Satellites are currently big, expensive to build and launch, vulnerable, impossible in practice to upgrade on-orbit, difficult to replace – and critical to military effectiveness. That’s a really bad combination. Now add program risk and cost inflation driven by those issues, as the military tries to launch the most advanced technologies it can, in a uniquely ‘no fail’ environment.
DARPA’s System F6 program aims at nothing less than a revolution in satellite technology, aimed at removing those constraints. If successful, it will develop and demonstrate the basic building blocks of a totally new space architecture, in which traditional integrated satellites are replaced by clusters of smaller, cheaper, wirelessly-interconnected space modules that form a “virtual” satellite.
The US Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest in San Diego, CA awarded 7 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract for new construction and repair of dry utilities construction at US military facilities in the US Southwest.
The maximum dollar value for all 7 contracts combined is $300 million. The terms of the contracts are not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of April 2015.
The work to be performed provides for new construction, addition, repair, or upgrade of electrical distribution systems, lighting systems, cable television lines, airfield lighting, and communication transmission lines.
Orbital Sciences Corp. in Greenbelt, MD received a $94.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee level of effort contract from the US Naval Research Laboratory for spacecraft and airborne systems research analysis and prototype development.
The work includes the analysis, design, development, test, operation demonstration, and transition of these prototype systems and subsystems.
The scope of the research efforts Orbital will carry out entails multi-disciplinary approaches to discovering and applying new knowledge and technologies to designing, building, and operating of airborne, space and other technology systems.
On Jan 4/10, Northrop Grumman Corp. announced that it would be moving its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles, CA to the Washington, DC area. The new corporate office will include approximately 300 people, and the firm plans to complete its location search by spring 2010, and open the new corporate office by summer 2011.