SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-125 (Navy)
Title:  Nanoparticles for Mid-Infrared Heat Source
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Materials/Processes, Sensors

Acquisition Program:  PMA-272 Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: This topic is “ITAR Restricted”. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign nationals may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the “Permanent Resident Card”, or are designated as “Protected Individuals” as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.
  Objective:  Develop and manufacture nanoparticle heat emitting sources to be used for countermeasures on aerial vehicles.
  Description:  The leading threat in terms of lethality and proliferation to assault and assault support rotary and tilt-rotor aircraft are MANPADS. These tactically launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMS) typically use infrared seekers for guidance. They are a threat to low flying aircraft (manned or unmanned) that are moving troops or supplies such as the new Marine Corps unmanned rotary-wing support vehicle. Due to the nature of their mission these aircraft generally use flares or pyrophoric material preemptively for aircraft self-protection when deemed in a high threat area. Traditional Mag-Teflon flares burn brightly with lots of smoke, and are not very covert in the visible light spectrum; and, additionally, have a persistence that can ignite fires when expended in proximity to the ground. Pyrophoric metal flares (PMF) are more covert and has less persistence, but is a one-for-one replacement for the limited traditional flares carried in the ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensers. Thus, increasing flare capacities will aid aircraft to survive in the battlefield environment and accomplish their mission. Additionally, future countermeasure expendables must be capable of defeating future imaging threats that guide/home on both visual and infrared spectrums; and, to this end, this technology may lead to a more advanced capability. The Navy is investigating the potential to fabricate oxide-coated nanoparticles as a pyrophoric decoy material in the mid-infrared spectral band (4-5 microns). Nanoparticles would have the benefit of uniform size distribution for dispersal and even oxidation, with the desired spectral radiance in the mid-infrared. The desired solution would provide an aircraft with multiple events/greater capacity of an infrared emitting heat source capable of defeating either an imaging or infrared seeker. Current infrared flares are Hazard Class 1.4. Proposed material should be equal or less hazardous. The material should be non-corrosive to aircraft surfaces. Color ration and intensity should be suitable for fixed-wing fighter aircraft and rotor-/tilt-rotor wing aircraft.

  PHASE I: Prove feasibility for manufacturing nanoparticles that can be coated with oxides that provide a mid-infrared emission.
  PHASE II: Demonstrate in a lab/manufacturing setting the ability to fabricate nanoparticle materials with the desired spectral response.

  PHASE III: Design and fabricate an aircraft dispenser with the ability to eject nanoparticles in the appropriate dispersal patterns and irradiance and transition to an air platform such as a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Commercial Aircraft may have a requirement for a reliable and cost effective countermeasure against Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS).

  References:   1. Barron, A. R. (2009, May) Oxide Nanoparticles. Connexions. 2. G.S. Tompa, S. Sun, et al; "MOCVD Process Model for Deposition of Complex Oxide Ferroelectric Thin Films", Integrated Ferroelectrics, 2001, Volume 36(1-4), pages 135-152.

Keywords:  Nanoparticle; Infrared; Countermeasure; MANPADS; Dispenser; Pyrophoric

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