Friday, July 27, 2007
(BA)Missile Defense, Robots, DHS BS,Real ID, FCS etc
$80M to Boeing for GMD Missile Defense Complex in Europe
Boeing in Huntsville, AL received a sole-source maximum $80 million cost-plus-incentive-fee, indefinite-delivery letter contract to conduct activation planning of a European-based Missile Defense Complex, as part of the
of the USA’s anti ballistic missile program. Work will be performed at Huntsville, Alabama and the European site, and is expected to be complete by September 2013. The contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, AL is the contracting activity (HQ0147-07-D-0001).
Upon completion, GMD will consist of an complex array of components: Air Force Defense Support Program satellites (DSP – in service); Space Based Infrared System-High satellites (SBIRS-High, encountered problems and may be supplanted or supplemented by AIRSS); the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS); Upgraded Early Warning Radars (UEWRs – in progress around the world); a Battle Management, Command, Control and Communications system (BMC3 – in Colorado and Alaska); the SBX Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX); and Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missiles at Ft Greely, AK and Vandenberg, CA.
Missile defense efforts in Europe remain a source of controversy. Russia, which is helping Iran with its nuclear program, has objected strongly to such efforts. The nature and location of this complex are not discussed in the DefenseLINK release, however. Some additional readings related to this subject include…
Somerville holds a drill to test itself in case of pandemic, and gives out free tetanaus shots
Russia: SMF To Conduct Exercises
Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) plan to conduct more than 100 exercises this summer and fall, the SMF press service reported July 27. The exercises will center around command and control operations using the mobile Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile in preparation for arming an additional missile battalion at the Teikovo missile base in the Ivanovo region, according to SMF commander Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov
Biology proves a natural for robotic design
"One of the biggest advocates of biologically inspired robots is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, a semi-secret arm of the Pentagon that over the years has promoted the development of numerous cutting-edge technologies, from the Internet to stealth planes.
Among its current interests is BigDog, a four-legged, semi-autonomous robot that military planners hope might one day lope alongside soldiers at the front, carrying supplies, weapons, communications and navigation gear, medicine and more.
In early field tests, BigDog already suggests it's a robotic breed apart, lugging up to 150 pounds on its spare metal frame at 7 mph over varied terrain.
There's talk of creating a larger version of BigDog: a robotic pack mule for the Army, which last used the real thing in 1957. "
Intrepid could be post-terror command center
The aircraft carrier Intrepid -- currently docked at the home port in the Stapleton section of Staten Island in the midst of an 18-month makeover -- returns to its mission as a floating military museum in fall 2008.But the legendary World War II ship is also available as an emergency operations center in the event of another terrorist attack, the
Associated Press reported."If there is another terrorist attack and Intrepid is called to duty, she will be ready to go back into service of her country," Bill White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, said today.
Homeland security site gears up, and just in time
With the latest National Intelligence Estimate saying the United States will face "a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years" from groups such as al-Qaida, work at 500 Grumman Ave. West in Bethpage takes an even greater urgency.
About 80 corporate, government and academic leaders gathered recently to learn about that work, and offer input on a new homeland security research center planned for the site.
"This is our coming-out party – we’re on our way," said Kenneth Morrelly, president of the Long Island Forum for Technology and spiritual leader of the Applied Science Center of Innovation and Excellence in Homeland Security.
The building, once used by Northrup/Grumman, is now 600,000 square feet of near emptiness (several rooms are big enough for a game of touch football). When it’s up and running, the homeland security center will occupy about 90,000 of those square feet.
Morrelly sees that happening within a year, and foresees a dual purpose for the center. Its primary role will be to speed the development of technology that can protect society from terrorist attacks. The facility can also serve as an emergency operations center, should the need arise, Morrelly said.
The center will house 20 participating organizations, which will have work cells of generally less than 1,000 square feet each, filling the second floor. The third floor will house anchor tenant Northrup/Grumman, spread over 30,000 square feet.
The hope is that gathering a variety of tenants under one roof will lead to cross-pollination. "We want to get companies’ equipment in here to have as many tools in the center as possible," Morrelly noted.
One likely tenant is Balfour Technologies of Bethpage. Its president, Richard Balfour, was at the coming-out party, demonstrating his patented fourDscape – which lets users access data in 3D virtual reality and observe data or environments as they change over time, the fourth dimension.
That sort of capability will serve the center’s secondary mission as an emergency operations center. In a crisis, the center could be used to coordinate the response of various government agencies. That action would focus on the first floor, which will house secure conference rooms, communications, a 2,400-square-foot command center and an auditorium that could be used for briefings and news conferences.
Another local firm involved in the project is Juma Technologies of Farmingville, which integrates telecommunications and IT systems specializing in converged voice and data networks. Juma has worked with LIFT on various homeland security exercises.
"We were excited to be involved from square one," said Juma President David Giangano, adding that he’s looking forward to continued involvement in the project.
The original plan for the homeland security center had been to build it from the ground up. But once the Grumman property became available, it offered several advantages, Morrelly said. Primarily, the timeframe for the center was vastly accelerated from the four to five years it would take to build from scratch; the location was right, too, with easy access to helipads, the LIRR and New York City.
And Northrup/Grumman’s decision to be the anchor tenant helped secure additional funds from New York State, which is contributing $25 million to the cause, Morrelly said, covering most of the infrastructure and construction costs.
As an applied science center, the facility won’t pay taxes, so all rents will go to support the self-sustaining center’s work, Morrelly said.
This isn’t the first time the cavernous building on Grumman Avenue West has served the nation’s needs. In the 1960s, it was the birthplace of the Apollo lunar module.
"The LEM was assembled down the hall – kind of hard to believe," said Leonard Poveromo, technology development director for Northrup Grumman Corp. Integrated Systems.
From 1984 to ’94, Giangano was a senior engineer for Northrup/Grumman. Seeing former colleagues and the old buildings "was like homecoming," he said.
Homeland Security Funds LED Light That Blinds, Disorients
"Ryand Singel's Wired blog notes that Homeland security has developed an
LED flashlightthat uses 'powerful flashes of light to temporarily blind, disorient and incapacitate people.' The idea is to use it to incapacitate people — 'arrest them' — on airlines, borders, etc. without using traditional weapons. The company's president Bob Lieberman says the tool is perfect for confronting 'border jumpers.' 'You don't want to hurt or kill them, just take them into custody,' says Lieberman. 'With this, they don't need to know English to comply.' The 'light saber' can even be scaled up to bazooka size for subduing crowds."
Real-life 'Q' working to thwart the bad guys
U.S. Army’s FCS To Get New Name
The U.S. Army has decided that its eight-year-old flagship modernization program, the Future Combat Systems (FCS), will get a new name.
"It’s not future anymore. It is here. We are bending metal now," said FCS spokesman Paul Meheny.
Officials at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command have forwarded the recommended name to Gen. George Casey, U.S. Army chief of staff, who will make a decision in coming months, said Helen Lardner, deputy director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, Forward.
Several kinds of FCS gear are in testing and slated for fielding by 2008 or 2010, including the Micro Air Vehicle UAV, the Unmanned Ground Sensors and the bomb-detecting Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle. The chassis for the first 27-ton FCS Man-Ground Vehicle is being built at a BAE facility in Santa Clara, Calif. FCS computers, software-programmable radio and communications gear are being installed for testing on Bradleys, Abrams and Humvees. FCS is conducting 65 different tests in 41 states, Meheny said.
"In the late ‘90s, it was future, plus we were embarking on something the Army’s never done," Lardner said.
(the media faked planes on 9/11, how far into fake "terror" will they go?)
'Mirror' reporters held over fake bomb
Senate rejects extra $300 million for Real ID