Naval Depot Modernization and Sustainment
Navy SBIR 2020.4 - Topic N204-A01
Navy SBIR/STTR Program Management Office - navy-sbir-sttr@navy.mil
Opens: April 27, 2020 - Closes: May 28, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)

N204-A01  TITLE: Naval Depot Modernization and Sustainment [see Q&As]

 

Note: Recorded webinar on this topic available here

 

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Microelectronics, Network Command, Control and Communications, Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning

 

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.

 

DESCRIPTION: DON seeks additional 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 Maintenance Smart Boxes (Command, Control and Communications)

2. Autonomous 3D Precision Scanning (Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning)

3. Autonomous Non-Destructive Inspection (Autonomy)

4. Miniaturized End Effectors (Microelectronics)

 

1. Expeditionary Maintenance Smart Boxes (Command, Control and Communications): The Navy is seeking specially designed intermodal containers from which to perform maintenance in remote areas. Intrusion detection capability should be innate. The container(s) must come with on-board systems to perform operations without connectivity to power or network connections AND be able to connect to services if present. Container(s) must be able to support various maintenance evolutions including but not limited to welding, painting, and 3D part printing for a duration of at least 12 hours in temperatures ranging from -30F to 130F.

 

2. Autonomous 3D Precision Scanning (Command, Control and Communications): Progress in 3D scanning continues to revolutionize multiple industries. The Navy desires the ability to autonomously 3D scan large platforms (e.g., aircraft carriers, airframes, vehicles) with the greatest precision possible. These scans will further improve digital twins as well as locate various structural issues that may otherwise by difficult to discern. This focus area is intended to advance (1) the digitization rate (including capture of environmental conditions as metadata), (2) precision from stand-off distances, and (3) rate of image rendering/stitching to create an interactive model.

 

3. Autonomous Non-Destructive Inspection (Autonomy and Microelectronics): Inspections of various structures (e.g., struts or stiffeners) and components (e.g.,. hatches or assemblies) of Department of the Navy platforms are very labor intensive. The Navy desires to perform non-destructive inspections (NDI) of various geometries and sizes through autonomous means. Existing NDI techniques including but not limited to penetrant testing, ultrasonic testing, and magnetic testing are sought to be placed in an autonomous solution.

 

4. Miniaturized End Effectors (Microelectronics): The Navy sustainment community is seeking miniaturized end effectors capable of performing cleaning, coating removal, inspection, re-profiling, and re-coating all within dimensional constraints of 1’x1’x1’. Integration and miniaturization are sought to minimize change-out times and maximize usage in repair operations.

 

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 four Focus Areas listed under this topic. 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]. 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 5 months, and the total fixed price shall not exceed $150,000.

 

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.

 

Full details for Phase II proposal requirements will be provided to Phase I awardees; however, generally it is anticipated that awardees will have to meet the objectives of key contract deliverables to successfully complete Phase II, including:

 

Prototype Demonstration of Viability –further builds on the Phase I functional prototype to meet DON user’s needs. 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. 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.

 

Pilot Testing in an Operational Environment – 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. 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.

 

Operational Test and Evaluation in Multiple User Scenarios - Conduct additional operational testing, if required, using multiple prototypes and users simultaneously in a DON operational environment. For testing purposes delivery of multiple prototypes and/or licenses of the technology may be required. 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.

 

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:  https://www.navysbir.com/docs/N204-A01-Reference-V1.pdf

 

4. Office of Personnel Management’s “Handbook of Operational Series” Manual: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/classifying-general-schedule-positions/occupationalhandbook.pdf

 

KEYWORDS: Artificial Intelligence, AI, Machine Learning, ML, Data Analytics, Autonomy, Command, Control, and Communications, Robotic, Sensors, Industrial Internet of Things, IIOT, Workforce Development, ISO Container, Maintenance, Sustainment

 

Questions may be submitted to navy-sbir-sttr@navy.mil by May 13, 2020. Please review section 4.15.d of this BAA for further information.