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DARPA – Defense Sciences Office – Principles of Undersea Magnetohydrodynamic Pumps (PUMP) – BAA HR001123S0044

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DARPA – Defense Sciences Office – Principles of Undersea Magnetohydrodynamic Pumps (PUMP) – BAA HR001123S0044


DARAP is seeking innovative research proposals in the area of electrode material solutions for high performance magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pumps. The PUMP program will develop and demonstrate MHD pumps that match the efficiency, reduce the noise generation, and exceed the reliability of conventional impeller-based pumps. Additionally, the program will develop multi-physics modeling and simulation capabilities for use in design and analysis of magnetohydrodynamic pumps.


Proposals are due 31 July 2023.


The PUMP program will comprise 3 phases over a total of 42 months:

  • Phase 1a – 12 months – assemble a multi-physics modelling and simulation tool(s) including hydrodynamics, electrochemistry, and magnetics to help understand the underlying physics of the MHD environment in order to choose an appropriate electrode material system. These M&S tools will also be able to scale MHD designs from a laboratory demo (i.e.,100 N of thrust) to militarily relevant levels (i.e., 250 kN).
  • Phase 1b – 12 months –  Validate M&S tools experimentally and demonstrate an electrode material solution for a MHD seawater environment scalable for sustained shipboard applications (i.e., ≥ 5 years).
  • Phase 2 – 18 months – Demonstrate a small-scale prototype unit.


Proposals must include:

  • a conceptual MHD thruster design that details required field strength, current density, any cooling requirements, and projected thrust capability. The design should be traceable for shipboard applications with 250 kN of thrust.
  • a clear and specific approach to M&S of the multi-physics environment, including the following details and considerations: computational method, computational
    efficiency, code development/modification plans, and how phenomenology will be coupled
  • a clear and specific approach to produce the required magnetic field, including magnet type, field strength, operating temperature, power requirements, and other
    operational considerations
  • an initial concept for the electrode material system and an approach to iterating on the concept, including intended M&S as well as any laboratory testing
  • Detailed technical rationale on why the proposed concept design and electrode material system can achieve the program goals and metrics
  • Laboratory testing plan for the electrode material system that can be traced to a fullscale system
  • Defined assumptions, risks/challenges, and mitigation plans based on defined approach
  • A clear and specific approach to conduct SWaP analysis for a large-scale system
  • A clear and specific plan of how M&S will aid in a scalability study
  • A description of the proposer’s manufacturing capabilities for building the Phase II small-scale MHD pump
  • Proposers must demonstrate their understanding of the PUMP technical challenges and explain how their approach will address all challenges in both phases.


Read more


Supporting Document

Broad Agency Announcement – PUMP: HR001123S0044

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