Compact Auxiliary Power System for Amphibious Combat Vehicle
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-004
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-004 TITLE: Compact Auxiliary Power System for Amphibious Combat Vehicle

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO-Land Systems, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault (PM-AAA)

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a quiet auxiliary power unit system that provides a high power-to-weight and volume ratio capable of powering Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) auxiliary electrical loads during silent watch and at-sea recovery.

DESCRIPTION: The United States Marine Corps (USMC) ACV program has a need for a very compact, quiet, and light-weight auxiliary power unit (APU) for powering on-board equipment when the main engine is off, providing silent watch capability of the ACV while ashore and at sea, and for subsystems operation during at-sea recovery.

APUs are typically powered by reciprocating or turbine engines coupled to isochronous or permanent magnet generators (Ref 1). Both engine types emit high noise levels. The aerospace industry uses turbine-powered APUs to provide power, compressed air, and environmental control. The turbine APU has the advantage of having a high power-to-weight ratio, though not as fuel-efficient, especially at non-peak loads (Ref 2). Reciprocating engines are very common, relatively inexpensive, and have a lower power-to-weight ratio. However, existing reciprocating engine APU configurations are loud and lack the power to weight/volume necessary to meet the needs of the ACV program.

Hybrid auxiliary power systems, which use a combination of power technologies, are beginning to gain acceptance, but have not been adapted to workable solutions in acoustically restrictive applications as discussed within this topic. Zero-emission fuel cells with built-in fuel reformers have recently been integrated to provide auxiliary power for over-the-road freight trucks (Ref 3), and are expected to become price-competitive as diesel exhaust emission restrictions become effective. However, existing fuel cell systems do not operate properly when using military fuels, and have not yet been proven in austere military environments.
This topic seeks an innovative approach in the development of an APU capable of being placed and operated in a dimensionally challenging space, such that the aural signature and acoustic noise level transmitted to the vehicle interior and the exterior are at acceptable levels.

Proposed concepts shall provide 7 kilowatt (kW) continuous Direct Current (DC) power at 28 volts, with a capability to handle transient loads of up to 125% for 5 minutes, and 150% for 5 seconds, and meet Mil-STD-1332B ( DC Utility Power requirements. F24, DF-2, DF-A, or JP-8 fuel from the vehicle�s on-board fuel tank will be available for use and may use the main vehicle batteries for starting and peak buffering. Concepts shall be capable of starting and operating in temperatures between -51 degrees Fahrenheit (�F) and 130�F and shall, as a system, weigh less than 440 pounds (threshold), or 220 pounds (desired). Proposed concepts shall not generate a direct sound pressure level at the vehicle interior, not including the reverberant sound field, of more than 80 A-weighted decibels (dB(A)) referenced to (re) 20 micropascals, under all loading conditions (0 to 100% loading). Proposed concepts shall not generate a sound pressure level at the exterior of the APU of more than 75 dB(A) Objective, 85 dB(A) (Threshold). Fuel consumption shall not exceed 0.5 Gallon-per-Hour (GPH) (Objective), 1.0 GPH (Threshold) at full continuous load resulting in significant fuel savings over having to run the main engine. Proposed concepts shall not exceed the following dimensions: 12"H x 18.4"W x 36"L, which excludes the starting battery or fuel tank. The APU target production cost shall be less than $59,000 (threshold), $25,000 (desired).

PHASE I: The small business will develop concepts for quiet auxiliary power system that meets the requirements stated in the description section and that is capable of powering ACV auxiliary electrical loads during silent watch and at-sea recovery. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept(s) in meeting Marine Corps needs and will establish that the concept(s) can be developed into a useful system for the Marine Corps. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Proposal, the small business will develop a scaled, quiet, auxiliary power system prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the Marine Corps� requirements for the quiet auxiliary power system as stated above. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Marine Corps� requirements. Working with the Marine Corps, the company will prepare a Phase III development plan to detail the strategy for transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use.

PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Marine Corps in transitioning the quiet auxiliary power system for Marine Corps use. The company will develop quiet auxiliary power unit(s) for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use. The company will develop manufacturing plans and capabilities to produce the system for both military and commercial markets.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: A quiet, ruggedized, high power-to-weight/volume ratio generator is highly desirable in many markets. In particular, applications in aviation, marine, and emergency response are easily envisioned.

1. "On-Site Power Generation, A Reference Book, Fourth Edition" Boca Raton, FL, Electrical Generating Systems Association (EGSA), 2006.

2. "Technology Characterization: Microtubines." Environmental Protection Agency, Combined Heat and Power Partnership Program, Arlington, VA, December 2008.

3. Weissler, Paul. "Delphi truck fuel-cell APU to hit road in 2012". Society of Automotive Engineers. 12 May 2010,

KEYWORDS: Auxiliary Power Unit; Compact Generator; Auxiliary Power; Silent Watch; ACV; Amphibious Vehicles

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