Defense

August 9, 2013

Patent-pending power at the speed of light

Lance Doddridge, electrical engineer and physicist at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, splices fiber optic cable as he works on Linearity Calibration Standard (LCS) 8513. The patent-pending device, which compares fiber optic power test meters against a known standard, was recently introduced to the U.S. Navy’s calibration facility at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Division.

 

The Navy’s submarine force has a new, patent-pending tool allowing it to maintain its fiber optic systems like never before – a new capability powered by an invention from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, its top officer announced Aug. 8.

The innovation lets the Navy compare fiber optic power test meters throughout their entire range of output against a known standard, allowing the fleet to perform reliable and accurate measurements in-house, without outsourcing, reducing costs while increasing capability for the maritime service.

Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Ver Hage praised the delivery, lauding the new instrument as a measurement science milestone that the 21st century military will rely on for years to come.

“Our R&D team has been working hard to develop this fiber optic calibration standard,” Ver Hage said. “Seeing it delivered to the submarine fleet is an awesome example of what warfare centers do for Navy programs to drive down costs while keeping our fighting forces at the forefront of technology.”

Ver Hage added this is yet another achievement that strengthens the Navy’s intellectual property holdings that adds long-term value to the taxpayer.

The latest Patent Power Scorecard published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ranks the Navy’s patent portfolio best in the world amongst all other government agencies, a distinction fueled by people across the Navy’s Science and Engineering Enterprise.

And the patent-pending advancement comes as the modern fleet operates more and more frequently through fiber optics streaming at the speed of light.

All new Navy ships and submarines are outfitted with fiber optic backbones to handle their complex networks because older copper-wire networks can’t handle the throughput of today’s sophisticated military hardware.

Lance Doddridge, the NSWC Corona physicist and electrical engineer who invented the calibration system, called the Linearity Calibration Standard (LCS) 8513 – understands its value for the warfighter.

“Fiber optics connect everything from weapons systems, control centers, and radar, to a ship’s last line of defense,” Doddridge said. “Every piece of test equipment, by [Department of Defense] mandate, has to be calibrated using standards that are traceable to a national standard.”

Correctly calibrated equipment helps ensure military hardware functions properly, accurately and safely, ranging from a ship’s propulsion plant to an F/A-18 Hornet’s laser target designators to night vision goggles.

And accuracy is vital, especially for the submarine community.

In developing the new standard, NSWC Corona collaborated with its sister division, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., to determine its equipment needs. Until the new system arrived, the undersea warfare center had outsourced its fiber optic calibration responsibilities.

“Without the ability to perform these tests in-house, these sensitive items would have to be shipped to various pre-approved and accredited vendors throughout the country, resulting in additional contracting expense and subjecting [the equipment] to delays and possible damage in shipping,” said Mark Medeiros, NUWC Newport’s calibration laboratory team lead.

In addition to LCS8513, Doddridge has created another calibration standard, called ADFOCS – the Attenuation and Distance Fiber Optic Calibration Standard, which NUWC Newport now has to complement the linearity standard. He fabricated and assembled the instrument by hand, even using 3D printing to save costs and weight when possible.

It compares commercial, off-the-shelf fiber optic test equipment for accuracy against more accurate standards that are traceable to national standards – which flow from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to the Navy Gage and Standards Lab at NSWC Corona, the Navy and Marine Corps’ designated technical agent for measurement science and calibration.

Medeiros says these new standards will vastly improve NUWC Newport’s ability to address the rising demand for fiber optic systems calibration.

“Having the ability to support these measurements in-house saves an enormous amount of money and time,” Medeiros said. “It enables us to provide quick, reliable, on-time service to meet deployment schedules and support internal programs.”

Headquartered in Norco, Calif., NSWC Corona is part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Enterprise and leads the Navy in independent assessment, measurement and calibration standards and range systems engineering. As a Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Command field activity, the command employs approximately 2,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel and includes a detachment in Seal Beach, Calif.

NSWC Corona has received patents in seven areas of innovation for its automated MetBench Calibration Management System, which distributes and maintains calibration and test equipment data for Navy ships, seamlessly synchronizing all data for users all around the world. It won the Department of the Navy’s Chief Information Officer’s Information Management/Information Technology Excellence Award in 2011.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>