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Navy SBIR 2007
OBJECTIVE: Develop a durable, lightweight, deployable cargo deck covering system for the Joint Maritime Assault Connector (JMAC) and Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) that will protect the cargo and the craft’s propulsors from foreign object damage.
DESCRIPTION: The next generation of high-speed Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs), the JMAC, will have a similar vessel footprint to the current LCAC and will operate in a similar or possibly more severe littoral environments. The unique environment in which the LCAC currently operates subjects the vessel and its open-deck stowed cargo to damage from high-winds (50+ knots) as well as foreign object debris such as salt, sand, and seawater spray. This open-deck stowage configuration also allows for loose debris from the cargo to potentially foul or damage the main propeller fan blades.
This topic seeks to apply innovative advanced materials and structural concepts to provide a durable, lightweight, deployable cargo deck covering system able to conform to a multitude of stowage configurations to protect cargo and the craft’s propeller fan blades in potentially severe marine operating environments. Potential stowage configurations range from providing single-side coverage to a full five-LCACsided enclosure. Concepts proposed must be able to perform within the required speed and sea-state operational envelopes. Stowage should not interfere with craft operation and the concept should be able to be deployed with minimal manpower and time. The small business is encouraged to explore design modifications that provide adequate ventilation as well as interior and exterior attachment points in the event that the cargo carried is personnel and their personal gear. The attachment points should allow for the stowage of assorted loads from lifeboats to personnel packs and gear. The covering system and its attachments must be able to withstand the following loads: Upward 3.0g; Downward 4.5g; Forward 8.0g; Aft 3.0g; Side 3.0g. Specific testing to be addressed during development and fleet integration will include, but is not limited to: structural and mechanical/materials integrity, maintainability and repairability by ship’s force in the field, external wind loads, and time to deploy/stow.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of an advanced materials and structural solution for a cargo deck covering system. Develop an initial conceptual design and establish performance goals and metrics to analyze the feasibility of the proposed solution. Develop a test and evaluation plan that contains discrete milestones for product development for verifying performance and suitability.