Advanced Radio Magnetic Powder for Additive Manufacturing
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-029
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-029 TITLE: Advanced Radio Magnetic Powder for Additive Manufacturing

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


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 solicitation. 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: To develop an additive manufacturing process for low loss, high index, and high wave characteristic impedance magnetic powder utilizing breakthrough technology to improve Navy Electronic Warfare (EW) systems.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy has a need to protect antennas from weather elements while seeking performance gains with advanced radome designs. Additively manufactured low loss, high index, and high characteristic impedance magnetic powders into shipboard materials could enhance the electromagnetic capabilities of these systems. The use of additive manufactured magnetic powders improves the structure materials’ protecting antenna while enhancing the antenna capabilities through possible three-dimensional electromagnetic properties.

Recent advances in additive manufacturing have provided the enabling technology required to integrate these powder designs for the radome structures into the antenna systems. The Navy is seeking a process to introduce magnetic powders with particular electromagnetic characteristics that are not commercially available, described below, which can be additively manufactured in 2 ˝ or 3 dimensional designs.

A successful powder shall leverage additive manufacturing procedures used by industry and the Navy (Ref 1). The ideal solution would be applicable to many naval applications and across a large frequency range. The combination of a high wave impedance magnetic powder and low wave impedance of the host medium should yield near free space impedance. The company will assist the Navy in transitioning in radomes with dielectric or magnetic powders inserted via additive manufacturing to increase antenna power for Navy use.

The concept for an additively manufactured material should operate in the 10-1000 megahertz (MHz) range with a band maximum electric and magnetic loss factor of 0.05, a band minimum index of refraction of 5, and near free space wave impedance at an operating range (5-10%). The effective properties of the magnetic powder and host medium can be modeled using effective media formulas (Ref 2). All approved materials will need to meet Navy Shipboard requirements for fire, smoke, and toxicity (Ref 3).

PHASE I: Develop a formulation and manufacturing process for magnetic powder that meets the requirements described in the topic description. Demonstrate the capability to produce a new radome design utilizing magnetic powders in an additive manufacturing process to increase performance as well as the feasibility to utilize dielectric powders in lieu of magnetic powders to meet evolving Navy needs.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II contract statement of work, develop a 2˝ or 3 dimensional varying prototype for evaluation that meets the description requirements. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability to meet future Navy needs for advanced radome powders. The prototype will be refined by the characterization of samples with homogeneous electromagnetic properties. Transmission line or free space measurement results of these homogeneous samples will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements with accompanying cost benefit analysis. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy use.

PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning in radomes with dielectric or magnetic powders inserted via additive manufacturing to increase antenna power for Navy use. Support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use and transition to intended PEO IWS2.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The potential for commercial applications include miniaturization of antennas. This system will reduce the footprint of many antennas used for industry and other Department of Defense (DOD) applications. The use of additive manufactured magnetic powders improves the structure materials protecting antenna while enhancing the antenna capabilities though possible three dimensional electromagnetic properties.

1. D. Roper, B. Good, R McCauley, S. Yarlagadda, J. Smith, A. Good, P. Pa, M. Mirotznik, "Additive Manufacturing of Graded Dielectrics," Smart Materials and Structures; March 2014.

2. HS Gokturk, TJ. Fiske, DM Kalyon, "Electric and Magnetic Properties of a Thermoplastic Elastomer Incorporated with Ferromagnetic Powders." IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 29, No. 6, 1993.

3. Beitel, Jesse. "Overview of Smoke Toxicity Testing and Regulations." Naval Research Laboratory, April 15 1998;

KEYWORDS: Impedance magnetic powders, additive manufacturing, antenna miniaturization, 3D electromagnetics, advanced radome designs, electronic warfare systems

DoD Notice:  
Between December 12, 2014 and January 14, 2015 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting January 15, 2015 , when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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