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Achievement Award Winners

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2000 Award Recipients

Enhanced Manufacturing Processes for Body Armor Materials

This award-winning DoD-university-industry team developed and matured a revolutionary manufacturing technology that advanced optics polishing from an art to a science. The computer-controlled deterministic optical finishing technology, magnetorheological finishing (MRF), makes possible an affordable manufacturing process for producing the high precision optics that are required to enhance the target acquisition, identification, surveillance, and communication capabilities of today's and tomorrow's soldiers and their weapon systems.

MRF is truly revolutionary. Its extreme accuracy and computer-controlled stability makes the fabrication and polishing of exceptionally precise spherical, aspheric, and non-traditional free-form optical shapes possible. Its technology enables improvements for all optical and electro-optical systems and has application in both military and commercial applications. MRF will enable new technologies and special-use optical products that are being developed for miniaturized optoelectromechanical systems, megapixal recording devices, optical communications, computer storage, and integrated circuit fabrication.

As a result of this ManTech project, the magnetorheological-finishing machine is commercially available and has received industry-wide acclaim. Every manufacturer of photolithographic optics and several major precision optics shops in the U.S. have already installed multiple MRF machines to produce ultra-high precision spheres and aspheres. Over 30 of QED Technologies' Q22 MRF machines are now on the shop floor!

Government / Industry Team Members:

Flexible Manufacture of Microwave Vacuum Devices

Microwave devices are used in over half of the current DoD weapon systems. It is estimated that even if no new devices were used, sustainment would require a supply of microwave vacuum devices at least until 2030. Because the overlap of commercial and defense markets is less than 20%, DoD cannot leverage commercial-off-the-shelf suppliers to provide cost effective, state-of-the-art devices.

This award-winning team, under the leadership of ACI, worked on manufacturing improvements for devices used in critical segments of the power/frequency spectrum. CPI focused on the higher frequency (millimeter wave) region, developing a manufacturing capability for cost effective coupled cavity devices. Northrop Grumman focused on the development of manufacturing improvements of lower frequency, C band, devices for microwave power modules. The Teledyne effort focused on the manufacturing process for the mid frequency, Ka and Ku band, and specifically the manufacture and test of the critical helix element. Each company held Tech Talks to brief the other technical and programmatic members of the U.S. microwave tube industry, and others interested in microwave device manufacture.

The net result of this project has been greatly reduced cost and increased yield of traveling wave tube (TWT) devices for critical military applications, and the creation of an on-shore source for devices previously imported from Europe.

Government / Industry Team Members:

2000 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award Nominees

The manufacturing technology project nominees that were considered for the second annual award were completed and/or demonstrated in FY99 or FY00. The nominees were:

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