Prognosis of Aircraft and Space Devices, Components, and Systems

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11. Prognosis of Aircraft and Space Devices, Components, and Systems

Description: Prognosis is a vision for a future capability that has the potential to dramatically increase the US Air Force operational capability with increased safety and reduces risk while minimizing life-cycle operational and support (O&S) cost. USAF strongly needs prognosis capability in their deployed aircraft and space platforms. Pervasive prognosis capability is needed at all levels of complexity, from material level through device and component levels up to system level. The prognosis capability should cover (1) quantitative assessment of individual performance by serial number or other unique identifier; (2) quick and responsive prediction of future performance capability and potential degradation; (3) delivery of actionable information to the operator and in-field commanders for taking corrective actions in a timely manner to insure mission completion while minimizing risk and operating cost. Performance assessment and prediction should be accurate and precise with defined confidence interval and quantified risk. in near real-time. This DCT will address the fundamental basic research challenges that need to be overcome in order to realize this long-term vision.

Background: The success of USAF air and space missions relies on the availability of complex systems that range from aircraft and space platforms to electronic devices and sensors that are expected to perform as needed with high confidence and reliability. Materials in USAF flight systems include a wide variety of metals, composites, polymers, and ceramics and combinations thereof ranging in forms from nanoscale, to films and coatings, to complex structural components and structural assemblies. These systems are asked to deliver the designed performance over extended periods of time and often beyond their original design life. Past design practices have relied on various methodologies for predicting in-field performance, from safe-life to damage tolerance to reliability-based metrics such as mean time between failures (MTBF) initially pioneered for electronic components. However, the initial design predictions of in-service performance have often been inadequate resulting in high costs for maintenance and repair, lack of availability or readiness, and in some cases loss of crew. Responses to these shortcomings include in-service inspection requirements such as for aircraft structural integrity (ASIP), mandated corrosion inspection and repairs, line replacement unit upgrades in avionics, and various reliability improvement programs. Great expense to the USAF occurs as a result of unnecessary and damaging inspections driven by these worst-case limits. Repetitive inspections are required to give a needed level of confidence that the damage state has not been missed. This methodology and mind-set has driven the entire field of component and system reliability for non-electronics to focus the research on end-of-life scenarios – large cracks and extensive corrosion, for example. In the field of electronics, line replaceable unit (LRU) actions are driven by an assumption that all LRUs behave at the level of the worst case. The situation has reached in which continuation of current practice leads to escalating and unsustainable O&S costs. Reusable space access platforms such as the national space transportation system orbiter end up requiring extensive ground time between missions to assure reliably the ability to launch the next mission for that platform. In addition, some space operations do not even allow for replacements!

To address this situation, a radical new approach is needed, in which individuals rather than statistical worst case scenarios must be considered. The ability is needed to predict by serial number or other unique identifier when a device or component, or system is reaching a state where it must be repaired, upgraded, or graciously replaced. This ability to perform individual predictions will replace the current practice which relies on system or fleet worst-case scenarios driven by the statistics of the lower tail of the reliability distribution. Such a revolutionary approach requires a diverse multitude of new capabilities ranging from science and technology know-how to fleet management and operations research. However, this DCT will focus on the fundamental basic research challenges that need to be addressed in order to make it possible.

Basic Research Objectives: Structural prognosis, as a vision for a future capability, is based on the integration of three concurrent and distinct categories: (1) multi-level sensing-based state awareness (material, structural, loading, operational environment, etc.); (2) material-level modeling and predictive simulation of damage progression; (3) structural-level modeling and predictive simulation of long-term load-bearing capability under operational loads and extreme environmental conditions. The integration of these three categories in a robust predictive-analysis tool will offer on–demand continuous assessment capability of upcoming structural state under evolving operational requirements and threat environment thus forming the basis of structural state prognosis.

Many fundamental basic research challenges in each of these three categories exist; among the top ranked ones, we list the following:

(1) multi-level sensing-based state awareness (material, structural, loading, operational environment, etc.): (a) comprehensive characterization of local microstructural material evolution capable of providing a globally-selective and evolving “fingerprint” of the material state in support of damage evolution modeling; assessment of material state and damage progression through synergistic application and exploitation of NDE capabilities; (b) break-through sensors (light-weight, permanently installed, autonomous, durable, and reliable) for real-time sensing of material state and of external boundary conditions in extreme harsh environments. (c) capability to selectively sense of various evolving microstructural mechanisms contributing to key damage states in complex built-up structures and to overcome the challenge of detecting damage in inaccessible locations via large-scale interrogation and state sensing strategies.

(2) material-level modeling and predictive simulation of damage progression: (a) a set of local and global parameters that identify and describe damage in the complex engineered material systems needed for future flight structures; define the parameters (tensor? scalar?) that describe the state of damage in a anisotropic inhomogeneous material volume subjected to fatigue loading and identify how it could be possibly measured; (b) develop micromechanics-based material state and damage evolution models that can predict the variability within macro-mechanical damage models; determine the principal microstructural characteristics that can be related to remaining ultimate life and can be measured in the field; (c) develop fundamental material simulation methods capable of providing accurate predictions of material state, damage evolution, and ultimate life in the presence of material processing and component manufacturing variability, and loading path dependency.

(3) structural-level modeling and predictive simulation of long-term load-bearing capability under operational loads and extreme environmental conditions: (a) develop a robust and reliable multi-scale damage evolution model to predict damage growth from material initiation site to aircraft-level structural failure within the assumptions of USAF damage-tolerant structures; (b) evolve from the predictive modeling of crack nucleation and progression at a single site under

single loading condition to the prediction of crack population nucleation and evolution at multiple sites and at various structural levels from component to the full assembly to give a prognosis of probability distribution functions of cracks and of the coalescence of multisite crack damage for different damage nucleation mechanisms (mechanical fatigue, stress-corrosion; slightly atypical manufacturing anomalies); (c) develop integration strategies for fusing probabilistic state awareness information from global/local aircraft state sensing with damage evolution models and advanced probabilistic structural modeling to provide key sensitivity factors and engineering confidence intervals and achieve aircraft-level predictive modeling capable of near real-time hot spot identification and localization.

Program Scope: Two to four awards of $100-250k/year for 3 years are to be expected. The proposed research effort is expected to address fundamental breakthroughs in at least two of the three major research categories outlined above. Collaboration with scientists in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is encouraged, but not required. White papers are encouraged as an initial and valuable step prior to proposal development. The white papers that are found of interest will be encouraged to develop into full proposals.
Dr. David Stargel/AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-6961

DSN 426-6961 FAX: (703) 696-8451

E-Mail: david.stargel@afosr.af.mil

Other Innovative Research Concepts
AFOSR always is looking for new research ideas and is open to considering unique and revolutionary concepts. If you have an exciting idea that doesn't seem to fit within one of the more specific topic descriptions of this Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) detailing our current technical programs, you may submit it under this section of the BAA.
AFOSR’s goal is to create revolutionary scientific breakthroughs. This BAA seeks to invest in high payoff science and to identify challenging fundamental scientific problems relevant to the USAF in the 21st century. It is expected that proposals will describe cutting-edge efforts on basic scientific problems. Proposed research should investigate truly new and unique approaches and techniques that may enable revolutionary concepts with potentially high payoff relevant to Air Force mission.
Submission of a brief white paper (1-3 pages) describing the potential research effort is strongly encouraged prior to proposal submission. White Papers should briefly summarize your ideas, their scientific impact, and how they differ from what others are doing. Proposals not based on sound scientific or engineering principles will be quickly rejected. White papers will be reviewed by AFRL researchers familiar with the AF research interests in this area as well as suitable experts from academia. Copies of publications or student theses will not be considered as white papers.

Please include contact information including your mailing address, email address, telephone number, and fax number. This allows us to give prompt feedback to the proposer on the likelihood of a proposal being selected. We encourage you to send your white paper to:

Van Blackwood

Deputy for Technology Transition (AFOSR/ST)

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

875 N Randolph St, Ste 325, Room 3112

Arlington, VA 22203-1768
Dr. Van Blackwood, AFOSR/RSL

(703) 696-9542 DSN 426-7319

FAX: (703) 696-9556

E-mail: van.blackwood@afosr.af.mil

Education and Outreach Programs
The External Programs and Resources Interface Division (RSPE) of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the International Office (IO), and two overseas detachments, AOARD and EOARD, are responsible for the management of several programs that improve science and engineering education in the U.S., and stimulate interactions between Air Force researchers and the broader international, as well as domestic, research community. Applications for these programs do not always require proposals but generally have specific deadlines, formats, and qualifications. Researchers applying for these programs should communicate with the point-of-contact (POC) listed in each program description.

United States Air Force National Research Council Resident Research Associateship (NRC/RRA) Program

The NRC/RRA Program offers postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers opportunities to perform research at sponsoring Air Force laboratory sites. The objectives of this program are: (1) to provide researchers of unusual promise and ability opportunities to solve problems, largely of their own choice, that are compatible with the interests of the hosting laboratories; and (2) to contribute to the overall efforts of the Air Force laboratories.

Postdoctoral Research Associateships are awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have held doctorates for less than five years at the time of application. The awards are made initially for one year and may be renewed for a second year, and in some cases, a third year. A small number of associateships may be available for foreign citizens if laboratory funds are available.

Senior Research Associateships are awarded to individuals who have held doctorates for more than five years, have significant research experience, and are recognized internationally as experts in their specialized fields, as evidenced by numerous refereed journal publications, invited presentations, authorship of books or book chapters, and professional society awards of international stature. Although awards to senior associates are usually for one year, awards for periods of three months or longer may be considered. Renewals for a second and third year are possible. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. Senior associates must be eligible for access to unclassified government information systems; eligibility is also subject to a successful background review and visit authorization that includes approved access to the Air Force base and its laboratory facilities.

Associates are considered independent contractors, and receive a stipend from the NRC while carrying out their proposed research. Annual stipends increase with additional years past the Ph.D. An appropriately higher stipend is offered to senior associates. Awardees also receive a relocation reimbursement and may be supported with limited funds for professional travel.

An on-line application is available at: http://www.nationalacademies.org/rap .

The program is currently administered by The National Research Council (NRC):

Research Associateship Programs (Keck 568)

National Research Council

500 Fifth St, NW, Washington DC 20001

(202) 334-2760

E-mail: rap@nas.edu


Primary Point of Contact (POC):

Mrs. Leslie Peasant, AFOSR/RSPE

(703) 696-7316, DSN 426-7316

FAX: 703) 696-7320

E-mail: leslie.peasant@afosr.af.mil

Alternate POC:

Mr. Phil Gibber, AFOSR/RSPE, (703) 696-7323

AFOSR Anadarko/CIBER Contractor Support Team

DSN 426-7323, Fax: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: phil.gibber@afosr.af.mil

United States Air Force-Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (SFFP)

The SFFP offers fellowships to university faculty to conduct research at one of the Air Force research facilities in the summer.

The objectives of the Summer Faculty Fellowship Program are to:

(1) stimulate professional relationships among SFFP fellows and the scientists and engineers in AFRL Technical Directorates and other Air Force research facilities;

(2) elevate the awareness in the U.S. academic community of Air Force research needs and foster continued research at SFFP fellows' institutions; and

(3) provide the faculty opportunities to perform high-quality research at AFRL Technical Directorates and other Air Force research facilities.

SFFP fellows conduct research in collaboration with Air Force researchers for a continuous summer period of eight to twelve weeks at the Technical Directorates of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the US Air Force Academy, or the Air Force Institute of Technology. A final report is required at the completion of the summer appointment.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have an earned Ph.D. in science or engineering. Fellows must be eligible for access to unclassified government information systems; the fellowship award is subject to a successful background review and visit authorization that includes approved access to an Air Force installation and its laboratory facilities.

Fellows are awarded in different categories including both early career investigator and senior investigator. The stipend is based on the category. Each SFFP award is for one summer. The SFFP fellow may reapply for up to two additional summers, for a maximum of three summer awards. Starting in Fiscal Year 2010, selected fellows may bring a graduate student with them to assist in research on their assignment.

An on-line application is available at: http://www.asee.org/sffp/.

The program is currently administered by The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE):

American Society for Engineering Education

1818 N St, NW Suite 600

Washington DC 20036


Primary POC:

Mrs. Leslie Peasant, AFOSR/RSPE (703) 696-7316,

DSN 426-7316 FAX: 703) 696-7320

E-mail: leslie.peasant@afosr.af.mil

Alternate POC:

Mr. Phil Gibber, AFOSR/RSPE, (703) 696-7323

AFOSR Anadarko/CIBER Contractor Support Team

DSN 426-7324, FAX: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: philip.gibber@afosr.af.mil

Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP)

The Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP) is a DOD effort to promote international cooperation in military research, development, and acquisition through the exchange of defense scientists and engineers (S&E). A prerequisite for establishing the program is a formal international agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with each participant nation. Currently, DoD has signed ESEP agreements with Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

The primary goals of ESEP are to:

• Broaden perspectives in research and development techniques and methods.

• Form a cadre of internationally experienced professionals to enhance USAF research and development programs.

• Gain insight into foreign research and development methods, organizational structures, procedures, production, logistics, testing, and management systems.
• Cultivate future international cooperative endeavors.

• Avoid duplication of research efforts among allied nations.

Air Force personnel are selected in a competitive process and are assigned for a 2-year tour. This may be preceded by 6 months of language training. Ad hoc placements (non- competitive) can be initiated by research sites; however, these are funded solely by their originators. Foreign S&E are usually assigned to US DoD organizations for 12 month periods; although assignments can be for shorter or longer duration. Each country bears the cost of supporting its participants in the program. AFOSR/IO is responsible for managing placement of all ESEP exchanges within the USAF, and is the "one face to the customer" for all USAF ESEP actions. SAF/IAPQ (Armaments Cooperation Division, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs), the executive agent, provides policy guidance. The Asian and European Offices of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD/EOARD) are AFOSR field offices located in Tokyo and London. These offices act as overseas program liaison offices for US ESEP personnel working in Asia and Europe.

AFOSR/IO implements all actions for USAF participants once their selection is approved, and for the placement of foreign ESEP participants in Air Force organizations.

Primary POC:

Dr. Mark Maurice, AFOSR/IO, (703) 588-1772

DSN 425-1772 FAX: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: mark.maurice@afosr.af.mil

Alternate POCs:
Mr. Joe Niksic, AFOSR/IO (703) 696-7324

AFOSR Anadarko/CIBER Contractor Support Team

DSN 426-7324 FAX: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: joe.niksic@afosr.af.mil

Mr. Phil Gibber, AFOSR/RSPE, (703) 696-7323

AFOSR Anadarko/CIBER Contractor Support Team

DSN 426-7323 FAX: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: phil.gibber@afosr.af.mil

Air Force Visiting Scientist Program

The AF Scientist Visiting Scientist Program provides outstanding Air Force scientists and engineers the opportunity to conduct full-time, "hands-on" research-related work in a leading U.S. University or industry laboratory for a period of up to 179 days on a temporary duty status funded by AFOSR. The university or industrial laboratory provides a letter of invitation, and makes facilities, equipment, and resources available. The host laboratory must be located in the United States. Typically the researcher is an Air Force scientist or engineer, at least at the GS-13 level or its military equivalent. The applicant must be currently active in his or her field of expertise, be widely recognized as an expert, and have a strong publication record. The applicant must write a project proposal, preferably not to exceed ten pages, but of sufficient depth and scope for evaluation by scientists at participating organizations. Hands-on laboratory research-related work is an essential program element. At the completion of the TDY, the visiting researcher is required to submit a written report detailing his or her experiences and results of the project. In addition, the visiting researcher may be required to give a seminar presentation at the Air Force laboratory or at AFOSR and to provide feedback for purposes of program assessment. Upon completion of the assignment the researcher returns to his or her Air Force laboratory.

Primary POC:

Mrs. Leslie Peasant, AFOSR/RSPE, (703) 696-7316

DSN 426-7316, FAX: 703) 696-7320

E-mail: leslie.peasant@afosr.af.mil

Alternate POC:

Mr. Phil Gibber, AFOSR/RSPE, (703) 696-7323

AFOSR Anadarko/CIBER Contractor Support Team

DSN 426-7323, Fax: (703) 696-7320

E-mail: phil.gibber@afosr.af.mil

Window on Science (WOS) Program

The Window on Science (WOS) program facilitates technical interactions on fundamental research via direct contact between distinguished foreign researchers and Air Force Research Laboratory scientists and engineers. The WOS program sponsors foreign scientists and engineers to visit Air Force scientists and engineers at USAF sites typically within the U.S., but may also include other

domestic or overseas locations. Although WOS visits are designed to be short-term in nature, visits to multiple sites are encouraged. In order to present their research to a greater audience, and to further Air Force interests, WOS visitors may also combine visits to Air Force R&D organizations with visits to Army, Navy, other government, university, or industrial facilities. The AFOSR international Detachment 1, the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD), London, United Kingdom, manages this program for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and countries of the former Soviet Union. Detachment 2, the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD), Tokyo, Japan manages this program for the remainder of Asia and the Pacific Rim. Southern Office of Aerospace Research and Development (SOARD), located in Santiago, Chile manages the WOS program for the Americas, but administers the program from AFOSR/IO located in Arlington, Virginia. Participants in the WOS program will be foreign non-government researchers identified as subject matter experts by AFRL program managers, and whose visit benefits Air Force scientists and engineers. Travelers may be eligible to receive payment for their services; however, base clearance requests for unpaid non-government visitors can also be handled under the WOS program. Visitors will normally present seminars to discuss their work, which may or may not have been funded by the Air Force. The WOS program is not intended as a substitute for research programs, internships, associateships, or personnel exchange programs. The lead-time necessary to arrange a WOS visit is generally three months. A letter report from the traveler is required on completion of the visit.

EOARD: http://www.london.af.mil/

AOARD: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9477

AFOSR International Office, for SOARD: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9513

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