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Awards Registry

Deployable Systems Manufacturability
Profile last edited on: 6/4/2021

Program
SBIR
Agency
Navy
Total Award Amount
$1,136,205
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Charles Howland
Activity Indicator

Location Information

Warwick Mills Inc

301 Turnpike Road PO Box 409
New Ipswich, NH 03071
   (603) 291-1000
   inquiries@warwickmills.com
   www.warwickmills.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   02
County:   Hillsborough

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$149,786
This proposal addresses the solicitation Topic N204-A03; Deployable Systems Manufacturability, Focus Area 2; Inflatable array structures and materials manufacturing. Warwick proposes to build an inflatable prototype that will provide a geometrically accurate structure that can precisely hold the location of a sensor array, and define the manufacturing methods and technologies necessary to do so. This objective is in keeping with the Current and Future Readiness Capabilities of the Navy Modernization Priorities, enabling new technology in advance hardware deployment and monitoring. Inflatables provide a significant opportunity for delivery of advanced deployable systems, offering the strategic advantages of low stowage, low mass, and low profile for stealth to defeat adversaries. Warwick Mills is a federal contractor with decades of experience in designing and manufacturing advanced inflatables that are complex, durable and lightweight. We have the know-how to create novel inflatable configurations to meet the missions of the Navy, adapting for high and low pressures, complex geometric shapes, high load capacity, and repeatable manufacturing processes to facilitate large volume production. To build the prototype, which will be demonstrated in this Phase I effort, Warwick will partner with Naval Undersea Warfare Centers (NUWC) Test & Evaluation Department to model for design improvements and mission needs by examining the shapes, hardgoods to softgoods interface, inflatable structures pressure and deflection behavior under various load conditions.

Benefit:
The significant inflatable improvements developed during the Phase I and future Phase II SBIR provide solutions for current unmet market demands. Warwicks Phase II prototype plan includes close communication with end users and systems integration personnel to develop prototype characteristics which fulfill performance and user requirements in a variety of settings. An iterative design process will be used to ensure objectives are met at the end of Phase II to be transitioned to Phase III and ultimately acquisition with government support and new commercial markets. Following DON transition, Warwick will focus on commercializing this technology in the growing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) market with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% between 2020 and 2025 according to MarketsandMarkets. While the market demand is growing, the AUV manufacturing community is small, many of which Warwick has established working relationships which will be leveraged to offer these unique hydrofoil type designs. Significant improvements are available including the ability for an AUV to glide underwater with inflation controlled buoyancy and propulsion which can be unmanned for long periods. Another growing sector is the Barrier Systems Market, expected to grow from USD 15.8 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 18.8 Billion by 2020 according to Globe NewsWire. Rising sea levels have increased the need for retractable sea walls that are inexpensive to build, deploy, and retract during calm water times. Furthermore, quickly deployable, robust roadway barriers for automotive infrastructure is also needed worldwide. An inflatable systems ability to deflect and absorb energy upon impact and return to its original shape will significantly improve life safety and reduce logistic costs in these systems. Additional commercial applications include Inflatable underwater seabow, bathythermographs, and inflatable boats in the recreational markets.

Keywords:
Aperture, Aperture, Array, inflatables, Sensor, Inflatable array, Hydrofoil, Novel Inflatable, Sensor Array

Phase II

Phase II year
2021 (last award dollars: 2021)
Phase II Amount
$986,419
This proposal addresses the solicitation Topic N204-A03; Deployable Systems Manufacturability, Focus Area 2; Inflatable array structures and materials manufacturing. Warwick will continue advancing the Phase I inflatable prototype that was able to demonstrate good progress in the accelerated 5 month period of performance. In Phase I, Warwick designed and built a geometrically-accurate hydrofoil inflatable structure prototype that was designed to precisely hold the location of a sensor array. The Phase I prototype was a single hydrophone array foil that represented one side of a 4-sided hydrofoil dual array design. This 4 sided hydrofoil dual array will be built in Phase II based on the initial CAD and hydrodynamics model that was completed in Phase I. The Phase I unit was successfully tow tested to baseline performance and confirm the hydrodynamic modeling completed by Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC). This Phase I prototype also informed manufacturing processes, shape control, inflation and deflation size and processes, and the relationship between the model and in-water testing. In Phase II, Warwick will continue to develop rapid prototypes, developing the technology in an interactive process, with modeling and lab testing, as well as a pilot testing of the towed vehicle in a coastal Operational Environment. We will demonstrate the inflatables viability under multiple user scenarios to evaluate the structures towing performance and suitability for sensor arrays, bringing this technology to TRL 6 through a full scale prototype demonstration ?testing and iterative optimization during the base period. Additionally, if the option period is awarded, Warwick will provide a Pilot Demonstration in an Operational Environment, bringing this technology to TRL 7 over a period of less than 2 years.

Benefit:
Warwicks Phase II prototype plan includes close communication with end users and systems integration personnel to develop prototype characteristics which fulfill performance and user requirements in a variety of settings. We are structuring a program in direct support for the Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) Anti-submarine Warfare area. Specifically we are focused on the requirements for Affordable, low-power means of array element location in mid-frequency arrays with very large numbers of elements . An iterative design process will be used to ensure objectives are met at the end of Phase II to be transitioned to Phase III and ultimately acquisition with government support. Following these phase transitions, initial commercialization efforts will focus on DoD and specific DON needs through integration of improved hydrofoil wing designs to provide ideal acoustics through operations above and below the thermoline. The integration of vertical and horizontal hydrofoil inflatables in various size configurations will be of great value to the Navy. We will continue to innovate and support flexible and rigid inflatable structures, providing robust sensor geometry support for improved aperture while reducing the weight and packing cube, to give the Navy distinct operational advantage over existing non-inflatable technologies. This is consistent with Anti-Submarine warfare FNC. Following DON transition, Warwick will focus on commercializing this technology in the growing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) market with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% between 2020 and 2025 according to MarketsandMarkets. While the market demand is growing, the AUV manufacturing community is small, many of which Warwick has established working relationships which will be leveraged to offer these unique hydrofoil type designs. Significant improvements are available including the ability for an AUV to glide underwater with inflation controlled buoyancy and propulsion which can be unmanned for long periods. Another growing sector is the Barrier Systems Market, expected to grow from USD 15.8 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 18.8 Billion by 2020 according to Globe NewsWire. Rising sea levels have increased the need for retractable sea walls that are inexpensive to build, deploy, and retract during calm water times. Furthermore, quickly deployable, robust roadway barriers for automotive infrastructure is also needed worldwide. An inflatable systems ability to deflect and absorb energy upon impact and return to its original shape will significantly improve life safety and reduce logistic costs in these systems. Additional commercial applications include Inflatable underwater seabow, bathythermographs, and inflatable boats in the recreational markets.

Keywords:
Aperture, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Array, Sensor, Hydrofoil, Novel Inflatable, Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV), inflatables