U.S. Navy Improves Sensing for Adhesion of Surface Coatings

US Navy Optowares Product Dev Case Study


The Back StoryRuggedized Backpack Case Design

Specializing in detection and analysis technologies, Optowares required complementary product development expertise to commercialize a handheld surface condition sensor with field analysis capabilities. The Optowares Raman spectroscopic system has broad applications because it measures the spectroscopy return of a coated surface in a nondestructive manner to determine if maintenance is required.

This system incorporates a rugged spectroscopy device with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) analysis to provide sample results in the field – thereby eliminating time and resources traditionally required for lab analysis.

The Approach

Key milestones for the two-year product development timeline include:

  • Year 1: Implement a rugged, field-portable system to scan light-colored materialsComputational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis for Backpack Case
  • Year 2: Incorporate motion capabilities into a handheld probe to also test dark-color (light absorbent) material coatings
    • Integrated a high-power, Class 4 Laser into a Class 1 System, which made it safe for field use without requiring eye protection
    • Conducted computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to ensure appropriate device heat dissipation in a fully enclosed device
    • Designed to meet DoD standards (MIL-STD-810)
    • Implemented computer and display to see results in the field

The Impact

With the technology, the U.S. Navy gains a quantitative measurement of how well coatings adhere to surfaces. The technology can mitigate the risk of material failure, and reduce shipbuilding and maintenance costs. The technology has applicability in other coating uses.