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Logistics Logistics Thrust Area

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Logistics thrust seeks to provide Marines of the future with a precisely tailored level of sustained logistic support from sea-based platforms to rapidly maneuver forces ashore. Logistics delivery systems of the future will be more responsive and flexible, enabling Marines to out-pace rapidly changing operational scenarios. Likewise, delivered logistic commodities will provide more operational value per unit weight, enhancing combat unit self-sufficiency and maneuverability. Finally, operational units will benefit from technologies that maximize equipment readiness by minimizing both down-time and maintenance requirements. Technology areas of investment include:

  • Asset Visibility: Developing tracking technologies in order to automatically identify, track, and monitor all logistics assets. Specific focus is on sea-based tracking, which provides low-power high-clutter RF propagation for wireless sensors and RFID tags.
  • Logistic Transport: Providing autonomous aerial systems in order to support small units with routine and immediate resupply packages tailored to their specific needs in all operational conditions. Specific interests including bridging solutions (or structural composite mechanics and fabrication for modular lightweight bridges), ergonic transport (which provides human load carrying concepts that minimize injury), and autonomous delivery systems, which leverages aeromechanics for autonomous aerial logistics delivery.
  • Operational Sustainment: Providing the capability to minimize the stress on the seabase logistics system by leveraging technologies that enhance self-sufficiencies in water, fuel and power consumption. In addition:
    • Portable fuel analysis, which provides Raman Spectroscopy fuel technology to enable immediate analysis of local or captured fuel.
    • Water purification, which provides squad-level purification capability via membrane transport and filtration technology.
    • Power, which utilizes solid oxide fuel cell electrochemistry, thermoelectric materials, electrochemical capacitors and metal-air batteries in order to reduce the size and weight of power sources while increasing their capabilities and duration.
    • Casualty life support, which provices casualty stabilization and life support automation.
  • Maintenance Reduction: Minimizing the stress on the seabase logistic system by increasing operational readiness and reducing equipment maintenance requirements. This technology investment area places an emphasis on providing advanced materials that resist wear, corrosion and other use-related degradation.

Logistics Science and Technology Challenges

Asset Visibility

  • High-accuracy read strategies for RFID-tagged items in challenging RF environments

Logistics Transport

  • Energy scavenging technologies from waste heat and movement sources

Operational Self Sufficiency

  • Materials for improved RO membrane performance in energy, flow, fouling and chemical resistance
  • Non-membrane based desalination technologies
  • Small scale electro-coagulation systems
  • Effective water recycling and reuse technologies

Maintenance Reduction

  • Improved wear surface materials for use in bearings, gears and other components
  • Improved lubrication technologies
  • Self healing materials and coatings
  • Damage indicating materials and coatings


  • Improved expeditionary sanitation facilities (human waste) with reduced water requirements
  • Ad-hoc "microgrid" power distribution and management technologies
  • Simple generator refit kits for automated control of traditional systems
  • Technologies for field manufacture of infrastructure components for use in horizontal and vertical construction applications

The Expeditionary Maneuver and Combating Terrorism Department welcomes innovative ideas and white papers in response to the ONR long-range broad agency announcement.

Download the Logistics Thrust area's Willful Intent slides.

Contact Information

Name: Billy Short

Title: Thrust Manager

Department: Code 30

Division: Division

Email: billy.short@navy.mil

Office of Naval Research
875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 1425
Arlington, Va. 22203

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