National Center for Manufacturing Sciences News and Views from the World of Manufacturing
June 2012 Welcome to The CTMA Connector, a monthly newsletter designed to provide news and ideas about the Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) program. The CTMA program is a joint Department of Defense/National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (DoD/NCMS) effort promoting collaborative technology development between industry and the DoD maintenance and repair facilities. This newsletter highlights ongoing projects, serves as a forum for promoting new project ideas, and provides other news of interest to the program. Our goal is to stimulate your participation and solicit your input.
Feel free to submit items for the newsletter as well as any suggestions to make it more useful. More information about the program can be found at http://ctma.ncms.org/.
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ATI is a full service product development firm offering engineering, design, analysis, testing and manufacturing services. Specializing in weight optimized engineered solutions in an effort to help customers integrate their innovations into cost effective manufacturable products.
Helping customers achieve research and development goals and solve challenging technological problems has been the focus of the University of Dayton Research Institute since its inception more than 50 years ago.
QinetiQ North America delivers innovative solutions to support defense, security and intelligence organizations (i.e., Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Defense etc…) and to support federal civilian agencies (i.e., Dept. of State, GSA & NASA etc…)
This project investigated the benefits of deploying a state-of-the-art automatic test system (ATS) test station incorporating SI in a DoD maintenance application. SI reduces reliance upon hardware-intensive instrument functionality necessary to satisfy traditional ATS stimulus and response requirements. Since ATS test stations are employed throughout the DoD maintenance hierarchy, the transition from traditional instruments to SI presented a significant opportunity to mitigate hardware obsolescence, reduce the equipment footprint, improve adaptation to emerging requirements and reduce the overall lifecycle cost of ATS (Figure 1). The SI CTMA ATS performance was benchmarked against the legacy United States Air Force (USAF) F-15 Electronic Systems Test Set (ESTS). The ESTS is currently used by the USAF to perform Intermediate-level maintenance on approximately 50 avionics line replaceable units (LRUs) across their F-15 aircraft fleet.
Figure 1. SI CTMA Technology vs. Legacy Systems
The SI CTMA project was conducted in two phases and focused on evaluation of SI-based ATS benefits in the following categories:
1. Maintenance Efficiency
2. Maintenance Effectiveness
3. Operational Availability
4. Operations and Support Cost.
A series of Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) were established to capture the performance related benefits associated with Maintenance Efficiency, Maintenance Effectiveness and Operational Availability. The achieved results at Elmendorf and Seymour AFBs are truly revolutionary. The projected U.S. Air Force operations and support cost savings to replace ESTS with the SI system to support the F-15 avionics LRU workload over the next 25 years exceeds $500M.
Completed CTMA Project: High Performance Cordage-Deck Edge Netting (HPC-DEN)
The main objective of this collaboration effort was to install HPC-DEN for improved stealth and lower operation costs for U.S. Naval ships. Presently the Navy uses nylon netting as the standard net material for low temperature applications. Nylon nets typically have to be replaced anywhere from 12-24 months due to breakdown from ultraviolet degradation, abrasion, and shrinkage.
Originally developed under a previous SBIR program (N00178-00-C-3053), cordage netting was developed that would have the same mechanical properties as the nylon netting with a longer service life.
Nets fabricated from the HPC-DEN cordage under the SBIR contract were installed on the USS Howard (DDG 83) in August 2003 and removed in April 2009 (after approximately five years and nine months of “in-service” time). Under a different contract (N00014-10-C-0084), the “in-service” nets were load tested to determine the residual strength of the nets. Load testing was performed to three separate phases though only Phase I (1,000 lbs. load for 10 minutes) is relevant to the Navy specification. Phase II (test to failure or 4,000 lbs.) and Phase III (10% cords cut to simulate damaged nets) testing were performed to determine the extent of the net degradation.
All “in-service” load tested nets successfully passed all three phases of testing with no failures. Since these nets were still capable of supporting 4,000 lbs., one can extrapolate that the nets will provide a minimal of six years service life and still support the Navy load requirements – sustain 1,000 lbs. force for 10 minutes for large nets and 500 lbs. for 10 minutes for corner nets. Based on the successful load test data, the team sought out a ship that needed new nets as a means to provide the ship with new nets and in turn to transition the technology for the laboratory to a real-life application. A helicopter landing trainer (HLT), USS Baylander (IX-514) stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL was chosen for installation of the nets. The ship’s crew installed and lashed 27 HPC safety nets around the flight deck edge perimeter frames. Figure 1 shows the installed HPC-DEN nets along one side of the ship. Figure 2 shows the nylon cargo nets lashed to the frames prior to installation of the new nets.
After net installation, all 27 of the flight deck safety nets were subjected to a static weight test in accordance with NSWCCD-SSES Sketch #SK-7548 and successfully passed.
Figure 1. HPC-DEN Installed on USS Baylander
Figure 2. Nylon Deck Edge Safety Nets on USS Baylander (IX-514)
The HPC-DEN installations should provide the ship with:
At least a 6-year service life (a 3-fold improvement over current system)
Reduced static load test maintenance
Easy installation for improved turnaround times on replacement netting
Net construction and finish to custom sizes
Weight reduction and greater load strength
Prolonged life of aluminum frames
Reduced net shrinkage
Resistance to ultraviolet wear and weathering
Resistance to salt water, alkalis, acid, oils and gasoline
Netting extruded in color totally eliminating need for additional color coating per NAVSEA requirements
Decreased uplift forces
Reduced drag when the nets are submerged in water during operations
Improved fuel efficiency
Reduced life cycle costs
No radar signature.
A recent published investigation of Maintenance History Reports on DDG-51 class stanchion damage found that hull numbers 52 to 84 contained a total of 311 net/frame failures. Repair costs were upwards of $80,000 for a single incident, and many of these incidents required stoppage of flight operations until net repairs could be completed. With a 3X improvement in net performance, capability readiness would increase with lowered maintenance costs for a wide variety of Navy vessels.