NCMS Announces Winners of the 2024 CTMA Technology Competition

Ann Arbor, MI, May 9, 2024—The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is pleased to announce the winners the 2024 Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) Technology Competition, a highly selective annual contest that identifies the most innovative maintenance and sustainment technologies. This year’s Overall Award winner is Boston Engineering Corporation’s Family of Sustainment Assisting Robotics (FOSAR). The People’s Choice Award winner is the US Air Force’s Surface Cleanliness Analyzer.  

“The winners of this year’s CTMA Technology Competition were selected from an extremely competitive field of submissions,” said Lisa Strama, NCMS President and CEO. “This competition seeks to support both the national defense strategy and the public good by identifying innovative capabilities that make maintenance and sustainment operations more agile, effective, efficient, and affordable.” 

Boston Engineering Corporation won the Overall Award for the Family of Sustainment Assisting Robotics (FOSAR) program, which will develop and demonstrate multiple technologies under one common and synergistic architecture to enable the Navy and other stakeholders to access a common user interface and common tools that will dramatically reduce maintenance and sustainment costs. The capabilities, provided by multiple companies, will include robotic systems, payloads and sensors, digital solution tools that include AR/VR/MR/XR, Logistics Internet of Things, and Exoskeleton technology for use by maintenance and sustainment personnel. The interchangeable payloads will increase worker efficiency and weapon systems’ availability. 

The People’s Choice Award winner, the US Air Force’s Surface Cleanliness Analyzer, aims to solve DOD challenges related to the cost of repairing adhesion-related failures. Surface cleanliness is a difficult to measure, critical factor to ensure proper adhesion of paints, coatings, and sealants. This self-contained, portable, handheld instrument provides a simple method for sampling surface cleanliness, especially in hard-to-reach areas that are difficult to clean. By using a single, precisely dispensed microdroplet of water, the instrument determines contamination by measuring surface wettability, providing quantitative surface cleanliness data in 2 seconds. The use of this instrument will eliminate field and depot scrap, rework, and production delays related to poor adhesion and improper surface cleaning. 

Selecting the Overall Award winner was a panel of judges who serve as principals for the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), a collaborative group formed by the DOD to improve coordination in the introduction of new or improved technology, new processes, or new equipment into DOD depot maintenance activities. The same group gathered earlier to review all entries and select the competition’s three finalists, who earned their recognition for excellence in maintenance relevance or impact, originality and contribution to state-of-the-art solutions, technical maturity, cross-service applicability, and feasibility/practicality.  

The People’s Choice Award winner was chosen by attendees of the finalists’ presentations at the CTMA Partners Meeting, held this year in Providence, RI. NCMS will make available $100,000 to the Overall Award winner and $25,000 to the People’s Choice Award winner. Both awards will be applicable to a future CTMA project as support funding. The funds will be applied to a selected DOD demonstration initiative, to the extent permitted under the existing CTMA cooperative agreement. 

For more details about the CTMA Technology Competition, please see: