Monthly Archives: April 2010

GE Intelligent Platforms Completes Delivery of $6.5 Million Boeing Order

GE Intelligent Platforms announced that it had completed delivery of a $6.5 million order from Boeing (Long Beach, CA). The order, to enable the development of upgrades to the US Air Force’s B-1B bomber, was received in March 2008, with a requirement for completion in time to enable planned flight testing early in 2011.

The upgrades, which are expected to generate production orders starting in 2011, will provide the B-1B with a Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU), giving aircrew improved protection against hostile action. Included are an adapted version of the GE Intelligent Platforms Octegra3 6U VME rugged video/graphics processor and VIM2 rugged video input mezzanine.

Importantly, Boeing’s requirement was that the subsystems were DO-178B certified, meaning that the development process used conforms to strict quality criteria designed to maximize the safety of airborne systems. GE Intelligent Platforms subcontracted with Ultra Electronics Controls to undertake the necessary development and qualification of the board support package (BSP). Ultra Electronics Controls was selected because of the company’s extensive experience and expertise in delivering DO-178B certified systems. In addition, Presagis provided a DO-178B compliant version of its OpenGL embedded graphics solution.

“Our ultimate goal was to provide a highly cost-effective solution to meet Boeing’s requirements,” said Peter Cavill, General Manager, Military & Aerospace Products at GE Intelligent Platforms. “By working with Ultra Electronics Controls and Presagis on aspects of the project, we simplified the process for Boeing. Because of the depth and breadth of the GE Intelligent Platforms product line, we were able to modify a standard product that precisely met Boeing’s needs, therefore providing a low risk solution that maximized the chances that Boeing could meet its commitment to its customer. ”

The Octegra3 video/graphics processor is designed for demanding applications such as aircraft cockpit displays that require multiple video inputs, multiple video outputs and high performance graphics overlay. It features both a general purpose computing processor from Freescale and a dedicated graphics processor. The VIM2 video input mezzanine card is specifically designed for operation with the Octegra3, providing five independent video input channels and four independent scalers.

The B-1B first flew in October 1984. It can operate at more than 30,000 feet and has a range of more than 7,000 miles. It holds 61 world records for speed, payload and distance. In March 2008, the B-1B became the first aircraft to fly at supersonic speed using synthetic fuel. The fuel was a 50/50 blend of conventional JP-8 petroleum and a synthetic fuel. The flight was part of an ongoing USAF program to certify the alternative fuel for all USAF aircraft. There are currently 66 B-1 aircraft in service.

GE, U.S. Army Join Forces to Assist Returning Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan

As part of GE’s continuing efforts to support U.S. troops, GE Global Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company, is engaged in a two-year research study with the U.S. Army to evaluate soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). The study, which will take place at Fort Gordon, Georgia, was established through a $2.7 million Congressional initiative awarded and managed by the Department of Defenses’ Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to support wounded soldiers. Researchers from the Dwight D Eisenhower Army Medical Center, led by Dr. Joseph Wood, Chief of Clinical Research, and the Center For Telehealth at the Medical College of Georgia, led by Dr Max Stachura, also are part of the project team.

The incidence of TBI and PTSD has risen over time as more soldiers have been deployed, and in some cases, redeployed to combat zones. With the increasing use of improvised explosive devices (IED), it is estimated that as many as 20% to 30% of returning soldiers will experience the symptoms of TBI. GE researchers will be employing advanced analytics to identify key symptoms of these disorders, which are still very difficult to measure and quantify. The hope is that new information gathered will enable earlier detection, intervention and treatment of soldiers.

“With the incidence of TBI and PTSD rising among returning soldiers, more needs to be done to enhance our understanding and treatment of these disorders,” said Dan Cleary, Principal Investigator, Computing and Decision Sciences, GE Global Research. “Through this study, we will be using GE informatics technologies to learn more about the symptoms of TBI and PTSD and help the U.S. Army better assess and help affected soldiers recover.“

GE researchers will use passive activity sensors to study the sleep quality, rest and activity cycles and brain activity of wounded soldiers. They will then measure, analyze and correlate the data gathered with the symptoms of TBI and PTSD to help the military better assess and validate the physical, behavioral, and occupational symptoms of these disorders. A key goal of the program is to establish a clinical relationship between activity and sleep and the severity of symptoms.

The project will use both existing and future-generation GE QuietCare technologies for the care of seniors. QuietCare uses advanced, unobtrusive motion sensor technology and powerful analytical software to learn the daily living patterns of senior community residents, sending alerts when certain out-of-the-ordinary events occur. QuietCare is a validated healthymagination product under GE’s initiative to reduce cost, increase access and improve quality in healthcare.

GE currently employs more than 10,000 U.S. Veterans and works to recruit more by guaranteeing healthcare benefits for families while the employee is deployed; offering salary differential support for families of deployed employees; and creating a GE leadership program tailored specifically for military service members.

Coalition Supports NASA’s New Plan for Space Exploration

Next Step In Space, a coalition of over thirty businesses and organizations dedicated to scientific advancement and increased understanding of the Earth and our solar system through expanded human space flight, has announced their support for NASA’s new strategy for space exploration.

The President outlined an ambitious effort to foster the development of path-breaking technologies; increase the number, scope, and pace of manned and unmanned space missions; make human spaceflight safer and more efficient; and help create thousands of jobs. Included in his vision for NASA is a sequence of deep-space destinations matched to growing capabilities, progressing step-by-step until we are able to reach Mars.

The president stated that his administration is committed to a bold, new approach to human spaceflight, and is increasing the NASA budget by $6 billion over the next five years in order to embark on this ambitious strategy that will foster the development of path-breaking technologies, increase the reach and reduce the cost of human spaceflight, and help create thousands of new jobs.

He pointed out that this new strategy means more money for NASA, more jobs for the country, more astronaut time in space, and more investments in innovation. It will result in a longer operating lifetime for the International Space Station, new launch capabilities becoming available sooner, and a fundamentally more ambitious space strategy to take us to an increased number of destinations and to new frontiers in space. By undertaking this strategy, we will no longer rely on our past achievements, and instead embrace a new and bold course of innovation and discovery.

“Commercial space exploration is a supplemental avenue to increase innovation and participation in NASA’s incredibly valuable work,” said Tiffany Montague, Google, Inc. “There is room for both private and governmental entities in space, and this new proposal will allow NASA to focus on long term planning while lowering costs and opening space to a new generation of entrepreneurs and explorers.”

Next Step in Space supports the following important features in the President’s plan:

  • Advances America’s commitment to human spaceflight and exploration of the solar system, with bold new vision and timetable for reaching new frontiers deeper in space.
  • Increases NASA’s budget by $6 billion over 5 years.
  • Leads to more than 2,500 additional jobs in Florida’s Kennedy Space Center area by 2012, as compared to the prior path.
  • Begins major work on building a new heavy lift rocket sooner, with a commitment to decide in 2015 on the specific heavy-lift rocket that will take us deeper into space.
  • Initiates a vigorous new technology development and test program to increase the capabilities and reduce the cost of future exploration activities.
  • Launches a steady stream of precursor robotic exploration missions to scout locations and demonstrate technologies to increase the safety and capability of future human missions, while also providing scientific dividends.
  • Jump starts a new commercial space transportation industry to provide safe and efficient crew and cargo transportation to the Space Station, projected to create over 10,000 jobs nationally over the next five years.
  • Continues the development of a modified Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle to provide stand-by emergency escape capabilities for the International Space Station.
  • Puts the space program on a more ambitious trajectory that pushes the frontiers of innovation to propel us on a new journey of innovation and discovery deeper into space.

“This new strategy will leverage private investment to create thousands of jobs across the country,” Commented Sierra Nevada Corporation Executive Vice President and Chairman Mark Sirangelo. “The commercial spaceflight sector looks forward to strengthening our partnerships with NASA and the US Government to help develop new technology that will deliver cargo, fuel, and crew to the International Space Station and for other low-Earth orbit missions.”

“Today President Obama eloquently articulated an inspiring future for American exploration of space,” noted Elon Musk, president of Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX). “His vision harnesses our nation’s unparalleled system of free enterprise and will ensure that America will remain the preeminent leader in space for decades to come. By leveraging the capabilities of the private sector, NASA can focus its vision and resources on goals beyond low-Earth orbit, with the long-range goal of establishing a human presence on Mars and ensuring the program is affordable enough to be sustained. Personally, I feel the same excitement that Americans must have felt in 1961, when JFK announced our commitment to put a man on the moon. SpaceX looks forward to playing a role in helping the President build on NASA’s extraordinary legacy and remarkable achievements, by unleashing American ingenuity and expanding the frontiers of technology and exploration.”

To date, more than thirty businesses and organizations have joined Next Step in Space. Members of the coalition include:

4Frontiers Corporation

Anadarko Industries LLC

Analytical Graphics, Inc.

Associated Industries of Florida

Blue Smoke

Cisneros Innovation Strategies

Commercial Space Gateway

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

eSpaceTickets.com

Esther Dyson/ED Ventures

Google

Information Universe

MarsDrive, Inc.

Murphy International Enterprises

National AeroSpace Training and Research Center (NASTAR Center)

National Space Society (NSS)

Next Giant Leap

Odyssey Moon LLC

Odyssey Space Research

Orbital Outfitters

Paul Price Enterprises

Phillips & Company

Satwest LLC

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Space Adventures

Space Coast Economic Development Commission

Space Florida

Space Frontier Foundation

Space Infrastructure Foundation, Inc.

Space Tourism Society (STS)

SpaceX

Special Aerospace Services, LLC

Virgin Galactic

X-Prize Foundation

Eaton Wins U.S. Air Force Power Reliability Contract

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide the U.S. Air Force’s Air Logistics Center (ALC), at the Hill Air Force Base, Utah, power reliability products and complete turnkey services including engineering, project management, system integration, installation, training and onsite maintenance services. The win could be worth as much as $568.7 million and will be divided among two suppliers over the life of the five-year contract with one single two-year option period. Eaton’s Electrical Service & Systems Division’s Federal Systems Business Unit will manage the work for the contract.

“For more than 20 years, we have provided vital power solutions for the U.S. Air Force’s complex applications,” said Thomas S. Gross, vice chairman and chief operating officer –Eaton’s Electrical Sector. “This contract further substantiates our uncompromising commitment to providing world-class power solutions, and superb customer focus and service.”

Products include commercially available, on-line, double conversion, single or three-phase Static Uninterruptible Power Supplies (SUPS) ranging in size from 3kVA to 1000kVA, associated equipment, ancillary electrical equipment, and spare parts. Designed and engineered to deliver the highest level of system reliability and availability, the total power solution supports the Air Force’s applications around the world.

The Air Force awarded the contract to Eaton after competitively evaluating technical, past performance and price criteria. This contract represents the fourth such award by the U.S. Air Force to Eaton for uninterruptible power system (UPS) equipment and system integration. The previous contracts were awarded in 1988, 1996, and 2001 to Powerware Corporation, which was acquired by Eaton in 2004.

SRA Awarded $19.5 Million Task Order to Provide Integration Management Support to Air Force

SRA announced it has been awarded the Information Technology Training Product Support competitive re-compete task order with an estimated value of $19.5 million over five years, if all options are exercised.

SRA will provide integration management support services to the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) Formal Training Unit (FTU). SRA also will develop, update and maintain some of the 17 Training Group (17 TRG) courseware to prepare AF intelligence professionals with the skills to meet today’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance challenges.

SRA leads a team that will support the majority of the development effort on-site at Goodfellow Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas with possible additional support activities conducted at distributed SRA locations.

“We intend to fully support the 17 TRG by providing the best training possible for our warfighters,” said SRA Senior Vice President National Security Sector Gordy McElroy. “The SRA team will provide 17 TRG with key personnel who will begin work immediately at Goodfellow AFB and have available pools of talent that our customer needs to produce quality IMI.”

SRA will support the AF DCGS FTU and Air Force intelligence courses by developing Web-based course technology, interactive courseware and e-learning solutions. Other services will include program management, systems and database administration, software development and course room instruction. The SRA team includes Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and Spectrum Comm, Inc.

CPI Aero to Take $10 Million in Additional Work from Boeing

CPI Aerostructures announced that the Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit of Boeing has expanded the scope of work that CPI Aero will perform under its previously announced long-term requirements contract to support Boeing’s A-10 Wing Replacement Program. In June 2007, Boeing received an Air Force contract worth up to $2 billion to produce up to 242 enhanced wings for the United States Air Force’s A-10 “Thunderbolt” attack jet. The initial $70 million contract to CPI Aero from Boeing, announced in July 2008, was for the production of leading edges, wingtips, trailing edges, main landing gear pods and various other structures. In May 2009 the contract from Boeing to CPI Aero was increased to approximately $71 million to add installation of fueling/de-fueling subsystem into the main landing gear pod assembly. Since May of 2009, Boeing has added additional structural assemblies and subsystem installations to the CPI Aero contract. These additions, which are valued at $10 million over the 242 aircraft program, include leading edge pylon covers, center trailing edge wedge fittings, lower outer trailing edge panels, wingtip covers, wingtip light installations and aileron light installations. The contract between Boeing and CPI Aero, as revised, has increased in value to approximately $81 million, of which CPI Aero has received $14.7 million of orders to date.

Edward J. Fred, CPI Aero’s CEO and President, stated, “We are proud of our performance on this program and we are excited to expand CPI Aero’s work scope under this contract. Earlier this year, we started delivering major assemblies for the first wing being produced in Boeing’s Macon, Georgia facility. As we continue to demonstrate our assembly capabilities to the Boeing A-10 Wing Replacement Team, we hope to be considered for additional opportunities for systems integration on this platform.”

CPI Aero is engaged in the contract production of structural and other aircraft parts for leading prime defense contractors, the U.S. Air Force, and other branches of the armed forces. In conjunction with its assembly operations, CPI Aero provides engineering, technical and program management services. Among the key programs that CPI Aero supplies are the E-2D Hawkeye surveillance aircraft, the UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter, the S-92 helicopter, the MH-60S mine countermeasure helicopter, the Gulfstream G650, C-5A Galaxy cargo jet, the T-38 Talon jet trainer, the A-10 Thunderbolt attack jet, and the E-3 Sentry AWACS jet.

Kopin Announces $27M Follow-On Military Order for TWS Eyepiece

Kopin has announced it has received a $27M follow-on production order of eyepieces for the U.S. Army’s Thermal Weapon Sight Bridge (TWS-IIB) program. This order, to be fulfilled over a two-year period, supports continued production of a high-performance eyepiece that has been fully qualified recently in the TWS-IIB program after thorough testing in harsh battlefield environments. The same eyepiece is being demonstrated at the International Defense, Security, and Sensing Symposium in Orlando, Florida this week.

“This follow-on order from one of our customers is a testament to the quality of our display system products,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. John C. C. Fan. “The combination of our advanced display technology with our proprietary electro-optical system design and manufacturing processes, which include minimizing the generation of and screening for foreign particles and extensive testing for shock, vibration and environmental stress, results in the industry’s most robust thermal weapon sight eyepiece.”

Kopin’s TWS-IIB eyepiece is based on the Company’s patented low-power CyberDisplay® 640M LVR display. This industry-leading low-power display is specifically designed to operate at temperatures as low as -40°C with nearly ‘Instant-On’ capability, an unprecedented achievement for liquid crystal displays, and yet enables the complete eyepiece system to dissipate less than 155 mW during normal video operation. Imaging system performance is consistent over the entire military temperature range, eliminating complex compensation algorithms required by other types of displays. The unit has been qualified on the entire family of Light, Medium, and Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (LTWS, MTWS, HTWS) for an array of weapons including the M14, M4, M2, M24, M249, and M240.

“This follow-on order calls for the delivery of eyepieces beginning early this quarter,” stated Michael Presz, the Company’s Vice President of Government Programs. “We believe this is the first of many orders that leverage our extensive investment in class-10 cleanroom high level assembly facilities with extensive environmental testing capability and our low-power ‘Instant-On’ displays.”

Nextant Aerospace Selects InspecTech I-Shade for 400NEXT Program

Nextant Aerospace has selected the I-Shade Cabin Light Management System from InspecTech Aero Service to electronically control the amount of light entering the cabin of its 400NEXT remanufactured Beechjet 400A. The I-Shade smart windows are integrated into the Rockwell Collins’ Venue cabin management system (CMS) on the 400NEXT to create a seamless cabin environment management system.

Traditional window shades control sunlight intensity and glare at the expense of outside view. The 400NEXT I-Shades manage light, glare, and heat by electronically adjusting the amount of light energy that enters the cabin through a solid state filter imbedded in each window inner pane. Efficient cabin daylight management enhances customer experience in the 400NEXT whether working, resting, or watching a High Definition Movie.

The windows can also be turned opaque upon selection from the Venue Seat Switch module or from the cockpit when total privacy is desired.

James Miller, President of Nextant Aerospace, noted: “This remarkable cabin light management system fits perfectly with our mission to modernize the cabin of the 400NEXT and to offer leading edge cabin amenities. In February, we conducted the first flight of a fully equipped Phase 1 400NEXT aircraft and the I-Shades’ benefits were compelling. I compliment the fine collaborative work of InspecTech and Rockwell Collins in integrating I-Shades with the Venue CMS. We look forward to having others experience the comfort and utility of I-Shade dimmable windows.”

I-Shades utilize two advanced light-control films enclosed between thin plastic layers. SPD-Smart film provides for a range of tints (>99.5% light blockage to fully clear) where light transmission can be rapidly varied to any degree desired. APD film provides for on-demand privacy at any light transmission level. I-Shades are the only window shades that control light while preserving views, and also provide 100% privacy even when light is allowed to pass through the window for natural day lighting.

400NEXT I-Shades provide an unequalled combination of additional features including:

  • Heat control when on the ground – I-Shades automatically block heat when unpowered,
  • 99.9% protection from damaging ultraviolet (UV) light,
  • Use of lightweight, impact-resistant polycarbonate,
  • Reliability – no moving parts – and durability,
  • Cabin noise reduction due to multi-layer film fabrication.

NCI Wins $14 Million Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Network Enterprise Center Task Order

NCI announced that it has been awarded a single award task order under the ITES-2S contract with a value of approximately $14 million, if all options are exercised, to provide IT support services for the Network Enterprise Center (NEC) at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, GA. The period of performance for the base and option periods are March 2010 to March 2015. The competitive task order represents new work for NCI.

Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are the Army’s world-class training and military armored power projection combination on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. This dynamic platform allows military units in the region to deploy rapidly throughout the world. Under this contract, NCI will support the U.S. Garrison at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, as well as the 3rd Infantry Division, also located at Fort Stewart.

This task order provides IT services to the NEC including: support for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfields wireless and wired Local Area Networks (LANs), including cybersecurity and information assurance support; server, storage, cluster and database administration support; software support for desktop and server systems; email and Active Directory (AD) administration; network fault management, help and work order desk operation; and maintenance and repair of microcomputer systems.

“NCI is proud to be awarded the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield NEC task order. We are keenly aware of Fort Stewart’s critical warfighting mission responsibilities and look forward to providing outstanding support. Our unique and deep experience working with other Army Network Enterprise Centers (including Fort Bragg, Fort Belvoir, Fort Lewis, and Fort Carson); as well as Major Army Commands (HQ Army Material Command and HQ FORSCOM) and Joint Commands (USTRANSCOM, USNORTHCOM and USTRATCOM); along with our significant role in supporting U.S. Army NETCOM provide us a powerful platform to help Fort Stewart meet its mission requirements,” said Terry W. Glasgow, NCI President.

Argon ST Awarded $17.2 Million to Provide U.S. Army Platform Enabler Development

Argon ST announced that it was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Acquisition Center in Fort Monmouth, NJ to provide platform enabler development.

The approximately $17 million effort calls for Argon to perform advanced development services in airborne signals intelligence. Platform enablers are part of CECOM’s mission to develop, and transition to the field, information technologies and integrated systems in order to secure battlespace dominance for America’s warfighters. Through the application of platform enablers, platforms can easily and affordably be upgraded, ensuring continuing data collection and transmission even as threat technologies evolve.

“The work on this project will help to ensure that warfighters have uninterrupted access to advanced airborne SIGINT technology,” commented Kerry Rowe, President and Chief Operating Officer, Argon ST. “Argon’s Lighthouse/Prism product line model is ideal for what the U.S. Army is striving for with platform enablers. Through the use of commercial off-the-shelf based products, reusable software, and repeatable processes, we are able to effectively and efficiently bring new capabilities to market as well as upgrade those already in theatre in a streamlined and efficient manner.”