In exciting news, the U.S. Navy Version of Lockheed Martin F-35 Makes First Flight in the video above.
“I am thrilled the F-35C has attained this milestone,” said Vice Adm. Thomas J. Kilcline, Commander of Naval Air Forces. “This flight marks the beginning of a new chapter in Naval Aviation. The mission systems in this aircraft will provide the Carrier Strike Group Commander with an unprecedented ability to counter a broad spectrum of threats and win in operational scenarios that our legacy aircraft cannot address.” Kilcline pretty much said it all on June 7, 2010.
A BAE Systems seeker detected and destroyed a unitary target performing the lowest endo-atmospheric intercept to date for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon system flight test program on June 28 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
The test, conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin, the THAAD prime contractor and systems integrator verified the interceptor and other system components capability to detect and to intercept a unitary Short Range Ballistic Missile. The test also demonstrated the seeker’s ability to perform target acquisition and track-and-aim point selection by the interceptor’s seeker and its avionics flight software.
“This was the THAAD interceptor’s lowest endo intercept to date,” said Joe Colosimo, chief engineer for BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire, where the THAAD seeker is built. “As the flight test program continues, the scenarios become more complex requiring our technology to perform on targets that will become more challenging to detect and hit.”
THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short to possibly intermediate-range ballistic missiles. BAE Systems worked on missile defense seekers since the late 1970s and achieved the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic-missile target in 1984.
CPI Aerostructures announced that it has received an order from Lockheed Martin to produce aircraft structural assemblies for the U.S. Navy’s P-3 “Orion” aircraft, valued at $1.03 million. Work on this order will commence immediately and deliveries will run through mid 2011.
Edward J. Fred, CPI Aero’s CEO and President, stated, “This order from Lockheed, a long-term customer with whom we have had a solid relationship, diversifies the parts we produce on a platform for which we’ve already provided quality deliveries and enables us to continue to support a vital U.S. Navy program. This award enhances our current business and we believe it improves our prospects for future orders from Lockheed.”
Details on Lockheed Martin Corporation – Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
McAfee has announced that it has joined Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Security Technology Alliance. “We are pleased to be a part of Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Security Technology Alliance,” said Mike Carpenter, senior vice president, Public Sector, McAfee. “As cyberthreats continue to thrive we must gather our resources together in order to more adequately protect our nation’s infrastructure.”
The Lockheed Martin Cyber Security alliance combines the strengths of market leading companies’ solutions and integrates their best practices, hardware, software and tools within a development and collaboration center called the NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center. The NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center will provide an environment where Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Technology Alliance partner companies and customers can work toward the development of cyberdefense capabilities and development of solutions.
The McAfee suite of comprehensive integrated end-to-end cyber security protection and compliance solutions is available in the NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center. This offering includes the McAfee Total Protection Advanced, McAfee Foundstone, McAfee Network Security Platform, McAfee Data Loss Prevention, McAfee Endpoint Encryption, McAfee Secure USB, TrustedSource, McAfee Artemis Technology, and Network Threat Response technologies and software.
As airlines face new challenges seemingly every day now, the temptation exists for them to bolster their financials by selling off portions of the operations and reaping the benefits.One interesting asset that has garnered attention in recent years is the airline frequent flyer program.
A new white paper – “Spinning Off Frequent Flyer Programs in Turbulent Times” – issued by the loyalty marketing expert Evert de Boer, senior director, Global Airline Practice, Carlson Marketing, explores the pros and cons of spinning off frequent flyer programs in light of the current economic climate.
According to de Boer, there are six good reasons for selling off an airline’s frequent flyer program.
Accelerate Revenue Growth
Achieve Economies of Scale
Improve CRM (customer relationship management) and Data Analytical Capabilities
Of course, if there were only good reasons, everyone would do it.He cites seven cautions as well.
Program Delivery considering how intertwined the program is in the airline operations
New Owners May Have a Short-term View
Unpredictability of Future Events
Capital Gain is a One-off
Imbalance of Power Between the Frequent Flyer Program and the Airline
Impact of Global Alliances
The current economic downturn adds another set of wrinkles to be evaluated and their impact debated based on the individual airline’s situation.
Less Capital Available to Buy the Program
Less Travel and Lower Consumer Spending
Higher Incidence Rate of Credit Card Defaults and Lower Credit Ratings
Reduction in Network Size
More Miles Being Awarded, Fewer Miles Being Redeemed
Increased Opportunity for Arbitrage
Less Appetite for Adjustments to the Balance Sheet
Potential Partners Become More Wary
As the economy improves around the world, serious consideration of spinning off frequent flyer programs will once again be a hot topic of conversation. De Boer identifies likely carriers as those with “large legacies with a dominate program in a large and homogenous home market.”Unlikely candidates are “airlines that dominate a small home market and serve a high percentage of transfer traffic through their respective hubs.”
LGSannounced today it had successfully completed the European Dense Wave Division Multiplexed – Optical Transport Network (DWDM-OTN) for the U.S. Army.
This project, valued at more than $35 million, caps off a three and a half year effort to design, deploy and system test an installation information infrastructure in Europe that will link the forward-deployed soldiers to worldwide Command and Control (C2) and information systems.
The project was managed by the U.S Army’s Product Manager Defense Communications Systems Europe (PM DCS -E) located at Funari Barracks in Mannheim, Germany. PM DCS-E is a subordinate organization to PM Network Service Center (PM NSC) and Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). The U.S. Army’s 5th Signal command will have operations and maintenance responsibility for this new optical network in Germany.
“We are always working to find new, better and more effective ways to give the warfighter the best capabilities and solutions possible,” said LTC Joseph Dupont. “As we continue to provide ‘Everything Over IP’ in Europe, we needed a more robust network capable of supporting real time services and unified capabilities such as Voice over IP, IP video streaming and conferencing. DWDM provides that robust network.”
The DWDM-OTN Network project, awarded in the spring of 2006, consists of three DWDM rings spanning some 2,100 kilometers connecting 15 access locations supporting Army installations throughout Germany, Italy and Belgium. The U.S. Army selected the Alcatel-Lucent Metropolis Wavelength Services Manager (WSM) for implementing the rings which can provide up to forty 10 Gbps (gigabits per second) of transmission capacity each.
“This project demonstrates our ability to deliver full-scale communications solutions that include both products and multi-vendor network integration services that meet our customers’ needs,” said Ron Iverson, CEO, LGS. “We work in lock step with our customers throughout every phase of the project to ensure the network not only meets, but exceeds their expectations.”
LGS network integration team worked closely with the U.S. Army program manager to design and implement the middleware portion of the transport network, which provides Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) services. The middleware system consists of MPLS/IP routers, and encryption devices that connect I3MP, Army Communities of Interests (COINs) and Legacy networks to the DWDM-OTN network. The middleware network allows the Army to consolidate or eliminate legacy systems in the region and continue the transformation from a TDM to IP network centric architecture.
LGS responsibilities also included designing and implementing a state-of-the-art secured out-of-band (OOB) management system that allows an alternate capability to securely configure all OTN network elements, troubleshoot and resolve network problems.
Renewable jet propellant-8 (JP-8) fuel developed and produced by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota was successfully flown in a rocket built by Flometrics, a product engineering company specializing in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics based in San Diego, California. The fuel burn was so successful that the rocket approached Mach 1 (the speed of sound) and reached an altitude of about 20,000 feet. The launch was conducted on a hot summer day in the Mojave Desert, home to numerous aviation and rocket tests throughout history, just outside of San Diego.
“The demonstration worked very well, and we were pleased with the fuel. In fact, it performed better than expected,” said Steve Harrington, President of Flometrics. “The initial launch was a little explosive, which we call a hard-start, but it ended up working very well. The rocket appeared to have reached the transonic regime close to Mach 1. The data are currently being evaluated for more details on this exciting flight,” he said.
The EERC’s fuel was created from completely renewable crop oils, such as canola and soybeans. Developed through a variety of existing contracts, the fuel was vigorously tested at the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), a cosponsor of the test along with the EERC and Flometrics, and meets all of the screening criteria for JP-8 aviation fuel, a petroleum-based fuel widely used by the U.S. military. The major advantage of the EERC’s renewable fuel is that the fuel can be designed to meet a wide variety of mission-specific requirements.
About 8 gallons of fuel was sent to the Flometrics research facilities, enough for two launches. The rocket used in the launch was originally built as a test rocket for the Discovery Channel series MythBusters. The rocket has previously been tested with standard Jet-A fuel and rocket propellant-1 (RP-1) kerosene, for which the rocket was originally designed.
“This is a unique opportunity for the EERC’s renewable fuel,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “Our fuel is already providing a pathway to energy security to the U.S. military and now is becoming an option for ground-to-air missiles and even space flight.” Groenewold added the fuel burns extremely clean, minimizing the environmental footprint and substantially reducing upper atmospheric particulate.
SpaceX announced the successful launch of Falcon 1 and delivery of Malaysia’s RazakSAT into the correct orbit. “This marks another successful launch by the SpaceX team,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “We are pleased to announce that Malaysia’s RazakSAT, aboard Falcon 1, has achieved the intended orbit.”
Falcon 1, a two-stage, liquid oxygen/rocket-grade kerosene vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX, lifted off Monday, July 13, at 8:35 pm (PDT). Lift off occurred from the Reagan Test Site (RTS) on Omelek Island at the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.
RazakSAT was designed and built by Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB), a pioneer and leader in the design and manufacture of satellites in Malaysia.
“Our ground systems were able to pick up communication from RazakSAT on its first pass,” said Norhizam Hamzah, Senior Vice President / Chief Technical Officer, Space Systems Division, ATSB. “The satellite is communicating as expected and our team will continue to monitor the data closely.”
Preliminary data indicates that the RazakSAT, equipped with a high resolution Medium-Sized Aperture Camera (MAC), achieved the intended Near-Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (NEqO) at 685 km altitude and a 9 degree inclination. The payload is expected to provide high resolution images of Malaysia that can be applied to land management, resource development and conservation, forestry and fish migration.
Trusted Computer Solutions (TCS) announced that the company’s Professional Services Team received a two year $2.1 million contract to support the Air Force’s Cryptologic Systems Group (CPSG), which provides highly-specialized security support for a wide-range of military and non-military agencies. Under the terms of the contract, TCS’ Professional Services Team will provide the following:
Establish and assist the CPSG’s efforts to start a government sponsored management office and provide the framework and processes to support cross domain solutions.
Create a lab environment to test and architect cross domain solutions.
Facilitate collaboration and processes to support the Community of Interest (COI) for cross domain solutions.
TCS’ SecureOfficeTrusted Gateway (TGS) product and other cross domain solutions will be used to assist CPSG with the secure transfer of sensitive and classified information between various networks. The TCS Professional Services Team will assist the CPSG Management Office in implementing TGS and taking it through the certification and accreditation (C&A) process.
SecureOffice Trusted Gateway is a cross domain solution that provides a rapid, multi-directional transfer of data between various security levels – unclassified, secret, secret releasable, top secret and sensitive compartmental information (SCI) networks.
“This is a very strategic win for our Professional Services Team,” stated Ed Hammersla, Chief Operating Officer for TCS. “As the Management Office and government sponsor for our TGS product, the Air Force will be taking the lead in managing the C&A process. In addition, this win supports our strategy to pursue services offerings in the management consulting area, including management office establishment, process support and managed services.”
When astronauts embarked on the latest mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, Bal Seal Engineering’s canted-coil springs went along for the ride in a set of special tools designed to make the job easier and more efficient.
Bal Seal’s small, precision-engineered springs played an important role in several of the major repair operations conducted during “Servicing Mission 4,” NASA’s final voyage from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the famous orbiting telescope. Over the course of five history-making spacewalks, the crew of the STS-125 Atlantis relied on the simplicity and unique physical properties of the springs to help their tools work in an environment where failure definitely wasn’t an option.
One of the more important tools employing Bal Seal springs for grounding functions during repairs was a “fastener capture plate,” designed by engineers at Goddard Space Center for NASA. This plate, which was fitted precisely over a panel covering a failed electronics card, enabled astronauts to remove and retain 111 tiny screws without losing them or allowing them to float into the telescope where they could have caused serious and costly damage. Springs in the plate connection points grounded the unit to the Hubble.
Another critical piece of hardware on the Hubble repair mission was a Cardlok Manipulation Tool, or “CMT,” designed for Goddard and NASA by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK). Inside the CMT, a low-speed hand tool resembling a long Allen wrench, a beryllium-copper Bal Seal spring was used to provide electrical grounding and ensure smooth rotary motion.
Hans Raven, an ATK engineer who worked with a team to design the CMT and more than 100 other tools for the final Hubble repair mission, said he selected a Bal Seal spring after observing its use in other tool applications.
“I was looking for a way to allow the CMT to rotate while efficiently grounding the rotating portion to the shaft.” Raven said. “I didn’t want to overcomplicate things by using a ball bearing, and when I saw the [Bal Seal] spring, a light bulb went off. The multi-point coil contact provided exceptional grounding – zero resistance across the path. It was the ideal solution for this tool.”
Working on the orbiting Hubble in shifts lasting more than six hours each, Atlantis astronauts used their collection of specialized tools to repair the telescope’s existing Advance Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). They also installed two new instruments: the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
With repairs and upgrades complete, NASA expects the Hubble Space Telescope will be capable of taking pictures of the universe until at least 2014.