- Data Science–Driven Dynamic Anticipatory Standards to Accelerate Innovation and Transition of High-Loading Rate Adhesives for Bonded Armor
United States Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Material Development and Transition Branch. Traditional standards use rigid test parameters for time- and cost-intensive testing. This effort developed the Department of Defense’s first dynamic standard, employing embedded data science and updatable military technical drivers as qualification guides for armor adhesives. MIL-STD-3059 redefines the traditional perspective by promoting a data-driven correlation between the complex ballistic response of adhesively bonded armor assemblies and universally translatable and commercially relevant quasi-static mechanical properties. This disruptive approach reduces the time and cost barrier to qualification of products by two-thirds and incentivizes high-risk and high-payoff innovations.
Embedding military drivers in testing protocols suitable for commercial dual-use applications inspired the invention and rapid maturation of the strongest armor adhesive ever tested, bridging the valley between hard science and production scaling. This high-performance adhesive enables advances in lightweight armor, pushing bonding performance to extremes. The application’s value for the automotive industry alone is estimated at $2 billion per year, with dual-use scaling supporting lower cost availability for DoD acquisition. Aggregation, visualization, and advanced analysis of data through MIL-STD-3059 enables the Army to input emerging threats continuously and match optimal adhesives in real time so that the standard can be applied with precision and is never obsolete.
Team members: Gerard T. Chaney, Daniel C. Deschepper, David P. Flanagan, Robert E. Jensen, and Charles G. Pergantis.
- Corrosion Prevention and Control Protocol and Requirements in Military Design Standards
United States Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, Mission Operations and Integration Department, Systems Standardization and Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation Branch, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Approximately $20 billion annually goes to repairs due to corrosion, almost 25 percent of every maintenance dollar. Corrosion prevention and control (CPC) planning is so critical to acquisition program success that U.S law mandates it and directives, instructions, and policies require it. However, the elimination of many corrosion specifications and standards in the 1990s made it difficult to include CPC requirements in system acquisition. With important specifications and standards no longer available, hundreds of individual requirements from numerous sources were negotiated in contracts.
To remedy this situation, this effort extensively revised two design standards: MIL-STD-1587, “Material and Process Requirements for Aerospace Weapons Systems,” and MIL-STD-7179, “Finishes, Coatings, and Sealants for the Protection of Aerospace Weapons Systems and Support Equipment.” These standards form an integral part of CPC by specifying the selection of materials, protective coatings, and design considerations that mitigate corrosion through the principles of corrosion prevention. Specifications are already incorporating these standards, ensuring uniform material selection and coating compatibility and influencing corrosion protection, prevention, and control. The standards improve the safety, reliability, and maintainability of DoD’s aerospace weapon systems. Increased CPC ultimately reduces fleet downtime and improves mission readiness.
Team members: Craig Matzdorf, Rade Savija, and Rose Webster.
- Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Processing System
United States Navy, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Webster Outlying Field Each day, thousands of unmanned reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition systems collect vast amounts of data to help define a dynamic battlespace, locate targets of interest, and inform the decisions of combatant commanders engaged in offensive and defensive operations around the globe better. Turning that data into actionable intelligence requires uniquely trained intelligence analysts who are already drowning in information. That thinly stretched workforce is vastly outnumbered by the systems collecting the data—almost 99 percent of video from unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) is never analyzed.
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Webster Outlying Field Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination System team joined forces with other Department of Defense organizations to better the odds and extract as much actionable intelligence from UAS video as quickly as possible by tapping into artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Through a standards-based approach, the team deployed AI to the edge of battle for the first time with tactical UASs. The team not only introduced new capability to the fleet but achieved it in 90 days and has supplied iterative capability every six weeks since. This approach’s success serves as a model for future AI deployments.
Team member: Shaun A. Elliott
- Naval Air Systems Command Composite Repair Working Group
United States Navy, Naval Air Systems Command High-value advanced composite components have been fielded on naval aircraft over the last 36 years, making composite repair integral to keeping aircraft mission capable. Due to the infancy of this technology and differences in the repair procedures of original equipment manufacturers and subcontractors, each aircraft program repair site had different composite repair materials and processes. But, as more aircraft entered the force without a standardized repair approach, repair strategies became convoluted and less cost-effective.
The Naval Air Systems Command Composite Repair (NAVCORE) working group aligns and standardizes composite repair materials and processing approaches nationally to ensure logistically supportable and rapid repair solutions. NAVCORE has begun implementing initiatives for shelf-life extension of hazardous materials, material consolidation, process consolidation, composite training alignment, and composite support equipment and repair tooling. Other initiatives, such as implementation of industry-standardized repair material and consolidation of repair material data, are underway. The NAVCORE initiatives have saved upwards of $5 million for the U.S. Navy through cost savings and avoidance in training and procurement, and standardization approaches have contributed to condensed repair turnaround time, increased fleet repair capability, reduced Navy spending on redundant programs, and improved mission readiness.
Team members: Justin Massey, Chris Rethmel, Steve Starnes, Rob Thompson, and Alyssa Zamora.
- Development of Standardized Military Detail Specification for Military Life Rafts (MIL-DTL-32532A)
United States Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command Life rafts are mandatory on U.S. Navy ships as critical safety items for the crew’s survival when abandoning ship. A review of life raft inventory revealed that 40% of the life raft population will reach the end of service life in five years, presenting a potential inventory shortfall and requiring concurrent production contracts to overcome throughput and time constraints. In addition, quality enhancements were needed to mitigate a manufacturing defect contributing to a drop in life raft reliability and service life. To resolve these problems, an integrated product team (IPT) collaborated to create MIL-DTL-32532 to procure militarized commercial off-the shelf inflatable life rafts for the U.S. Navy. The IPT concentrated on positive product reliability, maintainability, and availability on fleet readiness; survival equipment innovations; stock recapitalization pacing; lessons learned; and a timely and coordinated response.
MIL-DTL-32532 streamlines acquisition activities, injects quality into production, and enhances life raft lifecycle planning and execution with measurable payoffs through lower contract execution costs, increased component availability through standardization across the services, and enhanced supportability of survival gear. Although implementation is complete, improvements continue, such as ongoing modernization of first aid kits and evaluation of non-pyrotechnic signaling devices as replacements for flares.
Team members: Paul Beausejour, Miguel Leyva, Amy Puchalsky, Paula Saltzburg, and Dean Schleicher.
- Atlas Corp. Common Payload Interface Standard
United States Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center To meet the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requirement to apply the modular open system approach (MOSA) to the greatest extent practicable to major system interfaces, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Atlas Corp. systems engineering division began developing a major interface standard for satellite bus-to-payload integration. Major satellite vehicles (bus and payload) have traditionally been manufactured and integrated uniquely for each major mission area. SMC decided that a standard for such a major space system interface should be created incrementally, starting with the command and data handling (C&DH) interface, and changed the paradigm for standards development by ensuring consensus-based development on a common payload interface standard (CoPaIS) for C&DH.
Through standardization of the satellite bus-to-payload interface, SMC enables new space capabilities, such as late, or on-orbit, insertion and independent integration of one manufacturer’s product line. CoPaIS-C&DH is a first step toward a full MOSA bus-to-payload interface and advances C&DH beyond the decades-old MIL-STD-1553 technology engrained in almost every satellite design. CoPaIS-C&DH supplies a satellite vehicle bus-payload plug-and-play interface for simplification and efficiencies. This standard enhances C&DH capabilities by replacing antiquated data buses with forward-leaning, reliable, high-speed technologies and enabling weight-saving and distributed payload systems via innovative routing.
Team members: Franco Macchia and Aaron Stevenson.
United States Air Force EC-130H Compass Call’s quick reaction capabilities dominate the electromagnetic battlespace and render enemy command-and-control targets useless, but the fleet’s average 45-year age results in high maintenance overhead to sustain these capabilities. Therefore, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition directed the 645th Aeronautical Systems Group to re-host the Compass Call mission system on a new airframe. This initiative revitalizes Compass Call combat effects and reduces operational costs.
Countering emerging threats, sustaining an aging EC-130H Compass Call fleet, transitioning capabilities to new aircraft platform, preparing aircraft for retirement, and complying with sunset clause restrictions require significant coordination. Through ongoing weekly meetings, monthly exigency team meetings, and requirements working groups, team members continually assess Compass Call program requirements and rank the warfighters’ top priority needs. Once the priorities are compiled, a new list is forwarded to the system program office for funding, supplying teams and the system program office with a real-time feel for combatant commander requirements. This influences system program office decisions to fund the most pressing requirements and evolves Compass Call capabilities to meet future mission needs on demand. The first two EC-37B Compass Call Recapitalization aircraft are in production.
Team members: NH-03 Timothy C. DeShazo