DoD Pushing Advancements to Additive Manufacturing and Technology Protection Through Prototypes

March 7, 2023
Additive Manufacturing AMP HTP

The Additively Manufactured Prototypes (AMP) for Hardware Technology Protection (HTP) project has been awarded utilizing the Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA) vehicle. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has awarded $1.6 Million to Mercury Systems, Raytheon, Charles Stark Draper, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin to produce a prototype that will further Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Technology Protection (TP) collaboration through enhanced capabilities focused on novel sensors, secure packaging, and integrated board-level protection.

Recently, exponential advancements have been made in AM technologies but application in the TP domain has been limited due to the lack of cross-partnerships between the two technology areas, as well as lack of specified funding to support their integration, two issues that AMP HTP aims to address. Through the AMP HTP prototype project, the DoD Anti-Tamper experts are seeking to build upon 3D structures. The focus tech areas in this prototype project include advancements to additive manufacturing (AM), technology protection (TP), 3D printing, hybrid printed electronics, printed electronics, hardware protection, and volume protection.

The prototype will be executed in two phases. Phase 1 will focus on the discrete application of AM, minimizing negative impacts to the system, as well as demonstrate the uniqueness of the TP solution. Phase 2 of the prototype will emphasize the solution’s feasibility, focusing on maturing the complexity of the solution, as well as quantifying its accuracy, precision, yield, and environmental stability. Upon successful completion of the project, the performers will have produced a prototype that demonstrates one or more AM techniques to protect a specified substrate against one or more TP threats.

The AMP HTP project is preceded by the Additive Manufacturing (AM) for Technology Protection (TP) prototype project, which was also employed through the S²MARTS OTA vehicle. The AMTP project was awarded in June 2021 to General Electric, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Mercury Systems, ReLogic Research, and Charles Stark Draper Laboratories in the amount of $630,000. Key differences in the projects are the expected funding and the period of performance, both of which were larger in the AMP HTP project to promote greater diversity and complexity in the solutions.

“Through both the AMPHTP and the AMTP prototype projects, significant developments will be made to the additive manufacturing and technology protection technologies,” stated Doug Crowe, Director of the NSTXL S²MARTS OTA. “The fact the S²MARTS OTA was able to successfully execute on two projects focusing on AM and TP also propels the ecosystem in these complementary technology areas,” he added.

Both prototyping efforts provide the opportunity for the AM and TP communities to collaborate on innovative AM technologies to meet current and future TP mission needs.

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