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NEWS | June 1, 2023

NSWC Crane employee part of collaborative Army, Navy Hypersonic team recognized nationally for transferring technology

By Sarah K. Miller, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

CRANE, Ind. – A Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employee is a member of a multi-agency team that was recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) during its 2023 National Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio on March 28-30. Members from Sandia National Laboratories, Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Strategic Systems Programs, and Naval Sea System Program received FLC’s 2023 Interagency Partnership Award for advancing hypersonics technology.

Patrick Shaffer, Distinguished Engineer for Hypersonics at NSWC Crane, provided initial team direction and conceived technology transfer workshops held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This initial direction enabled Sandia National Laboratories, other defense industry partners, and service staff to begin the process of detailed design discovery—which is a necessary element of technology transfer. These first avionics workshops formed the basis of a large scale technology transfer effort that resulted in the transfer of all responsibility for production, assembly, and checkout—making sure all parts, including software, work together—of the common hypersonic glide body by a military industry partner.

Shaffer says it is an honor to be a member of the team that was recognized for this critical effort.

“It was a pleasure to work with an immensely talented and dedicated group of people that successfully transitioned a prototype design to a product that was buildable by industry.”

The Interagency Partnership Award recognizes federal employees from at least two different agencies who have collaboratively accomplished outstanding work in transferring a technology. The employees who were recognized were from Sandia National Laboratories in the Department of Energy, the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office in the Department of Defense (DoD), and Naval Sea Systems Command and Strategic Systems Programs in the DoD.

Sandia National Laboratory developed the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) weapons system and started the process of transferring that technology in 2018. The C-HGB system is now being mass produced so warfighters can use it to defend national security. C-HGB is a new enabling component in hypersonic technology which launches explosive devices five times faster than the speed of sound.

Maria Duran, the Technology Transfer (T2) Director at NSWC Crane, said this effort is a great example of leveraging technology transfer for the mission.

“Congratulations to Pat on this well-deserved recognition,” said Duran. “His participation in this partnership and his innovative contributions embody the spirit of technology transfer. This type of successful T2 collaboration makes a large impact on getting solutions into the hands of our Warfighters.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic added challenges to the production of this technology, the team found innovative ways to meet the 2023 combat readiness deadline.

Shaffer says one of the challenges in transferring this technology was training the workforce to enable rapid transition of the technology.

“The fact that this team came from multiple organizations operating under considerably shortened timelines in support of national hypersonic imperatives makes this achievement even more notable,” says Shaffer. “The technology transition devils are in the details and this team covered every detail from designs, bill of materials, test, assembly and checkout and all the training, contract actions and technical documentation needed to make it happen.”

About NSWC Crane NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

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