DARPA 2012 budget details project accomplishments and plans – a selection of nanotech and quantum related projects

DARPA has proposed 2012 budget which includes a review of projects and what was achieved in 2010 and what is being done in 2011 and what is planned for 2012 (380 pages). Budget is about $3 billion per year. Here I look at a selection of projects that are nanotech and quantum related projects.

Tip-Based Nanofabrication (TBN)

FY 2010 5.895 million
FY 2011 11.618 million
FY 2012 4.606 million

Description: The Tip-Based Nanofabrication (TBN) program will develop the capability to use Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilevers and tips to controllably manufacture nano-scale structures such as nanowires, nanotubes, and quantum dots for selected defense applications. These applications include optical and biological sensors, diode lasers, light emitting diodes, infrared sensors, high density interconnects, and quantum computing.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Fabricated multi-tip arrays (5 tips) for parallel manufacturing of locally-controlled nanostructures.
– Demonstrated repeatable processes for fabrication of nanowires, quantum dots and other nanostructures with the ability to
intentionally fabricate structures with different dimensions or other characteristics side-by-side.
– Identified a specific nano-device, a Kane Q-bit, to use as the objective for all future TBN metrics and activities.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Fabricate a 30-tip array and an associated tool and manufacturing process.
– Demonstrate operation of multi-tip arrays over extended periods of time for use in manufacturing complex components.
– Demonstrate precision and control of the process and functionality of the resulting devices.
– Develop semiconducting nanowires, graphene ribbons, quantum dots, q-bits, carbon nanotubes and other structures for specific device applications.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Use TBN-developed semiconducting nanowires, graphene ribbons, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes and other structures to build devices such as a single-electron transistor or Kane qu-bit.

Kane Quantum computer at wikipedia

The Kane quantum computer is a proposal for a scalable quantum computer proposed by Bruce Kane in 1998, then at the University of New South Wales. Often thought of as a hybrid between quantum dot and NMR quantum computers, the Kane computer is based on an array of individual phosphorus donor atoms embedded in a pure silicon lattice. Both the nuclear spins of the donors and the spins of the donor electrons participate in the computation.

The original proposal calls for phosphorus donors to be placed in an array with a spacing of 20 nm, approximately 20 nm below the surface. An insulating oxide layer is grown on top of the silicon. Metal A gates are deposited on the oxide above each donor, and J gates between adjacent donors.

Using the nuclear spin of the P donors as a method to encode qubits has two major advantages. Firstly, the state has an extremely long decoherence time, perhaps on the order of 1018 seconds at millikelvin temperatures. Secondly, the qubits may be manipulated by applying an oscillating magnetic field, as in typical NMR proposals. By altering the voltage on the A gates, it should be possible to alter the Larmor frequency of individual donors. This allows them to be addressed individually, by bringing specific donors into resonance with the applied oscillating magnetic field.

Nuclear spins alone will not interact significantly with other nuclear spins 20 nm away. Nuclear spin is useful to perform single-qubit operations, but to make a quantum computer, two-qubit operations are also required.

Optical Radiation Cooling and Heating in Integrated Devices (ORCHID)

Description: The objective of the Optical Radiation Cooling and Heating in Integrated Devices (ORCHID) program is to leverage advances in photonics and micro-fabrication to develop integrated chips capable of exploiting quantum optomechanical applications. Although light is usually thought of as carrying energy but relatively little momentum, light confined to a high-finesse cavity can exert significant force on the cavity mirrors. When the mirror is allowed to vibrate by coupling it to a mechanical (springlike) system, energy can be transferred between coupled optomechanical resonators. Depending on the detuning of the cavity, one can obtain either damping (cooling) or amplification (heating) of the mirror motion. Notable achievements in this field are the demonstration of mirror cooling (damping of the internal degree of motion) to sub-Kelvin (6 mK) temperatures and demonstration of radiation driven high-Q, high-frequency (1 GHz) oscillators. With sufficiently high cavity finesse and Q’s of the mechanical system, it is possible to reach a regime in which the mirror motion is no longer thermally limited. Instead, it becomes limited by the quantum mechanical radiation pressure force. Once this limit is reached, it is possible to take advantage of quantum mechanical effects without having to cool the system. It is anticipated this will result in a new generation of mass-sensing devices and ultra high-Q, high-frequency resonators controlled by light. In optical systems, it will be possible to efficiently squeeze light beyond the standard shot-noise limit producing light sources for infrared detection and quantum information applications.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Demonstrated resonant frequency of 10 megahertz (MHz).
– Demonstrated Mechanical Q of 1×10^6.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Demonstrate cavity finesse of 1×10^5.
– Demonstrate mirror effective mass of 1 nanogram.
– Demonstrate resonant frequency of 100 MHz.
– Demonstrate Mechanical Q of 1×10^7.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Demonstrate an opto-mechanical oscillator with frequency > 10 GHz.
– Demonstrate an optical switch with switching time < 100 ns. - Demonstrate conditional squeezing between transmitted light and mechanical element. - Demonstrate an opto-mechanical mass sensor with 10 zeptogram sensitivity.

Nanoscale/Bio-inspired and MetaMaterials

Fy 2010 9.255 million
FY 2011 9.567 million
FY 2012 8.000 million

Description: The research in this thrust area exploits advances in nanoscale and bio-inspired materials, including computationally based materials science, in order to develop unique microstructures and material properties. This area also includes efforts to develop the underlying physics for the behavior of materials whose properties have been engineered at the nanoscale level (metamaterials) and materials exhibiting a permanent electric charge (charged matter).

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Developed new material compositions with optical transmission comparable to spinel and doubled mechanical strength, and thermal shock capabilities over single crystal sapphire.
– Initiated fabrication of new materials into hemispherical domes with decreased optical scatter, doubled mechanical strength, and doubled thermal shock capabilities over single crystal sapphire.
– Characterized the material properties of nano-crystalline dome materials through testing in relevant military environments.
– Demonstrated understanding of biophotonic structure/function relationship and design requirements for index/structure actuation.
– Demonstrated initial design and fabrication of biophotonic structures.
– Initiated development of the capability to compute material properties as a function of the microstructural architectural parameters that govern them, and the extent to which material properties can be modified through the manipulation of these parameters.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Identify the strength-limiting flaws in nano-composite optical ceramics through fractographic analysis and relate to processing conditions.
– Demonstrate control of fabrication of biophotonic structures.
– Demonstrate physical and/or chemical activation of biophotonic structures.
– Identify expected physical (and/or chemical) sensitivity in terms of reflectance change noted (percent change in reflectance/Volt, percent change in reflectance/molecule adsorbed).
– Initiate establishment of experimental fabrication methodologies with level of control needed to produce the materials with
architectural features necessary to exhibit predicted properties.
– Demonstrate by computation that selected properties may be independently manipulated as a function of identified architectural parameters, to a regime currently unachievable.
– Demonstrate fabrication methodologies to create the microstructural features with level of control predicted through computation necessary to achieve superior structural/functional properties.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Initiate fabrication of materials with architectural features necessary to exhibit predicted properties.
– Experimentally characterize effects of varying architectural features on selected material properties.
– Perform sensitivity analyses to develop and validate optimization algorithms for material properties.
– Initiate development of multidimensional architecture-to-property design space fabrication of materials with architectural features necessary to exhibit predicted properties

Fundamentals of Nanoscale and Emergent Effects and Engineered Devices

FY 2010 13.790 million
FY 2011 16.745 million
FY 2012 15.308 million

Description: The Fundamentals of Nanoscale and Emergent Effects and Engineered Devices program seeks to understand and exploit physical phenomena for developing more efficient and powerful devices. This includes developing devices and structures to enable controllable photonic devices at multiple wavelengths, engineering palladium microstructures with large deuterium loadings to study absorption thermodynamics and effects, enabling real-time detection as well as analysis of signals and molecules and origin of emergent behavior in correlated electron devices. Arrays of engineered nanoscale devices will result in an order of magnitude (10 to 100 times) reduction in the time required for analysis and identification of known and unknown (engineered) molecules. This program will develop novel nanomaterials for exquisitely precise purification of materials, enabling such diverse applications as oxygen generation and desalination, ultra-high sensitivity magnetic sensors, and correlated electron effects such as superconductivity. This program will compare the phenomenology of various biological, physical and social systems and abstract the common features that are responsible for their properties of self-organization and emergent behavior.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Demonstrated, in a laboratory environment, low power room temperature single magnetic sensors based on atomic vapor cell magnetometry and on multiferroic composites with sensitivities of 100 femtotesla root mean square (rms) per square root hertz (the earth’s magnetic field strength varies with location between 30 to 60 microtesla, by comparison).
– Demonstrated an array of magnetic sensors with an overall sensitivity of 1 picotesla rms per square root hertz based on multiferroic composites at a frequency of 1 hertz.
– Demonstrated an array of magnetic sensors with an overall sensitivity of 1 picotesla rms per square root hertz based on atomic vapor cell magnetometry at a frequency of 1 hertz.
– Evaluated a broad array of natural phenomena and associated theories addressing the spontaneous creation of structure in the natural world, particularly from fields of thermodynamics, evolution, information, and computation.
– Investigated candidate electronic and chemical systems that are capable of self-organizing when placed in a complex environment; used computer simulation to select/refine/improve the candidate systems for further development.
– Developed initial analytical tools to measure physical intelligence, and show how these tools relate the activities of a physically intelligent entity to the environment in which it exists.
– Quantified the effects of the substrate material composition and microstructure on deposited palladium particle size; and their effects on the capability to generate excess heat collaboratively with Italian Department of Energy.
– Quantified the required dynamic loading and relaxation conditions for high surface area palladium foils required to achieve high levels of deuterium loading that will tolerate the stresses associated with these conditions in collaboration with the Italian Department of Energy.

FY 2011 Plans:

– Demonstrate a 50% yield for the fabrication of the magnetic sensors based on multiferroic composites, in a lot size of 10 units which have outputs (volt/tesla values) within a ± 10 percent of the specification.
– Demonstrate a 50% yield for the fabrication of the magnetic sensors based on atomic vapor cells, in a lot size of 10 units which
have outputs (volt/tesla values) within a ± 10 percent of the specification.
– Demonstrate a multiferroic magnetic sensor with an optical circuit read-out.
– Create an initial version of a unified theory of physical intelligence and show how it is consistent with the established theories on which it was constructed.
– Using a combination of simulation and real system hardware, conduct a limited demonstration of a physical intelligent electronic or chemical system imbedded in an environment of limited complexity.
– Evaluate the initial physical intelligence theory’s ability to describe the candidate electronic and chemical systems.
– Refine analytical tools to measure intelligence and demonstrate them on complex, real world systems and their associated data (e.g., biological networks, internet traffic).
– Develop more complex demonstrations and extend the theoretical and analytical tools to more complex systems.
– Quantify material parameters that control degree of increase in excess heat generation and life expectancy of power cells in collaboration with the Italian Department of Energy.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Demonstrate a fieldable magnetic sensor using multiferroic composite structures with a sensitivity of 0.1 femtotesla rms per square root hertz at a frequency of 1 hertz.
– Demonstrate a fieldable magnetic sensor using atomic vapor cells with a sensitivity of 0.1 femtotesla rms per square root hertz at a frequency of 1 hertz.
– Design a magnetic field gradient imaging array with elements that have sensitivities of 0.1 femtotesla rms per square root hertz for use in imaging low-frequency magnetic anomalies.
– Verify the initial unified physical intelligence theory and justify its underlying assumptions in the context of a model system that supports the emergence and evolution of novel structure.
– Expand the theoretical effort to address correlated effects such as self-organized criticality renormalization, scaling, and punctuated equilibrium.
– In real electro-chemical-physical systems that may include selected human interventions, demonstrate the spontaneous, abiotic evolution in any one of: biopolymers targeted against trace biochemical features in the environment; hydrocarbons from atmosphere, H2O, and sunlight in the environment; electrical networks that route information/energy to solve thermodynamic problems imposed by the structure of the environment; spontaneous information association capability (e.g. holography) in physical or chemical systems near a phase transition or other critical state in the presence of complex spatial/temporal electromagnetic and optical environments; complex spatial and temporal organization of non-equilibrium chemical reactions that are coupled to complex, adaptive electronic systems.
– Demonstrate the ability to design an evolving electro-chemical-physical system and direct its evolution toward human-specified objectives.
– Quantify the emergent structures that evolve from the demonstrated electro-chemical-physical systems.
– Establish scalability and scaling parameters in excess heat generation processes in collaboration with the Italian Department of Energy.

Atomic Scale Materials and Devices

FY 2010 13.546
FY 2011 15.030
FY 2012 6.680

Description: This thrust examines the fundamental physics of materials at the atomic scale in order to develop new devices and capabilities. A major emphasis of this thrust is to provide the theoretical and experimental underpinnings of a new class of semiconductor electronics based on spin degree of freedom of the electron, in addition to (or in place of) the charge. A new all optical switch capability will also be investigated. It includes a new, non-invasive method to directly hyperpolarize biological tissues, leading to novel quantitative neurodiagnostics. Research on the basic physics and scaling of ionospheric processes utilizing the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter will also be explored. New materials and prototype devices will be developed to demonstrate a new class of optoelectronics that operate with ultra-low energy dissipation (~100 atom-Joules (aJ)/operation).

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Developed spin gradient thermometry and demagnetization cooling techniques in ultracold atoms in an optical lattice.
– Demonstrated a quantum gas microscope capable of imaging individual atoms in a 2-D optical lattice.
– Emulated a frustrated quantum spin model using ion crystal array in three hours, confirming theoretical calculations to better than 92%.
– Demonstrated an initial zeno-based switch using slot waveguides coated or filled with organic nonlinear absorptive materials.
– Created a photonic crystal zeno mirror and waveguide with cavity Q > 1000, and loss < 0.1 Decibel (dB). - Generated and focused X-rays with specific state(s) of orbital angular momentum. FY 2011 Plans: - Demonstrate production of antiferromagnetically ordered states in 2-D and 3-D optical lattices. - Study and characterize supersolid behavior in multi-spin Bose condensates. - Produce phase diagrams of frustrated 2-D antiferromagnet in less than twelve hours. - Produce phase diagrams of 2-D Fermi-Hubbard model at near half-filling; determine presence or absence of superconducting phase. - Demonstrate all-optical switch (or equivalent device) based on optically-induced absorption. - Demonstrate total energy dissipation for an optical switch (or equivalent device) of less than 1 femtojoules per operation, and signal loss of less than 0.1 dB, excluding waveguide losses before and after device. - Demonstrate hyperpolarization of biologically relevant liquids, using photons with orbital angular momentum and measure the hydrogen and carbon-13 polarization. - Obtain hydrogen and carbon-13 spectra from biologically relevant liquid sample using quantum orbital resonance spectroscopy. FY 2012 Plans: - Load polar molecules into optical lattices to study long range character and ordering inside the optical lattice. - Demonstrate all-optical switch (or equivalent device) based on optically-induced absorption for a 25 nm range in input wavelength. - Demonstrate total energy dissipation for an optical switch (or equivalent device) of less than 100 attojoules per operation, and signal loss of less than 0.05 dB, excluding waveguide losses before and after device.

Basic Photon Science

FY 2011 12 million
FY 2012 21.5 million

Description: Initiated under the fundamentals of nanoscale Devices effort, the Basic Photon Science thrust is examining the fundamental science of photons, from their inherent information carrying capability (both quantum mechanically and classically), to novel modulation techniques using not only amplitude and phase, but also orbital angular momentum. The new capabilities driven by this science will impact DoD through potentially novel approaches to communications and imaging applications, in addition to better understanding the physical limits of such advancement. For example, fully exploiting the computational imaging paradigm and associated emerging technologies to yield ultra-low size, weight, and power persistent/multi-functional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems that greatly enhance soldier awareness, capability, security, and survivability.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Investigate the theoretical and practical limits to the information content of a single photon via rigorous application of information theory.
– Investigate the utility of information theoretic approach for design and improved receivers for high data rate communications.
– Investigate the utility of information theoretic approach for improved low-light level imaging.
– Develop the basic science required for the exploitation of orbital angular momentum in both the classical and quantum realms.
– Identify fundamental limits of computational imaging by quantifying the space of cost and performance.
– Develop the mathematical tools required to facilitate the joint optimization of physical and computational degrees of freedom.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Investigate the practical limits to the information content of a single photon via inclusion of various real-world imperfections.
– Demonstrate the utility of information theoretic approach via highly photon efficient communications.
– Demonstrate the utility of information theoretic approach via improved low-light level imaging.
– Demonstrate the benefit of orbital angular momentum for communications applications.
– Characterize surfaces of constant performance in the space of camera cost factors including optics, focal planes, and
– Study the fundamental limits of wafer scale optical fabrication and the capabilities of in situ 3-D optical metrology.
– Investigate novel non-imaging measurements enabled by 3-D design and fabrication.
– Develop a collection of candidate computational camera designs that yield high performance and low size, weight and power.

Enabling Quantum Technologies

FY 2010 4
FY 2011 6
FY 2012 14

Description: This thrust emphasizes a quantum focus on technology capabilities including significantly improved single photon sources, detectors, and associated devices useful for quantum metrology, communications, and imaging applications. In addition, this thrust will examine other novel classes of materials and phenomena such as plasmons or Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC) that have the potential to provide novel capabilities in the quantum regime, such as GPS-independent navigation via atom interferometry and communications, and ultrafast laser technologies.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Designed and modeled two hybrid quantum interfaces that use ultracold atoms as magnetic sensors for nuclear spins and strongly-correlated materials.
– Designed a mechanical interface to transfer quantum information with high fidelity between optical and microwave photons.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Design a physics package for an optical clock including lasers, optomechanics, associated electronics, and environmental isolation and control subsystems.
– Determine the mechanical stability of doped-crystal Fabry-Perot optical cavities for use in time and frequency transfer between optical clocks.
– Investigate techniques to improve the coherence properties of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) diamond nanocrystals for use in high resolution magnetometry.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Trap single atoms near the surface of a metal nanotip. Demonstrate coherent readout and control of atomic state.
– Investigate Doppler-free two photon transitions in atomic vapor cells for use as an optical frequency standard.
– Demonstrate coherent transfer of classical information between optical and microwave fields via a nanomechanical interface.
– Demonstrate an entangled/squeezed quantum sensor that operates below the standard quantum limit.
– Demonstrate a magnetometer with sensitivity 0.1 nanotesla/square root hertz with < 2 micron resolution. - Investigate the feasibility of high average power, ultrafast laser architectures suitable for high throughput industrial micromachining. - Explore schemes extending frequency combs from the extreme UV into the medium wavelength infrared (MWIR) and long wavelength infrared (LWIR) spectral regimes for applications of interest to the DoD. - Examine the utility of robust, compact attosecond probes for real-time control of atomic excitations, valence electron dynamics, and transport phenomena in ultra dense matter. - Expand the use of analog quantum simulators to the study of nonlinear optical materials and nuclear systems. - Develop technologies to enable physically separated parties to securely generate identical one-time pad pairs at Gigabit per second (Gb/s) rates. - Develop and demonstrate scalable architecture, capable of extending the range of quantum communications from 100 km to 5000 km.

Fundamentals of Physical Phenomena*
Description: *Previously included in Fundamentals of Nanoscale and Emergent Effects and Engineered Devices, and Atomic Scale Materials and Devices.

FY 2010 6.570
FY 2011 9.712
FY 2012 10.018

This thrust will obtain insights into physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning, and geo-physical phenomena. A major emphasis of this thrust is to provide predictive models for the interactions between plasmas and electromagnetic waves across a range of energy and length scales, and into new regimes. Specific projects that fall under this heading are foundational studies on: the initiation, propagation, and attachment of lightning, and their associated emissions; the critical factors affecting magnetospheric sub-storms; the generation and amplification of extremely low frequency (ELF)/ultra
low frequency (ULF)/very low frequency (VLF) radiation in the ionosphere utilizing the High Frequency Active Aural Research Program (HAARP) transmitter; and understanding and quantifying the interaction of electromagnetic and acoustic waves with the plasma in flames.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Initiated a series of HAARP experimental campaigns to study ionospheric and trans-ionospheric phenomena, including: optimization of high frequency to very low frequency conversion efficiency, wave-particle interaction, generation and propagation of ultra low frequencies, very low frequencies and artificial ducts, triggering and characterization of specific ionospheric instabilities.
– Developed theoretical models for triggered lightning, transient luminous events, lightning-induced electron precipitation and related ionospheric phenomena.
– Developed theoretical models for lightning initiation, propagation, and attachment.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Conduct a comprehensive series of ELF/ULF/VLF generation experiments to study the efficiency of density pre-conditioning.
– Characterize ionospheric current drive (ICD), artificially stimulated emissions in the ionosphere, and ionospheric turbulence and associated scintillations.
– Equip at least two facilities capable of launching rockets every thirty seconds in order to trigger lightning and measure all associated phenomena, including the initiation, propagation, attachment processes as well as all associated emissions such as gamma rays, RF and high power electromagnetic pulse.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Conduct comprehensive HAARP-ULF experiments to study the onset of noise under a variety of space-weather conditions.
– Conduct a series of experiments to inject VLF waves into artificial ducts.
– Develop, implement and test a continuously-operational, extensive array of instruments which will measure all atmospheric and electromagnetic components of tropospheric lightning and correlate this phenomenon with various ionospheric events.
– Deploy balloons into thunderstorms to make in-situ electric field, X-ray and gamma-ray measurements.
– Develop and deploy a constellation of receivers to study the radio emissions generated by lightning and associated ionospheric events.

MesoDynamical Architectures (Meso)*
Description: *Formerly Dynamics-Enabled Frequency Sources (DEFYS).

FY 2010 8.889
FY 2011 20.000
FY 2012 22.000

The MesoDynamical Architectures (Meso) program will enable a new generation of sensing, communication, and computation by exploiting quantum collective behaviors. The program will achieve beyond-classical functionality in a number of devices and technologies, including transistors, broadband detectors, and high-efficiency thermal conductors. The majority of devices are expected to involve intrinsic (meso) scales in the nanometer to micrometer range and operate at room temperature. The program will exploit the recently discovered topologically insulating state of matter and use mechanisms in four related thrusts: the strong nonlinearities and fluctuations inherent to the mesoscale, quantum collective behaviors, efficient information transduction between fields and excitations (acoustic, electric, and optical), and coherent feedback control. This program also incorporates recent advances in very small mechanical systems, nonlinear dynamics, and noise management to revolutionize performance of reference oscillators. Since oscillators are a building block of modern electronics any uncertainty in frequency they produce will limit performance of the larger system including: radars, communications, sensors and geo-positioning devices. The exotic and novel devices enabled will provide new opportunities in both the military and commercial sectors.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Initiated program with focus on exploiting nonlinear mechanisms to reduce oscillator phase noise.
– Completed device designs and simulations.
– Completed initial designs for maintaining performance in high acceleration/vibration environments.
– Determined approaches for maintaining performance over a large temperature range.
– Completed design for an optical coherent feedback controller and began building architecture for single controller demonstration.
– Completed designs for two new devices based on collective coherence: Topological Quantum Interference Device and highdensity, low power magnetic memory.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Demonstrate performance improvements by exploiting nonlinear mechanisms.
– Complete designs and simulations for using noise shaping to further reduce phase noise.
– Improve acceleration and vibration tolerance.
– Improve temperature stability.
– Meet device size requirement.
– Demonstrate first generation of devices in the nonlinearity and fluctuation thrusts maintain performance despite acceleration/ vibrations and temperature variations.
– Define spectrum of devices to be produced in collective coherence, information transduction, and control thrusts.
– Complete initial designs and simulations of devices in all thrusts.

Materials Processing and Manufacturing

FY 2010 16.300
FY 2011 14.034
FY 2012 11.000
Description: The Materials Processing and Manufacturing thrust is exploring new manufacturing and processing approaches that will dramatically lower the cost and decrease the time it takes to fabricate DoD systems. It will also develop approaches that yield new materials and materials capabilities that cannot be made through conventional processing approaches as well as address efficient, low-volume manufacturing. Included are disruptive manufacturing approaches for raw materials and components, advanced carbon fiber material, and manufacturable gradient index optics.

FY 2010 Accomplishments:
– Synthesized new high molecular weight carbon fiber polymer precursor materials dispersed with additives to enhance fiber strength and stiffness in downstream processing.
– Demonstrated ability to characterize flaws in carbon fiber at all scales relevant to strength and stiffness performance (i.e., nano-, micro-, and macro-sized defects).
– Demonstrated ability to control defect type, size, and concentration to optimize carbon fiber properties.
– Transitioned non-autoclave tooling and materials/processes to large-scale polymer matrix composite (PMC) fabricators.
– Produced functional, integrally cored molds suitable for turbine foil casting trials at commercial foundry.
– Demonstrated out-of-the-autoclave PMC curing capability to fabricate large complex parts such as co-cured rib/spar structures and multi-pocketed sandwich structures for a high-altitude, long-endurance vertical tail aircraft.
– Initiated development of optical design tools with incorporated material properties and fabrication parameters.
– Exploited new capabilities in design and fabrication to spatially control the index of refraction in materials, resulting in the demonstration of a prototype short wave infrared (SWIR) lens made with gradient index (GRIN) materials.

FY 2011 Plans:
– Initiate carbon nanotube templating as a means of alleviating nano-scale defects and enhancing carbon fiber tensile strength and modulus.
– Enhance carbon fiber properties via cross-planar bonding.
– Start evaluation and testing by Air Force Composites Testing Lab to establish first generation advanced carbon fiber insertion points within Air Force systems.
– Demonstrate successful casting of superalloy turbine blades using ceramic molds made or produced via direct digital manufacturing.
– Demonstrate fabrication of large composite wing (at the 50 ft x 10 ft scale) and a complex polymer composite structure using the out-of-the-autoclave process for High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) prototype aircraft.
– Demonstrate GRIN lenses in imaging and non-imaging applications such as a high-resolution imager for micro-UAV and solid state-tracking solar concentrator, and demonstrate the manufacture of custom lenses in single- and high-volume lots.
– Demonstrate expanded range and rate of refractive index gradient through new materials development or processes.
– Develop and test new metrology for GRIN materials and optics.
– Produce scale to manufacturing plan including cost model and risk management plan.

FY 2012 Plans:
– Demonstrate microstructure/property/process relationship needed for overcoming critical defect limitations in carbon fiber performance for structural applications.
Demonstrate carbon fiber with 100 percent improvement in strength and 50 percent improvement in stiffness over today’s stateof-the-art high-performance structural carbon fibers.
– Demonstrate scalability of fiber production process for structural carbon fiber in suitable quantities for small-lot manufacturing.
– Demonstrate proof of concept for disruptive manufacturing of ceramic matrix composites.
– Significantly accelerate the speed and accuracy of modeling and simulation tools in the design of electromechanical systems.
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