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NSWC Crane Enters into New CRADA with Laser Techniques Company

By NSWC Crane Public Affairs | Aug. 22, 2017

August 22, 2017

Crane, Ind. -- Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) has entered into a new cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the Redmond, Washington based Laser Techniques Company (LTC). NSWC Crane and LTC will collaborate in the development and testing of various laser-based measurement and inspection sensors, systems and software.

The CRADA work will build on the existing foundation of LTC’s bore mapping systems and will expand NSWC Crane’s overall capabilities. The agreement was set in motion by NSWC Crane’s requirement to definitively measure the inner surfaces of weapon barrels and chambers, both new and fired. NSWC Crane has been using LTC’s laser bore mapping equipment and software to measure the lands and groove dimensions on various barrels over the course of the last year.

“As we gained experience with the equipment, we began to realize that the chamber area of the barrels could vary dimensionally from one manufacturer to another,” said Rand Hammel, NSWC Crane’s Principal Investigator. “Those variances could lead to inaccuracy or premature wear, and without the ability to measure/map the chambers, we would not know what caused the issue.

“LTC has been responsive to our questions and desire to expand our laser measuring and mapping efforts so that we can apply the process to Acceptance as well as Life Cycle Sustainment.”

LTC has already started assisting NSWC Crane in modifying its existing setup to allow a cradle-to-grave analysis of barrel wear without having to remove the barrel from the weapon during endurance testing.

“The CRADA should facilitate a greater understanding for both parties of the testing and analysis process and how to best accomplish the task using current and future LTC hardware and software,” Hammel said.

A CRADA provides federal laboratories with a vehicle to facilitate the transfer of commercially useful technologies from federal labs to the private sector. NSWC Crane’s Technology Transfer (T2) Program helps link federal research and development to academic institutions and businesses in the private sector. The program has partnerships with more than 100 businesses, individuals and universities.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability of today’s warfighter.