UDRI Statements of Need

1. Biomedical Additive Manufacturing

description

The IMMC group seeks expertise in the application of additive manufacturing to new fields to expand the potential customer base for the direct metal laser sintering machine being built under the DURIP program. One new area with growth potential is in the field of medicine. From heart valves to artificial hip implants, the ability to 3D print devices that are custom fit to the patient has created new market opportunities to commercialize products. However, very few ASME or ISO standards exist due to the newness of the technology, particularly with respect to metal printing, and there is a lot of research that needs to be done regarding material properties, failure analysis (FEA), biocompatibility, and perfecting the process before seeking FDA approval for clinical trials and introducing products to the market. One area in particular is that of surface finish and porosity. Lattice structures mimicking trabecular bone can be applied to devices printed in both plastic and metal to provide viscoelasticity and strength while maintaining a light weight for internal implants (such as a hip joint in Ti64) and external prosthetics (for example, a residual limb socket in nylon with carbon fiber for an above-the-knee amputation). Lattice structures also provide porosity to encourage bone growth (implants) and breathability (prosthetics/orthotics). They could also provide an interface for interjecting other materials, such as silver, into the material for the purpose of creating an antimicrobial surface. Perfecting this technique could lead to significant commercial applications for manufacturing anything from toothbrushes to cellular phone cases in which a sanitary surface that inhibits the growth of bacteria is desired. UDRI summer research would seek to explore and publish such techniques for AM manufacturing lattice structures that have promise in the medical field.

proposal

After investigating the potential of using the machine to enhance medical devices, white papers could potentially be submitted to open opportunities that exist with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Veteran’s Administration (VA), and Army Medical Research and Material Command (AMRMC).   The Air Force has a Human Performance group within AFRL, and the advances made by these technologies have the potential to impact quality of life for veterans. Part of the goal is to partner with a professor who already has contacts in the medical industry to ease the transition of working with new government agencies.   Other Additional opportunities for research will be addressed as they become available in this growing field.

2. Combustion Design

Description

We are searching for a professional in the field of goal-driven design optimization. The desired faculty member's technical skills involve theoretical understanding of design of experiments, response surfaces, multiple-objective function optimization tools, adjoint solvers and mesh morphing. This professional should have demonstrated successful design optimization concepts of aerospace hardware components. The desired professional requires knowledge of Central Composite Design, Latin Hypercube Sampling, Box-Behnken and Optimal Space Filling design of experiments. Specific understanding of surrogate model development such as Kriging and Non-Parametric regression. Profound understanding on multiple-objective genetic algorithms (MOGA) is also very useful. Lastly, the professor needs to be well acquainted with the current challenges in goal-driven design optimization.

Proposal

Developing new and revolutionary gas turbine combustors designed to meet the ever-growing requirements for mission capability and lifetime sustainability will necessitate multidisciplinary analyses. These are necessary to capture the complex, often coupled, physical phenomena present in the operating environment which allows researchers to exploit these effects and their interactions to achieve advanced capabilities and configurations otherwise unattainable. Modern combustor design involves miniaturization in order to increase trust-to-weight ratio and specific fuel consumption rate. Until now gas turbine combustors have been designed in an ad hoc manner since optimization through experimentation is not feasible due to the large number of parameters involved. However, computational combustor optimization can now be performed thanks to advances in parallel computing, computational fluid dynamics, and goal-driven optimization tools. This can still be challenging because typically thousands of high-fidelity simulations are required for global design space exploration and optimization in high-dimensional input spaces.

We expect to further expedite the computational goal-driven optimization of combustors by the appropriate combination of dynamic optimization tools. These include gradient-based optimizers for detailed design which thanks to adjoints for derivative computations can be very efficient. For global design purposes, efficient global optimizers (EGO) will be employed. In this approach, a surrogate model (typically Kriging) is constructed from multiple data sources and searched using a global optimizer. The general idea is to combine trends from inexpensive low-fidelity data (e.g., coarser meshes, less-sophisticated models) with interpolations of high-fidelity data (e.g., finer meshes, better models, and experimental data). Already existing analysis, surrogate modeling and optimization software packages will be coupled together to develop a powerful simulation tool for the design and optimization of a miniature combustor.

3. Energy Utilization Efficiency

description

Mechanical Engineering / Facilities Management / Industrial Controls.

Skill: Energy consumption of building industrial hvac eco systems, including factors such as occupancy, outside weather, and hvac manufacturer data. Experience: SME who can speak to the analytics needed to asses a building energy footprint and identify ways to show energy usage with a facility or campus.

proposal

Proposal Submission – SBIR/STTR awards: There are several Requests for Information (RIF) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) around energy savings within government facilities. This almost always involves understanding the mechanical and environment conditions of the facility. By teaming with the Mech. Engineering dept., we can begin to include those resources in our proposals, as well as leverage their backgrounds for partnerships on other awards.

Consultation – for Current ICEE Experience with ongoing AFCEC Contract: UDRI has been working with Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC), which oversees all of the Civil Engineering wings in the Air Force. This includes oversight of all HVAC, Gas, Water, Electric, Fire/EMS, and security systems at each base. UDRI provides a key piece of software that integrates this data and exposes it for analytics, allowing it to be monitored from the center-level personnel at a remote AFB. The team that chooses the analytics and designs them has some expertise, but bringing in these professors will help brainstorm and vet ideas for future analytics, which will ensure the program’s success and future as AFCEC’s primary application for getting insight into the performance of the equipment.

Collaboration with existing efforts on UD’s campus to collect energy usage data from campus facilities: UDRI’s capability for real-time monitoring of industrial HVAC has applicability outside of the Air Force. We are looking to partner with UD’s facility management team to get manual dumps of data. Our platform can be leveraged to automate processes, quickly analyze the data and offer suggestions in collaboration with UD Facilities for energy savings.

4. Failure Modeling of Lightweight Structural Components

description

Mechanical or materials engineering with knowledge of finite element analysis and modeling of systems. Preferred skills include: experience with LS-DYNA and/or ABAQUS especially with regards to failure modeling, experienced in dynamic modeling, testing, and incorporating rate effects into material cards.

proposal

Stronger and lighter weight structural components are being used to increase survivability under impact and blast events. While composites have long been used in the aerospace community, other industries are now incorporating composites and filled polymers into structural areas. Finite element analyses rely on representative information of the materials under high rates (above 100/s). It is critical to understand the material response and energy absorption of these materials under impact conditions if they are to be considered in the design of components and structures.

Standardization of high rate test methods is needed for confidence in the mechanical property data used for finite element analyses. Unfortunately, there is no current standard specimen configuration for high rate tensile testing of polymers with architecture (PwA). The four core application areas (energy absorbing, stiffness critical, strength critical, and surface critical) all have different PwA and may need a different specimen configuration to optimize the high rate response.

The proposed effort under this program is to model both the test system and the various proposed specimen shapes that would be suitable for high rate testing of PwA.

The Structures and Materials Evaluation Group (SME) developed a high rate tensile specimen that was suitable for long fiber-filled polymers (LFFP). The effort involved finite element analysis of the SME test system and various specimen shapes. The resultant specimen sizes were used to generate valid data at rates up to 500/s.

The previous experience will serve as a foundation for the identification, analysis and modeling of identified specimens suitable for high rate testing of PwA. The various categories of PwA (e.g. extra long fibers, random fibers, unidirectional tape, weave, and braid) will be modeled on a macroscale to identify key parameters that affect the response, e. g. the representative unit volume, slenderness ratios, gripping method, length to width ratio, thickness, strength, etc. The results should provide guidance on the proper selection and testing of PwA.

Results of this effort would also be used to support a program being submitted for funding under IACMI (Institute for Advanced Composites Innovation). The IACMI program is focused on development of a high rate standard for continuous carbon fiber-filled composites and has the buy-in from industry and the government. The data would also help refine the NSF grant application to predict failure for fiber-filled composites.

5. Heat Transfer Modeling for Thermoelectrics

description

There is a program need for a technical person with expertise in thermal modeling, heat transfer characterization, and/or thermoelectrics systems development to help support an UDRI effort in the development of a new higher thermal to electrical conversion efficiency Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator concept for NASA deep space missions.

proposal

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) have been employed over the last 50+ years as a key component in the exploration of the outer solar system. The current RTG (MMRTG) utilizes TAGS-85 thermoelectrics to convert 238-Pu decay heat into electricity for powering spacecraft; such as the Mars rover Curiosity. The current thermal to electrical conversion efficiency of the latest MMRTGs is only ~5+%. Increasing the overall RPS conversion efficiency would be extremely beneficial for a number of significant reasons including: 1) increased production of electrical watts for operating scientific instruments and to enhance mission endeavors, and/or 2) may result in the need of and the application of less quantities of the scarce 238-PuO2 fuel. Increasing the overall conversion efficiency of a RTG would be of significant interest to NASA in terms of mission profiles, and to the DOE whose current stockpile of 238-Pu is limited.

One concept being analyzed by UDRI as a possible future RPS design is a hybrid system based on the utilization of two different thermoelectric materials. Piggy-backing two thermoelectric materials, which operate at different temperature profiles, would result in increased RPS thermal to electrical conversion efficiencies. While the materials aspects of the proposed hybrid system is actively being studied, thermal aspects of the system such as heat transfer characterization lie outside of the current investigators expertise. Being able to team with a UD SOE academic with experience in thermal modeling, heat transfer, and/or thermoelectrics would significantly enhance the validation of the overall high efficiency hybrid RTG concept.

6. Image Processing and Deep Learning

description

The IMMC group seeks expertise in image processing and deep learning related to additive manufacturing, specifically using the direct metal laser sintering process. With the completion of the DURIP-grant funded open-source additive machine with integrated sensors (3 thermography, optical camera, laser profilometer) and post-process inspection capabilities (phased array ultrasound, laser profilometry), experimentation will commence to investigate the use of the tremendous amount of sensor data that will be collected in order to qualify a part. This study will involve investigating preprocessing approaches for the large amount of data in order to optimize storage while retaining relevant features in the data. The study will also investigate the potential of using image processing and deep learning to make quality and process decisions during a build. Fusion of data from the various sensors and post-processing for quality and process improvements will also be considered. Ultimately, tools will be needed to allow closed-loop process control of the additive process. The IMMC group does not have this expertise within the group, but it is recognized that image processing and deep learning may be necessary to improve build quality, reduce waste and provide process control.

proposal

After investigating the potential of these processing approaches, white papers could potentially be submitted to AFRL-RXMS, AFRL-RXCA and AFRL-RXSA under one of their open-open BAAs. RXMS is actively pursuing this field working towards process monitoring, post-process inspection and closed loop process control for additive processes. RXSA is also involved in targeted applications of additive processes for repair and sustainment in the Air Force. RXCA, Materials State Awareness and Supportability branch, supports the development of new technologies in inspection of Air Force assets. In addition, UDRI has contacts within NASA-Langley that are also investing in additive, with a focus on in-process monitoring of the print quality and process control. Open-open BAA opportunities exist with the U.S. Navy. Other opportunities for research will be addressed as they become available in this growing field.

7. Kinematic Sensors for Biomechanical Analysis

Description

The Structures Group of the Aerospace Mechanics Division is interested in pursuing investigations into the physical and cognitive factoras affecting an airman’s operational performance. A need exists to collaborate with an individual skilled in biomechanical analysis and nonlinear biodynamics. The individual should have experience in utilizing kinematic sensors for real-world motion capture for the purposes of analyzing human movement variability, identifying mobility deficits, and recommending mobility improvements.

proposal

The overall goal of the proposed effort is to initiate investigations to identify physical and cognitive factors that lead an airman to be successful in operational and functional performance in real-world environments. Current methods of assessing an airman’s strength, power, and other factors believed to contribute to success do not always transfer or translate to actual performance on the battlefield. It is believed that many assessments are missing decision-making and other higher-level cognitive functions that are important in actual operations.

8. Modeling and Optimization

description
  • A total solid state battery (also known as thin-film batteries) is the ultimate “Safe Battery” and are desirable for many applications where safety is the top priority such as in airplanes, electric vehicles, UAVs, space equipment, remote sensing, etc. A solid-state battery will also play a key role in the development of structural battery that ultimately saves weight, space, and provide power. Development of solid-state battery has huge potential for both government and industrial funding and a joint effort between UDRI battery lab and ECE will benefit both. Recently, UDRI was awarded solid-state battery project from Apple Inc. the top tech company in the Fortune 500. Currently UDRI is funded by FAA and they are interested in solid-sate battery development. UDRI is also being funded by NASA, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and the state of Ohio for the development of variety of lithium batteries. The proposed requirements as briefed below will further improve the chances of new funding from both government and industry and grow UDRI-ECE research business.
  • Technical Skills Sought
  • Closely related to electrical engineering and computer engineering: Statistical system modeling, modeling with machine learning, deep learning, optimization techniques and network communications.

proposal

Modeling in battery research is critical to system design and evaluation. Current modeling schemes are based on assumptions of the relationship among different measurable parameters of a battery, e.g., input current and output voltage. However, it does not guarantee enough accuracy for estimating state-of-charge or state-of-health. Using a learning-based approach, e.g., deep learning, it is assumed to find the relationship among different parameters in an optimal way, without being constrained by classical assumptions, thus to achieve better estimation of a battery. In a battery management system, the real-time data collection and processing could be a challenging issue to the on-board computer of a UAV. A light-weight and efficient scheme would enhance the accuracy and reliability of an on-board battery management system. A secure wireless communication link between a UAV and a ground station would enable processing job offloading, thus to achieve better data collection and processing to further enhance a battery management system.

9. Thin-Film Materials

Description

A total solid state battery (also known as thin-film batteries) is the ultimate “Safe Battery” and are desirable for many applications where safety is the top priority such as in airplanes, electric vehicles, UAVs, space equipment, remote sensing, etc. A solid-state battery will also play a key role in the development of structural battery that ultimately saves weight, space, and provide power. Development of solid-state battery has huge potential for both government and industrial funding and a joint effort between UDRI battery lab and ECE will benefit both. Recently, UDRI was awarded solid-state battery project from Apple Inc. the top tech company in the Fortune 500. Currently UDRI is funded by FAA and they are interested in solid-sate battery development. UDRI is also being funded by NASA, US Army, US Air Force, state-of Ohio for the development of variety of lithium batteries. The proposed requirements as briefed below will further improve the chances of new funding from both government and industry and grow UDRI-ECE research business.

Technical skills sought

Materials engineering; thin-film fabrication techniques (PLD and Sputtering), thin-film characterization (SEM, EDS, XRD), understanding of materials for solid-state thin-film lithium batteries.

proposal

Thin-film batteries are built layer-by-layer by vapor deposition. The resulting battery is formed of parallel plates, much as an ordinary battery construction, just much thinner. Most of the thin films used in current commercial variations of this thin-film battery are deposited in vacuum chambers by RF and DC magnetron sputtering and by thermal evaporation onto unheated substrates. In addition, many publications report exploring a variety of other physical and chemical vapor deposition processes, such as pulsed laser deposition, electron cyclotron resonance sputtering, and aerosol spray coating, for one or more components of the battery.

Contact

School of Engineering

Kettering Laboratories 565 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254

937-229-2736