This solicitation is now closed
"Smart Dust" and Nanotechnology for Joint Weapons Systems Diagnostics/Prognostics
Navy SBIR 2008.2 - Topic N08-109
MARCOR - Mr. Paul Lambert - [email protected]
Opens: May 19, 2008 - Closes: June 18, 2008

N08-109 TITLE: "Smart Dust" and Nanotechnology for Joint Weapons Systems Diagnostics/Prognostics

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Automatic Test Equipment - ACAT III

OBJECTIVE: Develop highly integrated,ultra-miniature, non-obtrusive, wireless, sensory systems for greatly enhanced weapons systems diagnostics to the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). These micro-miniature technologies would aid greatly in the collection of on-system weapons systems information for diagnostics and prognostics purposes. This will tie into current Joint Service efforts such as GCSS/GCCS by providing unparalled visibility into the status and maintenance condition of a specific weapons system platform.

DESCRIPTION: Maintainers lack visibility into their equipment beyond any built in test or embedded diagnostics capability that the weapon system might possess. Recent advances in microelectrical-mechanical systems(MEMS) and nanotechnology should allow the integration of a class of devices small enough to be rapidly placed on legacy equipment with minimal/no visible alterations to the equipment itself.

When maintenance is performed, having ultraminiturized sensor capability within the system would provide precise knowledge of the system condition and allow dramatically increased diagnostics capability, with rapid pinpointing of the system’s problem. Therefore, accuracy, speed of diagnosis, and unprecedented visibility into weapons systems behavior and possible incipient failure would be aided by this type of technology.

This effort would combine the latest in state-of-the-art micro- and nano-system device and integration technologies into an autonomous smart micro/nanosensor device for application to diagnostics/prognostics monitoring of legacy DoD ground based vehicles and telecommunications equipment.
The resulting devices will explore a variety of current/emerging micro and nano sensor technologies. They will employ sensor fusion capability, include networkability through common standards such as the IEEE 1451 standard, provide extremely low power and short range wireless capability (using multiple technologies based on need and environment, i.e. RF, infrared, UWB, et.), and make use of emerging power scavenging techniques for extended lifetime. This system could potentially be adaptable to any weapon system or equipment within the DoD.

PHASE I: Develop a concept for the smart dust sensor type for the LAV and a separate processing node device capable of interfacing with potentially hundreds or thousands of smart dust sensors. For the purpose of this initial effort, the conceptual design shall be capable of accommodating of up to 50 sensors. This design will include the overall device architecture concept and implementation, and communication protocols. The initial sensorial focus will be on current,voltage, and temperature sensing. The concept will also consider the range of emerging power scavenging and sourcing technologies to help dramatically extend operational lifetimes.(i.e. vibration, heat, sound, voltage, isotopic, current power scavenging). Consideration of a larger common data processing node device to be able to collate the information from the ‘net’ of sensors. Environmental constraints posed by the mix of climates and conditions (mud, oil, sand, moisture etc.) encountered worldwide to these sensors will be explored and the methods considered to provide mitigation. Standardized systems engineering concepts for this technology will be proposed that stabilize sensor placement methodologies and other considerations.

PHASE II: Using prototype sensors and processing node prototype, network test a autonomous smart dust technology for diagnostics on a specific DoD system (such as LAV or other systems). This phase will also include selection of a candidate DoD system for initial tests of prototypes, and the documenting of the diagnostic requirements of that system. The prototype smart dust devices will employ multiple sensors, and will be integrated into the LAV system for tests. Using economies of scale technologies such as employed by the semiconductor industry, consideration will be given to create a set of adaptable technologies that will drive eventual costs to be a dollar or less per wireless, multi-capable sensor. Size consideration goal is for a complete sensor class each smaller than an aspirin. The processing node technology will be capable of communication to a maintainer or via emerging maintenance shared data environments such as GCSS.

PHASE III: Design and employ a series of smart dust systems providing diagnostics/prognostics technologies of unprecedented penetration and low cost for commercial, DoD and Federal Government applications.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Devices of the type developed in this effort would find wide-spread application in commercial activities involving fleets of in-service equipment such as the airline and shipping industries, as well as any systems requiring remote sensing.

1. "Smart dust protocols for local detection and propagation" ACM Workshop On Principles Of Mobile Computing Proceedings of the second ACM international workshop on Principles of mobile computing Toulouse, France, Pages: 9 - 16, Year of Publication: 2002. ISBN:1-58113-511-4.

2. "Intelligent Sensor Validation and Fusion with distributed (MEMS Dust) Sensors", Shijun Qiu*, Dept of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Xiamen University, China, Alice M. Agogino, Jessica Granderson
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.

3. "Smart Sensor Networks", David Rees, Smart Sensing Project CSIRO Telecommunications and Industrial Physics, March 04, 2002, TIPP 1476.

4. "AAAV Prognostic System Trade Study" Power Scavenging Technology
Conducted by Penn State ARL, January 15, 2003.

KEYWORDS: MEMS, Nanotechnology, Microsystems, Power Scavenging, Condition-based Maintenance, Microsensors, Nanotubes.

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