Software Simulation of a Thermal Protection System for Hardware-in-the-Loop

Navy SBIR 22.2 - Topic N222-123
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Opens: May 18, 2022 - Closes: June 15, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N222-123 TITLE: Software Simulation of a Thermal Protection System for Hardware-in-the-Loop

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR); Hypersonics; Space

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace Environments; Materials / Processes; 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 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 software simulation of a Thermal Protection System (TPS) for a Hypersonic Weapon with intent to integrate the software into a system-level test architecture.

DESCRIPTION: A Thermal Protection System (TPS) on a vehicle protects vehicle components from heating effects brought on by the advanced aerodynamic environments of hypersonic flight. The Navy desires a high-fidelity software model of a TPS to show the effects of these advanced hypersonic aerodynamic environments on the TPS. The novel nature of this SBIR topic stems from two requirements on this high-fidelity software model; the software model is expected to be seeded with experimental data of a real TPS from provided material coupon and the software model is expected to interface with a Navy system-level test asset that runs on a real-time computational platform. The Navy is currently expanding its ability to do real-time system level test and evaluation of hypersonic weapons, and so requires continuous improvement to the subcomponent models that make up system-level test architecture.

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 Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and SSP 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 advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Outline the following three concepts:

1. A framework for a software simulation of a TPS in a Hypersonic environment. Key inputs to this simulation should be derived from vehicle kinematics and TPS material properties, utilize publically available data for hypersonic boost-glide systems to define inputs. Key outputs to this simulation should indicate TPS performance and vehicle heat exchange information. The software simulation will be required to run in a real-time computational environment.

2. A test plan for advanced TPS materials outlining the process of experimentally determining relevant data parameters for the software simulation model.

3. A software architecture for integrating the software simulation model into the Navy’s system level test architecture.

Relevant information for setting up the framework will be provided upon contract award.

PHASE II: Develop prototype software development is expected to happen in two sections based on the three concepts outlined in Phase I:

1. Software development of the TPS software simulation will begin, with the expectation that initial development will be complete by the end of Phase II with preparation to integrate into the Navy’s system-level test equipment during Phase III. Interface with Navy engineers familiar with the system-level test equipment and be provided with specific details of the software interface definition. Navy engineers will also work with the awardee to provide details of the system-level test software for software integration to ensure smooth transition in Phase III. Certain details of the Navy’s system-level test equipment will be Classified.

2. Execution of the test plan for the advanced TPS material will occur. The awardee will receive advanced TPS material coupons for experimental test in order to seed the TPS software simulation with TPS material data. TPS material coupons will be classified.

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: The delivered product to the Navy is expected to be a software package to reside on system-level test hardware and interface with system-level test software. Provide installation guidance and support for the software. Provide a level of support for validation and debugging as the Navy team performs checkout activities on the software. These checkout activities will take the form of data packages created using the Navy’s system-level test with the incorporated software package, to be compared to data packages of the system-level test without the software and also compared to data packages of experimental data. Experimental data will include the awardee’s experimental data from Phase II. Experimental data may also include Navy generated data, which will not be distributed to the customer – in this case, the expectation is the Navy will generate internal reports that include this data and distill out of these reports a version sharable with the customer as it relates to the performance of the customer supplied software product. Transition activities will end when the company awardee and the Navy have agreed to successful integration of the software package into Navy system-level test equipment.

While specific data within the software package related to the TPS will remain classified, the software architecture and advanced TPS modeling tools developed by the awardee are expected to be usable by the awardee for non-military applications in the commercial hypersonic industry.


  1. R. Jackson, A. Vamivakas. "An overview of hardware-in-the-loop simulations for missiles". American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. 22 Aug 2012.
  2. Ledin, Jim. "Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation". Embedded Systems Programming. Feb 2019: Pages 42-60.
  3. Yang, Yz., Yang, Jl. & Fang, Dn. "Research progress on thermal protection materials and structures of hypersonic vehicles." Appl. Math. Mech.-Engl. 08 Oct 2007: Ed. 29, 51–60.

KEYWORDS: Hardware-in-the-loop; Thermal Protection System; Software; Modeling and Simulation; Hypersonics; System Level Test Architecture


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.2 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

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