DOD SBIR 24.2 Annual

Active
No
Status
Open
Release Date
April 17th, 2024
Open Date
May 15th, 2024
Due Date(s)
June 12th, 2024
Close Date
June 12th, 2024
Topic No.
AF242-0001

Topic

Creating a digital twin of legacy aircraft

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for creating a digital twin of the B-52H legacy aircraft system. The objective is to develop a faster and more cost-effective way to integrate new equipment at the system design/digital engineering level. The digital twin will include CAD models and SysML models and will be connectable to various models in different systems. The end goal is to have a digital engineering environment that is dynamically connected to an accredited simulation environment, enabling seamless integration of digital engineering models with other systems/products. The project will involve refining and improving the digital twin in Phase II, creating a well-defined deliverable prototype that can be used for commercialization. The prototype will simulate the integration of new equipment with the aircraft and undergo rigorous testing to ensure its accuracy and functionality. The success of the Phase II project will result in a well-defined deliverable prototype that provides a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective way to test and integrate new equipment with legacy aircraft. The Phase III effort will focus on developing and commercializing the digital twin technology for government and commercial applications, achieving a high technology readiness level (TRL). The expected TRL at Phase III entry is 9, indicating that the technology is fully developed, tested, and validated in relevant environments. The project team will work closely with potential customers and partners to identify their specific needs and develop a plan for commercialization. The digital twin technology has significant commercialization potential in the aerospace industry, with potential applications in aerospace companies, government agencies, and military organizations.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Trusted AI and Autonomy; Integrated Network System-of-Systems

 

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

 

OBJECTIVE: The topic objective is to develop a faster, more cost-effective way to integrate new equipment at the system design/digital engineering level by creating a digital twin of the B-52H legacy aircraft system. This digital twin will include CAD models and SysML models, and be connectable to various models in different systems. The end state of this project is to have a digital engineering environment that is dynamically connected to an accredited simulation environment, enabling seamless integration of digital engineering models with other systems/products.  

To achieve this objective, applicants are asked to propose a solution for creating a digital twin of a legacy system.

 

DESCRIPTION: The end state is to solicit industry for innovative approaches of designing Digital Twin (CAD and SysML files) for the B-52, a legacy aircraft that is planned to continue in service through the 2050's. AFGSC is interested in commercial solutions that develop the CAD and SysML baseline models for the B-52H so that future Non Recurring Engineering costs can be reduced over time as future concepts and systems are developed. This topic is designed to generate demonstrable success with model development, and build momentum with the ultimate success being follow on contract awards to completely develop and integrate these models into digital engineering and accredited digital simulation environments. Any data developed during this project will be government-owned, and that the government will have unlimited rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose such technical data or computer software.

 

PHASE I: Awardee(s) will define a system concept, perform a feasibility study, and propose an solution for creating a digital twin of the B-52 legacy system. The developed CAD and SysML models developed during this project will be government-owned, and that the government will have unlimited rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose such technical data or computer software.

 

PHASE II: The objective of the Phase II SBIR will be to further develop the digital twin of a legacy aircraft for equipment integration and testing created in Phase I. The project will focus on refining and improving the digital twin, creating a well-defined deliverable prototype that can be used for commercialization.

 

The project will involve the following steps:

 

Refinement of the 3D Model

The 3D model of the aircraft created in Phase I will be refined and improved to enhance its accuracy and functionality. This will involve further validation of the model to ensure its accuracy and the addition of new components to improve its functionality.

 

Integration of New Equipment

The digital twin will be used to simulate the integration of new equipment with the aircraft. The simulation will involve testing the new equipment in different scenarios to identify potential issues and make necessary modifications.

 

Testing

The digital twin will undergo rigorous testing to ensure its accuracy and functionality. The testing will involve simulating a wide range of scenarios, including extreme weather conditions, equipment failures, and system malfunctions.

 

Success Criteria

The success criteria for this project will be the creation of a well-defined deliverable prototype that accurately simulates the installation of new equipment and changes to the aircraft's systems. The prototype should be able to simulate a wide range of scenarios, including equipment integration and testing, extreme weather conditions, equipment failures, and system malfunctions, and be validated through comparison to the actual aircraft.

 

Commercialization Plan

A commercialization plan will be developed to promote the technology and identify potential licensing and partnership opportunities. A marketing strategy will also be developed to reach potential customers and partners. The proposer will have identified potential customers and partners and have a plan to seek additional funding opportunities to continue the development of the digital twin technology and explore other potential applications in the aerospace industry.

 

Operating Parameters/Prototyping Expectations

The digital twin prototype will be able to simulate a wide range of scenarios, including equipment integration and testing, extreme weather conditions, equipment failures, and system malfunctions. The prototype will be validated through comparison to the actual aircraft, and its accuracy and functionality will be tested in a wide range of scenarios. The prototype will also be tested to ensure its compatibility with different equipment and systems. Additionally, the prototype will be tested for ease of use and user-friendliness.

 

Conclusion

The success of the Phase II project will result in a well-defined deliverable prototype of the digital twin of a legacy aircraft for equipment integration and testing. The prototype will be able to simulate a wide range of scenarios and be validated through comparison to the actual aircraft. The prototype will provide a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective way to test and integrate new equipment with legacy aircraft. Finally, the commercialization potential of this project is significant, with a potential market among aerospace companies, government agencies, and military organizations."

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The objective of the Phase III/Dual Use SBIR project will be to develop and commercialize the digital twin of a legacy aircraft for equipment integration and testing created in Phase II. The project will focus on transitioning the technology to government and commercial applications and achieving a high technology readiness level (TRL).

 

Expected Phase III Effort

The expected Phase III effort will involve developing and commercializing the digital twin technology for government and commercial applications. The technology will be refined and optimized to meet the specific requirements of these applications. The project will involve collaboration with potential customers and partners to identify their specific needs and develop a plan for commercialization. The project will also involve seeking additional funding opportunities to further develop the technology and explore other potential applications in the aerospace industry.

 

Expected TRL at Phase III Entry

The expected TRL at Phase III entry is 9, which means the technology is fully developed, tested, and validated in relevant environments. The digital twin will have been tested and validated in a wide range of scenarios, and its accuracy and functionality will have been demonstrated through comparison to the actual aircraft. The technology will be ready for commercialization and deployment.

 

Additional Transition Planning

The additional transition planning for this Phase III project will involve identifying the government approvals required for the commercialization of the technology. The project team will work closely with the Department of Defense (DoD) to identify any necessary certifications, approvals, or standards that need to be met for the technology to be deployed in military applications. The project team will also work with potential commercial partners to identify any necessary certifications, approvals, or standards required for commercial deployment.

 

Known Government Approvals Required

The known government approvals required for this project will vary depending on the specific application and customer. However, potential approvals that may be required include certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the Department of Defense (DoD), compliance with relevant military standards, and approval by the appropriate government agencies.

 

Additional DAF Customer Opportunities

The additional DAF customer opportunities for this project include potential applications in military and commercial aviation. The digital twin technology can be used to improve the safety and performance of aircraft, reduce risk, save time and money, and increase efficiency. The technology can also be used for training and maintenance, providing a realistic and accurate representation of the aircraft that can improve safety and reduce errors during actual operations. The project team will work closely with potential customers and partners to identify additional opportunities for deployment and commercialization of the digital twin technology.

 

REFERENCES:

GAO-23-106453;

 

KEYWORDS: Digital twin; Legacy aircraft; Equipment integration; Testing; Virtual model; Accurate data; Physical dimensions; Risk reduction; Accredited digital simulation; Time and money saving; Realistic representation; Designing CAD; SysML files; B-52; Non Recurring Engineering cost reduction; Digital engineering; Model development