|Acquisition Program: || Objective: ||Develop novel approaches to the design and manufacturing of large-scale, one-of-a-kind, complex defense systems to shorten and reduce the variance in development cycles and to enhance the competitiveness of the defense manufacturing industrial base.
|| Description: ||DARPA is soliciting proposals that can significantly enhance the ability of the Department of Defense and the defense industrial base to design and manufacture increasingly complex systems in low quantities. To this end, proposals that offer revolutionary advances over the state of the art in the following topic areas are sought:
• Approaches to “erasing the learning curve”—i.e., removing uncertainty, variance, non-conformance, re-work, and the amount of touch labor associated with production of initial units—in manufacturing of large-scale systems in low quantities. Specifically, while production learning effects for typical defense systems today might be in the range of 10-15% labor reduction for a doubling in the number of units, approaches for flattening the learning curve to the 0-5% range are sought.
• Novel tools, methods, and techniques for the rapid design, optimization, and adaptation of manufacturing tooling and processes. Specifically, approaches for effecting significant changes to the manufacturing tooling and process over time horizons ranging from minutes to hours to days—versus months under most status quo approaches—are of interest. Proposals in this area should clearly articulate the advancement over the existing state of the art in their domain of applicability.
• Economical methods for “shimless” manufacturing, i.e., manufacturing at tolerance levels that do not require custom shimming. Proposals in this area should clearly articulate the value proposition (e.g., through a cost-benefit analysis) of their proffered approach.
• Economical methods for manufacturing large-scale structural components with extreme aggregate outer mold-line (OML) tolerances, e.g., 0.001” or less.
• Approaches to the development of “manufacturing cells,” i.e., self-contained systems capable of process engineering, process control, configuration management, and assorted manufacturing tools to enable fully autonomous manufacturing of a wide range of complex systems and rapid product change-over capability.
• Approaches to cyber-physical electromechanical systems, i.e., electromechanical systems, actuators, and structural components with ubiquitous embedded intelligence and control capability.
• Approaches to pushing the limits of modularity in large-scale electromechanical systems to levels comparable to those of very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) systems (i.e., integrated circuits).
• Design and/or manufacturing methods, techniques, and formalisms that enable the decoupling of dependencies between the system design and the manufacturing process.
• Tools, methods, and techniques to enable trade-offs software and electromechanical instantiation of functionality in system designs.
• Approaches to predicting performance and verifying correctness of large-scale complex systems while still in the early phases of design.
|| ||PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study which would investigate and define the proposed idea, approach, method, or tool and its feasibility. Demonstrate key technologies or breakthroughs through limited prototyping or simulation in a laboratory environment.
|| ||PHASE II: Develop the research and technology advances and methods identified in Phase I to produce a complete prototype that fully demonstrates the utility of the concept in an operational environment.
|| ||PHASE III: The technology developed under this SBIR will be applied in both the military and civilian commercial sectors. Specific domains of applicability in the military realm may include the manufacturing of spacecraft, aircraft, ground vehicles, and naval vessels. Customers would include the respective procurement components of the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. Commercial applications may be found in industries including aviation, shipbuilding, and heavy machinery.
|| References: ||
1. Wright, T.P., "Factors Affecting the Cost of Airplanes," Journal of Aeronautical Sciences, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 122–128, 1936.
2. Manufacturing Industry: Final Report, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Spring 2009, http://www.ndu.edu/icaf/industry/reports/2009/pdf/icaf-is-report-manufacturing-2009.pdf
3. “META Broad Agency Announcement,” DARPA-BAA-10-21, https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-BAA-10-21/listing.html
4. Manufacturing in America: A Comprehensive Strategy to Address the Challenges to U.S. Manufacturers, U.S. Dept of Commerce, 2004
5. Intelligent and Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IIMS), NIST 2005, http://www.manufacturing.gov/pdf/wavering.pdf
6. “The Collapse of Manufacturing,” The Economist, 19 February 2009, http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13144864.
7. “Annual Industrial Capabilities Report to Congress,” http://www.acq.osd.mil/ip/docs/annual_ind_cap_rpt_to_congress-2007.pdf|
|Keywords: ||manufacturing, assembly, integration, fabrication, complex systems, design, verification|