GE, United Technologies win Phase II contracts. (July 6/10)
It might not be a Vulcan mind-meld, but it’s pretty close. The Department of Defense’s technology brain trust, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has given 4 contractors the go-ahead to develop the advanced Vulcan combination engine system for hypersonic flight.
The Vulcan engine will integrate a traditional jet turbine engine that performs well at low speeds, with a constant volume combustion (CVC) engine that performs well at higher speeds. The combination will help the vehicles go from standing starts to Mach 4 or so, where hypersonic engines can take over. DARPA’s ultimate goal is to design, build, and fly Mach 6+ re-usable, air-breathing, turbine-based hypersonic vehicles.
What current engines will the Vulcan program modify? What are the program’s goals? What is its structure? DID has answers…
Up to $160M to ManTech to support LRSW space launch operations. (March 23/10)
The US Air Force’s Launch and Range Systems Wing (LRSW) is modernizing the US space launch ranges – the Eastern Range (Patrick AFB, FL) and the Western Range (Vandenberg AFB, CA)
A focus on LRSW’s modernization efforts is the US Launch & Test Range System (LTRS), which consists of ground-based surveillance, navigation, flight operations and analysis, command and control, communications and weather assets located at the Eastern Range and the Western Range.
The majority of the equipment supporting the US space launch ranges was installed during the 1960s and 1970s. Multiple LTRS upgrade efforts are underway including the Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program, ongoing Instrumentation Modernization (IM) projects, numerous recapitalization efforts, and various depot support projects to reduce operations and sustainment costs. The current modernization efforts is replacing approximately 20% of the system.
The LRSW uses contractors to support its modernization work…
OM Group in Cleveland, OH agreed to acquire EaglePicher Technologies, a Joplin, MO-based manufacturer of batteries, battery management systems and energetic devices for the defense, aerospace, and medical industries, from EaglePicher Corp. for $171.9 million.
In fiscal year 2009, EaglePicher recorded revenues of approximately $125 million, of which approximately 60% came from its defense business, approximately 31% from its aerospace business, and the balance from its medical and other businesses…
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in McLean, VA received a prime contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC) to provide signature measurement, prediction, and analysis support.
US weapons developers require [pdf] signature measurement of foreign missiles and space weapons to support detection, early warning, discrimination, tracking, engagement, and assessment.
The single award, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract has a 3-year base period of performance, two 1-year options, and a total value of more than $19 million if all options are exercised.
Based at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, MSIC manages and produces scientific and technical intelligence on foreign missile and space systems.
The April 20/09 launch of the RISAT-2 satellite gives India the ability to monitor cross-border movements of suspected terrorists, as well as troop movements in Pakistan and other neighboring countries, at night and under all weather conditions. The satellite was reportedly a modified TECSAR satellite, purchased from Israel Aerospace Industries for $200 million. Indian sources state that the satellite launch was accelerated after the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai.
The 300 kg/ 660 pound TECSAR’s military X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) provides up to 1 meter radar resolution was carried into low earth orbit aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C-12) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center located on the barrier island of Sriharikota in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The PSLV-C-12 also carried the 40 kg/ 88 pound experimental communication ANUSAT satellite built by Chennai-based Anna University.
The satellite purchase marks a growing military relationship between India and Israel…
“Sounding rockets carry scientific instruments into space along parabolic trajectories, providing nearly vertical traversals along their upleg and downleg, while appearing to “hover” near their apogee location. Whereas the overall time in space is brief (typically 5-20 minutes), for a well-placed scientific experiment launched into a geophysical phenomena of interest, the short time and low vehicle speeds are more than adequate (in some cases they are ideal) to carry out a successful scientific experiment. Furthermore, there are some important regions of space that are too low to be sampled by satellites (i.e., the lower ionosphere/ thermosphere and mesosphere below 120 km altitude) and thus sounding rockets provide the only platforms that can carry out direct in-situ measurements in these regions.”
Some agency of the USAF has issued a set of indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for $250 million, allowing multiple awards within a 7-year ordering period to cover engineering and technical services that support the Sounding Rocket Program 3. SRP3 provides launch systems and services for sub-orbital ballistic trajectories up to 5,500 km downrange. At this time $200,000 has been obligated.
The DefenseLINK announcement lists Robins AFB, which is incorrect. Robins AFB believes the contracts were issued through Kirtland AFB, NM, but Kirtland’s PA department claims no knowledge of them. For good measure, the contract numbers were crossed with different day’s announcement re: ECM systems for Pakistan. As best we can determine, winners include:
Orbital Science Corp. Launch Systems Group of Chandler, AZ (FA8818-08-D-0036)
Space Vector Corp. of Chatsworth, CA (FA8818-08-D-0037)
Alliant Techsystems announced today that it has negotiated definitive agreements with Canadian-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to acquire its Information Systems and Geospatial Information Services businesses for C$1.325 billion (about $1.318 billion). MDA’s IS/GIS business has more than 1,900 employees and estimated FY 2009 revenues of approximately USD$ 500 million, and is a global leader in space-based radar systems, space robotics (the robotic arms for the NASA Space Shuttle and International Space Station are MDA products), satellite systems, and imaging satellite ground stations and processing; with additional world-class capabilities in satellite payloads, C4ISR, and geospatial services.
ATK’s rationale for the acquisition was straightforward: