Monthly Archives: May 2011

Happy Memorial Day from UIUS!

Thinklogical Selected for US NAVY BAMS Program

Thinklogical announced that it has been selected by Northrop Grumman to supply key infrastructure solutions on the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS). The BAMS program is designed to support a variety of all-weather maritime ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) missions.

Northrop Grumman selected Thinklogical’s VelocityKVM and VX Router System, the highest bandwidth system in deployment, to provide seamless interaction between flight control and sensory data. Thinklogical’s fiber optic extension and routing systems will enable the BAMS Mission Control System (MCS) to centralize critical computing resources and allocate them as needed to the BAMS Operator Stations.

“Our involvement in BAMS highlights Thinklogical’s ability to provide high performance and secure extension and routing systems for critical military programs,” said Dana Rasmussen, Chief Operation Officer of Thinklogical. “We are honored to be selected in support of such a highly recognized initiative. By working closely with Northrop Grumman, we’re able to extend our solutions across a wide spectrum of government and military customer applications.”

The VelocityKVM fiber extension system is powered by Thinklogical’s MRTS technology, which provides end-to-end data transmission with unparalleled performance. This technology is key when real-time collaboration applications are in place and eliminating dropped frames and latency is of paramount importance. In addition, the VX Router provides a secure KVM solution while delivering 6.25 Gbps. of routing bandwidth.

“We did a very thorough job, working closely with Thinklogical to design the BAMS computer infrastructure,” said Sam Guinto, Northrop Grumman’s BAMS UAS MCS System Integration and Test lead. “We based our design decisions on Thinklogical’s system performance, interface routing capability and functionality. Ultimately, the Thinklogical system provided the BAMS Mission Control System operators with a user experience that is not compromised, even when accessing multiple systems, this is key.”

PSI Awarded $8.6 Million Contract to Support Department of Defense

Planned Systems announced it has been awarded a contract worth over $8.6 million by the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide an enterprise Blood Bank and Transfusion Management solution that will automate and improve the current system. The contract has a one-year base period of performance with a one-year option if exercised.

Blood transfusions need to be readily available and safely dispensed in order to save lives, whether on the field of battle or in the surgical suite. Under this contract, PSI, as part of the Thundercat Team, will help the DoD fulfill its mission-critical objectives of providing an integrated system to manage blood transfusion products and associated record keeping for military members and their dependents worldwide.

“We are pleased to continue our work with the MHS and to expand our support of critical initiatives such as the Blood Bank and Transfusion Management solution,” said PSI CEO Terry Lin. ” This is a tribute to our team and PSI’s commitment to deliver our customers results and innovation in healthcare IT.”

The award marks another win for PSI’s military health business. PSI is also currently working to automate and improve the current Blood Donor Management System for the DoD.

Healing Environment for Wounded Warriors

The Wounded Warrior Barracks at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., has been recognized for combining innovative design, construction and operation to provide the highest-quality environment for the emotional and physical recovery of wounded warriors. Constructed by Barnhart Balfour Beatty, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Construction, the recently opened facility has received the first-ever LEED Platinum certification for a U.S. Navy and/or U.S. Marine Corps project. The LEED Platinum certification was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Certification Institute.

Representatives from the Wounded Warrior Barracks design-build project team presented the commanding officer of Wounded Warrior Battalion West with the LEED Platinum plaque during a special ceremony at the facility on April 21, 2011. In recognition of the achievement, Captain Michael Williamson with Marine Corps Installations West stated, “My congratulations to the entire team for being the first LEED Platinum facility for the entire Department of the Navy.”

LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design and construction of high-performance green buildings. According to Nate Kredich, vice president of residential market development for the USGBC, “One of the most remarkable features about this project was the way the LEED rating system was utilized. The project team prioritized the features of greatest importance to the building’s future tenants such as indoor air quality and natural daylighting. The end result is a building that is more healthy, comfortable and peaceful – all of which can help these Marines and sailors rehabilitate and heal. The project team put people at the center of its decisions, which is precisely the way LEED was intended to be used.”

The Wounded Warrior Barracks received near-perfect scores for interiors that used recycled and environmentally safe materials and energy-saving equipment for bedrooms, hallways, showers and recreational areas. The barracks include 100 semi-private suites for men and women of all ranks and currently has more than 160 residents.

Barnhart Balfour Beatty president Eric Stenman added, “Delivering this project was so important to us, not only because of our partnership with the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps, but because of its potential to become a national model for wounded warrior care. Our team could not be more proud to serve and be a part of giving back to the brave men and women of our armed forces and we sincerely hope this project serves to accelerate the use of sustainable building in military facilities worldwide.”

iRobot awarded $230 million contract from the U.S. Navy

iRobot announced that it received a $230 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on April 12, 2011. Under the contract’s terms, NAVSEA can procure PackBot Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) robots, depot level repair parts, spare kits, depot repair services, parts supply, training, engineering enhancements, configuration management and approved accessories. The PackBot MTRS is modeled after the iRobot 510 PackBot.

“The iRobot PackBot has proven to be a game-changing technology on the battlefield,” said Robert Moses, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robots division. “iRobot knows that these robots are saving lives every day, so we are pleased that the Navy will continue providing them to our troops in the years to come.”

One of the most battle-tested robots in the world, the iRobot 510 PackBot performs bomb disposal and other dangerous missions for warfighters and first responders. These robots are currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify and neutralize explosive devices, perform reconnaissance and clear routes for warfighters on the move.

Vovici Awarded NEXCOM Contract

Vovici announced that the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), a $2.6 billion retail organization of the Department of the Navy that provides quality of life support for active duty military, retirees, reservists and their families, has deployed Vovici as part of its customer-centric strategy.

The modern day Navy Exchange has evolved dramatically from its founding in 1946. The organization took a big leap forward in January when it deployed the Vovici solution as part of a broader initiative to maximize its understanding of Navy Exchange customers. “We are in an extremely competitive business today,” says Michael Conner, NEXCOM vice president, Marketing Insights. “We see customer research not only as a tool for better understanding, reaching and engaging with our customers, we see it as a competitive advantage. Although our Customer Satisfaction Index score is at a high 83, there is still room for improvement.”

NEXCOM has a unique challenge. Its base of shoppers is limited to authorized military personnel. “For us, it is all about reaching our authorized target shoppers, then getting them to make regular visits to the Navy Exchange and buy the products they want and need,” says Conner. Using Vovici-driven customer surveys advertised on the back of each customer’s receipt, NEXCOM collects feedback from customers every day. “Since the surveys are web-based, results are delivered to us immediately,” says Conner. “Now, if a customer requests contact from a manager, the request is delivered to the right manager immediately, and within minutes of hitting ‘send’ on a survey, the customer could be getting a call. We expect that this will eventually replace the need for in-store comment cards.”

In February, NEXCOM launched a Vovici-powered survey to its more than 7,700 panel members. They achieved a 45% response rate in just five days. The survey, which sought to understand how Navy Exchange shoppers engage in social media, yielded key insight which the NEXCOM social media team is leveraging to better communicate and connect with customers. “The survey really drove home what social media is and isn’t to our members. It’s not commercial, it’s social,” says Lauren Everett, NEXCOM Market Research Assistant. “Our shoppers come to Facebook to engage our brand. So, the social media team now puts as many engagement activities as possible on the Navy Exchange Facebook page to keep the fans coming back.” NEXCOM’s Facebook page has over 87,000 fans and counting. The social media team aims to grow that number to 100,000 by year-end.

GE Aviation Study

Airlines could save at least $65.6 million annually while slashing carbon emissions and cutting flight times by implementing new flight paths at 46 mid-size airports across the U.S., according to study results released today by GE Aviation. The findings of the study, Highways in the Sky, come at a critical time in the debate on the future of our aging national air traffic control infrastructure, where additional investment is increasingly measured against proven benefits to the economy, environment and the everyday traveler. Steve Fulton, technical fellow with GE Aviation highlighted the results this past week at the NextGen Ahead Air Transportation Modernization conference in Washington, DC.

GE’s Highways in the Sky study illustrates the potential for significant economic and environmental benefit of near-term deployment of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) landing approaches. Although the study focused on 46 mid-sized U.S. airports, the data and analysis supports accelerated deployment of RNP at any airport. GE’s study of the 46 airports concludes that deployment of RNP instrument arrivals would annually save:

  • 12.9 million gallons of jet fuel, or 527 round-trip flights from New York to Los Angeles
  • $65.6 million, a savings equivalent to the full-time salary of 1,573 middle-class jobs
  • 274.6 million pounds of C02, equal to the carbon absorbed every year by 1,384,095 trees
  • 747 days of flight time, or roughly two years and seventeen days in the sky

“We are facing a serious global challenge as air traffic increases and our skies become more and more congested,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, President and CEO of GE Aviation Systems. “This is an opportunity to provide tangible benefits to every stakeholder; responsible growth of an essential industry, better asset utilization, lower fuel burn and cost for airlines, greater throughput for airports and ANSPs, fewer delays for passengers, lower emissions and noise for communities and reduced dependence on foreign oil.”

RNP technology allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined trajectories without relying on outdated, ground-based radio-navigation signals. Independence from a fixed, ground based infrastructure, linked with the inherent precision of satellite navigation and advanced computer technology aboard the aircraft allow the creation of shorter, more consistent and more efficient flight paths. The consistency and efficiency of the new flight paths can reduce flight delays helping to alleviate costly air traffic congestion. ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, has predicted that efficiencies made possible by RNP alone can cut global CO₂ emissions by 13 million metric tons per year.

“There is no reason the U.S. aviation industry should be tied to a ground-based beacon system that was developed in the 1940s,” said Captain Brian Will, Director — Airspace Modernization and Advanced Technologies for American Airlines. “GE Aviation’s Highways in the Sky study clearly demonstrates the tremendous benefits realized through satellite-based navigation. RNAV and RNP provide benefits to all airspace users. For controllers and pilots, we have safety benefits from reduced radio transmissions and reduced controller workload and increased pilot situational awareness. For the airport communities, RNAV and RNP can reduce both noise and emissions – this is a win-win-win scenario, everyone benefits.”

Underscoring the importance of realizing these benefits, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s annual aviation forecast predicts that domestic air travel will double in the next 20 years, reaching the 1 billion passenger mark in the U.S. alone by 2021. In addition, the total cost of all U.S. air transportation delays is estimated at $32.9 billion by the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research.

In many locations around the world, RNP is already demonstrating significant benefits. In Brisbane, Australia, government sponsored trials demonstrated that RNP instrument approach procedures saved aircraft operators 882,000 pounds of jet fuel a year, even though only 18 percent of the aircraft were capable of flying the procedures. Based on those results, Airservices Australia is implementing RNP at 28 airports nationwide which it expects will save operators nearly 86 million pounds of jet fuel each year.

NCI Awarded $26.5 Million Task Order for the Air National Guard

NCI announced that it has been awarded a $26.5 million task order through GSA Schedule 70 to direct the Consolidated IT/DBA Support for the Air National Guard. The task order has a six-month base and four one-year option periods and continues and expands NCI’s role with this important customer.

Under the Consolidated IT/DBA Support contract, NCI will be responsible for the program management, development, sustainment and security posture for new and legacy Air National Guard headquarters level enterprise applications and their hosted environments. Additional requirements include the management of enterprise record management capabilities, IT advisory functions and enterprise architecture planning and management.

“NCI recognizes the importance of this task order as part of a larger Air National Guard effort to meet its infrastructure mandates and advancing interoperability. NCI is pleased to continue its partnership with the Air National Guard to achieve superior mission accomplishment,” said Terry Glasgow, President.

Tetra Tech Awarded $31 Million U.S. Navy Information Technology Support Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $31 million task order under the Company’s previously announced Seaport-Enhanced Multiple Award Contract (Seaport-e). Under the five-year program, Tetra Tech will provide information technology support services for the All Weapons Information System (AWIS), the U.S. Navy’s centralized web database for ordnance logistics data. The AWIS suite of automated tools is used to collect, track, and report vital information associated with ordnance performance, testing, deployment, and operation. Tetra Tech will provide design, development, enhancement, and maintenance services for AWIS.

So what does the company do? Tetra Tech is a provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction, and technical services addressing the resource management and infrastructure markets. The Company supports government and commercial clients by providing innovative solutions focused on water, the environment, and energy. With approximately 12,000 employees worldwide, Tetra Tech’s capabilities span the entire project life cycle.

Training System for Littoral Combat Ship-2

Alion Science and Technology was awarded a three-year, $4.6 million task order from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to design a high-fidelity serious game to train sailors for the Littoral Combat Ship-2 (LCS) Readiness Control Officer (RCO) position. Alion will expand its PC-based Virtual Maintenance Performance Aid (VMPA) from the current system developed for the LCS-1 RCO to an updated solution designed for the LCS-2 environment. This design approach demonstrates the reconfigurable nature of the simulation architecture and yields a more cost effective solution. Since each vessel has different training requirements, Alion’s VMPA RCO for LCS-2 trainer will include a ship-specific Electronic Control System graphical user interface, an instructor station that can control the training environment, the ability to integrate with the Surface Warfare Officers School’s LCS Bridge Training System and the virtual ship simulation that allows the trainee to learn the new equipment in a 3-D environment.

Ultimately, it is intended that the LCS-2 RCO will integrate with the LCS Shore Based Training Facility (SBTF) in San Diego.

“Alion is continuing its support of the VMPA Readiness Control Trainer program by building off of the existing trainer to provide a fully interactive, PC-based virtual ship environment to teach individual and team training on the LCS-2 hull,” said Rear Adm. Richard E. Brooks (USN, Ret.), Alion Senior Vice President and Manager of the Distributed Simulation Group. “Our trainer represents the capability to provide a total ship training environment, from tactical and force protection to damage control and maintenance training.”

Alion will provide the updated hardware and software for LCS-2 RCO to the Surface Warfare Officers School and the Littoral Combat Ship Class Squadron. VMPA was developed in partnership with the Office of Naval Research and NAWCTSD to bridge the gap between training, skills and performance. NAWCTSD is the Littoral Combat Ship Training System Executive Agent.