Azimuth Corp in Dayton, OH received a $50 million contract to conduct hardening and survivability research designed to protect sensors from directed energy threats. The contract is being awarded under the US Air Force’s Hardened Materials Research and Survivability Studies program, which is intended to study materials technologies, interactions, and/or applications to improve the survivability of military systems.
Air Force Research Laboratory Detachment 1 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio manages the contract (FA8650-09-D-5434).
A 2007 report by a US Defense Science Board task force identified the potential use of directed energy to disrupt sensors…
Iraq War Geospatial Intelligence (click to view larger)
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp. in Van Nuys, CA, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, CO, and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Dayton, OH received a combined $600 million indefinite delivery/ quantity contract to support the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s (NASIC) Advanced Technical Exploitation Program (ATEP). The 3 companies will compete for work under this contract.
TASC Corp. in Andover, MA received a ceiling priced $43.5 million firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to provide sustainment, systems engineering, integration, production, fielding and logistics support for the U.S. Marine Corps’s Topographic Production Capability (TPC) [PDF] system. The TPC system is a transportable, highly mobile, modularized network of systems that allows the commander to exercise near real-time control, coordination, and direction of Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF)’s geospatial intelligence (GEOINT).
Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, CA won a $13.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Phase 2 of the Fast Access Spacecraft Testbed (FAST) satellite power generation and propulsion program. The objective of the FAST program is the development and demonstration of a high power generation and propulsion system for mobile satellites.
DARPA’s FAST program is a multiphase effort to design and develop a ground test prototype of a new High Power Generation Subsystem (HPGS) for mobile satellites. DID has more on the FAST program…
“…in 2019, cubesats – space satellites smaller than a shoebox – have become very cheap and very popular. For $100, anyone can put a customized personal satellite into low-earth orbit. And space data transfer protocols developed by the Interstellar Internet Project provide a basic relay backbone linking low-powered cubesats with ground stations, and with each other. Space is open… What will you do when space is as cheap and accessible as the Web is today?”
DID’s readers have far more background than most in these areas, and are welcome to participate. The exercise is open until end of day on Match 12/09, and readers can sign up to play “positive imagination” [see example] or “dark imagination” [see example] cards, or supplement existing cards with an “antagonism” card (disagree), a “momentum” card (and then what?), an “adaptation” card (introduce a twist), or an “investigation” card (follow-up questions). Remember, as the IFTF reminds participants, “Your forecasts don’t have to be probable. They just have to be possible.”
Bernard M. “Barney” Oliver was HP’s director of research for 3 decades, from 1952 to 1981. His list of patents, engineering achievements, and science awards was bogglingly large, and included many of the most prestigious awards in these fields. He was also a stickler for the proper use of English; and for clear communication that could move people by answering the “why?” questions, even as it informed them by answering the “what and how?”. That talent was one of many things that set him apart from his peers.
His most lasting achievement is related to that talent. The 1971 Project Cyclops report [PDF format, 14.5 MB | Print version] laid out the basis for theories of intelligent life in the universe, and was instrumental in the creation of NASA’s famous SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project.
Time may tell us how many of SETI’s premises turn out to be true. Until those verdicts are rendered, Dr. Oliver’s work is offered as a fascinating read – and a gold standard for excellent written communication in the aerospace, engineering, and technical policy fields.
A team led by ITT Corporation recently announced a 5-7 year contract to perform telemetry, tracking and command services for near-Earth missions under NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Space Communications Network Services (SCNS) contract. The contract has a base period of performance of 5 years and 3 months, with 2 one-year option periods, and a maximum potential value of $1.26 billion if all options are exercised.
ITT has provided engineering services for NASA’s near-Earth communications networks for over 25 years, and provided maintenance and operations support services for its Deep Space Network since 2003. The SCNS contract provides for…
In 2005, issues regarding Israeli weapons exports boiled over between Israel and the USA. Israel’s status as an observer in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program was suspended until a resolution in 2006 resulted in the USA assuming de facto veto power over all Israeli exports – even those that do not use American technologies, and fall outside of ITAR as non-military items, but could have potential security implications.
Israel’s canceled $100 million deal to upgrade Venezuela’s F-16s at a time when America was still shipping spare parts is often touted as the first example of that covenant in action. A more recent illustration of that covenant’s effects was recently provided when China sought to purchase time-share use of an Eros-B satellite from the ImageSat International (ISI) joint venture. IAI’s Eros series is derived from Israel’s Ofek-5 military satellite, and provides sub-1.8m imaging similar to France’s Spot satellites, and Space Imaging’s IKONOS. Although the Eros is not classified as a military item, the ISI Satellite Operating Partner (SOP) program allows images to be streamed directly to a customer’s ground stations, and it was submitted for review – a review that may yet scupper the deal…
Militaries around the world are moving to modernize and transform themselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our mission is to deliver a monthly cross-section of relevant, on-target stories, news, and analysis that will help experts and interested laypeople alike stay up to speed on key military developments and issues as we head into the USA’s Memorial Day weekend. Stories are broken down by military category and presented as fast bullet points that orient you quickly, with accompanying links if you wish to pursue more in-depth treatments.
This monthly briefing comes from a team a team that includes professional publications Defense Industry Daily and Aviation Week & Space Technology, with Winds of Change.NET acting as the briefing’s “neutral ground.”
Some of This Month’s Targets of Opportunity Include: Upgraded A-10s; Orbital Express; Hypersonics; Pod people; nEUROns; AARGMs, Spikes, & MOPs; Project Sandblaster; Compound helicopters; Stealth going mainstream; Routers in space; UAV swarms; Land Warrior RIP, Counter-sniper systems; Mine-protected vehicles go big; Trophy ready in Israel – or how about a net instead; Border robots with guns; Non-lethal weapons; UCAVs from carriers; the ASDS fiasco; Firing NEMO; Virginia’s new nose; Intercontinental cans of whup-ass; Paying for jets, not parts; EFP land mines – and the response; Inventory outsourcing in US military; Medical research; Bulgarian telemedicine; Privatized air tankers? Afghanistan doctrine; Canada’s tank lesson in Afghanistan; 6-Day Satellites; Transformation & Air Power; Lebanon post-mortems; Medals for UAV crews? And much, much more…!
Canada isn’t known for space launch technologies. It does have a satellite industry, and is the origin of both the American Space Shuttle’s robotic “Canadarm” and the International Space Station’s Mobile Servicing System (MSS) that includes Canadarm-2 with Dextre et. al. In line with this focus as a respected components manufacturer, The Canadian Space Agency recently announced an investment of CDN$ 10.3 million (currently about $8.7 million) in 36 research and development projects involving new space technologies and applications.