NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) – Mid-Atlantic Regional Upkeep Heart (MARMC) in partnership with Naval Floor Warfare Heart, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) are collaborating to advance fiber optics analysis for utility in Navy shipboard programs.
The Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) is a expertise that makes use of specialised commercially accessible optical fiber for sensing through laser interrogation and an information assortment machine to gather real-time info associated to strain, temperature, weight, deformation, and pressure on advanced programs and tools. The FOSS expertise was improved upon lately by the Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration (NASA) Armstrong Flight Analysis Heart with their finest practices being utilized to MARMC’s modeling and testing efforts to additional enhance effectivity and value effectiveness.
The potential integration of FOSS expertise immediately into tools on a ship, and even embedded into the ship itself, would permit for quicker knowledge assortment at the next decision than conventional knowledge assortment strategies.
“We’re taking a backside up method to this expertise and seeing the place it might finest match into initiatives that help our mission of sustainment, restore and upkeep on the RMC stage,” stated MARMC Engineering Technician Adrian Wos. He has been engaged on the challenge as a part of a distant Naval Acquisition Growth Program rotation with NSWC PHD. “The top purpose will probably be to save lots of the Navy money and time in terms of preserving the ships within the fleet.”
“The wonderful thing about this expertise is how exact it may be for as small as it’s,” stated NSWC PHD Lt. Cmdr. Todd Coursey. “Conventional tools that’s used to carry out the identical measurements or to assemble info relating to a system, corresponding to a pressure gauge or thermal couple, are a lot bigger and cumbersome. Additionally they require time to arrange and wish a number of individuals concerned within the evolution with a purpose to acquire correct readings.”
The Naval Analysis Lab (NRL), who has additionally been working with FOSS expertise, has carried out a few of the first discipline assessments on Navy vessels to point out a few of the sensible functions for the expertise within the Navy.
“FOSS has been used on LCACs [Landing Craft Air Cushion] which have handed their end-of-service date to find out whether or not or not the hull can keep reliability previous the unique 30-year life expectancy and if a second SLEP [Service Life Extension Program] is viable,” stated Naval Analysis Lab (NRL) Analysis Scientist Dr. Meredith Hutchinson, who has been conducting the LCAC discipline assessments and sharing these outcomes with MARMC and NSWC PHD. “The FOSS outfitted on the cargo deck offered a novel answer that would deal with the tough environments and operations that LCACs bear throughout routine operations the place different sensors wouldn’t maintain up or present the sensor constancy and density of measurements wanted.”
This similar primary idea might be utilized to weapons programs and different elements that encounter salt-water intrusion or publicity on board a ship, which might usually result in corrosion and degradation of a system, piece of substances and even a part of a ship’s construction.
“The fiber optic cable and sensors themselves are corrosion and temperature resistant, so the functions are limitless. Utilizing FOSS in a gas tank for instance would permit a ship to get details about that individual tank with out having to ship somebody in to carry out an inspection, which might be safer and save numerous time,” stated Coursey.
Working with MARMC’s Innovation and Know-how Lab, Wos is at present designing and manufacturing more and more advanced prototypes to check the constraints of FOSS cable. It will give the fiber optic strands the extra safety they want in harsh environments whereas nonetheless permitting them to offer correct readings. It additionally permits novel methods to judge and categorize new supplies and processes.
“This expertise can present the real-time knowledge required for situation based mostly upkeep throughout your complete fleet, which might immediately enhance on-time supply for RMCs. That is important for these ships which have operational commitments throughout the globe. Some of these improvements are what we’re able to and it’s a nice expertise to work with this workforce to advance the Navy’s capabilities,” stated Wos.
“Finally, bringing one of the best subject material specialists from throughout the Navy collectively is what that is all about. And, this is only one instance of the developments we are able to use to make the Navy stronger and higher ready,” stated Coursey.
MARMC offers floor ship upkeep, administration and oversight of upkeep carried out by the non-public sector and fleet technical help to ships within the Mid-Atlantic area of america and offers help to the fifth and sixth Fleet areas of accountability. They’re additionally liable for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL 6).
NSWC PHD maintains technical experience targeted on take a look at, analysis and built-in logistics help for floor warfare fight and weapon’s programs. It additionally has a concentrate on Subsequent Technology In-Service Engineering, which includes direct connectivity to the fleet on a worldwide foundation and the speedy availability of round the clock entry to merchandise, providers and fleet help capabilities.