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Research Area 11: Fuze Research

a. RW develops, demonstrates, and transitions technologies that have application to fuzes for air-delivered weapons, including, but not limited to, guided and unguided bombs, missiles, and submunitions. Fuzes must reliably remain in a safe mode until the appropriate post-deployment environments (such as freefall) are sensed; the fuze must then arm the weapon and, upon receiving a signal from a target detection device (TDD), initiate the explosive fill (or other damage mechanism). RW thus seeks proposals for innovative technologies that can be integrated into the design or testing of air-delivered weapon fuzes.

b. RW is particularly interested in fuzes (including submunition fuzes) and related component or material technologies that are capable of surviving the repetitive, multi-axis shock environment experienced by a fuze during penetration of a hardened target and functioning the warhead. Materials that mitigate all or some portion of the shock spectrum are also of interest. Unique inertial detection devices or non-inertial detection devices are of interest. However, current test technologies do not fully duplicate the multi-axial fuze environment in terms of duration, repetitive high-acceleration loading, and other aspects of the mechanical loading profile. This necessitates extremely expensive sled tests for fuze research, testing, qualification, and performance evaluation. Therefore, there is interest in laboratory and field test techniques and equipment to duplicate these repetitive, multi-axial shocks.

c. Additional penetration fuzing-specific research tasks of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Develop a jam-resistant, greater than 250 kilobits/second shock-hardened, wireless data link for two-way communication with a fuze during a weapon’s deep underground penetration event;

2) Develop a hardened, passive, unpowered, tri-axial device that irreversibly and measurably changes some physical configuration or property without relaxation/hysteresis to record the peak acceleration as a back-up data point for tests when a hardened fuze data recorder fails;

3) Develop a low-cost (<$100), shock-hardened accelerometer;

4) Develop non-inertial techniques and appropriate devices for detecting voids and layers during hard target penetration; and

5) Develop miniature, shock hardened transmitter and antenna to burst stored digital data upon command to retrieve post event recorded data from a buried warhead. It would also be useful for the purpose of locating a test item.

d. RWMRF is also interested in improved sensors, techniques, and/or systems for second safety environment sensing (as defined in MIL-STD-1316) for a wide range of demonstration projects from miniature munitions to safety-critical payloads on hypersonic airframes. In the area of miniature and micro-munition fuzing, research tasks of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Reliable miniature three port air valve with temperature operating range of -55 to +75 degrees C

2) Ground profiling fuze sensor technology

3) Active imaging aimpoint selecting fuze sensor technology

e. In the area of fuzing the payloads on high-speed airframes, research tasks of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Ground profiling fuze sensor technology

2) Survivable conformal antenna and radome technology

f. The final area of focused interest is in the area of in-line and out-of-line initiation systems. The RWMRF Advanced Initiation Science Group is interested in novel ignition devices or ignition circuitry that can enhance reliability while reducing energy budgets for initiation systems. Additionally, concepts that would enable novel warhead designs are of interest. The Government is also interested in novel or more inherently robust manufacturing processes that can be applied to components within initiation systems. Finally, there is interest in modeling and simulation methods or techniques for characterizing the performance of those systems.

1) Pressing of various energetic materials of interest to the United States

2) Air Force Development, build and test of various detonator designs research, development, build, and test of various energetic initiation experimental equipment (state of the art explosive chambers, optically and electrically based techniques, etc.).

3) Research, development and build of energetic initiation devices utilizing microelectronics fabrication techniques

4) Execution of experiments supporting energetic initiation research

5) Process development for thin film ignition devices

6) Produce hardware and evolve manufacturing processes for thin film ignition devices that can be used for discovery or component production purposes

7) Support the production and process development for hardware that will facilitate scientific discovery for initiation systems of interest to the United States Air Force

8) Other activities associated with energetic initiation research and development


Keywords: Fuze; Penetration of Hardened Target; Field Test Techniques; Multi-Axial Shocks; Miniature Transmitters; Energetic Materials; Microelectrics Fabrication.


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