Innovative, Affordable Testing Methodologies for Hypersonic Vehicle Material Systems
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - Topic N193-144
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - [email protected]
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Innovative, Affordable Testing Methodologies for Hypersonic Vehicle Material Systems


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials/Processes

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: NAE Chief Technology Office

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 3.5 of the Announcement. 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 innovative, affordable thermal/mechanical test methods for hypersonic material systems under a relevant hypersonic environment in a range of Mach 5-20.

DESCRIPTION: Hypersonic vehicles and their propulsion systems have significant challenges in their design and development attributed to their extreme operational environments. One of the key challenges in hypersonic vehicles is their thermal protection materials and management systems. Recent progress in the research and application of hypersonic material systems has significantly contributed to our understanding of materials� behavioral aspects under extreme hypersonic environments. However, ever-increasing demands of hypersonic vehicles in in terms of function, operation, and life expectancy require continuous technological innovations. In addition, there is a need for advanced test methodologies for hypersonic materials to ensure operational reliability and durability of hypersonic vehicles. Therefore, there is a need to develop innovative, affordable thermal/mechanical test methods under a relevant hypersonic operational environment. The target hypersonic environment ranges between Mach 5-20. The environment must recreate operational conditions including temperature, heat flux, thermal/pressure loading, atmosphere and plasma. The test methods must be able to assess thermomechanical properties of candidate hypersonic material systems with respect to strength, creep, and life coupled with relevant test frames. Subsequently, the test methods must be able to characterize environmental durability of the materials in terms of oxidation, ablation, and catalytic/plasma effects. Candidate hypersonic materials are primarily targeted for leading edge applications in which appropriate thermal management architectures (e.g., for thermal gradient or cooling, etc.), although not required, may be taken into account. Consider employing Finite Element Analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) or any other physics/chemistry-based analytical tools to design optimized target test conditions in conjunction with test coupons/sub-elements and test facility. Collaborations with research institutions could strengthen the efficacy of research efforts and are thus encouraged.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Design and develop initial conceptual model(s) of proposed thermal, environmental, mechanical test methods��� under the required hypersonic environment of Mach 5-20. Determine and demonstrate the feasibility of the designed model(s). The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Fully develop and optimize the approach formulated in Phase I. Demonstrate and validate the approach using selected hypersonic material systems. Develop and deliver a laboratory-scale test cell prototype with thermal/environmental provisions.

Work in Phase II may become classified.� Please see note in Description paragraph.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Perform final testing and transition the approach to hypersonic leading edge sub-elements to assess their related operational capabilities under simulated Mach 5-20 environments. The topic, if successful, will have both private-sector commercial potential and dual-use applications due to its unique nature of new, affordable technology development. Test Methodologies would also allow the energy sector to quantify material properties for high-temperature materials and composites, which in turn allows the validation of modeling and simulation.


1. Evans, A.G., Zok, F.W., Levi, C.G., McMeeking, R.M., Miles, R.M., Pollock, T.M., & Wadley, H.N.G. �Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative on �Revolutionary Materials for Hypersonic Flight'.� Final Report, Office of Naval Research, 2011.

2. Glass, D.E. �Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and Hot Structures for Hypersonic Vehicles.� Proceedings of the 15th AIAA Space Planes & Hypersonic Systems & Technologies Conference, April 28-May 1, 2008, Dayton, OH.�

3. Bond Jr., J. W. �Plasma Physics and Hypersonic Flight.� Journal of Jet Propulsion, Vol. 28, No. 4, 1958, pp. 228-235.

4. Shashurin, A., Zhuang, T., Teel, G., Keidar, M., Kundrapu, M., Loverich, J., Beilis, I. I., & Raitses, Y. �Laboratory Modeling of the Plasma Layer at Hypersonic Flight.� Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 51, No. 3, 2014, pp. 838-846. DOI: 10.2514/1.A32771

KEYWORDS: Hypersonic; Hypersonic Materials; Hypersonic Thermal Management; Hypersonic Thermal Protection Materials; Ceramics; Ceramic Matrix Composites



These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.3 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.3 BAA SBIR pre-release on August 23, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on September 24, 2019, and closes October 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

Direct Contact with Topic Authors. From August 23 to September 23, 2019 this BAA is issued for Pre-Release with the names of the topic authors and their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. During the pre- release period, proposing firms have an opportunity to contact topic authors by telephone or e-mail to ask technical questions about specific BAA topics. Questions should be limited to specific information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic�s requirements. Proposing firms may not ask for advice or guidance on solution approach and you may not submit additional material to the topic author. If information provided during an exchange with the topic author is deemed necessary for proposal preparation, that information will be made available to all parties through SITIS (SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System). After this period questions must be asked through SITIS as described below.


SITIS Q&A System. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on September 24, 2019 no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed unless the Topic Author is responding to a question submitted during the Pre-release period. However, proposers may submit written questions through SITIS at . In SITIS, the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing.

Topics Search Engine: Visit the DoD Topic Search Tool at to find topics by keyword across all DoD Components participating in this BAA.

Help: If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at 800-348-0787 or via email at [email protected]