Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-025
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 12, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System



ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS 407, Surface Ship Modernization. Robust Combat Power Controls FNC

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 a Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System to rapidly determine actionable information after a damage event occurs on board a naval vessel that will reduce the time and cost to effect repairs on that vessel.

DESCRIPTION: In order to facilitate the rapid repair of ships after major damage events such as grounding, collision, or battle casualty, it is critical to be able to immediately assess the location and extent of the damage. In addition, assessing the impact to ship mobility and its ability to provide resources, such as electrical power and cooling, in near real time is vitally important. Currently, critical time is lost while a damaged ship is transported to a shipyard where repair work will be performed. Only a fundamental visual and operational assessment of ship condition is evaluated to determine need for immediate return to a ship repair facility with no measures available to evaluate structural or electrical damage, which can propagate after a casualty event because of a lack of understanding of the ship’s integrity. Rapid assessment through a Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System of the damage will allow for the pre-positioning of critical assets, the procurement of long lead-time items required for repair, and the initiation of other required planning activities taking place prior to the ship’s arrival at the repair facility. The net effect is considerable shortening of the time that a Fleet asset is out of service after a major critical event.

It is anticipated that, in order to provide this capability, existing surviving data acquisition and sensor systems onboard naval platforms can be utilized in conjunction with the addition of new robust sensor systems and the development of advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) reasoning methods that can synthesize the data provided from the sensor systems into a composite estimate of battle damage or other major casualties. This will provide information that is not easily determined but would have a significant impact on the time or cost to repair the platform if it were known in advance of the arrival of the ship at the repair facility.  Early initial data collection contributes to advance planning and early information transfer to repair facilities, enabling cost and time-savings in production planning, parts ordering, and cost estimation. The proposed system must assess the location and extent of damage from grounding, collision, or battle casualty as well as the impact to mission and capability in near real time in order to facilitate the rapid repair of ships after suffering major damage.

The proposer will have to evaluate the problem of rapid damage assessment with the goal of determining what information is actionable and would serve to create efficiencies if it were available in the time between the occurrence of a significant damage event on board a naval platform, and the time it arrives at a repair facility. The Government will not provide data from damage events and it is the responsibility of the performer to obtain suitable data sets. The company will recommend test fixtures and methodologies to support performance, environmental, shock, and vibration testing and qualification.

It should be noted that the ship may not have power or other services available post a damage event. The proposed system must have the ability to be self-powered or adaptable to external power systems throughout the critical information chain required for an initial damage assessment.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified or the prospective contractor may require access to secure information to conduct its work.  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 the project 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 advanced phases of the contract.

PHASE I: Develop a concept for a Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System meeting the parameters identified in the Description. Demonstrate technical feasibility through modeling, analysis, and bench-top experimentation. 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: Demonstrate the technology using simulated data generated by the proposer. Based on lessons learned in the technology demonstration, further refine, fabricate, and deliver a complete advanced prototype that will pass Navy qualification testing for demonstration and characterization of key parameters and objectives. Recommend test fixtures and methodologies to support performance, environmental, shock, and vibration testing and qualification. Working with the Navy, demonstrate the Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System capability on a relevant system to support improved system operations. Provide detailed drawings, code and specifications in Navy defined format.

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 on current and future Navy ships. Develop the Ship Rapid Damage Assessment System for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Support the Navy for test and evaluation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

Potential use of the system includes other Naval Ships, Coast Guard, and commercial ships. Other high integrity commercial and military systems requiring fail-safe operation can benefit from this technology.


1. Zhu, Ling, James, Paul and Zhang, Shengming.  "Statistics and damage assessment of ship grounding.”  Science Direct 2002, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS, UK,  21 March 2002.!.

2. Lee, Dongkon, Lee, Soon-Sup, Park, Beom-Jin and Kim, Soo-Young.  "A study on the framework for survivability assessment system of damaged ships.”  Science Direct  2004, Maritime Safety and Pollution Control Laboratory, Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering, Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Pusan National University, Pusan, Republic of Korea, 19 December 2004.

KEYWORDS: Battle Damage Assessment; Sensors for Ship Damage Assessment; Structural Health of Damaged Ships; Rapid Repair of Ships; Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning