SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  A10-122 (Army)
Title:  Lightweight EMI Resistant Wiring Solutions
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Electronics

Acquisition Program:  PEO Aviation
 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:  The objective of this topic is to demonstrate and develop technologies to reduce the EMI susceptibility and impact of both existing and future wiring harnesses on Army aviation platforms.
  Description:  Network centric operations are a major driver for future Army Aviation requirements. As additional technology and advanced systems are integrated onto aviation platforms, there are more and more sources for potential EMI/ EMC issues. The requirements (both system and subsystem) for conducting electromagnetic/electronic environmental effects (E3) testing are both costly and time consuming. Two major areas of electromagnetic vulnerability are wiring and connectors. This topic will look at new technologies that can help reduce the potential for EMI/EMC susceptibility of wiring harnesses and connectors. This will help to reduce the impact of new technology insertions on aircraft as well as help reduce the costs of qualification of new systems. The solution should also have minimal impact to the aircraft weight. Offerors may consider (but are not limited to) material solutions like new connector enclosures, fiber optic technologies, new packaging techniques, coatings, blankets, shielding, derived neutrals or local grounding, or other exotic techniques (e.g., active cancellation) for suppressing EMI emissions. Approaches may include metallic materials, non-metallic wires, fiber optics, and other non-traditional technologies. Methodology may involve implementation of new types of wiring or transmission medium and connectors or just novel approaches to the shielding of traditional signal carriers and interconnects. The material solution must be optimized for both weight and cost. It should not add any significant weight to the aircraft and should maintain the same form factor as current aircraft wiring harnesses. Solutions should be flight worthy and be able to operate in a rotorcraft environment. Potential solutions should be optimized for durability and maintainabilyt in an Army rotorcraft environment.

  PHASE I: The contractor will conduct a study of Army combat helicopter wiring harnesses (to include wires, cables, connectors) to establish an E3 baseline condition. The contractor will also look at future technology insertions such as fiber optic technologies. The contractor will use this information to verify his proposed EMI suppression solution and compare and contrast it to other candidate solutions. The contractor will conduct detailed design, define associated test and implementation processes, and analyze effectiveness versus baseline and modified E3 conditions. The contractor will optimize the design for overall EMI suppression effectiveness and durability as well as maintainability, cost effectiveness, minimization of logistical and maintenance impacts, and mitigation of weight added to the platform. The top factors for this will be for EMI suppression, weight, and cost in that order. The contractor will conduct a proof of concept technology demonstration to validate the proposed approach.
  PHASE II: The contractor will finalize system design, define associated processes, develop and document the system, draft test plans and procedures, fabricate a prototype, and test the prototype system and procedures in a relevant operating environment. The contractor will define necessary test equipment and instrumentation, and conduct required testing (or be present to monitor compliance with test plans). The contractor will prepare test reports and present results to the Government and other interested, relevant parties. Testing will include at a minimum all relevant sections of MIL-STD-461E.

  PHASE III: The contractor will research and market potential applications to other DoD aviation weapon systems and to commercial aviation. PEO Aviation has a need across all platforms to reduce the electromagnetic impact of new equipment and existing systems. Other potential applications will be across commercial aviation assets and other government agencies.

  References:  IL-STD-461E, MIL-STD-810F, DO-160B, MIL-STD 2196

Keywords:  Aviation, Fiber Optics, EMI resistent, Wiring, Connectors, Interconnects,

Questions and Answers:
Q: For Phase I, is their a preferred method (or methods) to analyze the EMI suppression effectiveness versus baseline and modified E3 conditions? Thank you.
A: Any methods for measuring EMI/EMC characteristics on Army Aviation aircraft must be in accordance with MIL-STD-461E. This is the STD that the Army must test to in order to qualify our aircraft for flight.

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