Sunday, July 22, 2007

Terror Drills, Lockheed FCS Robot, + "Falcon Virgo"

Since we live in an age of terror threats and accidental disasters, medical centers must be in a constant state of readiness. With that in mind, the main hospital at Vanderbilt demonstrated a dress rehearsal Monday night for the real thing. Shower curtains came down on the sidewalk outside the Nashville's Vanderbilt Medical Center to clean off dozens of make-believe victims of a campus chemical explosion. Officials got help from technicians in special suits. The victims even got waned by a glow bar to see if all the chemicals washed away. Only their clothing gave way that the drill wasn't

"Operation Red Rose II"

UPMC to Test Biodefense System in Emergency Exercise

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will participate on Friday, July 27, in a simulated mass casualty incident involving the Pennsylvania National Guard, St. Francis University’s Center of Excellence for Remote and Medically Under-Served Areas (CERMUSA) and various regional emergency responders.
Named "Operation Red Rose II," this second annual exercise will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, 101 Champ Blvd., in East Hempfield Township. More than 500 emergency and other personnel are expected to participate. The event is designed to measure the ability of various state, federal and private agencies to effectively deal with emergency situations. To add to the realism of the exercise, none of the participants will be informed of the nature of the situation until the exercise has begun. (Cont..)

Lockheed Martin reaches major milesstone for the MULE robotic vehicle engineering evaluation unit

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment (MULE) robotic vehicle’s Engineering Evaluation Unit (EEU) recently reached a major milestone in demonstrating autonomous navigation over complex obstacles, such as steps and gaps.
The EEU autonomously climbed a 30-inch step and bridged a 70-inch gap without operator intervention, using only parametric descriptions of the obstacles and the vehicle’s self-awareness. This capability exceeds the performance of other high-mobility vehicles, such as the HMMWV. Although a smaller vehicle, the MULE is able to address complex obstacles, such the ones used for the demonstration at a testing facility, by employing its specialized articulating suspension.
"We’ve now demonstrated mobility that exceeds the HMMWV or any other small combat vehicle," said Joe Zinecker, program manager for the FCS MULE at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The MULE can keep up with dismounted Soldiers, and will not be restricted to roads or trails like most other vehicles. We are eager to provide this capability to our Soldiers as early as 2013."
The EEU represents a full-scale MULE vehicle, and is the largest and most sophisticated robotic vehicle yet constructed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and its partners in Unmanned Ground Vehicle development. The EEU was designed and built in only 13 months by Lockheed Martin and subcontractors MillenWorks and BAE Systems. Since December 2006, the team has incorporated a series of hardware and software enhancements, and has subjected the EEU to a variety of risk mitigation challenges.
The MULE/ARV-Assault Light, a 3.5-ton class vehicle for the Future Combat Systems Program, offers an extraordinary capability that will support the U.S. Army’s transformation to a lighter and more mobile fighting force. The robot’s unique mobility will enable it to go everywhere the Soldier can go and more. It will allow Soldiers of the transformed Army to use technology to perform a number of dull, dirty and dangerous jobs performed by Soldiers today, freeing troops to focus more effectively on the success of their mission. (Cont..)

Defense Leasing Remains Strong in Northern Virginia

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government and its defense contractors began scarfing up new office space in the Washington area.
Today, their appetites have diminished

With budget constraints and the
war -- and some of the initial hunger sated -- the government has become far more restrained. The defense industry meanwhile continues to expand its presence, particularly in Northern Virginia, but at a more modest clip than before, real estate experts say.
"The post-9/11 impact in the Northern Virginia office market has been enormous," said Herb Mansinne, national director at Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate firm. (Cont..)

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Don't be alarmed by an increase in military aircraft buzzing around in local skies early next week. The North American Aerospace Defense Command is planning a series of exercises Monday and Tuesday across the National Capital Region, and officials say the tests are likely to start early in the morning and continue late into night.
The intercept and identification drills, code named Exercise Falcon Virgo, will be led by NORAD and feature Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16s and C-38s, and Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters. Residents should expect flights to occur throughout the day, including late night and early morning hours.
The exercise is a test of NORAD's intercept and identification operations, and a gauge of the region's visual warning system. Training flights are to be held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the NCR Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, Civil Air Patrol and NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector.

Norfolk Health Dept. runs bio-terror drill

The Norfolk Health Department ran an exercise Friday to test their preparedness in the event of a bio-terror attack.
Imagine that anthrax bacteria are released in Norfolk and no one knows it until many people have the same flu-like symptoms. It's not far-fetched; in 2001 anthrax powder was sent through the mail sickening 22 people.
So, the Norfolk Health Department’s drill aimed to see what it could do in the event of such an attack. (cont..)

The Boeing Co. in St. Louis, MO received a minimum guaranteed $10.5 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for "intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services utilizing an unmanned aircraft system in support of the Global War on Terrorism." This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $381.55 million. Work will be performed in the area of operations in support of I and II Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs) deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is expected to be complete December 2007 (December 2010 with options). Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited via the Navy Electronic Commerce Office, with two offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract (M67854-07-D-2052).
Boeing has had field representatives in theater for a couple of years now to support and operate the Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle UAV from ships and ashore, receiving high praise and a fairly regular stream of contracts like this one from the USA and Australia. ScanEagle was developed to track dolphins and tuna from fishing boats, but its characteristics (low infrastructure launch and recovery, small size, long endurance, automated flight patterns) have turned out to be very good for battlefield surveillance. It has also been adapted to a number of specialty roles from sniper locator, to bio-warfgare agent detection.

Boeing to Develop Elements for a Mobile High Energy Laser Weapon Demonstrator


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