DOD SBIR 24.4 Annual

Active
Yes
Status
Open
Release Date
October 3rd, 2023
Open Date
October 3rd, 2023
Due Date(s)
March 31st, 2025
Close Date
March 31st, 2025
Topic No.
A244-004

Topic

YTC Full Load Cooling

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic of "YTC Full Load Cooling" as part of their SBIR 24.4 Annual solicitation. The objective of this research is to develop modernized data processing techniques to accurately assess the cooling capabilities of military vehicles with electronically controlled powertrains. The current testing methodologies and data processing techniques for fluid temperature data in critical systems of military vehicles are outdated and cannot be used for assessing vehicles with electronically controlled transmissions. The goal is to modernize the test methodology and utilize synthetic data generation techniques to accurately characterize the performance of the vehicle, even in extreme environments. The research will involve developing a new Full Load Cooling (FLC) test methodology, mathematical formulae for data processing, and a methodology to characterize powertrain derating. The project will be conducted in two phases, with Phase I focusing on developing the initial plan and Phase II refining the methodology and developing a software program for data processing. The research has potential applications in the automotive industry and can contribute to the development of modeling and simulation capabilities for engine and energy cooling. The project duration is from 4QFY24 to 3QFY26, and interested parties can find more information and submit proposals on the DOD SBIR website.

Description

OBJECTIVE: To develop modernized data processing techniques to accurately assess the cooling capabilities of automotive platforms with electronically controlled powertrains, to include performance limiting controls (e.g., engine derating). Most modern automotive and combat vehicles have transitioned from mechanically to electronically controlled transmissions which present the need to update testing methodologies and data processing techniques for the extrapolation of fluid temperature data in critical systems of military vehicles. Current extrapolation methods of critical component fluid temperature data were developed before electronically controlled transmissions were introduced and cannot be used for assessing these new types of transmissions, reference Test Operating Procedure (TOP) 2-2-604, Drawbar Pull, dated 26 September 2007. When testing a vehicle at temperatures below 120℉, derating features within electronically controlled drivetrains may not be triggered during testing and the true performance characteristics of the vehicle remain unreported. The intent is to modernize the test methodology and utilize synthetic data generation data processing techniques for Full Load Cooling (FLC) testing. The new test methodology and data processing techniques should accurately characterize the performance of the vehicle, when operating in environments at 120℉ even though testing is performed when the ambient temperature is below 120℉. Synthetically generated data should identify derating trigger points (engine governing/retarding, transmission shifting, etc.). and their effect on system’s performance, even though these events would not have been experienced during the test event. The synthetically generated data should also identify the extrapolated critical component fluid temperature values.

 

DESCRIPTION: The approach for this topic is innovative as it is leveraging commercial industry data and expertise about behaviors of electronically controlled powertrains. Electronically controlled powertrains have been widely used throughout the commercial automotive industry for more than 30 years. However, application of this technology to military vehicles is relatively novel and requires a knowledge transference to Department of Defense (DoD) testing experts as the “third-party” evaluators of military equipment. A small business with experience assessing automotive powertrain and cooling systems will be able to develop a new FLC test methodology and mathematical formulae for advanced data processing techniques to appropriately assess vehicle powertrain performance in extreme natural environments across various military ground vehicles. Current automotive industry practice is vehicle specific assessments whereas there is not an agnostic model for predicting cooling system performance using test data. Testing for cooling system performance is anticipated to be more relevant for military vehicles due to increasing ambient environmental conditions due to climate change.

 

PHASE I:

4QFY24-3QFY25

Contractor will perform an initial site visit and give Yuma Test Center (YTC) government representatives an initial presentation identifying their plan of execution to include what unique methodologies are initially proposed for conducting the FLC test, what their initial plan for instrumenting vehicles under test, what mathematical or engineering background/concepts are being applied to approach the problem, and what their proposed data processing methodology to assess cooling system performance will be. 
Contractor will develop FLC test methodology, instrumentation requirements, and mathematical formulae for advanced data processing techniques for FLC testing.
Contractor will develop methodology to characterize powertrain derating and build usable vehicle derate schedules based on observed test data.
Contractor will submit final report identifying the following:
	
		Newly proposed FLC test methodology in detail. Methodology will not require additional test capabilities of the test center (e.g., No need for a Dynamometer chamber to simulate extreme natural environments) and will not require the use of proprietary information from the manufacturer of the item that is to be tested.
		Industrial precedence or applicable test standards are being leveraged to support their theory development.
		Instrumentation requirements and assessment by the contractor of additional resources or impact to typical test event with their proposed methodology (e.g., how many extra sensors will be needed to support their testing vs. legacy sensor counts).
		Conceptual estimate of how a de-rate schedule for the powertrain impacts the overall FLC test and the impact to the overall vehicle under test (e.g., this engine de-rate would reduce the vehicle’s ability to ascend a 40% longitudinal grade at its existing weight).
		Proposed data processing techniques for synthetic data generation AI model to infer system performance under varying environmental conditions and assess cooling system performance.
	

 

PHASE II:

4QFY25-3QFY26

Contractor will refine FLC test methodology, instrumentation requirements, and mathematical formulae and advanced data processing techniques for FLC testing that were previously developed in Phase I portion of the SBIR contract.
Contractor will develop a software program and Graphical User Interface (GUI) that utilizes the mathematical formulae and advanced data processing techniques to perform synthetic data generation to infer vehicle performance under varying environmental conditions and assess cooling system performance. Software program will ingest data from DEWESoft software directly or through the import of data via a CSV file format. Software program will synthetically produce powertrain de-rate features and show their effect on the vehicle’s performance and effect on critical system fluid temperatures. 
Contractor will develop test plan for the execution of the developed methodology in field conditions on a military vehicle to analyze the drive train performance characteristics and cooling capabilities with the data processing software. 

 

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:

Academic and corporate research underscores the efficacy of instituting modeling & simulation (M&S) capabilities for engine and energy cooling. AI integration as well as digital twin integration. Both are underpinned by AI/ML solutions. 
Moreover, M&S capabilities, namely digital twin solutions, can augment cooling systems and powertrains during the manufacturing process, per corporate R&D literature.
Current market applications, including start-up usage, for FLC M&S include:  
	
		Augmenting traffic cycles by analyzing driver behavior. 
		EV battery lifecycle improvement and integration. 
		Utility asset cooling and management SaaS products.
	

 

REFERENCES:

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA640254.pdf

 

KEYWORDS: Combat Vehicles; Powertrains; Data Processing; Electronics; Testing; Methodology; Transmission; Automotive; Front Load Cooling (FLC); Drivetrains