White Papers

  • Federal White Paper: Human Systems Integration and Shipboard Damage Control

    As the United States and other maritime nations move towards operating combatant ships with fewer people, Human-Systems Integration (HSI), or human centered design, is getting increasing attention in new ship designs. Aboard most ships operating today, damage control is a mostly manual, manpower intensive function. Consequently, it is a key area of concern for ship acquisition programs that need to produce ships that will operate with fewer people. Damage control also is critical to the survival of a warship and the safety of the crew. Consequently, it is very important to ship operators. It is no surprise, therefore, that damage control is a key function of concern when designing new ships to operate with fewer people. This paper discusses the state-of-the-art in HSI and damage control aboard ships today as evidenced by the damage control performance of some of today's ships. The paper draws conclusions about the importance of HSI for effective damage control in new ship designs. The successful application of a human centered design approach in the development of a damage control supervisory control system for the US Navy's Damage Control Automation for Reduced Manning (DC-ARM) program is described. Finally, major challenges to achieving effective HSI in new ship designs are presented. Read More

  • Competitiveness, Economics and Intangibles of New Nuclear Power Plants - An Implementation Perspective

    Bob Coward, a Principal Officer of MPR Associates, gave a speech titled Competitiveness, Economic and Intangibles of New Nuclear Power Plants- An Implementation Perspective to a conference sponsored by the US Nuclear Infrastructure Council where he highlighted the rising total cost of new nuclear units to be the greatest challenge facing the new nuclear industry. According to Coward's speech, the nuclear industry has made considerable progress in the reliability of new nuclear units over the past five years. Read More

  • The Very High Temperature Reactor: A Technical Summary

    In 2000, the United States Department of Energy formed the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) to advance nuclear energy in order to fulfill future energy needs. The GIF has categorized the goals for future nuclear power into four areas, which are referred to throughout this report. (1) Sustainability: Sustainability is the ability to meet the energy needs of the present generation while enhancing the ability to meet the energy needs of future generations indefinitely. Sustainability goals focus on waste management and resource utilization. The sustainability of GENIV systems also includes extending nuclear power into other energy areas, such as transportation, by using nuclear process heat to manufacture other energy products, such as hydrogen. (2) Economic Competitiveness: Economic goals consider competitive costs and financial risks. Economic goals focus on reducing operating and capital costs through increased efficiency, design simplification, advances in fabrication and construction techniques, and possible standardization and modularization. (3) Safety and Reliability: Safety and reliability goals include safe and reliable operation, improved accident management and mitigation, investment protection, and reduced off-site response. The focus for GENIV systems is on the use of inherent safety features and designs. (4) Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection: Proliferation resistance and physical protection goals consider methods for controlling and securing nuclear material and nuclear facilities against unintentional and intentional actions. Read More

  • Product Development White Paper: Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry: "Increasing Product Yields with Automated Vision Systems"

    Product quality and production yield go directly to the bottom line. Effective production line quality control inspections are essential to verify quality and detect problems that can lower production yields. Often, manual inspection processes are more effective than automated systems, for example when the product to be inspected is complex, the attributes to be inspected are more qualitative than quantitative, or the cost to develop an automated system is large. This article describes the development of a computer-based system for automated product inspection and quality control. The system was developed to improve yields and eliminate excessive variability that was observed with a manual inspection process. Read More

  • Product Development White Paper: MPR Rapid Product Development and Commercialization: Case Study on PET Formulation System

    A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a unique noninvasive imaging technique that is used to produce three-dimensional images of the living heart, brain or other organs at work. PET scans are often used in the diagnosis and management of cancers, certain brain disorders and heart disease because PET has a unique ability to image complex biological functional processes such as blood flow, oxygen consumption, glucose metabolism, tumor metabolic activity and concentrations of various compounds in selected organs. This is significant because in many cases of cancer when it is first diagnosed or if it has been treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the function of the cells will change before there is any evidence of physical change. As such, conventional imaging techniques may have difficulty identifying cancer at an early stage, or determining if therapy is effective based on anatomy alone. Since PET provides physicians with information about the body's chemistry not available through any other procedure, it is positioned as a complimentary imaging tool to anatomic imaging methods such as CT or MRI scans. Read More