Scientists and Engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division gathered at Penn State University at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia on Oct. 12, 2022 to showcase ongoing efforts detailing a unique research and development program aimed at expanding the Navy’s advantage by transforming the future of naval power through the adaptation of technology and innovation. Executing from a plan to foster creativity and stimulate the exploration of cutting edge science and technology, the inaugural summit provided a glimpse of the innovative research being conducted in Philadelphia.
The program was kicked off with opening remarks by NSWCPD Director of Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Sean Brennan followed by a keynote address given by Executive Officer, Naval Research Laboratory Capt. Jesse Black. The summit featured presentations in a Ted Talks format provided by the principal investigator from each of the NISE Projects, ranging from Advanced Concepts in Submarine Applications of Superconductivity to Real-time Data Visualization of Machinery Data from Embedded Sensor Nodes.
“The NISE Program is an important way for our Division to advance the state of the art, to revitalize our labs and test facilities, and to transition emerging technologies, getting them in the hands of our Sailors and Soldiers faster,” Brennan said.
The strategic value of the NISE Program is proven through the accomplishments of principal investigators who lead efforts in five main areas: basic and applied research, workforce development, revitalization and recapitalization, and technology transition to directly support the fleet, according to NISE Program Manager Ryan Fox.
The NISE Program was established in the Duncan-Hunter National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2009 (Public Law 110–417) as a mechanism for defense laboratory technical directors to use for research and development. The program was developed with high-level goals in mind, such as: to maintain Science & Technology vitality; increase recruitment and retention in critical skill areas of Systems Engineering (S&E); foster creativity and stimulate exploration; prove new concepts; support high-value, high-risk Research and Development (R&D); mature technologies for transition; and enhance ability to address future military, Naval, and Department of Defense (DOD) missions.
“I’m excited to be able to offer this event to NSWCPD for the first time. This event is really for the Project Leads to showcase all the exciting things they’ve been working on throughout the year. We don’t take enough time to recognize the work being done by the people on these projects and I hope we can continue to showcase their work in the future,” Fox said.
The NISE Summit provided the opportunity to increase the awareness of the Philadelphia Division, its program sponsors, Navy customers, and both the technical goals and accomplishments of the FY22 NISE investments.
“The event encouraged discussions among the diverse group of attendees that may modify the goal or scope of existing projects or result in new proposals that provide needed fundamental scientific or engineering information that could help close existing Navy technology gaps,” Fox said.
It also provided the opportunity for NISE project investigators to network with a broad range of attendees for the first time since the onset of COVID, which serves as an invaluable contribution to the development of the Division’s workforce.
Fox stated that the collaboration with industry, academia or other joint warfare centers and government agencies is often crucial to the success a NISE project achieves by uniting the best technology with the right people to develop a product beneficial to the fleet. For example the Advance Concepts in Submarine Applications of Superconductivity project is a collaborative research effort with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport.
Some of the other NISE projects presented at the summit included: Automated Machinery Modeling Tool for Machinery Arrangements; Autonomous Vehicle Virtual Test Environment / Computer Vision and Machine Learning Technical Capability Development; Certification of 3D Printed Parts at Sea; Collaborative D/32-44 Development of Instant-on Heaters to Emulate Power and Thermal Loads; Competency Development Program; Data Driven Algorithms for Machine Learning; Establish a Scalable NAVSEA Compliant Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Program; Expand NSWCPD Role in NAVSEA Unmanned Systems; HM&E Development Security Operations (DevSecOps); In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) Technical Competency Development for Ballast Water Operations and Treatment; Liberty Tech Bridge; LiDAR Digital Twin Seeding; Maritime Steering with Haptic Feedback; Power Architecture Concept Design Tools Synchronization and Development; Real-time Data Visualization of Machinery Data from Embedded Sensor Nodes; Shipboard Electric Plant Management and Control System (EPMCS) Control-Hardware-in-the-Loop (CHIL) Modeling and Simulation; and Underwater Hammer Activated Measurement System (HAMSTER) & Ultra High Pressure (UHP) Cutting Tool.
“This NISE Program is vital in keeping the Navy at the forefront to continue to support the current Navy, future Navy and Navy after next,” Fox said.
He continued, “It is through these projects that we ensure the safety and increased capabilities of the warfighter, increase our ability to compete with our near peer adversaries, and ensure the US Navy remains the most dominant power in the world’s seas. The U.S. Navy is vital to protecting freedom of the seas not only for the U.S., but for the world.”
In summarizing the success of the event, Fox said, “It was an excellent summit and year for the NSWCPD NISE Program and we look forward to seeing these research and development projects move forward.”
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.