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Data-fusion for Advanced Cathodic Protection Monitoring and Control for Marine Structures

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate data-fusion technology/software system to fully integrate cathodic protection system data (existing and additional) and to demonstrate its use in determining coating/dielectric status, corrosion activity and electrolytic current status on both external hull-type structures, and interior tank type structures. In addition, and where applicable, to use such fused data to better control ICCP systems.

DESCRIPTION: Corrosion control of ship's hulls and tanks is a major cost driver for the Navy. Investments in advanced paints, their proper application, and the implementation of improved cathodic protection systems have greatly increased the corrosion life of ships' hulls and tanks, and have the potential for greatly lowering their life-cycle maintenance costs. In order to fully realize this reduced maintenance benefit, it is necessary that emphasis be shifted toward actually reducing maintenance performed. In order to achieve gains in this area without risk, some reliable predictive measures are necessary. Presently this is a process of conservative prediction based on previous ships' experience and various inspections including diver-based inspections. Cathodic protection data, while available for the hull ICCP systems, is generally not an absolute indicator of hull condition except in the crudest sense, e.g., hulls which require increasing amounts of ICCP current are generally in worse condition from the anti-corrosion/dielectric paint layer standpoint. ICCP data is rarely used or even considered in assessing hull condition for maintenance planning purposes. It is possible however that existing cathodic protection data, has the potential to be used to make better assessment of hull conditions in real-time if properly analyzed. The possible outcome of such use could include:

1. Improved performance and reliability of ICCP systems for CVNX and ships Fleet-wide.

2. Better predictive ability that can be used for planning of hull maintenance so that maximum paint life can be realized. This could result in achievement of longer periods of service between dry-docking a ship for painting

3. Better reference electrode accuracy through use of multiple data fused electrodes at each location.

4. Possible development of a compact electrolytic current vector array design, leveraged on better reference-electrode data-assessment. Such arrays can be used for signature related R&D for real-time alternate closed loop control of ICCP systems.

5. Software would be easily integrated into integrated control and condition based maintenance systems.

Phase I: Develop and provide test arrangement to demonstrate feasibility and benefit of using of data-fusion technique in conjunction with an ICCP system on a steel structure in seawater. Data could include anode current and voltage, reference cell voltages, shaft grounding voltages, ship's speed, water temperature, salinity, pH, etc. Demonstrate feasibility and benefit of data-fusion for a three-dimensional reference electrode array intended for measuring electrolytic current vectors in seawater.

Phase II: Refine data-fusion software and develop portable test unit that can be used on larger-scale application test such as on a cathodically protected pier or Naval vessel. Demonstrate the use of such equipment on the structure. Using a portable but grounded bare steel or other appropriate test electrode of sufficient size, demonstrate system response while the electrode is moved to various locations around the test structure. Refine data-fusion reference electrode array design to optimize the size and number of reference electrodes necessary to achieve meaningful and repeatable data for determination of electrolytic current vectors. Demonstrate this on a cathodically protected structure.

Phase III: Develop, fabricate and demonstrate an optimized data-fusion software/data acquisition package that can be easily applied to a wide variety of cathodic protection equipment. Design and fabricate optimized electrolytic current vector probe for use in seawater. Optimization factors should include accuracy, durability, size, weight, and cost.

Commercial Potential: Cathodic protection systems are utilized world-wide for the protection of ships' hulls and tanks, off-shore oil platforms, piers, seawalls, tunnels, underground and above ground tanks, pipelines, bridge footings, and many more. Cathodic protection data types are very similar among these applications; however, actual cathodic protection parameters and data trends vary widely. A portable data system using appropriate data fusion software and multi-sensor approach could be valuable for use in all of these applications. The electrolytic current vector sensor is especially valuable in highly conductive electrolytes where voltage drops may be very small compared to the normal inaccuracies of single point reference electrodes.


  1. Lucas, K. E., Thomas, E. D., Kazinoff, A. I., and Hogan, E. A., “Design of Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) Systems for U. S. Navy Hulls” Designing Cathodic Protection Systems for Marine Structures and Vehicles, STP 1370, H. P. Hack Ed., American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken, PA., 1999, ISBN: 0-80312-623-9

  2. J. Morgan, Cathodic Protection (Houston, National Association of Corrosion Engineers, NACE, 1987) ISBN: 0-91556-728-8

  3. C. Munger, L. Vincent, Corrosion Prevention by Protective Coatings, Revised Edition, (Houston, NACE, 1999), ISBN: 1-57590-088-2

KEYWORDS: Data-fusion; cathodic protection; electrochemistry; corrosion; reference electrode; software

N01-064 TITLE: Aircraft Carrier Oxygen Producer Lower Cost Alternative

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


OBJECTIVE: To Develop a Lower Total-Ownership-Cost Oxygen Producer for Use on Aircraft Carriers. Current producers are expensive to operate and maintain. Demand for oxygen from the air wing is decreasing, but will not approach zero for 10+ years.

DESCRIPTION: Aircraft require a system to supply the aircrew with oxygen for respiration. Current technology uses shipboard cryogenic oxygen-nitrogen plant to produce liquid oxygen, which is loaded onto each aircraft. Aircraft Carriers are equipped with two cryogenic producers, each capable of about 20 gallons per hour of liquid oxygen. Naval aircraft are being converted to an On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS), which eliminates the need for stowage of liquid oxygen on the aircraft. Therefore, at some point in time the large, expensive, current producers can be replaced with smaller, cheaper technology capable of producing the small quantities of oxygen needed to recharge the aircraft gaseous emergency supply and provide ship-service oxygen.

Phase I: The contractor will design, on paper, a shipboard system to produce 5 gallons per hour of liquid oxygen, or 575 standard cubic feet per hour of gaseous oxygen. Purity requirement should be 95% oxygen with the remaining product mainly nitrogen, while meeting the Aviator's Breathing Oxygen Spec (MIL-O-27210) for all trace contaminants. Adaptations of existing commercial technology are encouraged, as is the use of automated operation. Development of small commercial cryogenic plants, research into the use of membrane technology for oxygen production, and development of pressure swing absorption (PSA) technology will all be considered, as will any technology not previously known to the Navy technical community.

Phase II: Based on the phase 1 theoretical design, the contractor will develop a prototype oxygen producer meeting the requirements specified in Phase 1 and demonstrate that the producer will produce oxygen in the required quantity and purity.

Phase III: Any aircraft carrier is a candidate for the lower cost oxygen producer. Aircraft Carriers CVN-70, CVN-71, CVN-72, CVN-73 are CVN-74 are especially likely candidates for back fit of the newly developed system in that they are equipped with older, more costly to maintain cryogenic producers. The lower cost oxygen producer is also potentially appropriate for CVN-77 and CVNX. This oxygen producer could become the Navy standard for aircraft carrier use for the foreseeable future.

COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: Current membrane technology for oxygen production is in its infancy. Membrane technology for production of nitrogen is highly developed, but additional research and development is needed to permit the production of oxygen from air using membranes, since the percentage of oxygen in air is much lower. The potential for commercial application of the knowledge acquired while developing membrane technology for shipboard use extends across the commercial oxygen industry.




KEYWORDS: oxygen generator; membrane; pressure swing absorption; cryogenics; On-Board; Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS); nitrogen

N01-065 TITLE: High Temperature Pipe and Equipment Insulation

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an easily applied and maintainable, high-temperature (600F) pipe and equipment insulation for military ship application. The insulation must be durable, repairable, and must meet all current and anticipated environmental regulations.

DESCRIPTION: The high-temperature insulation material currently used on naval ships and submarines involve a labor-intensive process for initial installation. The material is also thick and takes up large volume of space aboard the ships. The insulation is used for personnel safety. A new high-temperature insulation is needed that can be easily sprayed or applied by brush to various shapes and size components and/or pipe configurations, as well as not induce/promote corrosion of these components. The materials should require less thickness than the current product to obtain the same insulation factor. The new insulation must be tough and be able to survive mechanical hits and not chip off. Reparability of the insulation is also important. Ship's force should be able to make repairs to the insulation while deployed. The material should environmentally friendly, not burn or off-gas hazardous fumes when exposed to flames. The possible outcome of such use could include:

* Reduced maintenance for ship's force

* Longer service life than the currently utilized insulation materials

* Improved reliability and performance

* Improved sailor quality of life and safety

* Ease of installation and maintenance of product

* Improved geometries and configurations of machinery spaces and engine rooms due to reduction of thicknesses

* Due to reduction in thickness, may lend itself to use of NDE techniques to determine under insulation corrosion of components.

Phase I: Develop and demonstrate feasibility in accomplishing preliminary testing of insulation as a prove concept. Feasibility shall include, but not limited to time and ease of installation, ease of repair, ease of removal, cost of material(s) and labor, need for specialty tools, need for specialty training for installation, and anticipated service life expectancy.

Phase II: Fabricate insulation and install on land-based large scale piping for testing physical properties, insulation characteristics, and installation concepts. Further testing will be accomplished to determine resistance to damage and reparability. For submarine use, off-gas testing is imperative. Develop more specific cost data of material, labor, and installation procedures.

Phase III: Full scale demonstration and develop transition plan from research project to full-scale production.

COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: The potential users of this material include all Navy ships, including submarines, with potential commercial application to power stations and high temperature chemical facilities.


  1. Naval Ships Technical Manual Chapter 635, "Thermal, Fire, and Acoustic Insulation", Rev. 2, 28 July 1998, S9086-VH-STM-010/Chpt 635.

KEYWORDS: Insulation; High-temperature; Pipes; Military Ship Application; Personnel Safety

N01-066 TITLE: Fully Automated Cargo Handling System

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


OBJECTIVE: To design and test an advanced, low maintenance, survivable, highly dexterous fully automated cargo handling system for ship material handling and inventorying.

DESCRIPTION: Conventional handling of cargo/stores aboard ship requires major manpower and time. Pallets of cargo are brought on board and must be moved by forklift trucks to the respective conveyor for strikedown. The majority of existing conveyors are package conveyors capable of handling 85, 100, or 175-pound packages. Pallets must be broken down and the cargo/stores are placed on conveyor trays one box at a time. This requires large working parties (upwards of 400 personnel) and consumes a considerable amount of time and is a detriment to quality of life. Due to excessive number of personnel used for extended hours to support the existing shipboard on-load efforts to manually transport the cargo received, risk of serious injuries greatly increases. The automation of this system will enhance the quality of life on board ships by increasing safety to the operators and decreasing time and amount of manual labor by at least 70%. The system will be required to have the feature to automatically catalog inventory, (i.e. use a bar scanner to control inventory). This is intended to decreasing the time for the supply division to maintain inventory records and ordering supplies and food.

The CVNX Operational Requirement Document (ORD) specifies the following replenishment objectives:

- Replenish underway (combined connected and vertical) sufficient to resupply all goods, fluids, and return retrograde within 3.1 hours after 5 days at 310 aircraft sorties per day with 90% of aircraft being rearmed between sorties.

- Strike-down and strike-up of all goods without encumbering essential warfighting processes and shall equal the rate of receipt of material aboard the ship.

- Material stowage and handling rate will be at least 290 lifts per hour.

This requirement is currently unachievable. The system will allow for continuous movement of cargo/stores to avoid moving the bottleneck from one location to another. The horizontal conveyance will have independent paths that will be capable of moving in either direction. This will increase strikedown capability and also provide redundancy in the event of a failure. It is critical to realize this concept should not only move cargo but store or retrieval of the stores and control inventory. For example this system will have to originate from several central stations that all cargo/stores will have to go through. It is envisioned that pallets will be scanned and will then be transported on horizontal conveyance to the appropriate vertical conveyance to the appropriate storeroom. Scanning will also occur in the storeroom, and this scan will be compared to the first to ensure accuracy of scanning. Upon a satisfactory check between the two scans, the item will be entered into the inventory. The pallet will then be stored and its location will be recorded. This system will also be required to retrieve a full or a partial pallet of cargo.

PHASE I: Conduct design studies of developmental technology and concepts of moving cargo with a fully automated cargo handling system. Detail reporting of selection of concepts, materials, and components will be required.

PHASE II: Develop a working model, scaled in size to facilitate mounting on a ship motion simulator. The model will demonstrate the fully automated movement of cargo/stores from delivery on ship to store room. The model will show how inventory control and ordering will be controlled.

PHASE III: Construct a full-scale system to be used as a land based test site through support of the Advanced Technology Demonstration. Or other DoD sponsored program.

COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: This technology could be utilized in a very wide range of applications in the commercial sector.

KEYWORDS: Conveyors; automation; bar scanners; vertical; horizontal; safety

N01-067 TITLE:
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