Groundbreaking applied sciences have been on show in Could when the Protection Division’s 9 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes demonstrated superior supplies, engineering and manufacturing.
Leaders from the Workplace of the Beneath Secretary of Protection for Analysis and Engineering in attendance included Deputy Undersecretary David Honey; Deputy Chief Expertise Officer for Science and Expertise Barbara McQuiston; and Director of Science and Expertise Futures Dr. Kevin Geiss.
The DOD MIIs speed up new applied sciences utilizing federal funding mixed with matching funding from academia, trade and state governments, constructing a nationwide community of public-private partnerships and creating an industrial widespread for manufacturing R&D whereas advancing workforce schooling and improvement. Marshalling the most effective expertise throughout the nation, the community strategically aligns assets to deal with essential applied sciences and drive interconnected manufacturing programs. The DOD Manufacturing Expertise Program, or ManTech, oversees the 9 DoD-sponsored MIIs.
Central to the DOD MII mission is figuring out trade companions, together with small companies, which have cutting-edge applied sciences that might profit the warfighter. By means of the MIIs, DOD invests in these industries which focus on explicit areas of superior manufacturing.
Three of those Manufacturing Innovation Institutes showcased their applied sciences on the Could 24 Pentagon occasion.
The American Institute of Manufacturing — Built-in Photonics makes a speciality of silicon photonics.
Silicon photonics is a mixture of silicon built-in circuits and semiconductor lasers. This expertise allows quicker knowledge switch over longer distances in comparison with conventional electronics, whereas using the efficiencies of high-volume silicon manufacturing.
David Harame, chief working officer of AIM Photonics, stated his group has three major targets.
The primary goal is to advance state-of-the-art applied sciences in silicon photonics. “In our case, we’re making an attempt to advance built-in silicon photonics for the ecosystem within the U.S.,” he stated.
The second half is accessibility. “Our main goal is to make it obtainable for DOD, small/medium enterprises in addition to giant firms,” he stated.
The third half is schooling and workforce improvement. “This can be a very quickly increasing space. And we have now a really giant schooling workforce improvement exercise,” he stated.
A few of the most fun purposes for photonics, he stated, are COVID sensors. The Coronavirus Assist, Aid and Financial Safety Act funding resulted in sensors that may detect COVID-19 in lower than a minute from a drop of blood. Proteins related to eight completely different viruses, together with SARS-CoV-2, are contained in separate sensor areas of the chip. If somebody has been uncovered to any of the viruses, antibodies to these viruses within the blood pattern will probably be drawn to the proteins and detected.
Joe Steele, senior director of communications and legislative affairs for LIFT — one other of the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes — stated his group focuses on supplies science, manufacturing processes and programs engineering, together with serving to prepare the expertise for superior manufacturing.
Examples of focus areas that help the warfighter are light-weight armor and hypersonics.
LIFT, by its trade and DOD companions, managed a program to innovate the most effective supplies and processes for designing a ship’s hull, he stated. The mission, he stated, developed progressive pc modeling to raised predict the place distortion, or warping, will happen when metal plates are welded collectively. That led the staff to finally reconfigure the welding sequence, which can allow the usage of lighter weight supplies and cut back the quantity of post-welding work.
One other LIFT mission was designing an analog anti-lock brake system and digital stability management system to assist stop Humvees from rolling over. The preliminary mission was funded and managed by LIFT in collaboration with Ricardo Protection Methods, and led to the profitable retrofitting of 10 Michigan Nationwide Guard autos with the optimized ABS/ESC system. The package is now obtainable for buy by army items worldwide. Based mostly on Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration knowledge from comparable car lessons, ABS and ESC programs considerably cut back deadly rollovers by 74 p.c.
“We’re not a expertise incubator. We’re expertise accelerators,” he stated.
John Wilczynski, government director of the America Makes Manufacturing Innovation Institute, stated his group makes a speciality of additive manufacturing, in any other case generally known as 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing produces parts that may be made out of plastic, steel, rubber, polymers and ceramics. Having the capability to additively produce components strengthens the army’s capacity to function with agility and velocity, particularly in contested environments.
“We primarily concentrate on utilized analysis of the expertise, ensuring that it’s a succesful expertise that can be utilized on a weapon system or a industrial system,” he stated.
America Makes moreover focuses on the qualification and certification of processes and supplies, he stated. Lack of qualification and certification is the principle barrier to producers totally adopting additive manufacturing.
The group additionally analyzes how the potential of the provision chain matches up with the necessities for additively manufactured parts, he stated.
Schooling, expertise administration, and the transition of recent applied sciences from analysis and improvement to manufacturing are different necessary points of America Makes, he stated.
One other ManTech-guided entity that accelerates manufacturing innovation is the Joint Protection Manufacturing Expertise Panel, which serves to make sure coordination and collaboration throughout ManTech.
Panel members embrace the administrators and senior managers of every ManTech program together with the Army, Navy, Air Power, Protection Logistics Company, Missile Protection Company, and the Workplace of the Secretary of Protection,
The panel is chartered to establish and combine joint necessities, conduct joint program planning, and develop joint methods.
The panel’s mission is to scale back the acquisition and supportability prices of protection weapons programs, cut back manufacturing and restore cycle instances throughout the life cycles of such programs, and transition manufacturing analysis and improvement processes into manufacturing.
ManTech is a number one car driving the development of essential manufacturing applied sciences that help our nationwide safety, together with rising manufacturing ecosystems that underpin U.S. provide chains. These efforts collectively are serving to the U.S. to construct a resilient manufacturing financial system and lead in world competitiveness.