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Request for Information - Hypersonic Weapons Technologies

Solicitation Number: N6893613R0009
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Air Systems Command
Location: Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Dept. 1
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Special Notice
Added: Nov 02, 2012 12:15 pm
Request for Information - Hypersonic Weapons Technologies


1. This is a special notice open to U.S. industry and academia requesting information on technologies pertaining to hypersonic flight vehicles. The High Speed Weapons Office of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) is interested in reviewing technologies, in both the concept and development phases, which will enable/enhance the operation and survival of two classes of hypersonic vehicles. The first concept is a rocket boosted hypersonic glider (Mach 8-10) and the second concept is an airbreathing cruise vehicle (Mach 5-6). The durability requirement is several minutes at elevated temperature with high gradient heat fluxes.

This request for information (RFI) includes power, materials, and structure technologies.

2. Objective: Identify technologies that will enable/enhance the operation and survival of hypersonic vehicles in two speed regimes Mach (5-6) and Mach (8-10). A vehicle operating in the Mach 10 environment is expected to experience temperatures up to 2200°C therefore thermal and environmental barrier coating (TBC and EBC) technologies and ceramic composite structure technologies that can survive this environment are of extreme interest. Other technologies of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

2.1. Folding and morphing structures that allow the vehicle to be stored in a launch tube and allow for dimensional changes in the vehicle to optimize for reduced drag, controllability, and aerodynamic heating throughout the vehicle's flight profile.

2.2. Long duration power systems with extended shelf life, including but not limited to ram-air turbines.

2.3. High temperature electronic components and antennas which can operate at elevated temperatures, thereby reducing cooling requirements.

2.4. Technologies that address not only performance but affordability for cooled structures and electrical components.

3. Background: Studies have indicated that a long range rapid strike capability is operationally desirable.

Both hypersonic boost-glide and airbreathing vehicles can address this capability need but affordability is a major concern. The boost-glide concept requires high temperature materials and aerodynamic shapes that can achieve improved lift-to-drag ratios. The airbreathing concepts lose volume to internal propulsion flowpath and fuel delivery systems. Both concepts have to be implemented within volume constraints of Navy ship and submarine launchers.

4. Information Desired:

4.1. Thermal Barrier Coating (TBC) and Environmental Barrier Coating (EBC) Materials: Materials are of particular interest due to the extreme temperatures a hypersonic glider will experience. Temperatures have been estimated up to 1200°C for a vehicle operating at Mach 6 and 2200°C for operation at Mach 10.

Information is desired for TBC and EBC technologies that may protect the hypersonic vehicle structure from this harsh operating environment. Non-ablative solutions are preferred. Current known issues with barrier coating technologies include inability to operate at temperatures up to 2200°C without ablating, poor thermal shock resistance, inability to retain sharp features in the structure during processing, and introduction of defect(s) in the barrier coating around geometries with high curvature or sharp features during fabrication. Information is desired for both the material itself and manufacturing techniques. Information on current known issues with barrier coatings and possible solutions are also desired.

4.2. Carbon-Silicon Carbide (C-SiC) and Silicon Carbide-Silicon Carbide (SiC-SiC) Composites: Information is desired on C-SiC and SiC-SiC composites and manufacturing techniques.

C-SiC and SiC structures are a valid option for the lower end of the Mach 5-10 environment but do not have the thermal properties required to operate at the high end of the environment without complex thermal barrier systems. Information regarding mechanical properties of these composites as a function of temperature is highly desired. Information pertaining to achievable geometries and attachment methods to other structures (i.e. joints, support structures, and actuators) is also desired.

4.3. Space Constraints: Information is desired on folding and morphing structures technologies that will allow the vehicle to be launched from a ship or submarine launch tube, to be controlled, and to survive the high temperature environment.

Space constraints are currently set by the Mk41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). Without a folding or morphing structure capability for the hypersonic vehicle, the vehicle will not be able to achieve the high Lift-to-Drag ratios (L/D) required for the desired fly-out ranges.

4.4. Optimization of flight conditions: Information is desired for morphing structures technologies that enable the optimization of leading edge and other wing dimensions throughout a flight profile (up to Mach 10). Optimization of these dimensions would help with drag and aerodynamic heating across the majority of the Mach range of the vehicle rather than a narrow Mach range due to fixed wing dimensions. There is also a specific interest in this technology for waverider vehicles.

Waveriders maximize L/D by minimizing underside pressure loss through shock flow containment. The configurations are generated by constraining shapes within wedge or cone flow streamlines. While high L/D is achieved, the shapes often provide little volume for required missile subsystems. Also, the design approach leads to designs that are optimized about a narrow Mach range. Adding a morphing structure capability would allow for optimization across a large Mach range.

4.5. Flight Control: Information is desired for morphing structures technologies that enables control of flight through the change in wing/body shape. This technology would be used in lieu of actuated control surfaces. This may be directly related to the paragraph 4.4.

4.6. Actuator and mission computer power: Information is desired for storable long flight duration power systems and high temperature hydraulic or electrical actuators for flight vehicle response.

Temperatures may reach a point where magnetic actuators are no longer a viable option.

4.7. High temperature electronic components, seekers, and antennas: Information is desired on electronic components and antennas which can operate at elevated temperatures, thereby reducing cooling requirements. Information is also desired on seeker and antenna technology that may be able to operate through a window/structure and the boundary conditions surrounding the vehicle in hypersonic flight.

4.8. Manufacturing Technologies: Information on technologies that address not only performance but manufacturing affordability for cooled structures and electrical components.

4.9. Vehicle Packaging and components volumes: Volumetric efficiency has been shown to be a significant air vehicle performance driver.

Technologies including but not limited to those that maximize fuel volume and minimize volume while maximizing lethality are of interest.

4.10. Thermal management: Information is desired on vehicle thermal management including active cooling, phase change materials, and passive heat management.

4.11. Analytical techniques: Information on analytical techniques that can address complex thermal-structure interaction problems (like the effects of thermal shock on a primary structure and interfacing material) or fluid-thermal-structures interactions (like the erosion of leading edges subjected to hypersonic flow) that can be used in lieu of expensive custom tests are also desired.

4.12. Other: Information on other methods or technologies that may aid in the management of the expected high temperature environment or optimization of the aerodynamic conditions around the vehicle is also welcome to be submitted.

5. Please submit information with a cover sheet containing the following information:

5.1. Company Name

5.2. Address

5.3. Name of Technical POC

5.4. Technical POC Phone Number

5.5. Description/Summary of information being submitted including a description of the technology and its applications

5.6. To which category/categories from paragraph 4 does the information pertain?

5.7. What is the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and/or Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) of the technology being presented?

6. White papers are preferred but other forms of information will be accepted.

7. This notice is not to be construed as any type of request for proposal. The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this request or to otherwise pay for the information solicited.

Any responses received will not be used as a proposal.

8. Submissions will be considered up to and including SECRET. Companies are to adhere to the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM) procedures for the transmittal of classified responses. Company responses are to include a name and telephone number of a point of contact having the authority and knowledge to clarify responses with Government representatives. Companies are not limited to a single response. Submissions are due 2 January 2013 and may be made by mailing your response on a compact disc and a hard copy to:

Outer Envelope:




CHINA LAKE CA 93555-6100

Inner Envelope:


CODE 254100D (Lea Ann Davis)



STOP 4015

CHINA LAKE CA 93555-6100

9. This notice is part of the Government's market research, a continuous process for obtaining the latest information on the "art of the possible" from the industry with respect to their current and projected abilities.

The information collected by the Government may be used by the Government to explore future strategies for hypersonic vehicles. Information received as a result of this request will be considered as business sensitive and will be protected as such. Any proprietary information received in response to this request will be properly protected from any unauthorized disclosure. However, any information considered proprietary by the respondent shall be clearly marked as such. If respondents wish government support contractors to sign a non-disclosure agreement, please include the form in the response. The Government will not use any proprietary information submitted to establish the capability, requirements, approach, or solution so as to not inadvertently restrict competition.

10. Only U.S.

companies doing business in or based in the U.S. will be permitted to respond to this Request for Information. Reponses to questions from interested parties will be promptly answered and provided equally to all interested parties. Any questions that involve the release of proprietary information (or that answer addresses a question peculiar to a company or that company's possible solution) must be submitted in writing to the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) via Lea Ann Davis, for review and would be answered in general terms as determined by the TPOC.

N68936 Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Dept.1 Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Dept.1 429 E. Bowen Rd - Stop 4015 China Lake, CA