Structurally Integrated Enclosure for AEGIS Combat System Computer Hardware
Navy SBIR 2019.2 - Topic N192-108
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: May 31, 2019 - Closes: July 1, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Structurally Integrated Enclosure for AEGIS Combat System Computer Hardware


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors


ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 1.0, AEGIS Integrated Combat System 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 3.5 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 an innovative, standard Structurally Integrated Enclosure (SIE) for AEGIS Combat System computing hardware that allows for system upgrades without impacting Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) interfaces and eliminates the need for environmental qualification testing of individual computing cabinet components.


DESCRIPTION: The Common Processing System (CPS) and AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) Modernization (AMOD) Upgrade (AAU) equipment suite provides computer processing and memory, data storage and extraction, network systems, and Input/Output (I/O) that hosts software applications of the AEGIS Combat System (ACS). This computing hardware is stored within various shock-isolated cabinets including, but not limited to: Mission Critical Enclosures (MCEs), Expanded Capacity Mission Critical Enclosures (EC-MCEs), and the Advanced Computer-Off- the-Shelf (COTS) Enclosures (ACE) all of which are integrated and installed during new construction. The Modularity for Combat Systems efforts sponsored by the Navy hardware configurations for cooling and electronics are relatively standard. However, the number of different enclosure types continues to expand, which is leading to a lack of commonality required for open architecture.


Each of these cabinets includes storage space for power and cooling of internal components. This valuable space could be used for additional computing resources if more novel ways to provide cooling and power could be integrated into the structure. The cabinet component designs are provided as Government Furnished Information (GFI) and require a lead time of at least five (5) years in advance of installation to allow the shipyards enough time to complete space designs and analysis. Component and cabinet qualification is required and contributes to the lead time. Each individual component is tested to meet shock and vibration standards before being placed on the ship. The duration of this design and qualification process often results in the obsolescence of computing hardware by the time it is certified, which contributes to Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), additional procurement and installation costs, and less than optimal computing capability. During ship modernization activities, the CPS and AAU cabinets and their associated components are uninstalled and replaced with newer computing hardware. These cabinets cost $200,000 on average; approximately 15 cabinets are used to house CPS and AAU equipment. A

Structurally Integrated Enclosure (SIE), which could house all of the components currently spread across the aforementioned cabinet designs, would provide a common structure that standardizes component interfaces, host cooling and power services, and save time and money on the installation of the latest in computing technology. A common structural interface to the ship would facilitate standardization and open architecture allowing for fewer obsolescence issues resulting in engineering changes that increase costs. The introduction of a SIE will reduce the overall cost of CPS and AAU equipment by 50% and will allow it to be installed on a shorter timeline (days versus months) without the need to qualify an enclosure.


As demonstrated by the success of the SIE concept in the Virginia Class Submarine program, combat system computing resources housed in a single SIE design facilitates the upgrade of advanced computing capabilities at significantly reduced production and acquisition costs and timelines compared to prior submarine classes and surface ship platforms. The SIE design approach establishes system requirements such as space, weight, power, and cooling limitations for computing hardware for HM&E interfaces such that there is minimal to no impact when upgrading combat systems hardware. Today, changes to the ACS significantly affect hull designs and ship services from both a cost and manufacturing timeline perspective. Each new hardware upgrade requires that weight, shock and vibration, power, and cooling impacts be evaluated and usually results in a redesign of the ship and associated services to the computing equipment.


Unfortunately, the Virginia Class SIE is not readily transferable to the AEGIS platform. The diversity and number of computer hardware systems in the ACS, the decentralized nature of the ACS that complicates ruggedizing the SIE for MIL-S-901D Grade A shock and MIL-STD-167-1 vibration, and the challenge of developing common interfaces associated with 72 Participating Acquisition Resource Manager (PARM) product lines on AEGIS as compared to the 12 PARM product lines for the Virginia Class program drive the need for innovation. Commercially, there is no equivalent to a SIE. Server farms or critical computing equipment in the public sector are shock hardened in large buildings or structures with no limitations on weight and size, which are critical for the design in a ship or submarine. In order for AEGIS class ships to reduce cost and accelerate the development, integration, and installation of the multitude of ACS components, a common innovative SIE concept is required for AEGIS platforms. The ACS SIE would need to accommodate Navy standard 19-inch wide by 24-inch deep component payloads (computing equipment) and meet the following environmental requirements: (1) MIL-S-901D Shipboard Shock, heavy weight test Class 1/II, 12-16 Hz deck frequency; (2) MIL-STD-167-1 Shipboard Vibration, 5-25 Hz input; (3) MIL-S-461E Electromagnetic Interference (EMI); (4) MIL-STD-1474D Airborne Noise; (5) MIL-STD- 740-2 Structure-borne Noise; and (6) MIL-STD-108 Enclosures for Electric and Electronic Equipment. The ability to integrate power distribution and local cooling capabilities using existing shipboard chilled water supplies should also be considered in proposed designs. Existing MCE cabinets provide air and water cooling options and power provisions. The resultant AEGIS SIE will reduce combat system computing upgrades and insertion timelines from years to months.


The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work.


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 be 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: Develop a conceptual design for a Structurally Integrated Enclosure (SIE) and demonstrate that the technology meets the requirements in the Description. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs by providing design data on power and cooling approaches and analytical modeling of the actual enclosure. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and

capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.


PHASE II: Develop and deliver a prototype SIE for evaluation to show its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Description and the Navy requirements for AEGIS SIE. Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and environmental testing for the different configurations of the SIE. Use evaluation and test results to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. Develop a Phase II plan. Prepare a Phase III Development Plan to transition the technology to Navy.


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 for Navy use. Develop an AEGIS SIE according to the Phase III Development Plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment at an AEGIS test site or test bed. Support the Navy for test and validation activities required to certify and qualify the AEGIS SIE for use on AEGIS class destroyers and cruisers.


The commercial data storage industry could potentially benefit from this technology for the storage of backup systems in remote areas that cannot sustain large building or structures for computing resource management and storage.



1.   “Mission Critical Enclosure.”, 20 February 2018.


2.   Wilson, JR. "Virginia-class submarines usher in a new era in undersea electronics.” Military & Aerospace Electronics, 2004, 31 January 2018. 1/news/virginia-class-submarines-usher-in-a-new-era-in-undersea-electronics.html


KEYWORDS: Structurally Integrated Enclosure; SIE; Mission Critical Enclosure; Common Processing System; AEGIS Weapon System Modernization; AWS; Advanced Computer-Off-the-Shelf Enclosures; AEGIS Combat System Computing Hardware



Ms. Seth Rylander






Adnan Mian






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