Engineers and scientists from the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) have demonstrated their proof-of-concept technology projects as part of Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) inaugural innovation challenge.

The three selected NAWCAD teams presented their findings, recommendations, and lessons learned after six months of focused research and development, in a bid to address military technical issues.

NAWCAD commander rear admiral Dean Peters said: "With limited resources, there is always pressure to attack problems in a traditional manner instead of pursuing ideas that may or may not come to fruition.

"The Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity to attack problems in creative ways. In essence, the Innovation Challenge is not only about launching teams to work on promising ideas, it’s also about developing a workforce that thinks a certain way.

The three NAWCAD teams were selected out of 26 proposals submitted last year.

"The Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity to attack problems in creative ways."

Team no-oil innovation demonstration (NOID) analysed technologies and innovative materials that could potentially allow gearboxes to run without oil lubrication.

The novel innovative sound energy harvesting device (NOISE-HD) team used sound energy from jet engines in a field environment and demonstrated that it could be stored through a battery.

According to the team, further development of this technology will enable an optimised device to collect and store acoustic energy onboard ships.

In addition, team sensor embedding for additive manufacturing (SEAM) demonstrated that it is possible to get reliable, accurate data for structural health monitoring of metallic 3D-printed parts.

The innovation challenge is said to offer a unique professional development opportunity for 14 NAWCAD employees who are part of NAVAIR’s engineer and scientist development programme or the navy acquisition development programme.