THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TECHNOLOGY REINVESTMENT PROJECT EARLY AWARD SELECTIONS TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
Gamma Ray Imaging System for Nuclear Environment Monitoring
AIL Systems, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Industrial Quality Inc., and PMX, have teamed to develop a two-dimensional gamma ray imaging system to assist in locating radioactive materials in environmental clean-up activities. Unlike existing detection systems which can only "point" at the location of radioactive materials, this imaging system will allow sources emitting gamma rays to be viewed on TV-like monitors to determine their location, size, and intensity with great precision. Development activities will include the integration of advanced detection and signal processing technologies and the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a prototype detector. A near-term market of up to $200 million in sales is possible, including both U.S. and international customers. The project will require 18 months at a total estimated cost of $1.8 million.
Commercialization Demonstration of Mid-Sized Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage Technology for Electric Utility Applications
Babcock & Wilcox has proposed a $5.4 million program over 24 months to design and demonstrate a Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) system to store energy for public utilities during non-peak times for use during later periods of high demand. The demonstration project will provide confidence that such a system can be cost-effectively built and safely operated. The Defense Department has long been interested in such systems for pulsed power weapon applications and this work will help mature this dual-use technology. The development team includes Babcock & Wilcox, Anchorage Municipal Light and Power, the University of Alaska (Fairbanks), University of Wisconsin, three Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Norfolk State University, Virginia State University and St. Paul's College, the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.
Commercial Shipbuilding Focused Development Project
Bath Iron Works Corporation has proposed a $13.9 million project over 24 months to transfer management and production technologies into the partnership to create a globally competitive shipyard. Specific technologies include computer-aided design and process simulation, advanced automated fabrication processes, flexible automation/robotics, real time measurement systems for process control, production planning, material control and estimating, and pollution abatement. These technologies will directly improve production of both commercial vessels and warships for the U.S. Navy. The team will consist of Bath Iron works Corporation, which has designed and constructed commercial ships and naval surface combatants; Great American Lines, which provides shipping service between the U.S. and foreign nations; American Automar, which acquires foreign-flagged ships for operation under the U.S. flag; and Kvaerner Masa Marine and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, which will both transfer proven shipyard technologies into the U.S. to enable a strategic relationship.
Developing Speech Recognition for Future DSP's in Hand-Held Computers
Dragon Systems, a small business which is a world leader in speech recognition, and Analog Devices, a world leader in signal processing products, are working to develop software for a handheld computer which the user interacts with by voice, rather than by keyboard. The voice recognition system will replace tiny keyboards on hand held computers that are difficult to use. The projected device will be able to cope with both small specialized technical vocabularies and large vocabularies for general dictation in real time. The speech recognition software will be scalable to fit the memory available and thus be adaptable to multiple machines. This $7 million effort will have far-reaching implications in business, education and military applications. It is anticipated that it will give U.S. manufacturers a global competitive edge and help in reversing the current trade imbalance.
The MCM Consortium -- the Path to a Globally Competitive MCM Industry in the U.S.
Multiple Chip Module (MCM) technology, a new method of interconnecting integrated circuits on a common substrate, recently has become the key to increasing performance and reducing size and cost in the microelectronics industry. A consortium under the umbrella of the Electronic Industry Foundation will bring together the emerging participants in this new industry in an effort to lower equipment manufacturing costs by making all needed technology advances simultaneously. The consortium will forge relationships among the industrial partners, assess emerging technologies, and plan programs for joint and individual execution. Members include GM Hughes Electronics, IBM, Micromodule Systems, Motorola, nChip, Polycon (a small business), and Texas Instruments. Sandia National Laboratories will establish a test bed to support this effort. The $40 million, two-year effort combines the best talent in the U.S. in an effort to address commercial and military needs while regaining a top position in international competition.
Just-In Time Maintenance
Structural failure of rotating machinery is catastrophic in some critical applications such as helicopter rotors and critical cooling pumps in nuclear reactors. The current approach is preventive replacement, a practice which reduces service life and wastes manpower. Grumman Data Systems Corporation, a traditional defense contractor, has joined with Long Island Lighting Company, a major New York utility, and Texas A&M University, to build and test a prototype system to detect faults in rotating machinery before failure so that they can be replaced just before required and not on some necessarily conservative preventive schedule. The Grumman team has proposed that the government and the commercial developers share the $1.4 million cost of the 24 month program equally. On completion, Grumman will license the commercial applications to other companies for incorporation into commercial and defense applications.
Pyrotechnic Actuated Vehicle Rescue Equipment
Hi-Shear Technology Corporation has teamed with the City of Torrance (California) Fire Department to propose a $1.6 million program over 12 months to adapt Hi-Shear's existing defense pyrotechnic technology for use in creating a new genera- tion of portable emergency rescue equipment. Normal rescue equipment utilizes expensive gasoline powered hydraulic pumps, hoses, and cutters to perform the rescue service. This effort will eliminate electrical and umbilical connections by utilizing pyrotechnic cartridges, which will create a 50% weight savings and 70% cost reduction in the rescue equipment. This new generation of rescue equipment will be cost effective for small fire departments and rescue squads as well as portable enough for military search and rescue helicopters. This activity will preserve an important Department of Defense industry while transitioning its technology into commercial products.
Dual-Use Sensor Technology for Air Transportation System Capacity and Safety
Martin Marietta Government Electronic Systems has proposed a $16.2 million program over 24 months to accelerate the development of an advanced, multipurpose, phased array radar to simultaneously detect and disseminate flight hazardous weather conditions and local air traffic information. The proposed system will capitalize on the enormous Department of Defense investment in advanced radar technology to create a safer national airspace management system capable of significantly increasing the number of aircraft in operation around airports, detecting severe weather conditions to prevent fatalities, and reducing Transmit/Receive (T/R) module cost in the phased array radar tenfold. T/R modules electronically steer radar beams rather than using slow, rotating antenna dishes. The team will consist of Martin Marietta, a manufacturer of phased array radar systems for the U.S. Navy's AEGIS cruisers; M/A-COM, a designer and manufacturer of T/R modules, General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center, an industry laboratory that participated in the initial research and development of phased array radar components; the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a federally funded research and development center improving aviation safety, capacity and efficiency; Rome Laboratory, a U.S. Air Force laboratory for surveillance technology; and Engineering Systems Design and Analysis Company, a minority-owned small business that has expertise in the development of air traffic control automation functions.
Computer Aided Earth Moving with DP-GPS
A team that includes Magnavox Electronic Systems Company, Caterpillar, Spectra-Physics Laserplane, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes adapting the Global Positioning System (GPS) and laser guidance technology adapted from munitions systems to revolutionize "horizontal construction" (e.g., highways, dams, landfills, airports). Using these technologies to control the position and orientation of the blades of earth-moving and farming equipment during the motion of the vehicle will allow sculpting the earth along any computer-designed path to accuracies of a centimeter in real space without lengthy site surveys and topographic analysis. This will make construction faster and more precise whether for a roadbed in the U.S. or an emergency landing strip in the Arabian desert. The proposed cost of this effort is $17.7 million over 24 months.
Surgical Simulation for Limb Trauma Management
MusculoGraphics Incorporated has proposed a $1.22 million project over 24 months to develop the first anatomically correct, three-dimensional computer visual model of a human limb for high fidelity surgical training. This project will significantly reduce surgical training costs and the dependency of training on the availability of animal subjects. The tools will be independent of the particular computer platform or user interface. The modeling techniques will be generalized to serve as a framework for a dynamic computational model of the entire body. The team will consist of MusculoGraphics, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Medical Media Systems, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Advanced Power Conversion Based on the Aerocapacitor
Power-One Incorporated, a start-up company in Camarillo, California, has proposed a $1.9 million, 12 month program to develop an affordable manufacturing process for aerocapacitors, a type of inexpensive super capacitor which offers a ten-fold increase in energy density over current capacitors. Higher energy density translates into more power stored in a smaller amount of space. Power-One, a commercial supplier of power supplies, has teamed with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, an originator of the aerocapacitor technology; Polystor Corporation, a capacitor manufacturer; Rockwell International, a consumer of capacitors and supplier of industrial automation, avionics, telecommunications, aerospace, graphics, and automation equipment; and Aerojet, a consumer of capacitors and supplier to defense, automotive, and polymer industries. These super capacitors will create new opportunities for energy storage devices in both defense and commercial applications, ranging from semiconductors to power supplies and electric vehicles.
A System for Noninvasive Arterial Blood Gas Measurement
Rio Grande Medical Technologies, a small business, in conjunction with research personnel at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine have demonstrated the feasibility of a recent technical breakthrough that will enable non-invasive arterial blood gas measurements. These tests are vital to numerous surgical and critical care procedures. The new technology permits measurements to be taken continuously, without risk of infection and at greatly reduced cost. This new technology also will be invaluable in major disasters, where many injured individuals must be diagnosed and treated rapidly and simultaneously. The partners are now developing the technology to the commercial stage. They will be joined in the commercialization venture by Summit World Trade Corporation, another small business. Crucial steps include development of multivariate spectral data analysis algorithms and a finger sampling device. The effort is expected to take two years and cost $2.8 million.
Precision Laser Machining
TRW Space and Electronics Group has proposed a 24 month, $33.8 million project to develop precision laser machine tools for drilling, cutting, welding, and heat-treating a variety of mechanical and composite parts on manufacturing assembly lines. This technology will enable higher precision and greater tooling speeds than are currently available. For example, drilling ultra-fine, uniformly-spaced cooling holes for jet engines will double the life of engine parts and improve engine performance. It is expected that this process will replace some chemical machining methods, eliminating hazardous chemical discharge, and permit the use of lighter weight plastics, which will increase fuel efficiency in both automobiles and jet fighters. The team consists of a broad group of vertically integrated organizations from aerospace (Boeing, General Electric Aircraft Engines, General Electric Corporate Research and Development, Hughes, Northrop, TRW Space and Electronics, United Technologies), automotive (Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, TRW VSSI), heavy equipment (Caterpillar), engine (Cummins Engine Company), shipbuilding (Newport News Shipbuilding), and technology development (Stanford University, Utilase Systems, Frank DiPietro, SDL, Science Research Laboratories, Process Equipment Company, Pennsylvania State University, University of Illinois, Fibertek, Edison Welding Institute)
Advanced Composites for Bridge Infrastructure Renewal
The University of California, San Diego, has proposed a $21 million program over 18 months to adapt polymer matrix composite materials for use in bridge construction and rehabilitation. Polymer matrix composite materials are fibers woven together and coated with a "plastic" resin. Durable, lightweight composites were originally developed for military aircraft and missile systems. Composite bridge structures will offer the advantages of rapid modular erection procedures, reduced construction time and cost; higher strength-to-weight ratios, permitting smaller and lighter foundations, abutments and piers; and superior corrosion resistance, reducing maintenance and extending service life. This technology can generate mobile, lightweight bridges for use by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in combat situations or after natural disasters. Bridge rehabilitation can use composite materials to replace cracked bridge decks, resurface roads with potholes, and replace crumbling bridge columns. Other participants in this project include the University of Delaware; Trans-Science Corporation, a composite material designer; Amoco Performance Products and Hercules, two composite materials manufacturers; and J. Muller International, a bridge designer.
Demonstration and Spin-Off of the Integral Motor/Propeller Propulsion System
Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Edison Chouest Offshore (a small business), the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. Navy's David Taylor Model Basin have proposed use of a very innovative electric propulsion system originally developed for future Navy submarines in commercial marine applications. The system is known as the Integral Motor/Propeller (IM/P) propulsor. The $9.8 million effort will include both factory tests and seawater trials over 24 months. The propulsion system is expected to have a significant impact on the U.S. shipbuilding industry by providing advanced propulsor technology to compete against European and Japanese motors. These systems can also be incorporated into future U.S. Navy all-electric ships.