Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Years from UIUS!

Fort Worth Littoral Combat Ship Launches, Equipped With Argon ST Threat Detection System

The nation’s third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Fort Worth, equipped with Argon ST’s WBR-2000 threat detection system, was recently christened and launched at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin. “We’re proud to play a role in protecting and providing critical information to sailors through WBR-2000 capabilities,” said Terry Collins, general manager of Argon. “For more than two decades, Argon has delivered high-performance electronic warfare and signals intelligence systems to the U.S. Navy and we’re very excited to see our systems in action on the third LCS.”

The WBR-2000 is a component of the Fort Worth’s command and control system. It provides radar intercept, identification and reporting to enhance situational awareness and support the ship’s self protection.

Argon is part of the Lockheed Martin-led team under the LCS program.

Aircraft Like No Other for Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has been delivered in Seattle, WA, and will touch down in Auckland on Christmas Eve morning, bringing the Kiwi-designed economy Skycouch to New Zealand for the first time.  “This is the best Christmas present we could possibly imagine,” says Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe.

“Four long years of planning and design to create an absolute world-first interior and passenger experience is now a reality.”

In Seattle to accept the aircraft, Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims said the aircraft heralds a whole new long-haul flying experience for Air New Zealand customers.

“The majority of our long-haul flights are overnight, and we fly on average 90 minutes longer than any other airline. That’s why we set out to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge of finding a way for people to lie down in economy without compromising affordability.

“Few airlines have invested time and money beyond First Class, whereas we have focused on the areas where most of our passengers sit by reinventing every aspect of our Economy and Premium Economy customer experience.

“We’ve created the world’s first economy seating that enables people to lie down and a Premium Economy seat that many airlines would call Business Class.

“We’re also the first commercial airline to introduce induction ovens for all cabins to give our customers freshly prepared food and have developed an inflight entertainment (IFE) system to give people greater control over the way their journey will unfold,” says Sims.

More than 30 airlines have been in contact with Air New Zealand regarding the new seats, and formal negotiations are underway with carriers from Asia, North America and Europe to license the seats following an 18 month period of exclusivity for Air New Zealand.

Highlights of the new aircraft interior include:

  • Skycouch – affectionately known as Cuddle Class, giving couples and families the opportunity to lie down like they would on their couch at home.
  • Two distinctive Premium Economy seating designs to meet the demands of both individual travellers and couples.
  • The first commercial airline to have induction ovens in all cabins, giving customers the opportunity to have steak cooked the way they want it, fresh pizza and burgers, toast and eggs.
  • A Kiwi-designed pillow that slips onto the winged headrest in economy (meaning the challenge of pillow slippage is gone forever).
  • Unique bathroom imagery with wallpaper depicting book cases, chandeliers and other home interior elements.
  • An on-demand food and beverage service via the IFE system in every class.
  • Children’s story-time in the rear galley hosted by our cabin crew.
  • Inflight wine tasting in the forward galley hosted by our Inflight Concierges.

The aircraft, registration ZK-OKM, is due to leave the Boeing facility in Seattle at 3 pm local time today, December 22, flying to Los Angeles before arriving into Auckland at 8:45 am on Christmas Eve, December 24.

Air New Zealand has five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on order, with the second due for delivery in February followed by a third in April. The 338 seat 777-300 aircraft is configured with 244 in Economy (including 60 seats creating 20 Skycouch combinations), 50 in Premium Economy and 44 in Business Premier.

The first routes to guarantee travellers the next generation of long-haul travel will be on dedicated return services on NZ1 and NZ2 between Auckland and Los Angeles and through to London from April 2011.

Merry Christmas from UIUS!

Hoping you and your family a Merry Christmas from the team here at UIUS!

Xenonics Receives $300,000 Order For Crew Served Weapon Lights and Vehicle Mount Kits

Xenonics announced that it has received a purchase order from the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force valued at approximately $300,000 for Xenonics’ NightHunter 3 crew served weapon high-intensity illumination devices and vehicle mount kits. Xenonics’ vehicle mount kit allows a NightHunter 3 to be securely mounted on a crew served weapon, or attached to a vehicle where the light can be rotated in any direction, or quickly removed for hand-held use.

“Xenonics is an approved supplier of crew served weapon light systems for the Army. This is our second order in just the past few weeks that includes vehicle mount kits for our NightHunter 3 lights. With thousands of our compact and light weight NightHunter illumination devices already in use by the Army, and more on order, this new application has significant potential for Xenonics,” said Chairman Alan Magerman. This order is scheduled to be delivered in January 2011.

Free WiFi Expands to More Commercial Jets

Good news, frequent (and not so frequent) fliers. In addition to offering totally free Google-sponsored WiFi on its long-range flights this holiday season, Delta has announced plans to expand Google net access to many of its regional jets, beginning in January. The company says that it need to have this next wave of upgrades done by the end of 2011. This will definitely come as a relief to those of us who will likely be enjoying hours-long “regional” flights within the new year, either on Delta planes or those of its regional partners (such as Shuttle America, Comair, and Atlantic Southeast). The expansion will apply only to aircraft with a initial class cabin — you know, the spacious compartment you pass via before being herded into the back with the rest of us.

High Gain Solar Arrays on U.S. Military Bases

Skyline Solar, a manufacturer of High Gain Solar (HGS) arrays for the commercial, industrial, government and utility markets, today announced that the company has been awarded a project by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the deployment of HGS systems at two domestic military bases. The object of the project is to demonstrate Skyline Solar’s HGS performance in hot and sunny climates, and validate its field upgradability and rapid system deployment capability. The estimated combined output for the projects is 436 megawatt hours per year.

During a recent Energy Security Forum speech, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the need for the military to take a serious look at renewable energy from an energy security standpoint. “Failing to secure, develop and employ new sources of energy or improving how we use legacy-energy systems creates a strategic vulnerability and, if left unaddressed, could threaten national security.”

In an effort to promote U.S. energy independence, the DoD launched the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) to promote innovative, cost-effective environmental technologies through demonstrations on DoD sites. Skyline Solar has been awarded an ESTCP project in a competitive solicitation intended to identify technologies that solve key DoD needs and have the highest potential for widespread deployment.

CACI Awarded $34 Million Prime Contract from Department of Defense

CACI announced that it has been awarded a $34 million prime contract to support the mission, processes, and systems requirements of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OUSD(C)) at the Department of Defense (DoD). The task order is for four and one-half years (one base period and four option years) and was awarded under the Encore II contract vehicle.

The award continues a 19-year history of support for Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) solutions and IT services for maintaining the entire DoD budget. CACI’s combined expertise in both software engineering and its deep knowledge of government budget processes are key factors to the success of PPBE programs. The contract expands the support that CACI’s business system solutions functional core competency provides for the DoD.

SpaceX Returns from Successful Flight

The first commercial spacecraft that made a low-Earth orbit returned safely and landed in the Pacific Ocean Wednesday approximately 500 miles off the coast of southern California. SpaceX launched the craft – the Dragon – from the top of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL, at 10:43 a.m. Wednesday. The Dragon orbited Earth at more than 17,000 mph and splashed down at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

The mission marked the first time a commercial firm has successfully recovered a spacecraft from low orbit – a task accomplished by only six nations and government agencies: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India and the European Space Agency. The landing was also the first flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program to produce commercial supply support to the International Space Station, reports stated.

Reported by CitySpur

NCI Wins $12.5 Million NETCENTS Task Order for U.S. Air Force Distributed Common Ground Systems

NCI announced that it has been awarded a task order under the NETCENTS contract with a value of approximately $12.5 million to provide engineering and integration services for two data centers to support the U.S. Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) enterprise. This is the award NCI referenced on its November 3, 2010 conference call.

Under this task order, NCI and its team member, ITT Corporation, will procure, test, integrate, and deliver two Data Storage and Dissemination Centers (DSD) at Langley AFB, VA, and Beale AFB, CA. This opportunity will provide storage, dissemination, processing, and retrieval capabilities to the netcentric AF DCGS enterprise. The task order has a 12 month base period and represents new work for NCI.

“NCI is very pleased to have been selected, along with our ITT teammate, to lead the DCGS DSD project. This upgrade is very important in modernizing the DCGS architecture and to the DCGS mission. We look forward to the successful upgrade for these two DCGS nodes, which positions us well for the follow-on upgrades to the remainder of the DCGS system,” said Terry W. Glasgow, President of NCI.