S²MARTS Project No. 20-04B
The DoD is seeking prototyping support to address Obsolescence, Data Management and Re-Engineering issues. In order to achieve DoD strategic goals, obsolescence management is of ever-increasing importance. Addressing obsolescence and other readiness issues with parts, sub-systems and systems in which no direct replacement or upgrade exists, and doing so in a timely manner, is required to maintain fleet readiness and support ongoing deployments to achieve national strategic policy objectives.
The current processes used to address obsolescence issues are based on the engineering, design, and procurement processes utilized in new acquisition, and planned maintenance of the in-service feet. As a result, these processes do not adequately address issues caused be increased reliance on Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components, longer ship life cycle, long term industrial base changes, supply chain integrity/security requirements or increased operational demands being placed on the fleet.
Processes, procedures, and supporting tools to develop prototype parts, subsystems and systems to meet rapidly emerging obsolescence requirements are required to effectively support the DoD. These will include, but are not limited to reverse engineering, redesign, development, testing, and fielding support; technical data package development, and other data support; technical data conversion; distribution of technical data; and management of technical data and other related technical support. This support will include development, prototype testing and implementation of relevant processes and tools. Technical Data Packages for replacements for specific obsolete parts, sub-systems, and systems will be developed under this effort based on the on-going needs of the DoD, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the prototype processes, procedures and supporting tools.
Specifically, this project will seek solutions for obsolete Air Conditioner Relief Valves for the Navy’s fleet. The current processes used to address parts obsolescence do not adequately address the issues caused by increased reliance on Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components and a longer ship life cycle means that the ships are outlasting the various parts. Currently available COTS Air Conditioner System Relief Valves solutions did not meet functional requirements or have failed in shipboard environments.
The Air Conditioner System Relief valves currently in use are no longer supported by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Production has halted for these units due to age and complexity to produce, and as a result they are no longer available. COTS Air Conditioner System Relief Valves are not designed to work in a shipboard environment. The persistent vibrations on the shipboard have caused the COTS Air Conditioner System Relief Valves to fail.
DoN seeks to engineer the Air Conditioner System Relief Valves and use performance requirements to design, demonstrate and test new concepts that can withstand the harsh operational environment, consisting of years at sea and very little down time. Unlike in industry, vibrations exist shipboard that do not occur on factories, which results in failures of COTS equipment not designed to withstand these shipboard vibrations.