Research collaboration between Indiana University and Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane continues to bear fruit, as evidenced with Wednesday’s announcement of a $450,000 grant to be used toward improving the durability of electronics used in a range of critical U.S. Navy systems.
David Crandall, a professor at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing, received the grant from the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) to study new ways to guarantee the integrity of electronic circuits. Through work with U.S. Navy engineers at NSWC-Crane, Crandall looks to apply the concept of “computer vision” to improve quality control of such circuitry, which is used in key areas of operations such as communication and navigation.
Computer vision uses machine learning to “train” machines to create algorithms that recognize patterns such as faces, scenes or actions. The IU-NSWC Crane project seeks to apply this ability to spotting microscopic flaws in circuits and semiconductors.
“Today’s military employs devices with immensely complicated integrated circuits whose logic gates are less than 25 nanometers wide and feature upwards of 20 billion individual transistors,” said Robert Templeman, lead engineer on the project at NSWC Crane and a graduate of the IU School of Informatics and Computing. “What once could be inspected by the naked eye, and later optical magnification, now requires state-of-the-art instruments that create images from sophisticated imaging technology, challenging the limits of human inspection.”
Additionally, the NEEC grant further strengthens ties between IU faculty and students and Crane researchers, said Kirk White, assistant vice president and military liaison for IU. During the three-year project, IU students — ranging from undergrads to doctoral-level — gain the chance to work with engineers at NSWC-Crane.
“Aside from our work on radiation effects, it is the most significant grant we have received in our efforts to expand partnerships with NSWC Crane Division,” White said. “It is a great example of how perseverance can be worth the effort.”
Read more about the grant here.