPTION: Smaller size and longer mission lifetime are among the critical changes being implemented in the next generation missile systems. The need to increase the range of smaller missiles demands higher total energy in miniaturized thermal batteries needed to power the guidance systems and other on-board electronics. The simultaneous fulfillment of higher energy and smaller footprint demands systems with significantly increased energy density. Considering the existing thermal batteries operating at lower potential, e.g., less than 1.8V, the new thermal battery may need to operate at higher cell potential and be stable at thermal battery operating conditions. Many factors including material characteristics, mechanical perturbations, thermal stabilities, and electrical issues also prevent the current thermal batteries from reaching their optimum potential and specific energy.
PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility electro-chemical and engineering analysis of the optimization of potential and specific energy. Target cell level parameters should include at least 2.5 V of the average operating voltage, and at least 1,000 Wh/kg of specific energy. Identify component materials/engineering and provide merits of the proposed system. Address the performance trade-offs and compatibility issues among electrodes and the electrolytes. Design and fabricate the first-generation thermal battery and perform cell testing to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed materials and engineering approaches to provide a clear pathway for an advanced thermal battery with optimized performance leading to the target goals.
PHASE II: Design and fabricate a thermal battery to demonstrate the avarage cell level operating voltage of > 2.5 V, and the cell level specific energy of > 1,000 Wh/kg with a current density not less than 0.5 A/cm2. All appropriate electro-chemical characteristics, engineering testing and validation of the performance of the prototype system should be performed. Provide all the cell components along with synthesis and manufacturing processes. A working prototype should also be submitted to Army for evaluation.
PHASE III: Demonstrate improvements in performance in non-operational and operational environments. Provide complete engineering and test documentation for development of manufacturing prototypes. A Phase III application for Army missile systems could include battery miniaturization in legacy programs as well as incorporation into emerging programs. Programs that would benefit from this technological innovation would include, but are not limited to, the following programs: TOW, Excalibur, Stinger, Javelin, NLOS, Griffin and JAGM. The development of other military applications of this technology may include future urban warfare surveillance/reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles. This technology is also applicable to sonabuoys which are large users of thermal batteries. Among numerous civilian applications of this technology, smaller emergency backup power sources for the aviation industry are considered to be the most applicable.

1. P. Butler, C. Wagner, R. Guidotti, and I. Francis, Journal of Power Sources, 136, 240-245 (2004).

2. P. Masset Journal of Power Sources, 160, 688-697 (2006).
3. R. A. Guidotti, F.W. Reinhardt, J. Dai, and D. E. Reisner, Journal of Power Sources, 160, 1456–1462 (2006).
4. M. Au, Journal of Power Sources, 115, 360-366 (2006).
5. R. A. Guidotti and P. Masset, Journal of Power Sources, 161, 1443–1449 (2006).
6. P. Masset and R. A. Guidotti, Journal of Power Sources, 164, 397–414 (2007).
7. P. Masset and R. A. Guidotti, Journal of Power Sources, 177, 595-609 (2008).
8. P. Masset and R. A. Guidotti, Journal of Power Sources, 178, 456-666 (2008).
9. R. A. Guidotti and P. Masset, Journal of Power Sources, 183, 388–398 (2008).
KEYWORDS: energy storage, specific energy, thermal battery, molten salt battery, electro-chemistry, battery miniaturization

A14-010 TITLE: Fragmentation Data Collection and Analysis for JMEMs Arena Tests

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: 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 solicitation.
OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative, low cost approach to capture fragmentation mass, location, material type from a Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) arena characterization test. The objective is to reduce cost, man hours and turnaround time of data.
DESCRIPTION: AMRDEC is interested in developing techniques to improve the data collection and analysis associated with performing ground-based static warhead arena characterization tests. These tests adhere to the guidelines and procedures described in the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM). The current method of characterizing muntions is costly, labor intensive and produces an incomplete record of data. For an arena test, a warhead is placed in the center of an arena consisting of blast-pressure gages and fragment collection media (often celotex bundles). When initiated, the warhead fragments impinge themselves into the celotex bundles for subsequent measurement and analysis of their location, weight and shape. Several days, if not weeks of tedious and error-prone labor (~30hours/bundle) are necessary to locate, recover, weight and record the geometry of each fragment into a database; many of the smaller fragments are not even recovered. At an estimated $100/hr - the cost of an arena test can balloon quite substantially as the number of bundles and manhours to collect/analyze each bundle increase.
A typical fragment collection procedure is as follows:

1. Examine one bundle sheet at a time (typically a 2-foot thick bundle contains 48 sheets [4'x8'x0.5" sheet])

2. Locate fragments by hand and record location

3. Dig fragment out of celotex and place in a bag with fragment number for reference in database

4. Clean fragment with acetone and determine material type

5. Weigh fragment and record

6. Compile all information into spreadsheet database for further analysis
PHASE I: Develop an innovative, low cost concept to capture fragmentation mass, location, material type using an automated method to detect and map fragment and provide fragment mass from a celotex bundle. This model should demonstrate modeling and simulation of the ability to detect, track, derive position and mass, and record each fragment embedded in a bundle.

The deliverable thresholds are:

1. Material detection - Steel only

2. Location Coordinates - x, y, z coordinates with +/-0.5in

3. Mass - within 10% of fragment true weight

4. Time – 15 hours per bundle

The deliverable objectives are:

1. Material detection - Steel, Aluminum, Titanium

2. Location Coordinates - x, y, z coordinates within +/-0.25in

3. Mass - within 5% of fragment true weight

4. Time – 10 hours per bundle

During this phase, a plan/design for implementing this system into hardware will need to be developed.

PHASE II: Following the development plan outlined in Phase I - design, develop, and implement a prototype fragmentation data collection and analysis tool (hardware and software) during a JMEMs arena test.

A deliverable from the Phase II will be the delivery of an analysis system( hardware and software) to AMREDC and a successful demonstration of the hardware and software of a JMEMs arena test meeting the minimum threshold requirements (preferably meeting the objectives) with documented results. Present a path forward to support JMEMs arena testing with the implementation of the analysis tool and look at potential commercialization areas.

PHASE III: Mature the system developed in Phase II to a test-ready status. The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for potential commercial users in the areas of sensors and software capable of high speed, high fidelity physical position and size measurements and detection. Once proven, this technology could be used in a vast array of fields such as the medical field and mining industry.

1. Testing and Data Reduction Procedures for High-Explosive Munitions, Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM), USAF 61A1-3-7, Revision 2, 8 May 1990

2. Fragmentation Field Analysis Testing System, Physics Sciences, Inc., Richard Barnard and Peter Nebolsine

(Added and posted to topic on 1/8/14.)

3. Fundamentals of Naval Warhead Systems, Chapter 13 Warheads

(Added and posted to topic on 1/8/14.)

4. Methodology for Dynamic Characterization of Fragmenting Warheads May 2009, Jason Angel, ARL ARL-SR-179

(Added and posted to topic on 1/8/14.)

5. Characterization of Distribution Parameters of Fragment Mass and Number for Conventional Projectiles, New Trends in Research of Energetics Materials, 2011

(Added and posted to topic on 1/8/14.)

6. Title: ( U ) An Efficient Technique for the Collection and Analysis of Fragment Mass Distributions from Fragmenting Munitions.

Accession Number: ADA320043, PDF URL: (pdf) - 820 KB -

DA320043, Personal Author(s): Klopcic, J T, Corporate Author: ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD Corporate Source Code:425747 Report Date: Dec 1996.

(Added and posted to topic on 1/8/14.)

KEYWORDS: Arena Test, Fragment, Mass, Software, Analysis, Position, Location, Data Collection

A14-015 TITLE: Reproducible high yield production of structural proteins for biologically-derived fibers as

an alternative to nylon
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes
OBJECTIVE: Develop (1) an industrially compatible microbial expression system for high yield production of structural proteins and (2) bio-derived fibers from stable protein solutions through an aqueous-based, automated, scalable spinning process.
DESCRIPTION: Nylon 6,6, a common chemically-derived polymer, is widely used in commercial and military applications that require a high level of wear and tear. For the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and accompanying undergarments, blends of nylon and cotton are typically generated to enhance comfort and improve moisture management, relative to nylon being employed autonomously. However, certain aspects of durability and mechanical integrity are decreased in the blended fabric. Moreover, the thermal decomposition of Nylon 6,6, independently or within a blend, results in melt drip, which can cause secondary burns during a flame or thermal event in combat. Biologically-derived fibers have been identified as a viable alternative to nylon-based fibers, with mechanical integrity approaching nylon while being considered high comfort materials. Furthermore, the biological nature of the materials avoids melt drip injuries, as the fiber would not exhibit melt behavior but rather complete thermal degradation. Additional benefits include (i) reduced weight, which addresses the ever evolving challenge of Soldier load, (ii) reduced energy demands for fiber production, and (iii) biodegradability, which addresses a growing trend of reduced signature and footprint for contingency operations. Silkworm silk, the most common bio-fiber currently available for textile applications, is not viable for use in U.S. Soldier textiles due to limitations on use of foreign sourced materials. The Army must initiate efforts to investigate, create and develop domestic bio-derived textiles to keep pace with the next generation of requirements, both environmental and performance related.
This topic seeks to create a bio-derived alternative to nylon by maturing the current state-of-the art relating to fibers derived from structural proteins such as collagen (1), fibrin (2), spider silk (3) and resolubilized hagfish slime (4). Structural proteins can self-assemble into aligned polymer-like chains during fiber spinning, akin to melt extrusion of chemically-derived polymers. The self-assembly process of structural proteins is tailorable, dependent upon the solution matrix, and to some extent controllable, unlike other bio-fibers such as jute and cellulose. Structural proteins therefore represent an exciting opportunity to create bio-derived fibers that not only could possess mechanical stability similar to that of nylon, but by manipulating the self-assembly process, could strive for properties of high-performance polymeric fibers such as Kevlar. Furthermore, and in contrast to natural fibers, structural protein-based fibers possess surface functional groups that can serve as a platform for incorporating multifunctionality into bio-derived textiles, such as biorecognition elements for pathogen sensing and antimicrobials for odor and skin irritation control. While some advances have been made toward production of bio-derived fibers using structural proteins (e.g., spider silk (5)), several technical hurdles persist. Protein production remains a limiting factor for scaling of fiber production, and purification is a key hurdle, as impurities limit fiber extensibility. Protein stability and control of molecular chain alignment, before and during spinning, are also major challenges for reproducible fiber formation.
The specific goal of this topic is to develop innovative methods to produce structural proteins in high yield and to reproducibly extrude these proteins into biological fibers. The structural proteins should be produced using a microbial host capable of generating kilogram quantities of protein, and the purified protein monomers should be spun into fibers using aqueous-based spinning techniques to reproducibly generate fibers with properties equivalent to nylon. The processes and products developed within this topic will serve as the basis for commercialization of next generation, lightweight bio-derived fibers to replace nylon in civilian and military textiles.
PHASE I: Develop approaches to produce structural proteins in a scalable microbial host and screen structural protein constructs for reproducible fiber formation. Using methodology compatible with existing industrial biotechnology infrastructure, demonstrate production of structural protein at lab-scale quantities exceeding 10 grams of protein (fermentation yield >0.5 g/L; >50% purity). Assess the scalability of both the microbial host production approach and the purification process. Characterize protein conformation and self-assembly dynamics in solution. Develop an aqueous-based spinning approach to extrude fibers from the purified protein solution, which is capable of scaling to industrial production levels. Using the developed spinning approach, screen structural protein constructs for fiber formation. Single fibers must meet or exceed the following metrics: minimum 2-fold single draw, pliable immediately after drying, >40% of Nylon 6,6 mechanical stability (tensile strength = 12-40 MPa; elastic modulus = 0.13-1.6 GPa).
PHASE II: Optimize the protein production and purification approaches developed in Phase I and demonstrate production of structural protein constructs which achieved the required Phase I fiber metrics at pilot-scale quantities exceeding 2500 grams of protein (fermentation yield >2 g/L; >80% purity). Assess the scalability of the optimized pilot-scale expression system and purification process to industrially-relevant levels. The structural protein solution produced using the optimized pilot-scale system should exhibit no change in turbidity over a period exceeding one month while stored in a diluted state (i.e., non-spinnable concentration), no change in turbidity over a period of 2-4 days at concentrations suitable for fiber spinning, and an ability to maintain protein conformation and self-assembly dynamics in a concentrated state that are required for reproducible fiber formation. Assess batch-to-batch reproducibility of protein solution production. Optimize and scale the aqueous-based spinning approach developed in Phase I to generate >1 pound of fiber. To assess reproducibility of fiber production, a minimum of 20 single fibers exceeding 10 inches in length from >5 distinct spin trials must demonstrate <20% variation in mechanical and thermal stability. A minimum of 10 yarn samples, each consisting of a minimum of 5 single fibers, must also demonstrate <20% variation in mechanical and thermal stability. Single fibers and yarns must meet or exceed the following metrics: mechanical stability equivalent to Nylon 6,6 (tensile strength = 30-100 MPa; elastic modulus = 0.32-4.0 GPa) and pliability after >1 month of storage. A minimum of 10 yarn samples must also be provided to the Army for independent assessment of mechanical and thermal stability. A minimum of 10 woven or non-woven fiber swatches measuring at least 6 inches x 6 inches must be produced that reproducibly demonstrate properties that meet or exceed properties of nylon swatches of equivalent form. A minimum of 10 fiber swatches must also be provided to the Army for lab scale developmental testing.
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