Navy Technology Transfer Navy Technology Transfer


AIGaAs/GaAs Solar Cell with Back-Surface Alternating

Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School offers a Back-surface, Alternating Contacts (BAC) solar cell featuring p-or-n type GaAs with alternating p-n junction regions on the back-surface of the cell, producing an improved, lighter-weight solar cell. The layers of p-or-n type GaAs are interfaced together to collect charge carriers, and a thin layer of AlGaAs is applied to the front and back surfaces to prevent recombination of charge carriers. Layer properties (thickness, material, doping, etc.) are optimized to improve overall conversion efficiency. The performance of the BAC solar cell is significantly improved by the arrangement of a GaAs-based emitter layer, heterojunction layer, and emitter-contact layer to facilitate a conduction band and valance band arrangement at layer interfaces that leads to dramatic improvements in BAC solar cell performance. Additionally, due to the very thin absorption layer, minority carriers have a much higher probability of reaching the electrical contacts and contributing to load current. The highly-reflective, back-surface, metal contacts improve solar cell efficiency by reflecting transiting or emitted photons back into the absorption layer. Additionally, a window layer and anti-reflective coating minimizes the escape cone at the front of the solar cell, effectively trapping photons and increasing the probability that they will create an electron-hole pair. These attributes provide better long-term performance in high-radiation environments; higher conversion efficiency at elevated temperatures; and a lighter, more flexible structure for mobile applications.

Adaptive Linear Filter

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific)

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific has developed the adaptive linear filter (ALF), an image processing algorithm that uses adaptive image adjustment techniques to filter real-time video and still imagery. By breaking the image into sub-images and analyzing and enhancing each sub-image, ALF produces greater overall image contrast and detail, enhancing images with contrast levels below 2% to levels above 52%. ALF has been extensively tested in various conditions including thick fog, low light (nighttime), and brownout conditions; resulting in superior images over current market solutions. ALF is suitable for a variety of professional and consumer applications including vision systems for aircraft, ground vehicles and ships, security and surveillance systems, underwater environments, still imaging and video editing software (a Photoshop plug-in exists), and more.

Battery Charger and Power Reduction System and Method

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has patented a battery charger and power reduction system and method that is a shunt-type, lithium-ion battery charging device that is designed to reduce the likelihood of overcharging and the possible deleterious effects (and cooling requirements) that are associated with the heat generated during the charging process. The shunt-type charger controls the amount of power being used by the battery charger by monitoring the battery’s level of charging during the charging process and correspondingly reducing the magnitude of the charging current in response to the monitored level. The battery charger offers many advantages including decreased generation of heat, eliminated need for supplemental cooling components, flexibility to charge different types of lithium-ion batteries, as well as ones with differing states of charge, and precision of charging.

Battery Health Monitoring Method

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a diagnostic technique to identify and monitor the state-of-health (SOH) of lithium-ion batteries to improve safety and reduce the safety hazards associated with lithium-ion battery failures. The technique applies a small AC signal (current or voltage) to a battery over a specific frequency range, termed the SOH frequency, which is unique to a battery’s chemistry, size and form factor. The impedance response to the perturbation at the SOH frequency is invariant of the battery’s state-of-charge and can be applied online to provide real-time SOH monitoring. Advantages of the invention include: quick data collection and determination of state-of-health (eliminates collection of full impedance spectrum); can be applied online for real-time health monitoring, independent of battery state-of-charge; diagnostic works at the battery pack level, which eliminates the need for individual cell monitoring; single frequency measurement eliminates the need for complex and expensive electrical waveform generators; and it diagnoses fault after a single severe overcharge or repeated mild overcharges. Applications for the technology include monitoring Li-ion battery systems for real-time state-of-health determination and as a diagnostic tool for identifying overcharge abuse in lithium-ion batteries.

Benthic Microbial Fuel Cell

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed the benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) which operates on the bottom of marine environments where it oxidizes organic matter residing in sediment with oxygen in overlying water. The BMFC is a maintenance free, non-depleting power supply suitable for a wide range of sensors presently powered by batteries. Unlike batteries, however, the BMFC will not deplete owing to a constant supply of its fuel and oxidant by environmental processes and constant rejuvenation of its microbial electrode catalysts. For this reason, the BMFC is an ideal power supply when uninterrupted long duration sensor operation is a must, and for hard to access sensors and high-density sensor arrays where the cost of battery replacement is high.

Benthic Microbial Fuel Cells

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific)

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) has developed advanced prototypes of benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) technologies for use in underwater surveillance systems, communications systems, navigation systems, environmental monitoring systems, and general charging stations for underwater devices and vehicles. BMFCs are devices that generate persistent energy by coupling bioanodes and biocathodes through an external energy harvester. Three NIWC Pacific BMFC technologies capable of providing power to underwater sensors are: 1) a patent-pending shallow water surveillance system (also known as the linear array BMFC) that relies on an anode surrounding a buried cable system and harvests up to 1 W of power; 2) a patent-pending deep-water BMFC system that utilizes a roll-out surface anode to provide 100 mw of power; and 3) a 1m x 1m buried grid, with a low-profile sensor package and cathodes placed on a frame that extends in the water column by 1m, capable of producing 500mw of power. In addition to these technologies, NIWC Pacific has several other BMFC inventions available for licensing or further development.

Cable Shield Ground Adapter

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division has developed, tested, and patented a universal cable shield ground adapter (CSGA) that is easy to use, highly robust, and inexpensive. The CSGA is designed to accommodate a broad range of cable and conduit sizes with a minimal number of adapters. Any size cable from 1/8” to 1” can be grounded and secured in a K-sized tube using the CSGA. An internal seal acts as the primary seal against environmental conditions, and provides superior protection and relegates fickle heat shrink boots to a secondary protective status. The CSGA meets stringent military standards (MIL-STD-1310H), is expected to cost approximately 1/10th of current products, and enables the repair and retrofitting of previous installations without expensive repair kits and the time-consuming process of pulling cables. In addition, the CSGA weighs about 50% less than other products and offers outstanding pull-out resistance.

Detecting Counterfeit or Defective Microelectronic Devices

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

It is increasingly important to have the ability to detect defective or counterfeit microelectronic devices in the marketplace. Defects or counterfeit devices can include parts that do not conform to their specification, are not authorized by an original equipment manufacturer, are being passed off as a new part, or have been subjected to one or more damage or stress events exceeding acceptable limits such as an electrostatic discharge event. System defect or supply chain problems are becoming more difficult given large volumes, difficulty in accessing parts in an assembly, and different sizes, shapes, and structures for mass produced parts. Thus, there is a need to improve electronic system supply chain defect detection capabilities which can be used at any stage in a supply chain. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed a test system for measuring multiple test modalities to determine if a microelectronic device is defective or counterfeit. The system combines many different data sets to create a comprehensive set of data using simpler and less costly methods which provide a reliable and significantly accurate system permitting high capacity or high speed testing. It can be used to provide analysis in different locations of a supply chain for components in different part, end use, or packaging configurations.

Dipole With an Unbalanced Microstrip Feed

Naval Postgraduate School

Small wireless sensors and microwave energy harvesting devices require an integrated antenna and rectifier (called a rectenna) to provide a direct current output for battery charging. At the Naval Postgraduate School, a small lightweight antenna has been patented that is a critical component in a high efficiency rectenna. The antenna has a single feed attachment from a microstrip transmission line to the antenna element, making it ideal for use in a full wave rectifying circuit. The antenna is a thin wire structure that can be easily adapted to any type of printed circuit or integrated circuit technique.

Direction Finding System Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical System Sound Sensors

Naval Postgraduate School

Conventional directional sound sensing systems use an array of spatially separated microphones to achieve directional sensing by monitoring the arrival times and amplitudes at each microphone. The accuracy of the directionality in this case is determined by the extent of spatial separation of the microphones making them bulky. On the other hand, the ears of the Ormia ochracea fly are separated by a mere 0.5 mm yet it has remarkable sensitivity to the direction of sound. The fly’s unique ear structure consists of two eardrums coupled at the center. The incident sound generates directionally dependent oscillations of the eardrums with large amplitudes at normal modes of the coupled system. In this work, a narrowband micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) direction finding sensor has been developed based on the fly’s hearing system. The sensor consists of two wings coupled at the middle and attached to a substrate using two legs. The sensor operates at its bending resonance frequency and has cosine directional characteristics similar to that of a pressure gradient microphone. Thus, the directional response of the sensor is symmetric about the normal axis making the determination of the direction ambiguous. To overcome this shortcoming two sensors were assembled with a canted angle similar to that employed in radar bearing locators. The outputs of two sensors were processed together allowing direction finding with no requirement of knowing the incident sound pressure level. At the bending resonant frequency of the sensor an output voltage of about 10 V/Pa was measured three orders of magnitude larger than conventional MEMS microphones. The accuracy of the bearing of sound is found to be about 2°. These findings indicate the great potential to use dual MEMS direction finding sensor assemblies to locate sound sources with high accuracy.

Energy Harvesting from a Data Bus

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division

This innovation allows for the harvesting of electrical energy from a data bus without interruption to the normal operation of that data bus. Energy harvesting is a key development in the deployment of self-sustaining systems. The technical issue of harvesting energy by “removing” bits from a data stream without the transmission system noticing that anything unusual was happening, other than normal transmission losses on the bus is an issue no one previously addressed. Key technical challenges included designing switching circuitry to enable the harvesting and circuitry to store the harvested energy for an embedded application. This technology affords the ability to harvest small amounts of electrical energy from a data bus for any purpose. This includes military and commercial applications in fields such as diagnostics and cybersecurity. Anyone interested in embedded applications that use very small amounts of harvested electrical energy from a data bus would be interested in this solution. This patented technology is available for licensing.

Flexible Self-Erecting Wing that Supports Flexible Printed Electronics

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific)

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) seeks partners to mature and commercialize a patented, early-stage technology—a flexible, self-erecting wing that supports flexible printed electronics. Collaboration opportunities exist in rapidly-deployable tactical sensor-net frameworks, distributed antenna arrays, micro fuel cells, and meta-materials. Operations of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and micro air vehicles (MAVs) are limited by physical and size factors. NIWC Pacific inventors have conceptualized a flexible dielectric substrate wing that incorporates electronics, sensors, fuel cells, and can self-erect upon receiving thermal stimuli. By marrying flexible printed circuitry and micro fuel cell components to a flexible wing, the space, weight and size requirements of a small UAV or MAV can be optimized. Ultimately, the inventors envision a low-cost, throw-away wing made of expendable meta-material, effectively making the wing a replaceable battery and sensor component.

Formal Agnostic Data Transfer Circuit

Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic)

This patented invention pertains to digital logic circuits that can provide a low level, unidirectional data transport mechanism for intra-chip or intra-element communication. The invention is particularly, but not exclusively, useful as a flexible, format-tolerant high speed data transport interface, which can reduce processor resource utilization for both variable and fixed length payloads. Digital logic devices like graphics processing units and field programmable gate arrays are becoming more powerful and are becoming more and more capable of generating and processing large amounts of data. One of the challenges associated with this increased capability is the ability to transfer that large amount of data on and off the logical device. This invention addresses this challenge.

Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System Portable Power -- A New Solar Energy Solution

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division seeks to commercialize, through patent licensing, their Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS), a 300-watt continuous, photovoltaic/battery powered system designed to provide power to Marines in the field. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division has developed and tested the GREENS prototype which provides reliable alternating current and direct current power to remote outposts. Marines will not have to rely on fuel resupplies as much for generators to ensure their radio equipment and batteries continue to have power.

High Energy Storage Capacitor

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a method of electroless deposition of conformal ultrathin (<20 nm) metal oxides on the high-surface-area walls of commercial carbon nanofoam papers, typically 0.1–0.3 mm thick. The resulting ultrathin metal oxides rapidly take up and release electrons and ions, thereby storing energy at 300–600 Farads per gram of oxide, while the carbon nanofoam paper serves as a three-dimensional current collector and defines a pre-selected porous electrode architecture. The high surface-to-volume ratio of oxide-painted carbon nanofoam enables footprint-normalized capacitances of 1–10 F·cm-2 addressable within tens of seconds, a time scale of relevance for hybrid electric vehicles. Pairing MnOx–carbon nanofoam with FeOx–carbon nanofoam yields an energy-storage device with an extended operating voltage in mild aqueous electrolytes (~2 V) that provides technologically relevant energy and power density while also being low cost, safe to operate, and environmentally benign. Applications for this technology include hybrid-electric systems, bridge and/or backup power, and energy recovery.

High Temperature Superconducting Film Production

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific)

High temperature superconducting (HTS) films such as yttrium barium copper oxide provide the foundation for HTS circuit development and are used in Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUIDs) applications. The following is a sampling of Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific’s (NIWC Pacific) HTS film production technologies available for licensing and further development: 1) a patented device and method that enables novel electronic transport measurements and rapid characterization of chemical compound samples (in addition to HTS films, this device and method can be used on any chemical compound such as crystals, alloys, and polycrystalline); 2) a patented method that enables production of uniform HTS films free from micro-scale defects known as a-b axis twins; 3) a patent-pending method that opens up the possibility of reliably mass producing complex HTS circuitry for widespread applications (e.g., electronics, computing, medical devices, geological exploration, security); and 4) a patent-pending device that enables a direct link from superconducting to optical circuitry. NIWC Pacific has dozens more patented and patent-pending inventions that could benefit from HTS film production including designs for SQUID and bi-SQUID arrays having improved linearity and radio frequency sensing capability, devices for SQUID optical circuitry, and methods to fabricate high-resolution structures in HTS films.

High Value Silicon Carbide from Agricultural Waste

Naval Research Laboratory

Research scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have shown that using high temperatures or microwaves many agricultural wastes can be transformed into high value silicon carbide (SiC) consisting of nanostructures and nanorods in various polytypes. Billions of pounds of agricultural waste are generated every year worldwide. Rice and wheat husks, corn stalks, cobs, sorghum leaves, peanut shells and other residues are considered to have no value and are plowed into fields or incinerated. Normal incineration temperatures create environmental problems by releasing ash, carbon dioxide, and nanoparticles into the air. However, these agricultural wastes have significantly high silica content in a molecular state in close proximity to hydrocarbons. Silicon carbide is used for electronic and structural devices due to its high breakdown voltage, chemical inertness, high thermal conductivity, dimensional stability, wide band gap, high radiation resistance, thermal shock resistance, and mechanical hardness. Scientists are engaged in transforming these silicon carbide nanomaterials into transparent windows and domes for applications as armor, hypersonic missiles, and thermal control of thin disc lases. Potential uses of SiC for chemical sensing, optical metamaterials, structural composites and nanoscale electronic devices are also being investigated at NRL as well as applications which promise enhancements in infrared spectroscopy.

Human Movement Charges Smart Phones and Tablets

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

The Department of Defense Power Systems Initiative called for lighter batteries to ease the warfighter’s burden when on foot. Chemists at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake (NAWCWD) answered the call and found a way to harvest electrical energy by putting a storage device in a backpack, strap, or in the heel of a shoe to power small devices such as smart phones and tablets. The secret is auxetic materials. While most materials have a positive Poisson ratio that expands under compression, auxetic materials have a negative Poisson ratio that contracts under compression. Auxetic materials have the potential to exponentially increase the energy harvesting ability for many different systems. Motion energy harvesting may include human motion, ambient vibration, wind-driven motion, and wave motion. Currently, auxetics design and testing is a core science and technology program at NAWCWD. In 2007, while studying mechanical energy harvesting with piezoelectrics, NAWCWD realized that an auxetic framework had far greater potential. NAWCWD designed and three-dimensional printed auxetic material samples for mechanical testing. In 2015, two U.S. patents were issued: 9048761 and 9030079. This invention has direct applications to warfighters on foot, hikers and walkers.

Integrated Radar, Optical Surveillance and Sighting System

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed the integrated radar, optical surveillance and sighting system in response to the increasing threats to high dollar value and exposed naval equipment. This proven and demonstrated system provides the capability to surveil, track, and actively respond to threats in a manual or semi-automated fashion. The core of the system consists of an intuitive user interface coupled with software drivers for external devices (i.e., cameras, spotlights, audible warning systems) and a digital input/
output card capable of up to 32 connections.

Membrane Pump for Synthetic Muscle Actuation

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport

A synthetic muscle comprises an outer layer having an interior filled with a proton containing electrolyte. A first electrode extends into the interior and a second electrode extends through the interior. The second electrode is attached to the outer layer at two locations. An ion selective microporous membrane extends through the interior along the length of the second electrode and is also attached to the outer layer at the two locations. The ion selective membrane is also attached to the second electrode at a plurality of points along its length, defining a plurality of pockets of the ion selective membrane. The ion selective membrane is generally disposed between the two electrodes. The two electrodes are in communication through a power source. Using the power source, an electroosmotic flow is established across the ion exchange membrane from the first electrode to the second electrode, inflating the pockets and constricting the outer layer.

Method and Apparatus for Robust Symmetrical Number System Photonic Direction Finding System

Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Postgraduate School’s four-element wideband photonic direction finding (DF) system with robust symmetrical number system preprocessing utilizes dual electrode Mach-Zehnder modulators to conduct phase detection for direct wideband DF of radio frequency signals, such as microwave signals, in which the normalized magnitude of the output signal phase detector circuit is equal to 1sin(cp/2)1 where cp is the phase difference between the plane waves arriving at the reference and measurement antennas of linear DF array. The method and system allow fine angular resolution using much smaller array size than is typically required for linear arrays employing super-resolution signal processing techniques.

Method and Apparatus for Secured Interactive Remote Maintenance Assist

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

This technology is a system and method for using the system comprising a head mounted device (HMD), a remote maintenance server (RMS), and a control section operable to identify the system under test (SUT) using an image recognition function to identify a plurality of subsystems (PLoS) within the SUT in a data library; to create three-dimensional models of the PLoS and displaying the same on a visual interface of the HMD using an augmented reality function; to connect to the RMS using an encryption algorithm via streaming video or images sent to the RMS; to collect SUT data and external (to the SUT) sensor data; to conduct a prognostics and/or health, maintenance, and/or management (HMM) service on the collected data to determine system health and projected health of the SUT and/or PLoS; to authenticate remote user access to the RMS; to update the data library; and to insert a plurality of HMM designators on the visual interface.

Micro Electro-Mechanical System Igniter for Pyrotechnics With High Infrared Transparency

Naval Surface Warfare Center,Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division has been duly invested in the application of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology applied to the world of “safe and arm” devices for over a decade and has several patents in this area. Recently, they developed a MEMS capable of igniting both insensitive and sensitive pyrotechnics across a thin barrier material with high infrared transparency. The first of its kind, this compact igniter uses a purely radiative energy transfer to propagate a reaction when the device is activated, while remaining inoperable all other times. The physical separation of sensitive and insensitive pyrotechnics increases the degree of safety with a reduction of an igniter’s footprint through the integration of MEMS technology.

Monitor for Pressurized Canisters

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division has developed a sensor system provided for pressure vessels. A compressor directs compressed air into a purification chamber for removing carbon monoxide from the air. The sensor system housing is fastened to an opening on the purification chamber and the sensor housing provides an electrochemical sensor driven by an independent power supply and an electronic processor for receiving a signal from the electrochemical sensor. If the carbon monoxide in the purification chamber reaches a predetermined level, the electronic processor is programmed to initiate a shutdown of the compressor utilizing a relay cable.

New Materials, Processes, and Devices for Electro-Optic Signal Modulators (Transducers)

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake has developed a way to put high-bandwidth electrical signals (including radio frequency and microwave, digital or analog) on an optical (infrared) carrier signal for transport by an optical fiber or through space to an optical detector. Commercial or alternative application areas include: any application that involves data transmission on an optical carrier signal (especially over fiber-optic cables); transmission of radio frequency signals from a remote antenna via fiber-optic link to the computer; optical interconnects for computers (optical signal routing and switching); rack-to-rack server connections in data centers; chip-to-chip optical interconnects; phase modulators for fiber-optic gyroscopes (global positioning system outage); optical beam steering; analog-to-digital converters; near infrared tunable filters; optical correlation filters; spatial light modulators; and electric-field sensors (electric power distribution monitoring).

New, Stronger, Longer-Lasting Batteries

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

This new Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake (NAWCWD) technology holds promise for dramatically improving today’s batteries by as much as 40%. These new enhancements create greater stability and improve energy storage. The new batteries have a long shelf life, work at low temperatures, can provide pulse/peak power for longer periods, and can handle high power for many cycles. These new polymer capacitors can handle tens of thousands of charges at a high depth of discharge and can operate below 0° C as well as withstand temperatures up 175° F. In addition, the active part of the charge storage device is entirely made of plastic. Future battery concepts include lithium sulfur batteries. Scientists at NAWCWD, working with Georgia Tech, developed these devices in a collaborative effort funded by the Office of Naval Research. Researchers are working hard to improve the density significantly before the technology transitions to industry.

PEEK™-Like Phthalonitriles: Base Resin Manufacturing

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a new class of PEEK™-like phthalonitrile (PN) resins, when in the melt-state, are easily processed and cured, and produce high temperature thermosets. The PN base resins are synthesized in a two-step, one-pot reaction in quantitative yields and require no further purification (n < 1). A simple workup, along with utilizing cost effective starting materials, make manufacturing these new PN resins competitive to other thermoset base resins. The resin formulations are indefinitely
stable under ambient conditions and can be prepared either as a powder or to a specified viscosity (and gel time) for use in existing commercial resin processes. An example of such phthalonitrile-based products are polymer matrix composites (PMC) which exhibit high thermal and oxidative stability approaching 500 °C (930 °F) in air, have low water absorption, retain structural integrity in a fire environment, and show thermal properties that exceed Navy expectations for composite ship and aircraft applications.

PEEK™-Like Phthalonitriles: Melt-Processable, High Temperature Polymers

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a new class of PEEK™-like phthalonitrile (PN) resins for use in a variety of applications due to their ease of processability when in a melt-state followed by curing to produce high-temperature, high-char polymeric thermosets. The PN resins, where n < 1, were initially designed to fabricate polymer matrix composites (PMC) by cost effective manufacturing methods such as resin transfer molding, a type of out of autoclave processing. The resin formulations are indefinitely stable under ambient conditions and can be prepared to various viscosities and gel times for use in all commercial resin processes. Phthalonitrile-based PMCs exhibit high thermal and oxidative stability approaching 500 °C (930 °F) in air, have low water absorption, retain structural integrity in a fire environment, and show thermal properties that exceed Navy expectations for composite ship and aircraft applications.

Radiation Hardened by Design Power Structures

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed a patent-pending suite of innovative radiation hardened by design (RHBD) power structures addressing an array of radiation issues exhibited by commercial power devices, such as single-event gate rupture, single-event burnout, and ionizing radiation. These RHBD power structures provide unique operating characteristics and performance that lowers manufacturing costs, allows for smaller sizes, reduces overall weight, and supports higher voltages which lead to more design options and flexibility for products. Device designs allow for easy integration into existing fabrication processes with minimal effort and costs. They can be fabricated as a discrete power device or fabricated into more complex integrated circuits such as linear or analog circuits.

Radio Frequency Radiation Using Fractal Dipole Antennas for Medical Use

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed a patented suite of fractal dipole antenna technology with applications in a variety of fields including communications and medical treatments. The medical application focuses on radio frequency (RF) radiation that targets a tumor in a situation where if the power and frequency desired at the target were to be directly transmitted to the tumor it would damage intervening tissue between the antenna and the tumor. This is resolved by decomposing the desired RF signal using wavelets and transmitting each decomposed wavelet element from a different antenna at a different vector. Each element sums together at the target to recreate the original desired RF signal. The high-power, high-frequency signal only exists at the tumor and all the inter-vening tissue is exposed to lower-power, lower-frequency elements. Tumor cells increase intake of chemotherapy drugs when radiated with certain RF energy signals, but this will allow using lower doses of chemotherapy drugs for the entire body while maintaining the high dose in the tumor cell. Some tumors can be eliminated directly from exposure to the RF radiation without the use of chemotherapy drugs.


Remote System Data Collection and Analysis Framework

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

This technology is a system for data collection and analysis and is provided comprising a first network having at least one system element, at least one collection device communicably coupled to at least one system element, and configured to receive data communications from at least one system element and transmit the data. The system includes a data management system communicably coupled to the collection device and configured to receive and store the transmitted data. The system further includes a data analysis network communicably coupled to the first network, configured to retrieve data from the first network, the data analysis network including a management server having logic configured to at least one to analyze the retrieved data, and determine remaining useful life of at least one system element, identify a failure mode associated with at least one system element, and determine a maintenance action sufficient to remedy a system failure corresponding to the identified failure mode.

Robust Method for Decentralized, Multiple Unmanned Vehicle Navigation and Formation Control in Electromagnetic-Spectrum Limited Environment

Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (formerly Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic)

This novel approach to path planning takes into account a communications restrained environment and dynamic formation control of multiple unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) for navigation around obstacles. Multiple USVs can provide a common operational picture and environmental surveillance that would be highly beneficial for cooperative intelligent decision-making in the absence of human interaction. This patent from Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic is tolerant of individual system failure, including either a universal or isolated communications failure, without depending on a single node (in some cases referred to as a “reach back” node) for instruction, position, navigational, or timing data. This solution is a combination of long range path planning, short range obstacle avoidance, resilient ad-hoc communication network, and decentralized control strategy.

Secured Mobile Maintenance and Operator System Including Wearable Augmented Reality Interface, Voice Command Interface, and Visual Recognition Systems and Related Methods

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

Secured remote maintenance, configuration management, and systems engineering apparatuses and methods including wearable augmented reality (AR) interface systems are provided with this technology. Embodiments can support secure and remote configuration setting changes (CSCs) to a system or subsystem of interest (SSoI) using a head mounted device (HMD), a camera, a visual interface section, and a processing section, including a plurality of processing instructions to operate a command input (CI) interface using one or more user CIs (e.g. voice or motion/gesture input recognition) using a secure user authentication system. HMD machine vision and pattern recognition systems visually identify a SSoI, displaying a three-dimensional (3D) model(s) of the SSoI on the HMD’s visual interface using the AR interface system, obtaining a plurality of SSoI data, and displaying one or more of the SSoI data in relation to the 3D model on the HMD visual interface to support various tasks including CI directed CSCs.

Super Dielectric Capacitors

Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Postgraduate School has developed a capacitor utilizing a dielectric of a porous, non-electrically conductive, skeletal frame saturated with a liquid containing dissolved ions, capable of achieving dielectric constants in excess of 105. Upon the application of an electric field, ions dissolved in the saturating liquid contained in the pores travel toward the ends of liquid micro volumes creating giant dipoles. The fields of these giant dipoles oppose the applied field, reducing the net field created per unit of charge on the capacitor plates, and effectively increasing charge/voltage ratio, hence capacitance. The dielectric is thus a multi material mixture comprising both liquid and solid, where the solid serves as a physical framework or skeleton holding the polarizable elements in place, and mobile ions in a liquid solution provide the polarizable element. The liquid utilized is a polar liquid comprising ions and typically displays an ionic strength of at least 0.1. In some applications, the skeletal frame is a porous material such as an agglomerate of consolidated or unconsolidated material, with individual agglomerates having a specific surface area greater than 0.5 m2 of surface/gram and a mean pore diameter generally between 1-200,000Å. In other applications the skeletal frame is a material such as a polymer sheet having longitudinal channels extending across the electrodes of the capacitor and the polar liquid residing within the channels. The super dielectric capacitor is relatively easily constructed and provides significant advantage over typical “super capacitor” designs.

SynFuel from Seawater

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a carbon capture process for carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery and hydrogen (H2) production which can be captured in quantities adequate for synthetic fuel production. Using a novel electrochemical acidification cell, both dissolved and bound CO2 can be removed from seawater by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 gas. In addition to CO2, the cell produces H2 gas at the cathode as a byproduct and the production of this gas is a function of the applied current to the cell. The CO2 extracted from the seawater can be converted to hydrocarbons through reaction with H2 in a gas-to-liquids process. NRL has developed an iron-based catalyst that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 52% and decrease unwanted methane production from 97% to 43% in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons. These longer-chain hydrocarbons can be oligomerized into a liquid containing C9-C16 molecules suitable for jet fuel by a second nickel supported catalyst reaction.

Terahertz Reverse Micromagnetron

Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School has developed a terahertz (THz) reverse micromagnetron that includes a micro-electro-mechanical system-based reverse magnetron configuration in which the anode is located at the center of the magnetron surrounded by a cathode ring. Electrons move radially inward in the combined electric and magnetic cross-fields and can reach orbiting angular frequencies in the THz region, even with a magnetic field of the order of 1 T or less. This design can be portable and operate at room temperature. Depending of the field emission current, the THz source can also be bright.

Thermal Effluent to Electric Energy Harvesting System

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division has developed a system for harvesting electric energy from thermal energy and includes energy conversion assemblies that can be distributed about a conduit through which a heated effluent flows. Each energy conversion assembly includes two heat sinks, a thermoelectric cell sandwiched between the two heat sinks, and a thermal insulating gasket surrounding the thermoelectric cell and separating the two heat sinks. Circuit wiring electrically connects to each thermoelectric cell where the energy conversion assemblies are electrically connected to one another in parallel. An electric power storage device is coupled to the circuit wiring.

Three-Dimensional Zinc Electrode Architectures for HighPerformance Batteries

Naval Research Laboratory

Zinc-based batteries offer a safe, inexpensive alternative to fire-prone lithium-based batteries, yet have been historically limited by poor rechargeability. The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has eradicated this centuries-old roadblock by developing a three-dimensional (3D) zinc (Zn) “sponge” electrode architecture comprising interpenetrating networks of Zn scaffolding and void space. The design characteristics of NRL’s 3D Zn sponge yield superior electrochemical properties when cycled in alkaline electrolytes compared to conventional Zn powder-composite electrodes. The longstanding problem of dendrite formation upon cycling is solved by distributing current more homogeneously in 3D throughout the electrode volume, while the void structure constrains dissolution/precipitation processes within the electrode. This breakthrough transforms the future capabilities and performance of the entire family of Zn-based alkaline batteries. By swapping in NRL’s 3D Zn sponge for traditional powdered or foil Zn anodes, NRL has demonstrated fully rechargeable nickel-zinc prototype cells that challenge lithium-ion performance, but which use aqueous-based cell chemistry that is inherently safer than the nonaqueous liquids used in lithium batteries. Applications for this technology include primary (disposable) batteries, secondary (rechargeable) batteries, and 3D solid-state batteries.

Tool Tracking via Radio Frequency Identification Tags

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

Researchers at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake have conceptualized a way to use existing technology to greatly improve and simplify the process of tracking tools. By embedding small, wireless, non-removable, transmitters (RFID tags) on tools, they can be automatically logged out by a user and their location can be tracked via identification (ID) numbers. ID tags can be attached unobtrusively in the handles of equipment. This technology allows technicians to find assets without cumbersome paperwork or annoying sign-out sheets that may be ignored and only habit driven. New technology can add a new level of efficiency to any workplace. It guarantees readiness and avoids major downtime via exhaustive tool searching. RFID tag readers can be posted at points of exit or entry to log what tools are being removed and by whom. This invention helps any organization that has tools with a need to know where they are at all times. Applications include military customers with fight lines, aircraft tool boxes, onboard ships and inside hangars, mechanics that need to track tools in shops, and manufactures that need to track tools for production.