DoD SBIR 23.3 BAA

Active
No
Status
Closed
Release Date
August 23rd, 2023
Open Date
September 20th, 2023
Due Date(s)
October 18th, 2023
Close Date
October 18th, 2023
Topic No.
AF233-D010

Topic

Field-level Detection of Hydraulic Fluid Contamination in Jet Fuel

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023

Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking proposals for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program focused on the topic of "Field-level Detection of Hydraulic Fluid Contamination in Jet Fuel". The objective of this research is to develop an integrated, palm-sized analytical instrument with control software that utilizes an Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning Algorithm. This instrument should be capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying the presence of aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in a jet fuel sample within five minutes of analysis initiation. The instrument should have a targeted final cost of $2,500 or less, excluding consumables and calibrations. The research will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, a proof of concept will be developed, and in Phase II, eight prototypes will be evaluated in a laboratory and field environment. The prototypes must demonstrate the ability to detect, identify, and quantify the presence of contamination in jet fuel samples. The ultimate goal is to commercialize the instrument for use by commercial and government entities, overhaul facilities, and DoD users/depot facilities. The research is being conducted by the Air Force branch of the Department of Defense. The solicitation is currently closed, and more information can be found on the grants.gov website.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Materials;Hypersonics

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop for field and depot maintenance applications, an integrated, palm size  analytical type instrument with control software application utilizing an Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning Algorithm that is capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm )the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in a jet fuel sample within five minutes of analysis initiation from the scan of a 10mL or less sample of the suspected contaminated fuel. The instrument should have a targeted final cost of $2,500 or less not including any consumables or required calibrations.

 

DESCRIPTION: The US Air Force uses various grades/types of jet fuels, hydraulic fluids, and coolants in support of aircraft weapons system operations. 

The primary grades of jet fuels used by the US Air Force are:

  1. Jet A (ASTM D1655) with standard military additive package to include Fuel System Icing Inhibitor (FSII), Electrical Conductivity Improver (ECI) and Corrosion Inhibitor/Lubricity Improver (CI/LI).

  2. JP-8 (MIL-DTL-83133)

  3. Jet A-1 (DEF STAN 91-091) with standard military additive package to include FSII, ECI, and CI/LI.

  4. JP-5 (MIL-DTL-5624) 5) JPTS (MIL-DTL-25524)  There are different types of hydraulic fluids used by aircraft weapon systems, each with a unique chemical makeup.  These include both petroleum and synthetic based products.

The primary hydraulic fluid specifications used by the US Air Force for aviation purposes are: 

  1. MIL-PRF-83282 Hydraulic Fluid, Fire Resistant, Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base

  2. MIL-PRF-87257 Hydraulic Fluid, Fire Resistant; Low Temperature, Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base, Aircraft and Missile

  3. MIL-PRF-5606 Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base; Aircraft, Missile, and Ordnance

  4. AS SAE 1241 Fire Resistant Phosphate Ester Hydraulic Fluid for Aircraft  

This product is clear and not distinctly visible during visual analysis of PAO contaminated fuel samples. The primary Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant specification used by the US Air Force for aviation purposes is MIL-PRF-87252 Coolant Fluid, Hydrolytically Stable, Dielectric.  Hydraulic and/or PAO coolant fluid contamination of jet fuel poses both a real and existential threat to unit readiness.  Jet fuel contaminated with hydraulic fluid has shown to impact engine operability and accelerated turbine blade and nozzle wear.  PAO coolant fluids have been demonstrated as being able to dis-arm the water coaleser elements used in fuel water separators that provide a water/solid defense for aircraft from contaminated jet fuel.    The problem begins when hydraulic fluid and/or coolant levels are found to be low when checked by aircraft maintenance personnel. Maintenance personnel must report the suspected contamination event and request removal of the fuel from the aircraft so that internal maintenance actions can be completed.  The suspect fuel is generally defueled into a mobile refueling unit(s) or bowser.  At this point a determination must be made on disposition of the defueled product i.e. return fuel to DLA Energy Capitalized bulk inventories, return to the aircraft, or dispose as hazardous waste.   Currently, to obtain the data to support any of the above decisions the suspect fuel is sampled and sent overnight to the closest regional fuel laboratory with the ability to detect and quantify contamination levels.  At some locations this is achieved quickly, however the process may take 2-10 days depending on lab and base location.  This situation can escalate quickly because of further delays associated with country clearance or customs.    While waiting for the sample results, the mobile refueling unit or bowser holding the suspect product is placed on a quality hold.  This means it is unusable to the base or to DLA Energy to support other requirements.  Additionally, most refueling locations have limited refueling assets to support aircraft operations and loss of an asset for even a couple of days can directly impact aircraft sortie generation and downed aircraft time due to maintenance.  These incidents led to countless direct and indirect costs associated with mobile refueling truck and/or aircraft downtime, mobile refueling truck remediation (tank cleaning, filter coalser replacement, etc.) and sample transportation.  Aircraft engine original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have placed a 0.0 vol % or 0 ppm max allowable tolerance of both products.  An analytical type instrument that is capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) or parts per million (ppm) of the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in an aviation turbine fuel sample will save a significant amount of time and money sampling a product with no detectable contaminants. This capability will also be used to validate product quality following incidents and/or natural disasters. The instrument shall be capable of being stored and operated in conditions ranging from -25 degrees F to +135 degrees F and have the ability to operate on AC, rechargeable battery or a 12-DC volt sources. The instrument will minimize generation of any hazardous waste and require minimum consumables.  The integrated system must be able to operate in a hazardous environment.  Phase I: Develop a proof of concept for an integrated, palm size analytical type instrument utilizing an Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning Algorithm that is capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or  parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) contamination within five minutes of analysis initiation from the scan of a sample of the suspected contaminated aviation turbine fuel that consists of a targeted 10 mL or less size sample.

The proof of concept demonstration will be based on a demonstrated with a jet fuel (Jet A with FSII, ECI, CI/LI) contaminated with 1) a hydraulic fluid meeting any of the identified specifications, 2) a PAO coolant meeting the identified specification, and 3) a mixture of a hydraulic fluid and PAO coolant, with each meeting respective identified specifications.; at three concentrations defined by the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC). The concept must incorporate Air Force Human Systems Integration (HSI) Domains WRT requirements for operating the device in a field environment.  Develop a plan to raise the technology to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8 by the end of Phase II.  Provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) range of cost estimates for the purchase price of the Phase III product.  Since most cost components in the cost estimate are unknown, the ROM should itemize known cost components and describe the rational for unknown cost components.  The ROM should include a maximum expected cost and likely expected cost.    Phase II:   Develop and evaluate eight prototypes in a laboratory and field environment of an integrated analytical type instrument capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) of the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in a jet fuel sample.  The prototypes by the end of Phase II must be able to demonstrate the ability to detect, identify, and quantify by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) of the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in an jet fuel (Jet A with FSII, ECI, CI/LI) contaminated with 1) each of the four identified hydraulic fluids meeting the identified specifications, 2) a PAO coolant meeting the identified specification, and 3) a mixture of each respective hydraulic fluid and PAO coolant, with each meeting respective identified specifications.  For the neat hydraulic fluid and PAO samples, three concentrations for each sample will be defined by the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) will be tested.  For the hydraulic fluid/PAO mixture, three concentrations for each of the identified hydraulic fluid specifications, along with the identified PAO specification will be tested. Draft an ASTM test method based on the instrument technology and conduct an Inter-Laboratory Study IAW ASTM E691-22 Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method in support of data gathering to support a research report for submission of the draft ASTM test method for ballot by ASTM for adoption of the test method.  Performance parameters to consider are:  Performance in a field environment.  Time required for analysis of the fluid,  Cost to analyze the fluid,  Accuracy of the analysis,  Safety for the operator to conduct the analysis.   Calibration, How? Who? Where?     Repair ability, How? Who? Where   Mean time between failures (MTBF):  Transportability/drop ability: How does the devices handle transportation and accidental dropping? The prototype should be a TRL 8 or greater per Department of Defense Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) Guide, April 2011. As TRL increase is each achieved, a revised cost estimate will be included in the next required progress report.  Note: this cost estimate is for budgeting planning purposes only; an authorized government-contracting officer will negotiate the purchase price of the final product.

 

PHASE I: For this Direct-to-Phase II topic, evaluators are expecting that the submittal firm demonstrate the ability to achieve the following:  Develop a proof of concept for an integrated, palm size analytical type instrument utilizing an Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning Algorithm that is capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or  parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) contamination within five minutes of analysis initiation from the scan of a sample of the suspected contaminated aviation turbine fuel that  consists of a targeted 10 mL or less size sample. The proof of concept demonstration will be based on a demonstrated with a jet fuel (Jet A with FSII, ECI, CI/LI) contaminated with 1) a hydraulic fluid meeting any of the identified specifications, 2) a PAO coolant meeting the identified specification, and 3) a mixture of a hydraulic fluid and PAO coolant, with each meeting respective identified specifications.; at three concentrations defined by the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC). The concept must incorporate Air Force Human Systems Integration (HSI) Domains WRT requirements for operating the device in a field environment.  Develop a plan to raise the technology to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8 by the end of Phase II.  Provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) range of cost estimates for the purchase price of the Phase III product.  Since most cost components in the cost estimate are unknown, the ROM should itemize known cost components and describe the rational for unknown cost components.  The ROM should include a maximum expected cost and likely expected cost.

 

PHASE II: Develop and evaluate eight prototypes in a laboratory and field environment of an integrated analytical type instrument capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) of the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in a jet fuel sample.  The prototypes by the end of Phase II must be able to demonstrate the ability to detect, identify, and quantify by either percent by volume (vol%) ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 percent or parts per million (ppm) (ranging from 0 to 9,000 ppm) of the presence of a aviation grade hydraulic fluid and/or a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant contamination in an jet fuel (Jet A with FSII, ECI, CI/LI) contaminated with 1) each of the four identified hydraulic fluids meeting the identified specifications, 2) a PAO coolant meeting the identified specification, and 3) a mixture of each respective hydraulic fluid and PAO coolant, with each meeting respective identified specifications.  For the neat hydraulic fluid and PAO samples, three concentrations for each sample will be defined by the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) will be tested.  For the hydraulic fluid/PAO mixture, three concentrations for each of the identified hydraulic fluid specifications, along with the identified PAO specification will be tested. Draft an ASTM test method based on the instrument technology and conduct an Inter-Laboratory Study IAW ASTM E691-22 Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method in support of data gathering to support a research report for submission of the draft ASTM test method for ballot by ASTM for adoption of the test method.  Performance parameters to consider are:  Performance in a field environment.  Time required for analysis of the fluid,  Cost to analyze the fluid,  Accuracy of the analysis,  Safety for the operator to conduct the analysis.   Calibration, How? Who? Where?     Repair ability, How? Who? Where   Mean time between failures (MTBF):  Transportability/drop ability: How does the devices handle transportation and accidental dropping? The prototype should be a TRL 8 or greater per Department of Defense Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) Guide, April 2011.    As TRL increase is each achieved, a revised cost estimate will be included in the next required progress report.  Note: this cost estimate is for budgeting planning purposes only; an authorized government-contracting officer will negotiate the purchase price of the final product.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Commercialize the integrated analytical type instrument for use by commercial and/or Government, overhaul entities, and DOD users/depot facilities.  Develop and execute a transition plan to military and commercial customers based on requirements.  Develop and document procedures for operation, calibration, and servicing.

 

REFERENCES:

Air Force Human Systems Integration Handbook, Directorate of Human Performance Integration Human Performance Optimization Division, 711 HPW/HPO, 2485 Gillingham Drive, Brooks City-Base, TX 78235-5105    www.acqnotes.com/Attachments/Air%20Force%20Human%20System%20Integration%20Handbook.pdf   ;
Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) Guide, January 2020 https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-20-48g;
Human Systems Integration Requirements pocket Guide, U.S. Air Force Human Systems Integration Office  https://ww3.safaq.hq.af.mil/Portals/63/documents/organizations/ADA517632%20(5).pdf?ver=2016-07-28-120807-753 
Operation of A T63 Turbine Engine Using F24 Contaminated Skydrol 5 Hydraulic Fluid, Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate,  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7541 https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1021917.pdf  ;
Comprehensive Electrical Evaluation of Polyalphaolefin (PAO) Dielectric Coolant https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a363781.pdf  ;
Technical Order 42B-1-1 Quality Control of Fuels, Air Force Petroleum Office, Petroleum Standards Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433 Available by request  ;
Technical Order 42B2-1-3 Fluids for Hydraulic Equipment, Air Force Petroleum Office, Petroleum Standards Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433 Available by request  
MIL-PRF-83282 Hydraulic Fluid, Fire Resistant, Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base, https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx 
MIL-PRF-87257 Hydraulic Fluid, Fire Resistant; Low Temperature, Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base, Aircraft and Missile https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx 
MIL-PRF-5606 Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base; Aircraft, Missile, and Ordnance https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx  ;
MIL-PRF-87252 Coolant Fluid, Hydrolytically Stable, Dielectric  https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx  ;
AS SAE 1241 Fire Resistant Phosphate Ester Hydraulic Fluid For Aircraft https://www.sae.org/standards/content/as1241d  ;
MIL-DTL-83133 Turbine Fuel, Aviation, Kerosene Type, JP-8 (NATO F-34), NATO F-35, and JP-8+100 (NATO F-37) https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx  ;
MIL-DTL-5624 Turbine Fuel, Aviation Grades JP-4 and JP-5 https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx  ;
MIL-DTL-25524 Turbine Fuel, Aviation, Thermally Stable https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx  ;
ASTM D1655 Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels https://www.astm.org  ;
Defense Standard 91-091 Turbine Fuel, Kerosine Type, Jet A-1,  https://www.dstan.mod.uk

 

KEYWORDS: Hydraulic Fluid, Jet Fuel, Aviation Turbine Fuel, Polyalphaolefin (PAO) Coolant