Proposals in this area addressed environmental issues and toxicity issues associated with production, maintenance, repair, operation, and demilitarization of Department of Defense (DoD) weapons systems and platforms. Areas of interest included the following:
Alternative Materials. Demonstrate and validate environmentally benign materials for application in weapons and platforms. Targeted applications for alternative materials include but are not limited to:
Alternative Processes. Demonstrate and validate processes that eliminate or reduce the generation or use of hazardous or toxic materials, such as improved methodologies to join dissimilar materials and improved methodologies to reduce exposure of corrosion susceptible alloys to corrosive environments.
Alternative Inspection Methodologies. Demonstrate and validate new technologies for the inspection of weapons systems that would reduce the requirement for maintenance and overhaul. Because the potential benefit to the environment through inspection techniques is indirect, letters of support for the inspection technique by the DoD or prime contractors are highly recommended in the proposal.
Monitoring and Control of Emissions. Demonstrate and validate technologies to detect and monitor hazardous materials used in industrial processes as well as the technologies to control the release of these materials into the environment.
Alternative Materials. Demonstrate and validate new propellants, pyrotechnics and explosive materials or formulations that reduce or eliminate the release of toxic materials into the environment.
Alternative Manufacturing Processes. Demonstrate and validate environmentally benign synthesis and production processes for energetic materials and munitions.
Monitoring and Control of Emissions. Demonstrate and validate technologies to detect, monitor, and control hazardous materials used in munitions manufacturing.
Demilitarization of Ordnance. Demonstrate and validate technologies to disassemble a specific high-volume ordnance item and recycle the energetic materials from the item.
Alternative Materials. Demonstrate and validate refrigerants that reduce or eliminate global warming potential while reducing/eliminating flammability associated with any refrigeration fluids used.
Alternative Processes. Demonstrate and validate refrigeration technologies that reduce or eliminate global warming potential while reducing/eliminating flammability associated with any refrigeration fluids used.
Alternative Formulations. Demonstrate and validate alternative aqueous film forming foams (or associated application technologies) that are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)-free and can potentially meet performance requirements in MIL-PRF-24385F. 3
Logistics. Demonstrate and validate methods to improve the stability of PFAS-free AFFF concentrate and diluted solution for use. Evidence has shown that some of these formulations may not be fully stable and phase separate, change viscosity prior to use that can affect firefighting performance. Projects that evaluate the stability of formulations as a function of conditions and/or demonstrate methods to increase the stability of PFAS-free AFFF are of interest.
Test and evaluate the compatibility of multiple approved PFAS-free AFFF formulations. Traditional PFAS-containing AFFF formulations from different manufacturers appear to be compatible. Yet, PFAS-free AFFF formulations may not be compatible and mixing with other PFAS-free AFFF formulations is not recommended by the manufacturer. The logistics issues associated with this would increase cost and time associated with AFFF management or require single source purchasing. Thus, MILSPEC testing on mixtures of PFAS-free AFFF is sought to determine whether certain mixtures could be used together or gain understanding of the degree of the compatibility problem. For compatible solutions, the duration of compatibility is also of interest.
Alternative Methodologies. Demonstrate and validate alternative methodologies for quantitatively evaluating the effectiveness of firefighting formulations against realistic DoD threats presented by Class B liquid pool fires. Technologies should be validated against current full-scale qualification tests to show improved repeatability and characterization. This could include objective test methods to measure control, containment, edge effects and burnback, as well as other relevant performance characteristics (e.g., flickering, flashover, vapor permeability, heat flux, etc.) that can be correlated with extinguishment performance on liquid pool fires using a variety of fuel threats, including jet fuel, gasoline, and other flammable liquids. Proposals may also include testing to correlate existing small-scale test data with larger scale foam performance. Note that there is a related FY24 SERDP SON, Improved Pool Fire Testing for PFAS-Free Firefighting Formulations, and Modernized Training Methodologies for DoD Firefighters. The SERDP SON is focused on hypothesized fire characteristics that are not currently measured or quantified to evaluate fire extinguishment time for AFFF and PFAS-free AFFF. The ESTCP topic is focused on methodologies that have been tested at the small-scale fire testing level and have demonstrated effectiveness in assessment extinguishment time.
Training. Demonstrate and validate mature firefighting training methodologies to simulate live fire training with foam on liquid pool fires. Training methodologies should reflect realistic threats in DoD relevant environments, while reducing or eliminating air and water emissions and hazardous waste generation from training activities. Note that there is a related FY24 SERDP SON, Improved Pool Fire Testing for PFAS-Free Firefighting Formulations, and Modernized Training Methodologies for DoD Firefighters. The SERDP SON is focused on hypothesized, unproven firefighting training methods and laboratory experiments to test these the hypothesized methods. The ESTCP topic is focused on methodologies that have been tested for at least small-scale fire tests and have demonstrated effective simulation of real firefighting scenarios.
Demonstrate and validate other technologies that directly impact weapons systems and platforms. Proposals should include a plan to conduct a Sustainability Analysis of appropriate proportion to the proposed research and development. Proposals should establish a lifecycle framework that can mature as the technology or process advances through the acquisition process. This tiered approach aims to develop and document a minimum data set at each stage of research and development that can be used to make informed decisions and streamline transition to an acquisition program. The Sustainability Analysis may include varying depths of data and information that can inform the goal and scope of an analysis; the identity and quantity of relevant inputs and outputs to the system; and the estimation of life cycle impacts and costs.