This solicitation is now closed
Advanced Cable for Arresting Aircraft
Navy SBIR 2008.2 - Topic N08-136
NAVAIR - Mrs. Janet McGovern - [email protected]
Opens: May 19, 2008 - Closes: June 18, 2008

N08-136 TITLE: Advanced Cable for Arresting Aircraft

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA 251, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an advanced cable for arresting aircraft aboard carriers with an improved operational life over the current cable.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy uses wire rope as the means of arresting aircraft aboard aircraft carriers. A length of wire rope (called the cross-deck pendant) is spanned across the recovery area on the flight deck and attached to another length of wire rope (called the purchase cable) which is reeved on the arresting engine below deck. The arresting hook of the incoming aircraft engages the cross-deck pendant, which pulls the purchase cable initiating the arresting engine stroke. The arresting engine absorbs the kinetic energy of the aircraft, enabling the aircraft to land on the carrier�s limited deck space.

Operational life of the purchase cable is currently around 1,400 arrestments. Operational life of the cross-deck pendant is 125 arrestments. The Navy is seeking an improved cable capable of increasing the operational life of the current purchase cable. A secondary desirable criterion is an increased strength-to-weight ratio, which would improve arresting gear performance.

The cable will be subject to the issues associated with the carrier environment: all weather, wide range of temperatures, aircraft exhaust, abrasion from the tail hook, the sheaves, and non-skid which is applied to the flight deck. The current purchase cable is steel wire rope surrounding a polyester core center, 6 x 31, Lang lay, Warrington Seale Die Formed Strand. Diameter is 1-1/2 inches. It has a minimum breaking strength of 215,000 lbs and a weight of 372 lbs/100 feet. An improved cable must be flexible enough to bend around the aircraft tail hook (3.6-inch radius) and around numerous sheaves without crimping (28- and 33- inch pitch diameters). Cable diameter cannot be increased, since this would present issues with ship integration and aircraft tail-hook dimensions.

PHASE I: Design and develop a cable concept. Determine its feasibility to meet the above criteria including breaking strength, flexibility, weight, and elongation. Consider cost to manufacture.

PHASE II: Develop a full-length prototype of the purchase cables based on the concept(s) analyzed in Phase I. Conduct cycle testing to failure in order to determine operational life.

PHASE III: Produce arresting cables in response to Navy procurement actions.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Cables of this magnitude find numerous applications in the commercial sector, including bridges, mining, amusement parks, ski lifts, ship moorings, and building construction.

1. "Wire Rope Users Manual," 4th ed., Wire Rope Technical Board.

KEYWORDS: Cable Construction; Advanced Materials; Breaking Strength; Flexibility; Arresting Hook; Fatigue Life.

DoD Notice:  
Between April 21 and May 18, 2008, you may talk directly with the Topic Author(s) to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting May 19, 2008, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
However, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the DoD's SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS (08.2 Q&A) during the solicitation period for questions and answers, and other significant information, relevant to the SBIR 08.1 topic under which they are proposing.

If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at (866) 724-7457 or email weblink.