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-Home > spotlights-2017-05

The Chief of Naval Research (CNR) has issued a historic call for innovative ideas to support the Navy and Marine Corps of the future. Leap-ahead technologies and cutting-edge concepts are the focus of the new CNR Concept Challenge, with finalists to be announced at the Naval Future Force S&T Expo, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., July 20-21


Marine Corps Systems Command’s Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad Team has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory to create a boot insert prototype to help improve the performance of Marines.


Marine Corps Systems Command is bringing innovative, life-saving and award-winning technology to Marines on the front line. The Infrascanner is a portable, medical diagnostic device that provides early detection of intracranial hematomas-or bleeding within the skull-in the field, potentially saving lives and improving casualty care and recovery. The handheld device uses near-infrared light-invisible light that is nearly visible to the naked eye-to effectively check for intracranial hematomas on different parts of the skull. With the device, medical personnel at battalion aid stations can quickly assess Marines who may have suffered a head injury.


The Office of Strategy and Innovation is pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions for the 2016 SECNAV Innovation Awards. The annual SECNAV Innovation Awards program recognizes top innovators within the Department of the Navy. Their accomplishments are remarkable and serve as testament to the outstanding ingenuity and professionalism of the DON workforce. We would also like to thank the many Sailors, Marines, and DON Civilians who participated in the submissions process. It was an honor to consider your exceptional, innovative ideas and evident that your talents will keep America's naval forces ready for any challenge that may come over the horizon.


In a new white paper, CNO Adm. John Richardson outlines "The Future Navy".

"The Navy must get to work now to both build more ships, and to think forward--innovate--as we go," writes the CNO. "To remain competitive, we must start today and we must improve faster."


The 29th Annual National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Department of the Navy (DON) Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event will be held August 22 - 23 in San Diego, CA at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center. Last year's event grew to over 1500 registrants from all across the country and we anticipate that this year's event to continue that trend.


NORFOLK (NNS) -- One of the most difficult things for new scientists to do is to figure out how to adapt science and technology to naval challenges from their desk. That tasking, however, is getting progressively easier with a new program called, Scientists Engaging Sailors.
Part of the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) Workforce Development project for fiscal year 2016 hosted by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic's Science and Technology competency, the program gives employees the opportunity to talk and interact with fleet Sailors during tours of ships and facilities at Naval Station Norfolk. The program is an ongoing effort to bring fleet experiences to SSC Atlantic employees who support naval projects, but do not normally work aboard ships.


NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md. - Early in her career, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerin Raby had so many bruises on her shoulders and legs, a shipmate expressed his concerns about her health and well-being. It was that experience as an aviation maintainer on an aircraft carrier lugging a 65-pound toolbox up and down steep stairwells to get to the flight deck and repair an aircraft-and coming up with a better solution-that helped Raby win the Athena Project DC 2.0 challenge April 3 at the recent Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland. Her idea was simple: Take the 35 pounds of tools out of the 30-pound box, put them in a specially-made backpack and get to work.


Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Additive have successfully demonstrated the application of additive manufacturing for USMC parts that have obsolescence risks, long lead times, or early and unpredicted failures through field use, such as the HMMWV Tow Hook Bracket. AM technology can produce parts that are not otherwise available due to lack of supplier/manufacturer of record or lack of inventory, and a single AM machine can produce a variety of part geometries that would otherwise be constrained by conventional manufacturing processes.


The Diver Propulsion Device (DPD) is used by the Marine Corps to transport Marines through shallow water efficiently and covertly. During missions, the DPD bow planes occasionally hit rocks or the seafloor resulting in damage. The original bow plane was a large flat plate that bent easily. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division redesigned the bow plane control surface resulting in an “airfoil” shape that was shorter in length and provided similar lift to the original plane. Once the design was completed the control surface was sent to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where it was fabricated using additive manufacturing and attached to the control shaft. Testing, completed by the Marine Corps, showed that the new bow plane stood up better to impacts with rocks and the seafloor without breaking and produced the same or better control as the original bow planes.


Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are exploring the use of additive manufacturing to produce customized Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) propellers. The propellers can be produced on-demand from both metal and plastic material--without inventory concerns--and could be tailored to specific mission requirements. Furthermore, since the AM process itself does not require tooling or fixturing, it enables rapid turnaround from customized design changes to final parts.


Marines with Reparable Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, demonstrate the capabilities of 3-D printing Expeditionary Manufacturing during the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 19-28, 2017. 3-D printing technology allows the timely restoration of critical gear and increased readiness by augmenting the supply chain.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) is using Energetic Material Additive Manufacturing (EMAM) technology for rapid prototyping and small volume production of propellants and explosives, such as plastic bonded explosives (PBXs). EMAM combines high-resolution 3D printing with high-performing energetic feedstock, the raw material used during the printing process. The EMAM production of PBX-based explosive charges is the first step in producing affordable munitions with scalable effects, enabled by the technology's unique capabilities (i.e. spatial control of explosive material density and composition to produce unique effects).


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center's (MARMC) 10,000 square foot Technology and Innovation Lab is a rapid prototyping and teaching lab focused on using new technology to provide the Navy with expedited solutions to problems, both docked and away. It was developed in 2015 as a result of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) MENTOR-2 program. Manned by Sailors and Civilian personnel, the mission of the MARMC Technology and Innovation Lab is to provide support to MARMC personnel in the creation of new designs, reverse engineering of parts, and instruction on 3D CAD, Additive Manufacturing, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) mills, and Laser Cutting. The lab has also successfully developed a number of innovation solutions including the Hydra Clip, which mitigates damage to Hydra Radio Antennae resulting from normal use.


In "The DON's High 'Innovation Quotient'," Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer Robert Foster discusses the robust culture of innovation in the DON, the annual DON Information Management/Information Technology excellence awards program, and our office's work to champion innovation across the Department. "All of these efforts are representative of a broad range of Department initiatives that focus on identifying and implementing transformational change. In all cases, they are the result of individuals who dare to challenge and improve the status quo."

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed an interactive, modular 3D printed humanoid robot head. SCIP-RR (Sensing, Computing, Interacting Platform for Research Robotics) can accommodate a wide range of sensors and computers, and includes an interactive display surface for communicating with users. With the exception of the display surface (i.e. visor), SCIP-RR is entirely 3D printed. Not only does this design allow NRL to adapt the part for new sensors, it also enables the rapid evaluation and evolution of designs from a human-robot interface (HRI) perspective.


Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport Division has replaced "hard tooling" with additively manufactured "soft tools" for low quantity casting & molding applications -- achieving significant cost and time savings and improved capabilities. For example, molds secured via commercial services have about a one-week lead time compared to approximately just one day using in-house AM technology. Molds have been already been used for U.S. Navy shipboard cables, and low-cost AM molding is applicable to a broad spectrum of naval applications; NUWC Newport has utilized AM techniques for many acoustic applications.

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