Unattended sensors have evolved through the years, from hand emplaced and retrieved systems inserted and retrieved from enemy area by special forces, to lightweight, expendable sensors that could be dropped from the air and tapped, via wireless links...
- SOCOM Wants Iron-Man Suits for the A Teams
- General Dynamics Integrates APS on Stryker/LAV III
- First Unmanned Aircraft Launch from Carrier – A Moment in History
- Unmanned air systems on U.S. aircraft carriers – the shape of wars to come
- BAE Systems Get $43 Million for Developing Micro Bots for the Army Research Lab
Filed under: DARPA, Industry Analysis, Syndicated Industry News
- BAE will cut 300 jobs across 5 US states, two thirds of which at their Electronic Systems site in Nashua, NH, where 50 people were already laid off last year.
- US AFRICOM is pondering establishing a base to operate UAVs out of a northwest African country such as Niger or Burkina Faso, according to the NYT.
- DARPA is interested in cheap, disposable electronic microsystems that could be used to create large networks of sensors that would biodegrade after they have accomplished their purpose. A Proposers’ Day will take place on Feb. 14 in Arlington, VA. They call it Vanishing, Programmable Resources (VAPR) and must be commended for acknowledging they are literally working on vaporware.
- The US Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is researching whether they could host their payloads on commercial spacecraft and will host an Industry Day for that purpose on Feb. 19-21 in El Segundo, CA.
- The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Japan has stepped up its monitoring of the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.
- The Brazilian defense market: big, growing, tantalizing, seemingly open but competitive and hard to get into [FT - reg. required].
- The Argentinian defense market… none of the above. Argentina’s defense minister Arturo Puricelli does not rule out sabotage to explain how the ARA Trinidad destroyer sank in port [in Spanish]. Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. Alas, President Cristina Kirchner’s doll was touring Asia at the time so she couldn’t help.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, logistics, Proposal, Services, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy
The United States Defense Department and the Services have invested a decent amount of funds over the last several years into alternate fuels for use in ships, aircraft and vehicles as well as provide electricity to bases. The military is one of the biggest users of petroleum in the world and is working on being prepared for the potential of lesser amounts of oil. They are also looking at ways to save on the cost of all that fuel.
They have worked on solar and wind based systems to replace generators at static sites that burn gas or recharge batteries critical to some modern equipment such as Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and small radios. The Navy and Air Force have already flown aircraft powered with biofuel as demonstrations. The Navy has invested in multiple sites and companies to explore making fuel from algae. The Defense Departments research arm, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), has also explored this source.
Now the Air Force has announced they have signed a contract with Gevo (GEVO), a company looking at using plant matter to make alcohol, for up to 11,000 gallons of jet fuel. The contract has a value of about $600,000.00. The fuel will be used as a demonstration project for testing and feasibility. Gevo is part of a larger project to see if wood and wood waste products can be a viable source for alternate fuels.
The initial cost of any project like this is large and the payoff may not be for several years. A recent study by the RAND group analyzed DoD efforts and found that in the long term they may still not be cost effective. They concluded that no matter what the source of the POL used by the military the transportation costs will still be high. They also believed that the current production processes being developed will not be cost effective.
Even so it makes sense for the military to continue this research because there is no real way of knowing just yet what the requirement is. There is also the chance that some sort of breakthrough might occur that makes the production of large amounts of biofuel cost effective. The military due to its demands should be looking at alternate fuels and changes in their use of gasoline based power to included alternate and hybrid means.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, ISR, IT, New York, S&T, Services, States, U.S. Army
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded New York based SRC Inc. a contract to begin development of a work station to support aircraft based foliage penetrating radar. The contract is worth about $11 million and will process and display data from another SRC product: the Foliage Penetrating, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar (FORESTER).
The goal of the FORESTER program is to mount a radar on either an unmanned or conventional aircraft and have it detect troop and vehicle movements in heavily forested terrain. The radar will penetrate the tree cover as well as ground clutter and discriminate through moving leaves and debris.
SRC has been working on the radar for DARPA for several years. The company is also working on a similar program for the Army through a separate contract.
Like all ISR systems the data collected by the FORESTER radar must be sent for processing and analysis somewhere. The workstation will aid in that. Once the data is understood it then must be further distributed to the unit that needs it either for situational awareness or so that it may engage any detected enemy troops.
As an anecdote I worked almost twenty years ago with a retired Air Force officer who had been involved in a similar project after the Vietnam War. In this case the Air Force wanted to develop a system that could find downed aircrew in heavy jungle terrain. This continues to show that some requirements never go away they just get further refined or developed.
Photo from debabrata’s flickr photostream.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Raytheon, S&T, Services, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy
A few weeks ago the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Raytheon (RTN) a contract to begin development of new, advanced air-to-air missile (AAM). Two major innovations for this system are to be a multi-mode seeker and a small footprint. Now DARPA has given Lockheed Martin (LMT) a similar contract to work on a ship based weapon for attacking enemy vessels.
This contract is worth about $150 million to initiate a rapid development program for the new missile. A great deal more money will be needed to complete development and testing and transition the design to production.
The goal is to make a weapon that has greater range then current available missiles.
The Soviet Union made the first strides in these systems back in the Fifties as a way to provide their ships with strike capabilities. The Royal and U.S. Navies relied on carrier based aircraft as their primary anti-shipping weapon as in World War II. The West did develop their own missiles with the U.S. Harpoon and French Exocet systems coming into use but these are limited in range to about 100 nautical miles.
The U.S. has been using basic variants of missiles developed in the Eighties for the air-to-air and air-to-ground mission although the addition of GPS guidance packages has significantly improved accuracy of bombs and missiles.
This program joins the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) in development and the new AAM in planning to use multi-mode seekers which can use radar, laser and optical guidance systems. The extension of this capability to missiles for all types of missions is a natural progression.
Photo from Andreia’s flickr photostream.
Filed under: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, Raytheon, S&T, Services
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Raytheon (RTN) a contract to develop a new air-to-air missile. The value is around $20 million. This new missile will be lightweight and possess a multi-mode seeker.
The U.S. Army is currently developing a new missile for use by them and the Air Force on helicopters and attack aircraft that also will have a multi-mode seeker. The Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program is currently testing two competing designs from Lockheed Martin (LMT) and a team of Raytheon and Boeing (BA). Both of the systems use seekers that use infra-red, laser and radar guidance.
The goal of these systems is to have the ability to choose the best guidance mode for the weather or counter-measure environment.
Raytheon already has manufactured the AIM-9X infra-red guided and AIM-120 AMRAAM radar guided missiles used on the current U.S. and Allied aircraft.
The new lightweight missile if it is successfully developed and produced will be carried by both manned and unmanned aircraft as the U.S. continues its investment in armed UAV’s.
Filed under: Australia, Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, General Atomics, Military Aviation, production program, QinetiQ, S&T, Services, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy
For the last month the United States’ Department of Defense has been awarding a variety of contracts to support development, testing and operations of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems. These have played a major role in the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) missions as well as attacking enemy personnel and assets.
The U.S. Air Force also operates the long range, high endurance Global Hawk from Northrop Grumman (NOC) that provides strategic collection capability. The system is being developed as well for the U.S. Navy and Australia for their Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) mission.
The U.S. continues to invest in these systems through a variety of contracts including a recent development effort to Boeing (BA) for a solar powered, high altitude, long endurance system. The $89 million contract to the company and its partner QinetiQ is part of the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA) Vulture program. The goal of this effort is to build a system that could remain airborne for up to five years providing reconnaissance and communication relay capability. In a way to fly an airplane rather then a satellite to provide some capability at a lower cost.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) won a Navy contract to support test and design efforts for future UAV systems. The school along with its partners operates a test facility that would provide harsh environments for these efforts. The contract could be worth up to $47 million if all options are exercised. The vehicle will allow the Navy to task the school to quickly react to requirements or efforts.
In another contract that supports existing systems the U.S. Air Force gave General Atomics a contract for six more MQ-9 Reaper systems. General Atomics makes the heavily used Predator and Reaper systems. The Predator was originally designed for ISR but has been armed with Hellfire missiles and provides precision strike for the Air Force and C.I.A. The Reaper is a bigger, more capable evolution of the Predator. This contract has a value of over $38 million.
These contracts indicate the U.S. commitment to unmanned programs. The different services will continue to develop and increase the capability of them as well as use their existing systems. The UAV market will see growth in the near future even as the defense budget declines and more traditional weapons see less investment. Right now there are limitations on these type of aircraft but as they are developed further these will be reduced. They do offer advantages over manned aviation assets chiefly because they do not put any crew at risk. They also may be smaller and more stealthy and have high endurance. They also have the possibility of offering more bang for the buck.
The UAV market continues to be one where small companies as well as large will focus on developing systems, sensors and the data lins necessary to control them.
Photo from Rob Shenk flickr photostream.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, logistics, production program, Proposal, S&T, Services, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy
The U.S. military and other agencies are deployed all across the world conducting combat, support and relief operations. One of their biggest demands is for electricity. This is used to power weapons systems, radios, data links as well as housekeeping services such as air conditioning. The U.S. soldier relies on batteries to power his personnel equipment such as Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and portable electronics. Much of this electricity including recharging batteries comes from generators powered by gasoline that are either stand alone or built into vehicles. The U.S. government has over the last decade looked at coming up with systems that don’t need to burn petroleum.
This is for a variety of reasons but mainly because oil is expensive to transport to places like Afghanistan. There are concerns too that eventually there won’t be any oil or it will become even more expensive.
The Defense Advanced Research Product Agency (DARPA) has invested money in different ideas. One of these is for small, flexible photovoltaic systems. Two years ago DARPA sponsored a contest for teams to come up with wearable power systems. These would replace batteries and be equipment that could be carried by the individual soldier and power his equipment.
Various parts of the government including DARPA, the Navy and Air Force have invested in biofuel research. In April the Navy flew a F/A-18 fighter using a mix of biofuel and standard jet fuel. The aircraft was able to fly at supersonic speeds with the use of its afterburner.
Another approach is being taken by SkyBuilt. This small defense contractor located in Arlington, VA builds portable, transportable systems that provide extended power generation through a combination of wind, solar and batteries. There design fits into a standard shipping container or can be built into a truck that may be set up quickly and left to run for several months at a time. They received investment capital from the U.S. government and now deliver systems for use by the military and other government agencies.
Even if there are not the predicted shortages of oil in the future development of low cost energy alternatives is a wise decision by the government. There are many instances where these systems may provide power and support. This kind of investment will also increase the supply of petroleum based products by mitigating the need for their use. Biofuel research achieves the same goal. As with many technologies there is a good chance of rapid improvement in size, cost and capability over the next decade now that a great deal of the basic research has been completed.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Events, ISR, IT, logistics, Military Aviation, Northrop Grumman Corp., Proposal, S&T, Services
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Northrop Grumman (NOC) a contract to continue further development of their Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) system. The contract has a value of just over $46 million.
HART is a system installed on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms that allows the sending of video feed to a hand held device used by ground troops. The idea is that the troops can ask for either live or historical video and imagery of the local area to aid them in developing situational awareness and engaging the enemy.
The HART program is more then a system on an individual Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) but allows the control and linking of several platforms. These can be directed to collect data or provide the historical data.
This type of program continues to illustrate the advantages and force multiplier that UAV’s and data networks provide the U.S. military. The way HART is configured it speeds up the delivery of requested information by making it go directly from the collection system to the user. In the past while imagery could be collected by aircraft, UAV and other systems there was a period of time when it was analyzed, exploited and disseminated. A system like HART minimizes that time period.
As these kind of systems get more sophisticated, robust and available the amount of intelligence to aid combat operations at the pointy-tip of the spear is not only increased but the quality is much higher. This becomes a significant combat enhancement for the U.S. and its military.
Photo from Sugarmonster’s flickr photostream.
Filed under: DARPA, northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News
July 1, 2010
Two Global Hawk UAVs Will Accomplish a World's First
SAN DIEGO – DARPA announced the award of a $33 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) to demonstrate aerial refueling of a NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by a sister ship. The program will be designated KQ-X.
Northrop Grumman will retrofit two of the high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs, one aircraft pumping fuel into the other in flight through a hose-and-drogue refueling system. The aerial refueling engagement will be completely autonomous.
"Demonstrating the refueling of one UAV by another is a historic milestone," said Carl Johnson, vice president, Advanced Concepts for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "It adds aerial refueling to the list of capabilities that can be accomplished autonomously by Global Hawks; it opens the door to greatly expanded operational utility for UAVs; and, as a side benefit, it promises to increase the safety and reliability of aerial refueling between manned aircraft by reducing pilot workload."
There are several revolutionary aspects to the KQ-X program. Not only will the aerial refueling be autonomous, but since Global Hawks are HALE UAVs, it will also take place at a much higher altitude than has been previously demonstrated with manned aircraft. It will also be the first time that HALE UAVs have flown in formation.
"The importance of aerial refueling is clear in the way military aviation depends on it today," said Jim McCormick, the DARPA program manager for KQ-X. "This demonstration will go a long way towards making those same advantages a reality for the next generation of unmanned aircraft."
Engineering work will be accomplished at the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Development Center in Rancho Bernardo, California. Pilots from NASA, NOAA, and Northrop Grumman will fly the Global Hawks from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, also in California. Sargent Fletcher, Inc. and Sierra Nevada Corporation are major KQ-X subcontractors.
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Filed under: DARPA, northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News
June 22, 2010
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has surpassed Phase I goals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL) program that seeks to mature fiber laser technology. As a result, the company has received a contract for Phase II.
"This is an important step in the maturation of fiber laser technology," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "By surpassing Phase I goals, we are in an excellent position for success in Phase II. Success in Phase II will create a powerful springboard for scaling fiber lasers to weapons-class performance levels."
With a 1 kilowatt (kW) single mode fiber amplifier, the company demonstrated a near-perfect beam quality of better than 1.2 and efficiency better than 30 percent, twice the program's goal of 15 percent. Northrop Grumman also demonstrated a polarization extinction ratio of 50:1, and extremely low phase noise, which is essential for the coherent combination of laser chains used to scale power to weapons-class levels.
The Phase I success was a team effort involving Nufern, East Branby, Conn., which supplied high-power amplifiers; Fraunhofer USA, Inc., Plymouth, Mich., which supplied high-power diode laser pumps; and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., which supplied advanced fiber design and analysis.
The $4.6 million, 18-month Phase II DARPA contract calls for scaling power to 3kW in a single mode fiber amplifier. The company has patents on techniques used to facilitate combination of many fiber amplifier beams, while maintaining near-ideal beam quality. The ultimate goal is to develop the technology to 100kW, the power necessary to field a lethal laser weapon.
Northrop Grumman is also working on other laser initiatives that will build on the company's scalable architecture and beam combining expertise. They include:
-- The 2-Dimensional Diffractive Optical Element Beam Combining Demonstration, a U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory program under which the company is demonstrating diffractive beam combining using the Joint Department of Defense high-power fiber laser test bed, and
-- The Robust Electric Laser Initiative, a two-year, $8.7 million contract for a High Energy Laser – Joint Technology Office program to produce a design using the company's diffractive optical element beam combining technique to increase power levels to 25kW.
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Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)
Grandis Was Awarded Prestigious DARPA Contract by Department of Defense to Develop STT-RAM (Spin-Transfer Torque Random Access Memory) — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, DARPA, development program, Events, IT, Press Releases, Services
Grandis Was Awarded Prestigious DARPA Contract by Department of Defense to Develop STT-RAM (Spin-Transfer Torque Random Access Memory)
MILPITAS, Calif., June 18 /PRNewswire/ — Grandis, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded $8.6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the second phase of a research project developing spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) chips. STT-RAM is a next-generation, solid-state memory technology that is dense, fast, non-volatile and radiation-hard, making it ideally suited for defense applications. The first phase, supported by an award amount of $6.0 million, began in October of 2008 and was scheduled to last two years.
The program is being carried out by a world-class collaboration between Grandis, the Universities of Virginia and Alabama, and the College of William and Mary. Additional support has been provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Naval Research Laboratory. Under the direction of Principal Investigator Dr. Eugene Chen of Grandis, development work has covered STT-RAM materials and processes, as well as STT-RAM architecture and circuit blocks. During Phase II, work will ultimately include test and verification of STT-RAM integrated memory arrays. Professor Stuart A. Wolf of the University of Virginia and Professor William H. Butler of the University of Alabama are both noted for their substantial contributions to the development of the field of Spintronics, and their extensive research capabilities in fundamental physics, first-principles modeling and combinatorial materials science provide a valuable complement to the efforts at Grandis in this program. “The success of this DARPA program is dependent on this exceptional and well-knit team consisting of industry and university partners,” according to the DARPA/MTO program manager for the STT-RAM program, Dr. Dev Shenoy.
“STT-RAM has huge potential as the only non-volatile Random Access memory which scales beyond 10nm. It is also the only technology fast enough to replace the existing DRAMs. It can replace embedded SRAM and flash at 45-nm, DRAM at 32-nm, and ultimately can replace NAND,” stated Farhad Tabrizi, CEO and President of Grandis. “We are proud of the very significant and rapid progress made by Grandis and our partners during the first phase of this project.”
Dr. Eugene Chen, Principal Investigator for the project, explained that “Approval of funding for the second phase of this project required reaching stringent goals for Phase I, a milestone we reached in March of this year, over six months ahead of schedule. These goals included demonstrating STT-RAM write energy of less than 0.25 pJ, read and write speeds of 5 nanoseconds and thermal stability greater than 60 kT, all on the same bits, plus projected endurance of greater than 1E16 cycles. In fact, we demonstrated these challenging metrics not just at 5 ns but also over a wide range of write speeds from 1 ns to 20 ns.”
Grandis has been the world leader in the development of STT-RAM, which is also known as STT-MRAM or SpinRAM, since 2002. It has pioneered the development of innovative materials and structures to enhance spin-transfer efficiency and reduce STT write current while maintaining thermal stability. It has established a comprehensive patent portfolio in Spintronics and STT-RAM technology and a strong technical team with extensive expertise in magnetic thin film and semiconductor memory technology. The successful outcome of this DARPA program will lead to a revolution in military and space electronics by delivering sophisticated solid-state memory devices for mission-critical applications.
About Grandis, Inc.
Grandis is the pioneer in the development of spin-transfer torque RAM (STT-RAM), a non-volatile and scalable RAM memory solution. Grandis licenses its technology to companies that are developing a variety of products incorporating stand-alone and embedded STT-RAM memory. It offers its licensees a complete range of support services from process installation through qualification. By combining non-volatility and high performance with low-power consumption and low cost, STT-RAM can revolutionize the performance of electronic products in many areas. Grandis was established in 2002, and is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Investors include Matrix Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, Applied Ventures LLC, Incubic and Concept Ventures. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at www.grandisinc.com.
Source: Grandis, Inc.
Filed under: DARPA, northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News
June 15, 2010
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected to continue development of a miniature navigation grade gyro for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that will provide precision navigation for size and power constrained applications.
The company will develop the final configuration for a stand-alone micro-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Gyro (micro-NMRG) for DARPA's Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (Micro-PNT) program.
Northrop Grumman began the first phase of this effort in October 2005 and was awarded the latest development contract based on past performance, including the successful completion of design, fabrication, and testing of the device, which has met or exceeded the performance goals of each phase.
Northrop Grumman's micro-NMRG technology uses the spins of atomic nuclei to detect the rotation of the gyro and will provide comparable performance to a navigation grade fiber-optic gyro in a small size, low power package. The technology could be used in any application requiring small size and low power precision navigation, including personal and unmanned vehicle navigation in GPS-denied or GPS-challenged locations.
"A miniature gyro that provides precision navigation is an important development for protecting our warfighters by ensuring that they have the accurate positioning information they need at all times, even if GPS is unavailable," said Charles Volk, vice president and chief technology officer of Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division. "This phase of the program will allow us to demonstrate that this new micro gyro technology can provide navigation grade performance in a small package and move it one step closer to the field."
Northrop Grumman offers its customers more than 50 years of navigation experience and produces navigation products utilizing a range of technologies including fiber-optic gyro-based systems, Northrop Grumman's exclusive hemispherical resonator gyro, unique ZLG™ gyros, spinning mass gyros, ring laser gyros, and micro-electro-mechanical-system gyros.
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Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, S&T, SAIC, Services
The fighting by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq the last nine years has relied heavily on the ubiquitous battery. Soldiers and vehicles now carry much more electronic equipment from night vision goggles to radios and data links. These need electrical power either from generators or batteries. The generators require fuel to run such as gasoline or diesel and all of this has to be transported.
The military has been investing in alternate sources from biofuels based on algae to fuel cells and wearable power systems. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has invested in some of these including sponsoring the wearable power contest last year. Now word comes that DARPA has awarded SAIC (SAIC) a contract to work on photovoltaic systems. The contract has a value of over $4 million if all options are exercised.
The goal is for a demonstration of low cost, lightweight and portable solar cells which will be used to generate electricity. These may then lead to further development into systems for military use. The contract will not address just design and effectiveness but also the fabrication and manufacture of the systems. The goal is to have solar cells that can be fitted into equipment carried by soldiers as well on vehicles.
The U.S. military is certainly considering a future with limited supplies of petroleum and this is extending to all types and ideas of power generation. This contract is just one example.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, IT, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, S&T, Services
The Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA) awarded a contract to a team led by Lockheed Martin to “develop” a new internet standard for use by the military only. The contract is worth about $31 million. Joining Lockheed will be companies like Microsoft, Juniper Networks, LGS Innovations and Stanford.
The idea is to build for DoD a more secure protocol. Although ARPA, DARPA’s predecessor, paid for the invention of what has become the Internet using primarily TCP/IP protocol this new set up will be optimized for military use and requirements. In some ways this makes a great deal of sense as the current internet faces a host of issues with protection and perhaps starting from scratch it will be easier to add security functions at the lowest level.
Filed under: Business Line, Contract Awards, DARPA, Department of Defense, development program, Events, logistics, Services, Solazyme, Sustainable Oils, U.S. Navy
The U.S. military uses a lot of fuel. The Navy powers its aircraft and ships with petroleum based products. It certainly behooves the Defense Department and the Services to invest in other sources of fuel. One area that is starting to receive more interest is biofuels.
Two companies, Solazyme and Sustainable Oils, were awarded contracts to explore making fuel from algae and oilseed plants. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has also invested in algae based fuel. The two contracts are worth about $11 million.
Both seem to be viable sources of fuel and the Navy wants to make sure that the result of their different refining processes will be capable of safely powering an airplane. Obviously once the fuel is tested as being viable the next focus of the research will be to move to a cost effective production and refining process. Ultimately the fuel has to cost near what it does for a gallon of oil based products. The other goal would be an ability to mass produce the product so as to support military needs. The awarding of the contracts indicate that the Defense Department is very interested in this product and process.
Filed under: Business Line, Cobham Defense Electronic Systems, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Events, IT, Press Releases, S&T, Services
Cobham Awarded US$15m Contract for Advanced Next Generation Radio
LOWELL, Massachusetts – Cobham has been awarded US$14.8 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the Wireless Network after Next (WNaN) program.
Under this cost plus fixed fee contract, Cobham Sensor Systems in Lowell, Massachusetts, will design, develop and demonstrate low-cost wireless network nodes which support adaptation by means of distributed network processing. A key element of the design is affordability, to allow wide deployment throughout the Armed Services.
The radios will be demonstrated during follow-on field trials by the Department of Defense in 2010. The U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL/RIKD) is the contracting activity.
Cobham’s products and services have been at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems for more than 70 years, keeping people safe, improving communications and enhancing the capability of land, sea, air and space platforms. The Company has four divisions employing more than 12,000 people on five continents, with customers and partners in over 100 countries and annual revenue of more than £1.4 billion / US$ 2.1 billion.
Cobham Sensor Systems designs and manufactures all classes of active and passive microwave components, assemblies and subsystems, composites and radomes for the aerospace and defense industries, and is the leading supplier of many microwave products.
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Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Events, IT, Northrop Grumman Corp., SAIC, Services
One would expect an organization like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to be funding small companies that possess breakthrough ideas and technologies. Often it does as it looks to provide seed money to jump start ideas that can then go on to be fully developed and produced. The Agency just announced major contract awards to two of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. Northrop Grumman and SAIC each will work on developing tetrahertz frequency amplifiers. Northrop actually received two contracts. Total value of these awards are $57 million.
There are some things that the large contractors have already done a lot of work in or possess the necessary facilities. These contracts are for an incremental development in a known technology — microchip integration. Moving forward to the higher frequencies that are required for advanced transmitters and receivers will require this kind of development.
The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program provides funding to a variety of companies each year to look at developing advanced concepts or technologies that DoD requires. This fund is generated through a portion of all R&D funding and will continue despite DARPA’s efforts to fund other efforts.
Filed under: Contract Awards, DARPA, development program, Evolved Machines, logistics, S&T
DARBA awarded Evolved Machines a contract to work on developing an artificial olfactory system. The $5 M plus contract will advance research by combining that done at various sites into one. The goal is to develop an advanced robotic system to detect various smells and odors. Applications may include drug or explosive sniffing as done by dogs currently. It could also be used to monitor cargo and high value targets such as water supplies.
See the press release at MarketWatch.com.