DIRECT TO PHASE II Size/Weight Optimized Compact-Prime Power Generator (CPPG) Technologies

Navy SBIR 21.1 - Topic N211-D01
MCSC - Marine Corps Systems Command - Mr. Jeffrey Kent -
Opens: January 14, 2021 - Closes: February 18, 2021 (12:00pm EDT)

N211-D01 TITLE: DIRECT TO PHASE II Size/Weight Optimized Compact-Prime Power Generator (CPPG) Technologies

RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Directed energy;General Warfighting Requirements

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platforms;Ground / Sea Vehicles;Weapons

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 high power density, small heavy fuel prime power generator technology for next generation directed energy weapons. The technology should be highly optimized for size and weight, and should be scalable to enable development of a family of small generators, with designs including power ratings ranging from 5kW to 25kW in 5kW increments, and capable of supporting 100% of duty cycle requirements.

DESCRIPTION: Currently available prime power sources that power directed energy weapon systems are very large and heavy and preclude integration on small tactical vehicles and unmanned systems. These power systems today are primarily composed of hybrid power systems of very large/heavy (100’s of pounds) high voltage batteries and/or large 1000 pound+ high voltage gas-diesel generators. Payload volumes and weight margins on most small tactical vehicles/platforms simply cannot accommodate or support these large payload volumes nor the extra weight. An example of this would be the current Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS) which employs a 5 kilowatts (kW) diesel generator weighing 300 lbs. that results in the vehicle weighing 15 lbs. over the maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the current ULTV. Future mission growth to add additional communications equipment to LMADIS is expected to increase the power demands to 10 kW. Currently available diesel generators that meet the higher power requirements weigh close to 500 pounds (lbs) and would result in the vehicle weighing 100 to 150 lbs. over maximum GVW. Compact and lightweight power generation systems are needed to power these directed energy weapon, surveillance, and C2 systems and keep the vehicle safely within its allowable GVW. The system requirements are:

Scalable prime power generator designs are to include 5kW, 10kW, 15 kW and 20kW designs and support 100% duty cycle requirements and range in size and weight from (for the 5kW generator design).

• Size and Weight (exclusive of fuel tank and mounting frames):

o For a 5kW genset, Volume Threshold of 1,300 cu in. and Objective of 1,000 cu in.; Weight Threshold of 40 lbs (8 lb/kW) and 30 lbs (6 lb/kW) Objective

o For a 25kW genset, Volume Threshold of 3,500 cu in. and Objective of 3,000 cu in.; Weight Threshold of 175 lbs (7 lb/kW) and 150 lbs (6 lb/kW) Objective

• Fuel Efficiency: For all ratings, Threshold fuel consumption rate of 275 g/kWh and Objective of 240 g/kWh

• Fuel: JP-8

• Electrical Output: 28VDC, less than 1% ripple

• Noise: Less than 70 dbA at 30 feet, at full (rated) power

• Duty cycle: Eight (8) hours of operation at rated (100%) power

Generators designs are based on optimized overall system size and weight and with overall system efficiency to achieve very high fuel efficiency such as < 250 gm/kW-h;

o Composed of lightweight materials such as Aluminum, be air-cooled, run on JP-8 (heavy fuels)

o Be extremely quiet (< 70 dbA at 30 feet at full power)

o Have a compact form-fit of less than 500 cu inches (with fuel tank) o Run 100% power for an 8 hour mission

o Run close to diesel engine efficiencies but with much less mass than a standard diesel generator – weight/power goal of < 0.5 lbs/hp o Run with realistic prop speeds of less than 1000rpm

o Run with low exhaust noise o Have a long lifetime with a mean time between failures (MTBF) of > 3000 hours;

o Be compatible with 24-VDC tactical electrical systems and 12-VDC vehicle electrical systems;

o Incorporate electrical component and connections with an ingress protection rating of Ingress Protection( IP67) or higher in accordance with (IAW) American National Standards Institute (ANSI) / International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60529-2004;

o Have a modular design that can be inspected, serviced, and repaired in the field

The program requires the development at least one small heavy fuel generator set (genset) in the required power range, which shall be scalable (up and or down in power rating) in order to enable the development of the small generator family described above, through the entire power range of 5kW to 25kW. The design shall be optimized for weight and size, utilizing light weight, durable materials, and shall be designed to have a mean time between failure (MTBF) of at least 3,000 hours. A complete, fully operational prototype genset shall be constructed and tested to demonstrate compliance with the technical requirements, including, size, weight, and performance.

Currently only diesel powered generators within the desired power range can achieve fuel consumption at the required rates; however, their large size and weight make them unsuitable for the intended application. A compact, lightweight, efficient, JP-8 fuel capable, reliable, and very quiet system is necessary to meet the mobility and compatibility requirements of potential platforms for the directed energy weapon systems. For higher power ratings, advanced gas turbine engine driven, high speed generators now under development can achieve near diesel efficiency; however, as the power rating and size decrease below about 40kW, their efficiency falls substantially, hence the need to develop new technologies for the high power density, small generators as described in these requirements.

Note: The current active Phase II USMC SBIR N132-086 to develop a Compact Prime Power Generator (CPPG) for Non-Lethal Directed Energy Weapons supports the development of a 40 kW to 1.6MW recuperated gas-turbine generator design. The generator design supports higher power directed energy weapon requirements. Its size and weight is optimized over this 40kW to 1.6MW power region. The Phase II SBIR prototype will produce 300 kW, support a 100% duty cycle, consume the same fuel as a standard gas-diesel generator (19.3gph) – same fuel burn rate as the MEP-809 at rated power, weigh only 480 lbs., and have a compact form-fit of < 20 cu ft. This SBIR topic requests an optimized scalable minimum size and weight lower power prime power source (generator) for the following NL DEW power requirements: 5kW, 10kW, 15 kW, and 20 kW. The current USMC Phase II SBIR design which employs a scalable recuperator gas-turbine generator design does not provide the smallest and lightest design at these lower power levels. A different more optimized generator design is required to fully optimize size and weight at these lower power requirements.

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 Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and MCSC 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: For this Direct to Phase II (DP2) topic, the Government expects that the small business would have accomplished the following in a Phase I-type effort. It must have developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address at a minimum the basic requirements of the stated objective above and it must have already developed a commensurate prototype in hardware, i.e., developed a large number of the components necessary to achieve the required Power Output per pounds and per cubic feet of form-fit.

Documentation showing a prime power gas-diesel power generation system is feasible and that the system requirements discussed in the Description are in the realm of possible. The small business should have produced a model to evaluate different approaches to optimize powering directed energy weapons on a small tactical vehicle/platform. The small business should show they have identified higher power density electrical efficiencies with lightweight materials and long MTBF to meet this SBIR DP2 topic’s scalable output power goals of 5kW, 10 kW, 15 kW, and 20 KW and weight ~50 lbs; and a compact form-fit of < 100 lbs and 1500 cu inches (e.g., the size of a small Honda 1 kW generator).

FEASIBILITY DOCUMENTATION: Proposers interested in participating in Direct to Phase II must include in their responses to this topic Phase I feasibility documentation that substantiates the scientific and technical merit and Phase I feasibility described in Phase I above has been met (i.e., the small business must have performed Phase I-type research and development related to the topic, but feasibility documentation MUST NOT be solely based on work performed under prior or ongoing federally funded SBIR/STTR work) and describe the potential commercialization applications. The documentation provided must validate that the proposer has completed development of technology as stated in Phase I above. Documentation should include all relevant information including, but not limited to: technical reports, test data, prototype designs/models, and performance goals/results. Work submitted within the feasibility documentation must have been substantially performed by the proposer and/or the principal investigator (PI). Read and follow all of the DON SBIR 21.1 Direct to Phase II Broad Area Announcement (BAA) Instructions. Phase I proposals will NOT be accepted for this BAA.

PHASE II: Based on the Phase I equivalent effort and the Phase II plan, develop and use analytical modeling to assist in design and integration of high power density, small heavy fuel prime power generator technology for next generation directed energy weapons. Build scalable prime power generator prototypes for both fitment and functionality of power generation to support directed energy weapon systems. Support evaluation of prototypes to determine if the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the requirements outlined in MIL-STD-1275E and MIL-STD-810H have been met. Demonstrate system performance through modeling and generator testing under full electrical load conditions. Refine the design based on the results of testing/modeling to facilitate integration on small tactical vehicles (such as the JLTV) and or other DoD Platforms as well as facilitate integration on small unmanned systems. Support full power tests of these directed energy weapon systems on DoD platforms. Prepare a Phase III plan to transition the technology to the Marine Corps and the commercial marketplace.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Provide support to the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use. Refine a prime power generation system for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Support the Marine Corps test and evaluation program to qualify the system for Marine Corps use.

Commercial applications include Department of Homeland Security and civilian law enforcement missions. The need for the use of directed energy weapon systems on small tactical vehicle/platforms is high for many government agencies – beyond just the DoD.


  1. "MIL-STD-810H - Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests." U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, January 31, 2019.
  2. "MIL-STD-1275E Characteristics of 28 Volt DC Input Power to Utilization Equipment in Military Vehicles." U.S. Army Tank automotive and Armaments Command, March 22, 2013.
  3. "Test Operations Procedure (TOP) 2-2-601 Electrical Systems (Vehicles and Weapon Subsystems)." U.S. Army Developmental Test Command Test Operations Procedure, US Army Aberdeen Test Center, June 20, 1977.
  4. "ANSI/IEC 60529-2004 Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures (IP Code)."
  5. Leimbach, Wendell. "The Commandant’s Guidance for the DoD Non-Lethal Weapons Program."
  6. Berger, David H. "Executive Agent’s Planning Guidance 2020 – Intermediate Force Capabilities – Bridging the Gap Between Presence and Lethality." U.S. Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program, March 2020.
  7. Munevar, Hernando. "High Power Density Solutions for Directed Energy Systems." Candent Technologies Inc.; Directed Energy Professional Society’s 2019 Directed Energy Systems Symposium, La Jolla, California, 18-22 November 2019.

KEYWORDS: Compact/Lightweight Prime Power Systems; Directed Energy Weapons Systems Prime Power; Tactical Vehicle Power Generation; Prime Power Weight Reduction; Prime Power Size Reduction; Mobile Expeditionary Power; Small Heavy Fuel Generators


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 21.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its 21.1 SBIR BAA pre-release on December 8, 2020, which opens to receive proposals on January 14, 2021, and closes February 18, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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