DIRECT TO PHASE II Advanced System Performance Analysis of Carbon-Carbon Structures for Hypersonic Applications

Navy SBIR 23.1 - Topic N231-D05
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Pre-release 1/11/23   Opens to accept proposals 2/08/23   Closes 3/08/23 12:00pm ET

N231-D05   TITLE: DIRECT TO PHASE II Advanced System Performance Analysis of Carbon-Carbon Structures for Hypersonic Applications

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Hypersonics; Space

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 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: Advance the state of the art in hypersonic flight performance modeling for carbon/carbon (C/C) architectures and assess vehicle performance as a function of the manufacturing process.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy relies on ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for thermal protection systems (TPS), flight bodies, propulsion systems, and hypersonic applications. Demand for increased speed and maneuverability requires high strength materials with the ability to survive at higher temperatures in oxidizing environments. The extreme environments endured by the hypersonic TPS have an impact on flight performance, mission reliability, and cost. Legacy design tools treat C/C materials with bulk properties and empirical models that limit knowledge of how constituent properties of the material influence real-time flight performance. This technology gap drives conservative designs increasing cost, limits the flight envelope, and creates uncertainty in mission reliability from changes in material lot and vendor.

C/C composites are the most commonly employed CMC. All or part of the aeroshell of a hypersonic vehicle consists of C/C material systems. These material systems are an anisotropic material comprised of several other bulk materials each of which has a unique architecture with fiber bundles (yarn) woven in specific fashion and converted to carbon-carbon. Predicting aeroshell performance in various specific situations is complex and generally involves using multiple toolsets anchored with empirical data.

In order to accurately model and support end-to-end analytical tools, the thermomechanical response of the aeroshell and full TPS over the course of the mission profile is necessary. It is this response which determines which mission profiles are viable. A thorough understanding permits engineering of the material, better understanding of the design margins and will enable design trades, analysis of performance boundary conditions, system lethality, and ultimately possible concept of operations (CONOPS). A thorough understanding also will permit modeling of the production process and will provide the insight necessary to make changes to the material system as the industrial base shifts, or as it is realized that small adjustments could improve performance or reduce cost.

Today, we know a lot about the material properties of a few of the architectures of 2-D and 3-D carbon-carbon from sample tests, hot ground tests, and flight tests. We know almost nothing about how the properties of the constituent materials affect the bulk material properties. Thus, we are at the mercy of "build and see" as opposed to having the tools at hand that might provide insights via modeling.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. 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 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 SSP 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 a Direct to Phase II topic, the Government expects that the small business would have accomplished the following in a Phase I-type effort and developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address, at a minimum, the basic requirements of the stated objective above. The below actions would be required in order to satisfy the requirements of Phase I:

The contractor is expected to have experience modifying and improving existing hypersonic software for the purpose of supporting aerothermal design, analysis, and prototyping.

Demonstrated history in performing trade studies and models using modified codes for application to operations to assess hypersonic vehicle flight risk in flight tests and mission planning.

Demonstrated processes will be improved under the Phase II for the benefit of hypersonics programs.

 

FEASIBILITY DOCUMENTATION: Offerors interested in participating in Direct to Phase II must include in their response 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 NOT 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 offeror and/or the principal investigator (PI). Read and follow all of the DON SBIR 23.1 Direct to Phase II Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Instructions. Phase I proposals will NOT be accepted for this topic.

PHASE II: This Direct to Phase II requires an assessment of the current capability in hypersonic flight performance analysis. The end result of the Phase II must clearly demonstrate how changes in C/C materials processing will impact flight performance in a way that is meaningful to materials engineers, system designers, flight analysts, and the warfighter. Minimum expectations during the Phase II include, but are not limited to:

A system level process assessment to determine technology gaps in analysis code inputs

Assessment of technology gaps in analysis outputs to support flight performance assessment

A trade study design to demonstrate the impact of material design changes to flight performance

Definition of applications of the technology to integrated production teams such as propulsion, lethality, and structures

Software modifications for improved TPS material description and performance assessment

Execution of the trade study and demonstration of the advantages of the technology

Development of terms to support fast running analytical code development for various mission events

Proposed test events necessary to anchor models

Proposed path forward to extend the fast running analytical code to other material systems of interest.

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: Finalize development, based on Phase II results, and aid in supplying the Navy with detailed models needed to perform analysis sufficient to understand the impact of input materials, processing and flight conditions of a C/C material system under representative hypersonic flight conditions.

REFERENCES:

1.       Xuewen Sun, Haibo Yang, Tao Mi, "Heat Transfer and Ablation Prediction of Carbon/Carbon Composites in a Hypersonic Environment Using Fluid-Thermal-Ablation Multiphysical Coupling", International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, vol. 2020, Article ID 9232684, 13 pages, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9232684

2.       U. Papenburg, S. Walter, M. Selzer, S. Beyer, H. Laube, G. Langel, U. Papenburg, S. Walter, M. Selzer, S. Beyer, H. Laube and G. Langel. Advanced ceramic matrix composites (CMC's) for space propulsion systems. American Institue of Aeronautise and Astronautics, Inc. 33rd Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Seattle, WA, 06 July 1997 09 July 1997.

3.       S. Schmidt, S. Beyer, H. Knabe, H. Immich, R. Meistring, A. Gessler. Advanced ceramic matrix composite materials for current and future propulsion technology applications. Acta Astronautica, Volume 55, Issues 39, 2004, Pages 409-420, ISSN 0094-5765.

 

KEYWORDS: Hypersonics; silicon carbide; 2-D Carbon Carbon; 3-D Carbon Carbon; manufacturing; peridynamic scales; meso scales; thermal protection system

Communication with SSP TPOCs will be coordinated through the SSP SBIR Program Manager.

TPOC-1: SSP SBIR POC

Email: [email protected]


** TOPIC NOTICE **

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