Atmospheric Water Generation – On The Move (AWG-OTM)

Navy SBIR 24.1 - Topic N241-004
MCSC - Marine Corps Systems Command
Pre-release 11/29/23   Opens to accept proposals 1/03/24   Now Closes 2/21/24 12:00pm ET    [ View Q&A ]

N241-004 TITLE: Atmospheric Water Generation – On The Move (AWG-OTM)

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Materials;Sustainment

OBJECTIVE: Develop an Atmospheric Water Generation – On The Move (AWG-OTM) system in a form factor to occupy a limited footprint within the cargo space of a Utility Lightweight Tactical Vehicle (ULTV) and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) with the ability to scale to support other operational units in multiple operational environments. The system shall be required to leverage Onboard Vehicle Power (OVP) or alternative power sources (e.g., solar or wind power generation) to produce 24 gallons of potable water over a period of 24 hours. The developed system shall incorporate the ability to "add-on" modules to separately purify and treat water from raw and brackish sources.

DESCRIPTION: The USMC currently requires a portable, compact means to generate potable water at the point of need, with or without a water source, to sustain small teams for an extended duration in austere environments. As part of its future force modernization efforts, the Marine Corps seeks to deploy small, disaggregated units to locations where access to life-sustaining resources like water will be limited or unavailable. These units are to specifically support the U.S. Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) a form of expeditionary warfare that involves the employment of mobile, low-signature, naval expeditionary forces that operate from a series of austere, temporary locations.

Definitions:

Systems must meet Threshold requirements = (T)

It is highly desirable the system meet Objective requirements = (O)

• Support an operational unit of four personnel (T=O)

• Operate at a low temperature of 40°F (T); 35°F (O)

• Produce NLT 12 gallons of potable water over a 12-hour period with a relative humidity range of 30-99% (T); 20-99% (O)

• Can be powered by on-board vehicle power systems (T), or alternative energy sources (e.g., solar, batteries) (O), ensuring average and peak power draw does not exceed vehicle power requirements

• Ensure levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) and Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs) are within required limits (T=O)

• Can fit, and be secured, in the intended light tactical vehicle (MRZR Diesel, Ultra Light Tactical Vehicle (ULTV), Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)) (T=O)

• Provide Mineralization for taste (T=O)

• Provide External potable water storage and purification (T=O)

• Adhere to applicable MIL-STD 810 standards: Environmental, Shock and Vibration, Transportability (T=O)

• Adhere to applicable MIL-STD-1472 standards: Weight, Lifting, Displays, Alarms (T=O)

• Adhere to applicable TB MED-577 standards: Sanitary Control and Surveillance of Field Water Supplies (T=O)

• Achieve complete system integration and integration with vehicle (T=O)

• Achieve regulatory approval of water output

• Operate from current or planned small unit conventional and alternative 28VDC power, and single-phase 120VAC, sources (T=O)

• Require little to no maintenance and is intuitive to operate/appropriate for an incidental operator (does not require intensive training or certification) (T=O)

• Reduce supported operational unit or supporting logistics unit’s demand for conventional petroleum fuel and fuel-burning generator operation in the purification of potable water and the distribution/transportation of potable water (TB MED-577) supplies via ground or air delivery. (T=O)

 

PHASE I: Develop concepts for AWG-OTM systems that meet the requirements described above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Marine Corps requirements. Establish that the concepts can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that addresses technical risk reduction.

PHASE II: Develop 3-5 prototype AWG-OTM systems for evaluation to determine their capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Description. Demonstrate technology performance through prototype evaluation and modeling over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements; and for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment approved by the Government. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Marine Corps use. The technology should reach TRL 6/7 at the conclusion of this phase.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use. Support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use. The prototypes shall be TRL 8 at the conclusion of testing.

Commercial applications may include, but not be limited to: humanitarian aid, disaster relief, homeland security, emergency services, recreation, and automotive applications.

REFERENCES:

  1. "MIL-STD-810H, Department of Defense Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests." 31 January 2019. http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810H_55998/
  2. "MIL-STD-1472H, Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard: Human Engineering." 15 September 2020. http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-1400-1499/MIL-STD-1472H_57041/
  3. "TB MED 577, Technical Bulletin Sanitary Control and Surveillance of Field Water Supplies." 1 May 2010. https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/tbmed577.pdf
  4. "Drinking Water, on Demand and from Air." Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency. 12 December 2019. https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-12-12
  5. "UTV and ULTV Spec Sheet N241-004-REF-5-UTV_and_ULTV-Spec_Sheet.pdf

KEYWORDS: Water; potable; atmospheric; energy; extraction; efficiency


** TOPIC NOTICE **

The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the Navy Topics in the DoD 24.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at www.defensesbirsttr.mil/SBIR-STTR/Opportunities/#announcements for any updates.

The DoD issued its Navy 24.1 SBIR Topics pre-release on November 28, 2023 which opens to receive proposals on January 3, 2024, and now closes February 21, (12:00pm ET).

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Topic Q & A

1/22/24  Q. Regarding the requirement to achieve regulatory approval for the water output, what regulatory agency do you require to get approval from for the water output? It is understood that the TB MED-577 standard is also a requirement in this area.
   A. We are asking the vendor to determine if there is any regulatory approval necessary for their proposed technology. There may not be any. We are just asking them to verify. The TB MED-577 standard must be met. There will also be considerations for taste.
1/22/24  Q. Regarding the requirement for the generation of 24 gallons of water per day, is it an acceptable solution for the smaller four-person unit to generate less water? This would enable a smaller sized system which would be beneficial through less power consumption and more importantly less cargo space needed. The scaled up system would still generate 24 gallons per day or more for units with more personnel.
   A. We are only asking for a system capable of producing 12 gallons/12 hours. The system is not intended to run 24 hours/day. If the system can produce at a higher rate that is a benefit. The higher production rate may prove to be less efficient and require more energy. The system is intended to integrate to a vehicle (electrical and mechanical) and produce water while on the move. It is also the intent of the SBIR that the system can be removed from the vehicle and run from power sources such as solar panels or energy storage devices. Scalability is also a consideration. We may also consider the concept of “add-on modules” that can be integrated to the base unit to purify and desalinate raw water sources OR from a local water source that may already be treated (just not to US standards).
1/17/24  Q. In regards to Atmospheric Water Generation - On the Move (AWG-OTM) system. 1.) What power requirements are allowed for the system?
The UTV has no specification of power output, and the ULTV calls out 220A/ 1KW from the generator. It doesn't specify voltage. Also, it doesn't specify how the system can connect to the vehicle (3-prong plug, direct connection to alternator). May need power conversion equipment, depending on answer.
2.) Are we to assume that the AWG system needs to operate while the vehicle is in motion? This will require more robust design
3.) AWG size requirements. The spec calls out the ability to a limited area within the cargo space. Are we to assume that we are not allowed to use the entire space in the cargo area? Is size a factor in the award, i.e. the smaller the better?
   A. 1. The bus architecture for the ULTV is 12 VDC. JLTV has a 28 VDC architecture. 28 VDC is the architecture used for small-unit power, e.g., energy storage devices, solar panels, etc. Connections to vehicle power can be defined during the execution of the SBIR. Key considerations for vehicle integration will include electrical and mechanical connections, shock and vibration, etc. The system should be easily removed and installed by no more than two personnel.
2. Yes. The system will be producing water while the vehicle is in motion or idling.
3. You can use the entire space. That is your call. The primary constraint is the available cargo space on the ULTV. Obviously not as much of an issue with the JLTV. If the volume can be kept to a minimum that is advantageous for operators. It permits them to carry more gear (ammo).
1/2/24  Q. We have invented and patented a process that allows us to desalinate water from any source and convert it into potable water using 12-24VDC, 1-5 PSI, with an overall weight of 65 lbs. Our current prototype currently produces 240GPH from freshwater and 100GPH from Brackish water sources. Our current modular prototype can be configured to produce any volume of potable water desired. We are in the process of developing a capability to create smaller volumes of water without a water source using the same technology.
To successfully submit an application, are we required to have a letter of interest from a USMC PEO or end user?
   A. No, a letter of interest is not required.
12/28/23  Q. Regarding the requirement for incorporated “add-on” modules; is the intent to transfer “product” water from the current program of record RO devices into the storage tank of the AWG?
   A. The “add-on” modules are intended to be components designed specifically for integration to the base AWG-OTM unit. They would use any common components of the AWG-OTM system. The idea is to have a base unit that can integrate separate modules, designed for the specific base unit, that expand the capabilities of the base unit.
11/30/23  Q. Would you be open to larger Industrial-grade AWGs for permanent placement in strategic locations to supply from 10,000 up to 100,000 GPD of fresh healthy water?
   A. The intent of the SBIR topic is to develop a compact, efficient, mobile system to support personnel during maneuver. Commercial systems are readily available for large and medium scale requirements. Such large and medium scale systems are outside of the scope of this topic.

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