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Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators currently use the MK2 (Talon) and MK1 (Packbot) platforms that are part of the Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS). The grippers on these platforms were designed to be general purpose end-effectors -- multi-use components which do not excel at any specific task. As a result, EOD operators are often exposed to scenarios where the grippers do not perform to their expectations. To resolve this issue, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) is developing specialized, additively manufactured robot grippers. This technology would also enable operators to manufacture replacement parts and new grippers as needed.


The MK 51 Gun Weapon System installed on the DDG-1000 employs an extended range 155mm guided projectile and a separate propelling charge housed in a steel case. The original manufacturing process for fabricating the propelling charge case is obsolete as industry is no longer able to affordably offer the deep draw process for production of the 155mm propelling charge cases. Fortunately, Naval Surface Warfare Warfare Center Dahlgren division (NSWCDD) has demonstrated the ability to produce the propelling charge case using additive manufacturing. While the current production process requires unique tooling and machinery -- limiting the supplier base in industry -- production via AM would broaden the supplier base and ensure the availability of charge cases.


WASHINGTON D.C. – Naval Radio Frequency (RF) engineers from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) participated in two high-visibility events showcasing additive manufacturing capabilities for Navy leadership and the public; a Department of Defense sponsored Print-a-thon March 15 at the Pentagon, and the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Symposium April 3 – 5 in National Harbor, Md.

The V-22 link is one of the two first flight-critical parts created via additive manufacturing that were qualified for flight within NAVAIR. Taking advantage of the unique geometries made possible by AM, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) developed a 3D printed prototype of a V-22 link in 17-4PH stainless steel with an embedded sensor for structural health monitoring. The sensor, or Microwave Frequency Cavity Resonator (MFCR), overcomes many limitations of conventional sensors and demonstrates the potential for in-service structural health monitoring in extreme conditions.

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