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Hybrid Fabrication of Flexible Munitions Circuitry Integrating Printed Electronics and COTS Components
Keywords: flexible, munitions, printed
The US Department of Defense is heavily investing in flexible hybrid electronics. The technologies being developed and advanced will revolutionize military applications and create a new paradigm of technologies previously unachievable with current technologies and techniques. Printed Electronics integrated with COTS systems for hybrid circuitry promise massive benefits and advantages over traditional processing and manufacturing. Design, development and integration of military and industrial materials and techniques are being developed for use in a variety of military applications. Recent technological advances in materials and manufacturing techniques allow US Army to develop flexible and agile weapons manufacturing processes to provide multiple benefits to the Army and DOD. The enhanced capabilities and multi-functionality these emerging technologies provide are being expanded upon and utilized by US Army ARDEC to develop munitions sub-systems to support our Warfighters. The ability to “print” designs that currently cannot be manufactured while removing component integration and geometry barriers is resulting in new enhanced functionality and allowing the DOD to revolutionize the organic industrial base. These advances will optimize existing systems, develop new systems, and allow the DOD to maintain their decisive edge. The design, fabrication, and testing of flexible hybrid circuitry using inkjet and micro-pump technologies integrated with COTS components to develop munitions sub-systems for military applications will be discussed. Several techniques and processes were used to develop flexible electrical components that meet Army objective and performance specifications. The paper will described the process utilized by ARDEC scientists and their partners to design, fabricate, test, and integrate flexible hybrid circuitry for munition applications. The processes describe will show the progression of these enabling technologies and increase the sub-systems Technology Readiness Level (TRL) as well as Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) to provide solutions that address Warfighter capability gaps.
J.L. Zunino III, Materials Engineer
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

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