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-Home > Spotlights-2015-09
Spotlights-2015-09
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A 21st century human tendency is to see our own ideas as original, to believe we come up with concepts which no one else has ever considered. Today, we highlight an “Innovation Summit” report of events from seven years ago, proving these notions are misplaced. In 2008 the Office of Naval Research sponsored an investigation of unmanned systems and autonomy. Using a two-step process of brainstorming, followed by a mix of meetings and wargames, ONR realized that creating a system which can sense, predict, communicate and “take sequential actions to achieve its goals” is not easy.
 
This report is compelling in the way it defines what an autonomous system should be able to do, and for grappling with how such systems can interact. Today, mixing manned aircraft and autonomous systems in the same airspace takes effort, getting machines to make real choices is hard, and delivering these capabilities on a wide scale takes considerable effort. Yet while these questions were all asked seven years ago, the Department of the Navy is still seeking answers to them today. If someone ever doubts that Navy information is an asset, read this short report and ask, what could we have we learned from it, and by doing so how much time could we saved in developing autonomy? ...
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Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

Evaluate every technical and cost correction document in-terms of potential lessons learned. Get engineering & cost estimating supervisors to identify at what level (local code, branch, division, DoN, etc.) that the lesson would be best communicated. Summarize the lesson to be learned or use the information as an anonymous case study. Submit the lessons learned to a general database organized by discipline for the technical stuff and by asset or service type for the cost estimating stuff. Post the information in a common network location, such as iNAVSEA, NKO, or the general Navy site. For the most interesting or informative lessons presented, create a short video presentation. Incentivize the process with awards. Use the lessons learned database as a training tool for the next generation. One idea to facilitate this is to add a check block to the next revision of forms used in corrective actions to remind reviewers of the need to capture the lesson.
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
idea

The Navy has a long tradition of deploying Professors aboard flat deck ships to teach college courses underway. For a FAB LAB at sea to be successful, it will need someone with strong technical expertise to be able to teach and guide users through the various tools and engineering methods to make things. Several universities that participate in the professor at sea programs have land based engineering courses... it is a small thing to request a "FAB LAB - type" specialty under the current program. Sailors may then get college credit for participating. The FAB LAB could be hosted by MWR, both to align with the "Welfare" aspect of the MWR mission, but also to ensure the FAB LAB is able to be deployed without unnecessary barriers being put up to installation onboard a ship.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
idea

I see potential disaster in just unleashing 3d printers on the Navy. If someone knocks out a print in PLA - and then throws it in the engine room at 150 degrees F - it will not melt, but it will soften to the point of not being strong. I would hate to see 2$ of plastic ruin a piece of 10,000$ equipment - because someone thought they could just make the part on the "cool new 3d printer". I suggest that we need a way to submit for approval, and a way to distribute approved 3d printer files.
 
Files that have:
 
1. a 3d printable file - for example .stl for FFF.
 
2. Slicing settings - including - temperature, speed, layer height, extrusion width - and what slicers have been tested and approved for the file.
 
3. Material - I have been experimenting with nylon lately - I suggest that it becomes the standard for "useable" parts
 
4. A notes section - for suggestions like "print on MDF plywood" or "Print on blue painters tape" or "requires a heated bed"
 
There would need to be a group created - with the job of reviewing and either accepting / denying the application to the part database. They would look at the advantage of always having spare parts on demand - and weigh it against the potential for something bad to happen. Everything from weird cable retention systems, plastic clips, all of those crappy plastic parts that hold things together, wall mounts, brackets - I see being a big success. I have even considered making a custom set of master at arms duty gear - including custom holsters for everything from the M9 - to magazines - to OC and baton holders. Both belt mountable, and MOLLE mountable. The trouble is - in Japan, I can't exactly have an berretta in my house for measurement testing purposes. This may be a project for my next command. I just want a way to get it approved for MA use - and shared for all to download and use in the Navy.
 
Parts that were approved for use as replacement parts - would have a section added to the 3M system - noting that the part could be 3d printed - along with where the 3d file could be located. The file would have all the information on how to create the part.
 
Lastly - just a crazy idea here - we need some sort of standard navy 3d printer. If anything - just a standard size and resolution. Or a set of sizes - one small, one medium and one large. But it needs to be standardized performance wise - so when you have a standardized part database, you know the printer will be able to complete the job. It will also allow for sharing of the .gcode files - which would eliminate the slicing step, reducing chances for errors in that step.
 
- Submitted by a Sailor
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
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Your ideas are advancing in "the Hatch!" Naval Innovation Network members have been analyzing your ideas, and now we need YOU and the other Hatch Users to help build the proposals. Interested in building a proposal?  Contact DON_Innovation@navy.mil.
 
You still have time to participate in our ongoing challenges. 
    - D3 Innovation Summit Pitch Challenge (Now through October 1, 2015)
    - Fab Lab Challenge (Now through October 12, 2015)
 
We have many "Community Members" in "the Hatch." To get more out of your community, change your profile from "Community Member" and establish your own unique alias to give yourself an identity and help build a rapport with the community! Check out the Newsletter for more details!...
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Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s (MARMC) Fabrication Laboratory (FAB LAB) is in the final stages of testing a new 3D printed blade separator tool for gas turbine engines in Building CEP-200, Naval Station Norfolk, Va....
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The 2015 edition of Flashpoints provides the results of our most recent analysis of factors associated with a nation's risk for conflict. It also provides an updated ranking for the 159 nations included in the study based on each nation's potential to experience future conflict or instability. This effort included extensive research, review, and analysis of several global patterns and trends related to the potential for instability and armed conflict. This work was conducted through a prism defined by rapidly occurring actions, events, and decisions with potentially significant regional and global implications, challenges, and opportunities. This is the tenth annual edition. Read more here...
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The 2015 MCSEF provides a current snapshot of Futures Directorate's continual examination of the deep future. Capitalizing on strategic foresight techniques, the MCSEF examines global patterns and trends, develops insights on the character of future conflict, and outlines variations of the future security environment. Analysis of patterns and trends in seven categories, including demographics, technology, resource competition, environmental stresses, globalization, governance, and urban littorals, enables projection 15 to 30 years into the future of four plausible world futures: a baseline future, two alternative futures, and a "preferred" future.
 
The MCSEF is fundamentally a document for planners and decision makers. It aims to identify and analyze the principal patterns and trends shaping the future security environment; describe and assess plausible future security environments; generate ideas that inform the development and implementation of institutional concepts, capabilities, and requirements; offer recommendations for service consideration to guard against strategic surprise; shape the future force; and stimulate thought; and ultimately inform senior leadership's vision of the future. Read more here...
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Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

There is a large push for Naval installations, and the Department of Defense as a whole, to decrease their overall carbon footprint and to explore the possibility of using alternative energy sources that do not require the use of supply constrained fuels such as coal. In addition, members of the workforce are exploring opportunities to decrease their own energy usage and environmental impact, as well as their overall commuting costs, by evaluating and purchasing energy efficient vehicles as well as alternative energy vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, etc. Presently at NSWC Crane, there are approximately 10 people with such vehicles, mostly Chevy Volt's, that are unable to utilize the existing Navy power outlets to charge their vehicles due to the fact that there is no way for us to reimburse the installation for the cost of the power used. I would like to propose that the Department of Navy create a contract gateway for the various installations to install consumer charging stations for use by their employees such as those provided by the Chargepoint network. Once installed, these chargers have the capability for the Navy to charge the consumer directly for the cost of the power (at a 1:1 ratio as the Navy is not allowed to make money if I'm not mistaken). This will allow for the expansion of the use of electric vehicles by the workforce which helps further the energy reduction plans of the Navy as a whole.
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
idea

A quick way to get awareness, materials, and Additive Manufacturing skills out to the Navy without a lot of effort would be encouraging every MWR Liberty Center in the Navy to have a 3D printer. Liberty Centers already have computers and space, they would just need the hardware and software.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
idea

To quickly and efficiently implement a network of DON Fab Labs (e.g. Maker Labs, Rapid Prototyping Labs) we need a team of SME's to help develop a first generation ""Fab Lab Design Proposal for DON Activities"" to help specify a minimum standard for available computer software, computer and process hardware. We need a good plan to execute to with clear objectives to be successful. For example, what 3D design and programming software to communicate with what hardware to include PLCs/Arduinos, to facilitate ease of training and freeing people to create new automated and augmented systems, as well as the sharing of information and learning across a network of Fab Labs. Perhaps a multi-tiered system would work for the start-ups: 1.0 BASIC LAB would include no less than a 3D Printer that can print in specific materials, with a CNC Router, to program basic automation/robotics, etc..while more capable lab, an 2.0 ADVANCED LAB would provide more capabilities that could perhaps directly be used by an industrial operation. This Specification would need to be supported from the DON CIO, and other IT professionals so that we don't run into unanticipated IT constraints. For example, would we be using a RDT&E computer network, and S&T computer seat, or laptops isolated from the NMCI network. The NAVSEA Warfare Centers, Naval Shipyard, and NAVAIR Repair Depots would be the first places to start. For example, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is a very large scale maintenance and repair depot, with over 13,000 employees engaged in large scale industrial operations, and would greatly benefit from one or more Fab Labs.
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
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New technologies are emerging daily, impacting not only the operations of how defense, diplomacy, and development are accomplished, but also the future operational environments of the United States, allies, and adversaries. U.S. policy will need to adapt to the impact of these technological changes and take advantage of new opportunities. How might the U.S. leverage technology to advance defense, diplomacy, and/or development objectives in innovative ways? Join the conversation...

The end of the Body Composition Assessment (BCA) as we know it? Learn about changes to the Physical Readiness Program....
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Open now through Monday, October 12th! The Hatch is running a Challenge to solicit ideas on the best Naval locations and fleet capability demos for 3-D Printing and Fabrication labs. If this is a new term for you, please read more at "What is a Fab lab?" by David Barrett...
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A Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab) consists of a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, which typically include a high resolution CNC milling machine, laser cutter, wood router, 3D (desktop) printer, as well as, the accompanying computers, software and electronics necessary for design, programming and machine communications...
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Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

Why not issue CAC cards for individuals who retire from military service? 99 percent of the websites are CAC enabled, why make us have to revert to username and the 3million character password?
- Submitted by a Sailor
idea

As an Admin Officer for my reserve unit, I spend a large amount of time printing forms, getting signatures, scanning them back in, and submitting. Specifically, evals and reschedule forms. Both of these tasks could be largely reduced with the use of digital signatures. This would save paper, require less time, and with the elimination of SSNs on these forms, reduce PII (use DODID numbers instead.)
- Submitted by a Sailor
idea

The traditional awards for performance involve financial compensation, time off, or some form of recognition. While pursuit of funding is the driving force for most workers, in the absence of funding there may still be some creative ways to recognize and reward outstanding performance and innovation in employees. Some examples might include: *directing a small amount of funding for a research project or known unfunded problem in the command *charitable donation to a military charity in the name of the employee *including the employee in a brainstorming session they would not otherwise be invited to attend *representing the command at a conference, TED talk, or meeting where meta-thinking or a subject relevant to the performance or innovation was a theme *getting to meet DoD leadership in a small group informally *challenge coins from key DoD leaders *sabbatical research assignments or participation in action teams *special training opportunities Perhaps there are others?
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
idea

Information and mission assurance includes risk determination, controls to mitigate risk, and the continuous monitoring and delivery of capabilities. Many of these steps involve human analytical and process patterns that can be captured in models, replicated and amplified, and provided as distributed online cloud services as well as automated package systems. Thus, we can create an automated online toolkit to assist humans with accelerating the A&A process in real-time, defend against dynamically evolving threats, failures, and relationships between systems, and automatically generate the required documentation for A&A users.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
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Three key elements comprise the Navy's latest efforts to recognize innovation in the Navy and Marine Corps. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus listed modernizing cash awards programs, creating innovation awards and exploring non-traditional incentives to encourage innovation. Marine Corps Maj. Armando Martinez of the Office of Strategy and Innovation in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management tells In Depth with Francis Rose why the Navy's doing the awards program....
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Congratulations to Dr. Maura Sullivan, Chief of Strategy and Innovation, on being recognized as a 2015 NEXTGOV Bold Award Winner!
 
Additionally, Dr Sullivan was further recognized with the Grace Hopper Award.
 
Dr Sullivan designed the Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet which captures the best suggestions for balancing data sharing with protecting information...
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Find out what the Navy is doing to consolidate manpower websites...

Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s (MARMC) Fab Lab is in the final stages of testing a new 3D printed throat guard for Navy garbage grinders. MARMC Fab Lab Project Officer Lt. Todd Coursey and NAVSEA 05D5 In-Service LCS Design Integration Manager Cory Emmons have been working together to create and test the new and innovative throat guard aboard naval vessels...
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Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the entire military supply chain and provide us with an operational advantage. Secretary Mabus just directed the Navy and Marine Corps team to transform the future of naval logistics. Read more here...

These 23 short essays highlight the urgent need for the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy to use innovative approaches to alter how they confront a wide array of challenges. We hope they stimulate others to challenge outdated assumptions, develop thoughtful and creative solutions, and share their great ideas within the Naval Innovation Network. Read more here...
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The Department of the Navy (DON) recognizes information is a strategic asset that empowers personnel at all levels of the organization to make informed decisions. DON will integrate technology and learn from best practices to maximize the value of our information. Find out how...
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As we redefine the traditional uses of naval platforms, the new combination of platforms and packages will optimize capabilities and reduce the operational stress on low density / high demand assets. When combined with bold new operational concepts, it will also give our naval force new agility by introducing uncertainty to potential adversaries. See the SECNAV's guidance here...
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