Innovative Approach for Modeling the Impact of Paint Gloss on Visual and Near IR Detection
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-057
NSMA - Mr. Chris Coleman -
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-057 TITLE: Innovative Approach for Modeling the Impact of Paint Gloss on Visual and Near IR Detection

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Materials/Processes

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-261 CH-53E; PMA-262 Global Hawk; PMA-207 C-130

RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate the analytical means to model the visual through near infrared detection of an air vehicle with specularly reflecting top coat finishes.

DESCRIPTION: Program Offices are trying to reduce operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and need to understand the susceptibility trade-offs between the gloss, semi-gloss, and flat topcoat finishes. Glossy paints are less prone to environmental degradation, especially service fluids, which reduce maintenance costs as compared to flat, or "camouflage" paints. However, flat paints reduce the susceptibility of aircraft to detection as the reflective characteristics of flat paints typically yield a more diffuse distribution of reflected energy, i.e., less susceptible to glints or persistent glares.

The Navy currently has an excellent capability with the SPIRITS code to model mid wave and long wave infrared detection for air vehicles with a diffuse (flat) topcoat finish. The Navy's modeling capability is deficient for more specular surfaces down in the visual and near infrared spectrum. Semigloss and gloss finish paints are examples of specular surfaces. This task is intended to expand the Navy's capability and proficiency with the available analytical codes to include the visible and near infrared spectrum. We need to fully understand the survivability implications of changing from flat paint schemes to more glossy paint schemes.

Beginning with a selection of simple shapes and moving on to full scale air vehicles, the contractor will model the differences in radiance and detection range achieved by using several FED-STD-595B colors of various surface finishes of MIL-PRF-85285 topcoats. The colors to be studied include: blue-green 25237 and 35237, white 17925, 27925, 37925, and gray 26373 and 36373. Variants of a specific color or close commercial surrogates are negotiable. The modeling effort shall be focused heavily in the visible and near IR spectrum. For calculation of detection ranges in Phase II, use the human eye as the threat sensor for the visible spectrum. Threat sensor data in the near IR spectrum will be provided during Phase II.

PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate the capability to accurately model the radiance of reflected solar energy from simple shapes (flat plate, cylinder, sphere) painted with flat, semi-gloss and gloss versions of the paints specified in the description above. The selected contractor(s) will need the capability to acquire the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) and directional hemispherical reflectance (DHR) data required to complete this task. Clearly define all technical assumptions and any known shortfalls. Develop a plan of action and milestones to expand the analysis to a full scale air vehicle.

PHASE II: Apply modeling techniques and lessons from Phase I on a full scale CH-53E and/or other Navy air vehicle under consideration for changes to paint scheme. Use this model to calculate differences in detection range between the various paint schemes. The government will work with the contractor to generate a suitable geometric model of the selected air vehicle. The outcome of this phase would involve actual air vehicle signatures and therefore be classified. The selected contractor(s) must have the capability to work with classified data up to the SECRET level.

PHASE III: Transition the data and lessons learned from the previous two phases to the relevant government agencies that can use these analytical codes. Improvements and modifications to codes developed under this effort may be marketed to any other customers of the codes, however, signatures and/or detection ranges of specific air vehicles may not.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Modeling and simulation software developed under this effort can be made commercially available through proper code distribution and licensing agreements and limitations coordinated with the government sponsor.

1. MIL STD 2161B(AS) Paint Schemes and Exterior Markings for US Navy and Marine Corps Aircraft

2. MIL PRF 85285 Coating: Polyurethane, Aircraft and Support Equipment Performance Specification

3. FED STD 595B Colors Used in Government Procurement

KEYWORDS: Infrared; Analysis; Visual; Codes; Gloss; Paint

DoD Notice:  
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not allowed starting Dec 20, 2013, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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