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NEWS | Sept. 28, 2021

NSWCPD ADAPT.VE Lab Leads in Collaboration, Adaptation, and Innovation Efforts

By Adrien Ussery

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) Advanced Data Acquisition Prototyping Technology Virtual Environments (ADAPT.VE) team provides unmatched research, experimentation, development capabilities, innovative engineering techniques, along with unique materials, tools, and resources for various Naval organizations. This unparalleled team of engineers and researchers addresses pressing obsolescence challenges and takes on reverse engineering, prototyping, and data management projects.

Inevitably, as the world around us transforms, we are forced to advance our capabilities and technologies to remain prominent leaders of the free world. NSWCPD continues to be a key player in this effort to retain the American advantage.

“Ultimately, our aim is to continuously provide our fleet and our people with the tools, resources, and information to more effectively and efficiently carry out their missions,” explains Patrick Violante, team lead of the ADAPT.VE Lab.

A critical component of the fleet Violante references are the In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEA) teams for Hull, Mechanical & Electrical (HM&E) systems. This group works tirelessly to maintain naval fleet readiness and preparedness while simultaneously supporting current deployments.

Tasked with supporting the ISEAs, the ADAPT.VE team develops Technical Data Packages (TDPs), handles reverse engineering and prototyping designs, along with research and development (R&D) projects. Through this aid, the NSWCPD ISEAs are able to carry out their missions smoothly and promptly. Many ADAPT.VE team members were once ISEAs themselves; so, supporting their former units brings many a sense of satisfaction and community.

"I remember first coming to ADAPT.VE and being shocked at all the ventures and projects we take on." Salvatore (Sal) DeSantis, ADAPT.VE mechanical engineer reminisced, "I kept running into resources we have in ADAPT.VE and just thinking 'wow, I wish I had known about these capabilities, it could have been so beneficial when I was carrying out my ISEA assignments.' Now, I want to be able to provide other ISEAs with solutions and show them the ingenuity of our lab."

Violante highlighted one of the team’s ingenious solutions with an anecdote about the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001). In 2018, the Michael Monsoor experienced what would later be described as “catastrophic failure,” in one of the gas turbine engines during its sea trials.

Generally, a situation such as this would cost the Navy millions of dollars and hundreds of man-hours to remedy. However, the NSWCPD ADAPT.VE lab stepped in with a resourceful solution – using 3-Dimensional (3D) Laser scanning to map an extraction route for the failed turbine, then used that data to create a virtual simulation of said removal prior to the physical removal taking place.

A small team of ADAPT.VE engineers traveled between Bath Iron Works and NSWCPD to map the “entire removal path, both MTG-1 and MTG-2 engine modules [gas turbines] along with both engines, the mock engine, the removal rails, and the scaffolding.” From there, the ADAPT.VE team worked with Bath Iron Works and Supervisors of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) to safely and swiftly remove the turbine. Not only did the ADAPT.VE team save the Navy over ten million dollars and untold man-hours, but the team’s solution also significantly reduced the overall risk of engine removal.

When asked about the frequency of collaborations such as this, Phil Greiner, ADAPT.VE mechanical engineer, explains, “Absolutely not, we’ve worked with everyone -- Every warfare center, all four shipyards, and the four Regional Maintenance Centers (RMCs),”

Greiner laughs, “We’ve worked with everyone from Spain to Japan.”

Uniquely positioned, NSWCPD’s ADAPT.VE lab has the ability to tackle challenges anywhere and everywhere, from Philadelphia’s own naval yard to Japan’s Ship Repair Facility and Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC). The spirit of collaboration and community forms the driving force behind the ADAPT.VE Lab.

“Our successes are predicated by and built upon a foundation of the expansive relationships we sustain.” Patrick Violante affirms.

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