Air Force launches Rapid Runway Repair Challenge
The Air Force’s ability to rapidly repair airfield operating surfaces in an austere environment with a significantly reduced material and personnel footprint over current state-of-the-art is essential to support a resilient adaptive basing strategy. Potential solutions are expected to leverage readily available indigenous materials coupled with novel binder and capping materials. The proposed capability should also identify the method and equipment necessary for site-preparation and repair application. Proposals will be reviewed based on expected solution size & weight, personnel required, repair quality, repair reassessment, expected solution costs, & repair time, in priority order.
The challenge seeks solutions of novel material systems and processing techniques necessary to rapidly repair airfield operating surfaces with satisfactory quality and a significantly reduced size, weight, and application time.
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Current Air Force rapid runway repair equipment and material sets as well as tactics, techniques and procedures were established to support main operating bases. The designed repairs were expected to support at least 3000 passes of fighter and heavy aircraft, repair approximately 120 craters in under 8 hours. Those solutions provide rapid but “semi-permanent” repairs and require significant quantities of prepositioned heavy equipment, large quantities of prepositioned repair materials, and significant engineering troop labor to accomplish. These repair processes and material requirements do not meet the agility requirements needed for an adaptive basing strategy.
The current baseline for Rapid Runway Repair can be seen in the following videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga1xCLIOoMY and this one on the SuPR Kit that they currently use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fK5oJC2ThQ.
The SuPR Kit, short for Sustainment Pavement Repair, is being developed by the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency with help from the Air Force Research Lab and the U.S. Army's Engineer Research and Development Center. The SuPR kit consists of more than 350 individual items condensed into four 20-foot connex shipping containers. The kit is designed to provide everything Pavement and Equipment CEs need to make expedient and durable repairs on an airfield at a deployed location.
After this competition the Seeker will hold a separate field competition at the National Center for Medial Readiness (Calamityville) located in Fairborn Ohio, USA to compete for a $50,000 prize that will be based on a contest to repair a single crater using the proposed concept. Any viable submitter will be invited to participate by demonstrating their repair concept or working with a local company to test key components of their concept if they think they can beat the winner of this Theoretical Challenge. This would be for demonstrating key components of their solution and the winner would be based on time, manpower and adequacy of repair for a single crater projected up to the full requirement.
To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, they will grant to the Seeker non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.
Submission deadline: 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on July 15, 2018