ADAPT - Naval Depot Modernization and Sustainment
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-X02
Navy SBIR/STTR Program Management Office - navy-sbir-sttr@navy.mil
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 12, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)

N201-X02

TITLE: ADAPT - Naval Depot Modernization and Sustainment

 

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Human Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: NAVSEA Naval Shipyards, NAVAIR Fleet Readiness Centers (FRC), USMC Logistics Command (MARCORLOGCOM)

OBJECTIVE: The Department of the Navy (DON) sustainment community is urgently seeking modern tools, solutions, and processes to reliably and safely get DON assets back in the field as quickly as possible. Technologies for maintaining and sustaining ships, aircraft, and ground vehicles have advanced significantly in the past 50 years. Yet, the DON sustainment community has struggled to identify, pilot, and integrate those same technological advances into public shipyards, fleet readiness centers, and ground vehicle depots. As DON platforms increase in complexity and scale, demand outstrips the capability of current maintenance systems resulting in multi-year delays of national assets, such as the USS Boise.

DESCRIPTION: DON seeks modern tools, solutions, and processes to reliably and safely get assets back in the field as quickly as possible and intends to collaborate with innovative small businesses within the following and related Focus Areas:

1. Expeditionary Depot Capability (Command, Control and Communications)

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Work Instructions (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning)

3. Self-Healing Data Collection Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning)

4. Robotics Material Handling (Command, Control and Communications)

5. Integrated Global Logistics Network to Allow Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) (Command, Control and Communications)

6. Global Parts Tracking System (Command, Control and Communications)

7. Facility Health Monitoring and Prioritization (Command, Control and Communications & Autonomy)

8. Master Command and Control for Multiple Activity Visibility (Command, Control and Communications)

9. Cold Spray Technology Advancements (Command, Control and Communications)
 

1. Expeditionary Depot Capability (Command, Control and Communications): The Navy desires the capability to operate modular and air droppable maintenance machinery remotely to enhance resiliency in deployed environments. The Navy is currently limited by its fixed number of maintenance depots at specific locations. Capabilities are specialized at these “brick and mortar” locations, which forces naval platforms to return to these sites or to send teams out to the affected platform(s). Remotely operated maintenance systems will maximize naval forces’ ability to remain forward deployed by reducing time in fixed facilities (e.g., depot facilities, dry docks), reducing travel time to and from the facilities, and using the specialized labor at a safe stand-off from deployed locations.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Work Instructions (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning): Certain repairs on naval platforms happen with such infrequency that mechanics cannot execute the repairs without extensive re-learning/re-engineering. Institutional knowledge is not effectively transferred, especially since seasoned mechanics rotate faster than these infrequent repairs occur. Mechanics faced with one of these repair scenarios often can only recall the anecdotal protocols from the previous one or two repairs. Furthermore, there is no systematic way to know whether recent repairs qualify as best practices. By establishing a repair data system to capture infrequent repairs, the naval maintenance community can analyze the data (via root cause analyses) to create and share best practices. In a future state, this could enable work instructions to be automatically generated with a high fidelity further accelerating the planning and execution of work.

3. Self-Healing Data Collection Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning): Large swaths of data have been compiled and can provide invaluable insights if data entry errors can be corrected. Human correction of the errors (e.g., USS Abraham Lincoln to CVN72) is not efficient/effective nor predictive in nature. AI algorithms can groom or heal the (meta) data to make it more useful in trending deficiencies and corrective actions across multiple platforms.  Navy seeks an automated self-healing data collection system to effectively correct inaccurate entry of parts numbers, and track/identify the root cause for repeated reports of faulty equipment.

4. Robotics Material Handling (Command, Control and Communications): The Navy needs to integrate commercial advancements in robotics technology at its depot locations to improve material movement. Trained labor is consumed querying inventories, traveling to different locations, searching warehouses, and returning to the work site before actually using their skills to restore a platform. Solutions to locate and deliver parts to work sites would enable skilled labor to focus on trade-specific efforts.

5. Integrated Global Logistics Network to Allow Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) (Command, Control and Communications): As each Navy depot builds its own digital model for resource planning and facility layouts, the depots have generated their own datasets with unique standards. The Navy needs the ability to track facility capacity (e.g., equipment, tooling) across the enterprise in the event repair efforts need to be re-allocated. Standards need to be established to ensure datasets can be integrated enterprise-wide. While individual depot planning models are likely effective at a local level, in aggregate, this limits decision makers’ ability to track and compare resource planning at an enterprise level.

6. Global Parts Tracking System (Command, Control and Communications): Locating and delivering repair parts currently consumes hundreds of man-years of effort to affect combat platform maintenance. Naval depots seek an efficient way to track parts across various depots to enable automated picking and shipping to support maintenance operations.

7. Facility Health Monitoring and Prioritization (Command, Control and Communications & Autonomy): Facility managers lack the tools to monitor the health status of various infrastructure. They seek an integrated facility health monitoring system that will be able to track real-time health status of buildings, identify and prioritize areas for repair, and predict where future failures might arise.

8. Master Command and Control for Multiple Activity Visibility (Command, Control and Communications): Depots and distributed maintenance workers do not have a common operating picture or common process guide to conduct operations and receive real-time feedback on efforts. Navy seeks a way to track naval depot maintenance capacity and specialties enterprise-wide to optimize resource allocation.

9. Cold Spray Technology Advancements (Command, Control and Communications): Naval depots seek additional cold spray technology advancements to address structural metallic repairs and create robust, portable systems to reduce repair time and effectively execute larger area repairs in deployed/austere environments. Metallurgical analyses, powder development and system design advances are facets to the advancements required aboard ships, inside ground vehicle compartments, and for other applications.


PHASE I: Please add the primary Focus Area number you are proposing to as a prefix to the Phase I Proposal title.

Proposers will develop and demonstrate an initial functional prototype meeting one primary Focus Area of the nine Focus Areas listed under this topic. However, a proposer may choose to include secondary Focus Area(s) within the proposal submission. Technical proposals are limited to 5-pages and must provide sufficient information to allow assessment that the initial prototype demonstrated at the end of Phase I will function in a relevant environment in a manner meeting the specified capability. This information may include, but is not limited to, detailed designs, component and system laboratory testing, or a minimum viable product (MVP) [Ref. 1]. Ideally, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) [Ref. 2] at the start of Phase I will be TRL 4-5 with the functional prototype at or near TRL 6 at Phase I completion. At the end of Phase I, the initial functional prototype will be demonstrated and a detailed report on prototyping test results will be provided to the Government. Proposals must include a discussion of the dual-use defense and commercial market opportunities for the technology being proposed, including a preliminary assessment of commercial market potential. Phase I period of performance shall not exceed 4 months, and the total fixed price shall not exceed $200K.

PHASE II: The functional prototype demonstrated at the end of Phase I will be further developed and refined into an operational prototype based on defense and commercial customer feedback. Phase II will consist of three Rounds of funding with progression between Rounds contingent upon meeting defined milestones. For this topic, proposers must meet defined milestones for each Round to be considered for the next Round. Full details for Phase II proposal requirements will be provided to Phase I awardees; however, general descriptions for Phase II Rounds I, II, and III are provided below:

Round I. Prototype Demonstration of Viability – Round I further builds on the Phase I functional prototype to meet DON user’s needs. Round I is limited to a firm fixed price of $500,000 and the period of performance is not to exceed 6 months. During this Round, the proposer will focus on moving beyond proving basic achievement of meeting DON needs to meeting all of the usability features required for integration and deployment. The proposer will be expected to work with actual end users and systems integration personnel to ensure that requirements beyond technological performance of the prototype are identified (e.g., Human System Interface, logistics, training, maintenance, installation). The proposer will use feedback from DON users, systems integrators, and other potential defense and commercial beneficiaries and stakeholders to modify and adapt its prototype to meet defense operational and technical needs and to meet potential dual-use commercial applications. At the end of Round I, the prototype must demonstrate operational and/or commercial viability. The proposer must recommend test procedures to demonstrate viability and an appropriate facility for the test; however, the government is not required to use the proposed testing procedures or facilities. It is very likely that government personnel will be present for the demonstration. Only those firms that produce technologies suitable for testing and demonstration of operational and/or commercial viability will be eligible for continuation to the next Round and additional funding. The government reserves the right to fund some, none, or all of the Round I participants into Round II depending on the availability of SBIR funds and the capabilities of final Round II prototypes to meet DON needs.

Round II. Pilot Testing in an Operational Environment – Round II, if funded, is limited to a firm fixed price of $1,000,000 and the period of performance is not to exceed 9 months. During Round II, the proposer will meet with DON command stakeholders and operational end users to conduct pilot tests of fully functional prototypes in an operational environment. These tests are designed to be performed using DON operational personnel in real end user environments and scenarios. All testing will be coordinated with DON command and operational stakeholders. Results of this testing will inform stakeholders on the capabilities of the developed technology and the probability for its deployment in an operational environment. During Round II, the proposer will use feedback from DON users, systems integrators, and other potential defense and commercial beneficiaries and stakeholders to adapt their prototype to optimize defense operational and technical benefits and to provide optimal dual-use commercial market fit. Only those firms that produce technologies suitable for further testing in anticipation of DON deployment into an operational environment and/or commercialization in the private sector will be eligible for continuation to the next Round and additional funding. The government reserves the right to fund some, none, or all of the Round II participants into Round III depending on the availability of SBIR or non-SBIR funds and the capabilities of final Round II prototype operational testing.

Round III. Operational Test and Evaluation in Multiple User Scenarios - Round III is intended for additional operational testing, if required, using multiple prototypes and users simultaneously in a DON operational environment.  This Round may require delivery of multiple prototypes and/or licenses of the technology for testing purposes. If non-government personnel are utilized as part of the testing, appropriate Non-Disclosure Agreements will be obtained to protect against disclosure of the proposer’s intellectual property (if properly marked). The proposer may be required to support the conduct of the tests, but the operation of the prototypes in the test must be capable of being performed by the government. SBIR funding, if available for Round III, will require non-SBIR government or private funds included as a 1:1 Cost-Match, with SBIR funds not to exceed $1,500,000 under the 1:1 Cost-Match. The required number of end users and prototypes as well as the operational scenarios to be run are not yet defined. Therefore, this Round is currently undefined.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Given the need for these capabilities at numerous sites, the Federal Government will coordinate funding to maximize benefit for affected sites.  Depending on financial estimates, a phased procurement may be required to reach full implementation at the necessary sites.  Coordination between the Government and the provider will be required during Phase III to ensure support and proper proficiency of the solution is in place prior to completion of the effort.

Finally, the Federal Government sees the development of these capabilities as benefiting industrial maintenance activities in partnership with the Navy.  The ability to keep critical assets in operation is a common need for which the Navy is seeking willing partners.

REFERENCES:

1. Minimum Viable Product: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_product

2. Technology Readiness Levels: https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/404585.pdf

3. Risk Management Framework Information Document (Uploaded to SITIS 11/XX/2019)

4. Information on Business Accelerator Pilot opportunity with H4XLabs for ADAPT Phase I Awardees (defined in Business Accelerator Services section in Proposal Submission Instructions for ADAPT Topics). https://www.h4xlabs.com/sbir

KEYWORDS: Artificial Intelligence; AI; Machine Learning; ML; Data Analytics; Autonomy; Command, Control, and Communications; Robotic, Model Based Enterprise; Sensors, Industrial Internet of Things, IIOT; Cold Spray; 5G