Can We Share? The Times of London is reporting that the UK and France are discussing an agreement to share aircraft carriers because of severe defense budget constraints in both countries, although the Wall Street Journal says the two sides are only talking about coordinating carrier retrofits so that one carrier is always available from the European theater.
Chinese Surprise: Was a recent Chinese space maneuver using 2 satellites, the SJ-12 and SJ-06F, in preparation for a space exploration program or a space warfare program? Wired.com examines the question.
At the beginning of FY 2002, Honeywell won a support contract for the USAF’s Satellite Control Network (AFSCN). The SCN contract consolidated development, systems engineering, integration and support functions into one contract that has the potential to reach $1.22 billion, and run to FY 2017.
Under this contract, Honeywell will replace existing communications technologies that make up the AFSCN’s ground network and tracking systems with improved components and antenna systems. Honeywell’s team includes TRW, L-3 Communications, Booz-Allen and Hamilton, SPARTA Corporation, Integral Systems, Inc., and IITC.
Pentagon contracts are sometimes used to execute projects on behalf of other agencies, especially agencies who already have a close relationship with the US military, or when the project site itself is a crossover location.
Walsh Construction Co. in Chicago, IL won a $131.1 million firm-fixed price contract to build the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Regional Center at Ford Island, in Pearl Harbor. The project involves adaptive reuse of historic hangers on that historic landmark site, and includes site work, hazardous material abatement work, and incidental related work. The contract also contains 1 unexercised option which,would increase the cumulative contract value to $131.9 million. Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is expected to be complete by October 2012.
The proliferation of UAVs and fighters equipped with stabilized, high-magnification video pods and imaging radars has a number of corollary consequences. Bandwidth has become a key battlefield constraint. Specialized reconnaissance fighter aircraft are a dead concept. And some poor analyst has to sift through the video tsunami at the other end, in order to find items of interest.
The USA is using a number of approaches to help deal with the flood, and one unconventional approach involves a DARPA project called VIRAT (Video Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool). It doesn’t recognize faces, perform before/after analysis, or rely on rewinds. Instead, it aims to distinguish certain types of behaviors, so it can provide alerts to intelligence operatives or ground forces during live operations.