TITLE: Decompression of
Atmosphere Onboard Distressed Submarine
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS391,
SUBMARINE ESCAPE AND RESCUE PROGRAM OFFICE
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 Announcement. Offerors are advised
foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to
the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
OBJECTIVE: Develop a means to
reduce the internal atmospheric pressure of a Distressed Submarine (DISSUB)
without the need for ship’s electrical power.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy has a
safety requirement to provide the capability for the escape and rescue of
crewmembers in the event of a DISSUB situation. A method to bring DISSUB
internal atmosphere to 1 atm would significantly increase the chance of
survival by crewmembers. There is currently no means for a DISSUB to lower its
internal atmospheric pressure. Research and development (R&D) is needed, as
there is no known commercial technology available technology that would fit the
There is a high probability that a Distressed Submarine (DISSUB) that ends up
on the ocean bottom with all or some crewmembers alive, will have an internal
atmosphere pressurized above 1 atm. This can be due to a number of reasons,
such as flooding compressing the air in a compartment to a smaller volume,
damage to high-pressure air banks/piping causing them to vent into a
compartment, and crew use of Emergency Air Breathing system to fight
casualties. A high internal atmospheric pressure can cause significant
problems such as nitrogen narcosis, oxygen toxicity, and decompression
Develop a prototype device that can lower the internal atmospheric pressure of
a DISSUB by at least 1 atm, with a goal of lowering the pressure from 5 atm to
1 atm. The prototype device cannot require the availability of shipboard
electrical power as power may not be available. The prototype device may rely
on the stored energy of the ship’s high-pressure air banks, seawater pressure,
or self-contained battery power. It must not require more than four people to
operate or require significant operator physical exertion. Decompression must
happen at a safe rate to prevent decompression sickness of crewmembers.
Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective
contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as
defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating
Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented
and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor
and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level
facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced
phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access
to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United
States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected
company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M
during the advance phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Define and develop a
concept for reducing the internal atmospheric pressure of a DISSUB as outlined
in the description. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept by performing
modeling and simulation to approximate the performance. The Phase I Option, if
awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities
description to build a prototype solution in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the
results of Phase I and the Phase II efforts, fabricate, validate, and deliver a
prototype device capable of test demonstration in a simulated DISSUB
environment. Provide a detailed test plan to demonstrate the deliverable meets
the intent of program requirements. A Phase III qualification and transition
plan will also be provided at the end of Phase II.
It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase
II (see Description section for details).
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use.
Deliver the Phase II-developed prototype in a form factor and configuration
that is ready for temporary installation onboard a Navy submarine. Participate
in shipboard testing to prove functionality in an operational environment.
This technology could be used by commercial manned submersibles and underwater
research facilities. Additionally, this technology could be sold to other
countries for use onboard their submarines.
1. Harabin, A.L. “An analysis
of decrements in vital capacity as an index of pulmonary oxygen toxicity.”
Journal of Applied Physiology 63(3), 1 Sept 1987: 1130-1135. http://jap.physiology.org/content/63/3/1130.long
2. Demchenko, Ivan. “Similar
but not the same: normobaric and hyperbaric pulmonary oxygen toxicity, the role
of nitric oxide.” American Journal of Physiology (Lung and Cellular Molecular
Physiology) 293, 9 July 2007: L229-L238. http://ajplung.physiology.org/content/293/1/L229
KEYWORDS: Submarine Escape;
Pressure Reduction; DISSUB; High Pressure Survival; Low Power Emergency on
Submarines; Oxygen Toxicity
** TOPIC NOTICE **
These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 29, 2017, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2018, and closes February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.
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