June 22, 2017

New agreements build on Purdue, NSWC Crane strategic partnership

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Saving lives through improved communications and defense of U.S. Navy fleets and eliminating dangerous counterfeit laptops and other electronics are the goal of two new cooperative agreements between Purdue University researchers and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane).

Purdue continues its tradition of research that supports the armed forces with the agreements, which take on costly issues and lay the foundation for growing collaboration with the Indiana naval installation.

The cooperative agreements through Purdue Discovery Park involve research by R. Graham Cooks, the Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor in Analytical Chemistry, and Daniel DeLaurentis, interim director of the Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation (i-GSDI) and an aeronautics and astronautics professor.

DeLaurentis said the cooperative agreements represent the work spearheaded most recently by Discovery Park’s i-GSDI to create a more strategic partnership with NSWC Crane.

“The cooperative agreements with Purdue are another sign of how Crane recognizes the importance of Purdue research in directly augmenting and improving Crane’s mission,” he said. “These are the first examples of contact mechanisms that allow Purdue and Crane to easily work together and increase the research that we work together on going forward.”

The agreements follow the June 12 announcement of a new partnership between WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation. The collaboration establishes amenities at WestGate@Crane Technology Park, adjacent to NSWC Crane, and Purdue Discovery Park and will advance educational, research and development, and technology commercialization both statewide and beyond.

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Purdue’s Discovery Park, said: “These cooperative agreements exemplify the growing strategic research relationship with NSWC Crane and will be an additional ingredient to success of the new WestGate collaboration among Purdue University, NSWC Crane, and the Purdue Research Foundation.

“Discovery Park’s Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation (i-GSDI) has been leading these strategic developments with NSWC Crane and will work side-by-side with all the WestGate partners for mutual benefit,” he said.

Brett Seidle, NSWC Crane technical director, said: “These cooperative agreements are truly exciting opportunities and exemplify the growing strategic relationship between NSWC Crane and Purdue University. NSWC Crane is committed to partnering with the academic community for research in support of our nation’s defense and we appreciate our continued association with Purdue University.”

The burgeoning relationship between Purdue and NSWC Crane was facilitated by U.S. Sen. Joseph Donnelly.

Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “These agreements are bringing two great Hoosier institutions together to support our national defense and the safety and security of our service members. It has been my honor to help bring Purdue and Crane together and enhance their collaboration because we know that we get the best, most innovative solutions by working in tandem.”

Each cooperative agreement entails a multi-year effort with the potential for increased scope and funding levels.

Cooks said his research is in the interest of public safety by working to detect and discriminate between counterfeit and authentic electronic components. The project will use mass spectrometry to examine the surface of materials and then filter out the potential counterfeit electronics using statistical methods.

The DeLaurentis project researches building computer models for a system of systems that can help coordinate information and communication between the Navy’s various sections, including ship radar and aircraft and satellite sensors, each trying to detect possible threats. His partners include Shimon Nof and Seokcheon Lee, professors in the School of Industrial Engineering.

“The ability to link all of that info together and understand all the complex meanings in that data so the commanders can understand how to defend the fleet appropriately is an example of a mission the Navy does every day,” DeLaurentis said.

These cooperative agreements are not the first time NSWC Crane and Purdue professors have worked together. Previous agreements, however, were focused on specific issues without recognizing the benefit to work together continuously. 

About NSWC Crane

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's warfighter.

 The Warfare Center's research and development efforts support the Warfighter by providing capabilities and resources to advance technologies for the military. The mission of NSWC Crane is to provide acquisition engineering, in-service engineering and technical support for sensors, electronics, electronic warfare and special warfare weapons. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu  

Sources: Daniel DeLaurentis, 765-49-40694, ddelaure@purdue.edu

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, 765-496-6625, tddlr@purdue.edu

R. Graham Cooks, 765-494-5263, cooks@purdue.edu

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