In Brief

Sept. 1, 2005

BAE Systems to develop on-board generator for Humvees

The U.S. Office of Naval Research has selected BAE Systems in Johnson City, N.Y., to develop an on-board vehicle power system for the U.S. Marine Corps High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, known commonly as the Humvee. The study contract calls for system requirements definition and preliminary design work to enable a Humvee to generate 30 kilowatts of continuous mobile on-board power. BAE Systems is the propulsion and power subsystem integrator for the Future Combat Systems Multifunction Utility/Logistics Equipment vehicle (MULE), and its commercial hybrid vehicles include buses that have logged more than 2 million miles in New York City. Buses equipped with BAE Systems’ HybriDrive propulsion system typically achieve 25 percent to 35 percent greater fuel economy than standard diesel buses and generate significantly lower emissions, company officials say. The Office of Naval Research’s On-Board Vehicle Power study contract includes an option to fund BAE Systems to develop a prototype system for installation on a Humvee to support U.S. government testing. For more information see

Navy P-3C aircraft use data link from Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin officials in Eagan, Minn., finished installing 10 systems that transmit air-to-ground sensor videos and other data in real time from U.S. Navy P-3 maritime patrol aircraft. These Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) installations on P-3s are part of a job to install new-production TCDL systems in 24 P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) aircraft over the next year. The TCDL enables P-3C AIP-upgraded aircraft to be a critical node in FORCEnet and continues the Navy’s transformation to a network-centric force. P-3C AIP aircraft equipped with this system are supporting Marine, Army, and National Guard tactical units in the global war on terrorism. The TCDL system retrofitting existing AIP aircraft. For more information see

Northrop Grumman tests software for Webb Space Telescope

The Northrop Grumman Corp. team developing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in Redondo Beach, Calif., tested software to align the space observatory’s 18 mirror segments following the rough vibrations and disturbances during launch. The test helps verify that Webb mirrors will produce clear images of the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe. Conducted in July at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the test demonstrated the accuracy of the coarse-phasing (or rough-focusing) mode developed for JWST’s Wavefront Sensing and Control System (WFS&C). Test data will enhance the accuracy, reliability and speed of WFS&C software during commissioning. WFS&C provides the telescope’s “tuning ability,” and coarse phasing is one of several WFS&C processes that will be used to achieve proper alignment for science operations following the space observatory’s deployment. For more information see or

Air Force eyes state-of-the-art jet fighter targeting pods

U.S. Air Force officials are looking to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control division in Orlando, Fla., to develop state-of-the-art targeting pods to support the F-16 and F-15 jet fighter aircraft. Toward this goal, Lockheed Martin engineers are providing eight advanced targeting pods, containers, pylon, and spare parts under terms of a $10.3 million contract awarded in July from the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Fla. Aeronautical Systems Center experts are pursuing this project on behalf of the Air Force and the U.S. Air National Guard.

General Atomics to continue Predator UAV logistics support

General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems in San Diego will continue contractor logistics support for the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at least through the rest of this year. General Atomics won a $20.8 million contract modification in July to continue Predator logistics support from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2005. The contract is from U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Rannoch receives FAA contract for collision detection-and-alerting safety systems

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a contract for integrated Airborne Internet, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Information Services (TIS) avionics to Rannoch Corp. in Alexandria, Va., to combine air-to-air and ground-to-air situational awareness for airborne and surface operations. The contract calls for an aircraft-centric networked avionics implementation, believed to be the first of its type, networking ADS and TIS broadcast messages from a variety of data-link systems. The aircraft network-based architecture integrates data in real time from a variety of sources including 1090 MHz ADS-B, 978 MHZ Universal Access Transceiver (UAT), and an enhanced version of VHF Data Link (VDL) radio communications to support air-to-ground communications. The contract award included Rannoch’s PathProx conflict detection-and-alerting logic, designed to provide TCAS-like alerting in airborne scenarios and on the airport surface. Conventional TCAS (Traffic Alerting and Collision Avoidance System) is operational today, but is limited to providing airborne separation because it relies on vertical separation of aircraft. For more information see

FSMLabs turbocharges AMD processors in embedded applications

RTLinux from FSMLabs in Socorro, N.M., brings real-time, multicore operation, native 64-bit support and Carrier Grade Linux capabilities to AMD Opteron and other AMD64 processors. The FSMLabs program also targets the AMD Athlon 64 and Turion 64 processors in a range of applications. RTLinuxPro and Carrier Grade RTLinuxPro now offer support for these AMD CPUs in embedded configurations that include communications blades, dedicated networking and security systems, instrumentation and control hardware, high performance simulation, high resolution imaging, and other demanding applications. FSMLabs’ RTLinux technology lets device OEMs develop and deploy applications that require hard-real-time responsiveness and a standards-based open-computing platform like Linux. RTLinuxPro Carrier Grade RTLinuxPro for AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64, and AMD Turion 64 processors is available immediately from FSMLabs and its worldwide channel partners. For more information, visit or email [email protected].

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab opens Norfolk office to support Joint Forces Command

A new field office for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory opened in Norfolk, Va., to support the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in its mission to better integrate the war fighting capabilities of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Located near JFCOM headquarters, the field office will strengthen communications between APL and JFCOM personnel working on common projects. The Laboratory’s role has been to help JFCOM anticipate and address some of its greatest challenges, including evaluating technologies that could solve pressing military challenges and improve battlefield situational awareness. For information, visit

Smiths Detection deploys explosive-detection walk-through trace portal

Smiths Detection in Pine Brook, N.J., announced the first deployment of its Sentinel II explosive-detection walk-through trace portal since completing field testing by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Sentinel II, a next-generation passenger security screening technology, will be deployed in Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. Additional New York-area deployments at JFK International Airport and La Guardia International Airport are scheduled for August and September 2005. During the TSA’s field trials, the Sentinel II was tested in Terminal 1 of JFK International Airport, as well as at multiple international airports throughout the U.S., to determine the system’s capabilities and impact on terminal operations. The Sentinel II will enhance explosive-detection capabilities by rapidly detecting various explosive substances that could emanate from a passenger’s clothing, skin, or hair. Using Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS), the walk-through trace portal operates automatically, passing air gently over a person from head to toe, releasing any particles that are naturally absorbed by or cling to a person’s clothing or body. These particles are then drawn by a vacuum and collected for analysis at the passenger’s feet. Detection of particles or vapors can indicate that a person is either carrying an explosive device or has come into contact with explosive substances. For more information visit

Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout UAV fires test rockets

The Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems RQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in July fired two test rockets Arizona’s Yuma Proving Grounds. This is the first successful live weapons fire from an autonomous unmanned helicopter, say Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems officials in El Segundo, Calif. This event proves Fire Scout’s ability to perform strike missions-in addition to conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance-and subsequently expands its capabilities. The test supports the U.S. Navy’s and U.S. Army’s interest in weaponizing Fire Scout, which fired two 2.75-inch Mark 66 unguided rockets during the tests. The weapons loading, mission planning, and execution took place as planned.

Curtiss-Wright lands $7.7 million Navy contract for VME single-board computers

U.S. Navy officials selected Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (CWCEC) in San Diego to provide as many as 900 VME single-board computers and accessories to support the C-12673/UPX Control Indicator and AN/UPX-36 (V) Central Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) project. Curtiss-Wright is working under terms of a $7.7 million contract modification awarded in June from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in St. Inigoes, Md. The Central IFF for Ship Defense (CIFF-SD) AN/UPX-36(V) is a computer-controlled AIMS MK XII IFF system that blends different sources of target information such as IFF and Ship Self Defense System track files. The system accepts composite video returns from shipboard IFF sensors; processes the individual sensor signals; correlates and combines IFF sensor inputs into one IFF track picture; associates IFF contacts with local and composite tracks; and provides track data to, and receives composite track updates from, the multifunction computer plant. The system controls the interrogations of each IFF system and interfaces to a keyboard and display terminal to enter data for system setup and troubleshooting. For more information visit

DRS to provide fiber-optic communications for Navy warships

Engineers from the DRS Technologies Electronic Warfare and Network Systems unit in Buffalo, N.Y., will provide AN/USQ-82(V) Fiber Optic Data Multiplex Systems (FODMS) for U.S. Navy DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-Class (DDG 51) destroyers. FODMS is a general-purpose, dual-network system for shipboard communications that provides data and integrated communications between propulsion and power-control systems, steering, navigation sensors, weapons systems, alarms, indicators and integrated bridge systems, as well as Aegis combat systems. The $8.4 million contract came to DRS from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington. Product deliveries occur from October 2006 through April 2007. Including the latest award, DRS has received approximately $52 million in orders on the FODMS program. The FODMS is based on the military Survivable Adaptable Fiber Optic Embedded Network (SAFENET) standard. For more information contact DRS online at

BAE zeroes-in on combat network for British army

The BAE Systems Insyte division based at Christchurch in Dorset, England, was named preferred bidder for Project Falcon, which is to equip senior commanders in the British army with a network for controlling combat operations at corps, division, and brigade levels. Falcon will have more than 50 times the data throughput capacity of the systems it replaces. It will improve the capability of the army’s communications network and reduce the number of Royal Signals vehicles and personnel necessary to support a major headquarters. The Falcon network transmits large amounts of data, including real-time video, between army headquarters. Falcon will be deployed to and operated by Royal Signals units and will allow significant operator reductions over the existing Ptarmigan system. Falcon will provide the battlefield communications infrastructure to support the army’s command systems. The Bowman tactical system will feed information seamlessly into Falcon, which will link back to United Kingdom headquarters in real time using the Skynet 5 satellite communications system.

Blackman leaves Wind River for position at LynuxWorks

Real-time embedded-software expert Steve Blackman left his post at Wind River Systems Inc. in Alameda, Calif., and is the new director of business development at the LynuxWorks Inc. military and aerospace market segment in San Jose, Calif. Blackman had been senior director of business development for Wind River’s aerospace and defense business unit, where he directed a COTS-based software-development platform for safety-critical standards, and was responsible for developing and marketing Wind River’s secure real-time operating system technology. In his new role at LynuxWorks, he will be responsible for business development, strategic partnerships, product strategy, and developing the company’s overall future vision in the aerospace and defense markets. In addition, Blackman will focus on LynuxWorks’ involvement and support for the military’s Future Combat Systems program as well as the information assurance solutions program. LynuxWorks provides operating systems, software-development products, and consulting services for communications, aerospace/defense, and consumer products companies. The company is a technology expert in real-time operating systems. For more information contact LynuxWorks online at

IBM researchers to help DARPA with advanced IC work

U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) officials are asking scientists at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., to support advanced integrated-circuit research. IBM will support the U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office in Arlington, Va. Work will center on millimeter-wave silicon germanium (SiGe) technology for military and commercial applications such as multigigabit-per-second wireless communications, high-resolution radar, and integrated remote sensors. The company is working under terms of a $5.8 million contract awarded in June from the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego on behalf of DARPA. The 14-month contract includes five options, which if exercised would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $16.1 million. Work will be in Yorktown, N.Y., and will be finished by December 2008.

Rockwell Collins launches GPS navigation tool for infantry soldiers

Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is offering its Dead Reckoning Augmented GPS Navigation System (DRAGN) that enables soldiers on foot to navigate in cities and dense foliage when global-positioning satellite (GPS) signals are weak or blocked. DRAGN integrates the company’s GPS technology with inertial sensor technology developed by Heerbrugg, Switzerland-based Vectronix AG. The inertial sensors track movement from the last confirmed position until the GPS signal is restored. This provides dismounted troops with continuous position information. The company announced DRAGN in June. For more information contact Rockwell Collins online at

Agilent to provide B-2A bomber cable and antenna test systems

Agilent Technologies Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif., won a $1.4 million U.S. Air Force contract to provide transmission line and antenna cable test sets (TACTS) for characterizing B-2A aircraft RF communications cabling and antennas. Agilent will provide its N1906A-E05 test sets, which Air Force officials chose for their performance, ease of use, and small form factor, Agilent officials say. The test sets, which measure amplitude and phase characteristics of cables in aircraft communications and radar, will enable the Air Force to reduce test time by a factor of five and reduce uncertainty by a factor of 10, Agilent officials say. The speed and accuracy facilitate basic go/no-go status checking and enable performance tracking over time. The system is comprised of Agilent’s N5230A PNA-L Series microwave network analyzer, ECal electronic calibration module internally mounted in the remote measurement unit (RMU), an RF interface and controller, and system software.

General Dynamics awarded $141 million to upgrade Abrams tanks

General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., will upgrade 60 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to the latest system enhancement package (SEP) configuration (M1A2 SEP) under terms of a $141 million contract. The contract is from the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command. These 60 M1A2 tanks have been in service for the past 15 years. The M1A2 SEP digitized weapon system is the latest, most technologically advanced Abrams tank. It has the latest command-and-control system, second-generation thermal sights, and improved armor. This retrofit is part of an overall M1A2 tank upgrade program that integrates new information technologies to improve soldier warfighting capability with enhanced command and control features such as color maps and displays, high-density computer memory, increased microprocessing speed, and networked communications.

DRS strengthens rugged-computer business with WalkAbout acquisition

DRS Technologies Inc. in Parsippany, N.J., is strengthening its offerings in military and aerospace rugged mobile and portable computers with its acquisition of rugged tablet computer designer WalkAbout Computers Inc. in West Palm Beach, Fla. DRS announced its acquisition of WalkAbout Computers from Scorpion Holdings in a stock purchase transaction. The terms were not disclosed. WalkAbout designs and builds rugged tablet computers and docking stations for mobile workers in demanding environments. WalkAbout nearly doubled its West Palm Beach, Fla., manufacturing facility in January 2002. In 1997 the company was named Florida’s fastest growing small business. For rugged military computer applications, the acquisition of WalkAbout will complement DRS Tactical Systems Inc. in Palm Bay, Fla., which specializes in ultra-rugged computers, servers, flat-panel displays and other products for military force modernization and battle management for land, sea, and air operations across a variety of platforms.

EDO moves ahead with counterterrorism weapon system

U.S. Army leaders are looking to EDO Corp. to continue developing the Warlock Green and Warlock Red electronic countermeasures systems that help U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan defend against roadside terrorist bombs. The EDO Communications and Countermeasures segment in Thousand Oaks, Calif., is working under terms of a $34 million contract modification in June from the Army. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity. The countermeasure systems use radio-frequency jammers to block communications signals that detonate improvised explosive devices. The systems can be used individually or in groups to provide wide area coverage without mutual interference. The systems have manpack, vehicle-mounted, and stand-alone configurations. The Warlock Green/Warlock Red are modified versions of the EDO Shortstop RF proximity fuze countermeasures system designed to detonate incoming artillery and mortar rounds prematurely.

Boeing team demonstrates autonomous flight control for UAVs

A Boeing Co.-led team demonstrated autonomous software-based flight-control technologies that could improve new generations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The effort is part of the Software Enabled Control program (SEC) of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with technical direction from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The demonstration flight May 26 involved the DARPA Renegade helicopter UAV, modified to include SEC hardware and software. The SEC software controlled the Renegade with autonomous maneuvering algorithms developed by university teams. The flight was at Victorville, Calif. Working with Boeing are teams from the University of California at Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif.; the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. the SEC software is based on a Boeing open-control-platform (OCP) architecture. DARPA’s Renegade UAV is based on the Boeing Maverick helicopter UAV, which serves as the avionics test bed for the A160 Hummingbird. The A160 is an unmanned helicopter that Boeing Phantom Works is developing for DARPA to fly 2,500 nautical miles with endurance in excess of 24 hours and payloads of more than 300 pounds.

Army Purchases 16 more TCOM Aerostats for Iraq

TCOM L.P. will provide the army with 16 17M Tactical Aerostat Systems to support troops during ongoing hostilities in Iraq. The $12 million contract is part of a prime RAID 3 contract awarded to Raytheon by the Army. Program support will be at TCOM’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., with production activities conducted at TCOM’s manufacturing and flight test facility in Elizabeth City, N.C. This system, part of the Army’s Rapid Aerostat Initial Development (RAID) program, is a tethered balloon equipped with round-the-clock intelligence-gathering capabilities and provides enhanced communication on the battlefield. “These systems are saving soldiers’ lives, says Maj. Reid Vander Schaaf from the RAID program office. Trailer mounted for ease of transport and deployment, the system cana be operated by three people and deployed in less than two hours. Carrying payloads to operating altitudes of as high as 1,000 feet, the system provides persistent surveillance, staying aloft for up to a week at a time. For more information on TCOM, visit

General Dynamics to acquire Itronix

General Dynamics signed an agreement with Itronix Holdings and Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm, to acquire Itronix Corp., a Spokane, Wash.-based provider of wireless, rugged mobile computers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. General Dynamics officials say they expect the transaction to be completed in the third quarter of 2005. Itronix will become part of the General Dynamics C4 Systems business unit. “The acquisition of Itronix will allow General Dynamics C4 Systems to bring even higher value to our core Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security customers, and expand further into select commercial and international markets which increasingly are calling for rugged computing solutions to meet their mission requirements,” says Mark Fried, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.

SAIC to support Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in McLean, Va., won a five-year contract to support the Air Force’s Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC), which is responsible for independent operational test and evaluations. SAIC’s Engineering, Test and Analysis Business Unit in Albuquerque, N.M., will test systems such as aircraft, missiles, vehicles, communications, computers, avionics, radar, lasers, directed-energy weapons, space systems, and weather systems. Work primarily will be at Kirtland, Air Force Base, N.M.; Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.+; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; and Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Northrop Grumman’s IR countermeasures to protect CV-22 Aircraft

The U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Northrop Grumman’s Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Ill., a contract to supply directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems to protect the aircrews of its CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from infrared-missile attack. Deliveries of DIRCM systems under a $31.8 million contract will continue through 2010. The initial units will be small, multiband laser-transmitter assembly variations of Northrop Grumman’s AN/AAQ-24 (V) DIRCM system, a combat-proven, laser-based countermeasures system. The AN/AAQ-24 (V) DIRCM is being installed on several hundred fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft for the U.S. military and several allied countries. Later deliveries will represent the first production order for Northrop Grumman’s next-generation infrared countermeasures system, which builds on the proven technology offered by the AN/AAQ-24 (V) DIRCM. The system should be complete in 2006. The substantially smaller, lower-cost system will also feature reliability enhancements over the already dependable system. The system’s reduced size and weight will help extend aircraft operational range.

Sikorsky orders medical module for Black Hawk

Air Methods Corp. in Denver won a contract in excess of $4.8 million from Sikorsky Aircraft Co. in Stratford, Conn., to build 11 HH-60L Multi-Mission MedEvac Interior Systems. The work should be completed within a year. The HH-60L Black Hawk is a specialized multimission helicopter that can support medical, personnel, or cargo transport missions. The aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art medical systems to provide critical care for up to six patients. Medical systems include a Patient Litter System, an on-board oxygen-generation system, medical suction, patient monitors and high intensity NVG compatible lighting. One of the kits will be integrated into the new HH-60M Black Hawk, which is the medical evacuation configuration of the newest version of the Black Hawk. The HH-60M provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, better handling, active vibration control and improved survivability over past versions. For more information, see

Space shuttle used batteries from BST Systems

BST Systems officials in Plainfield Conn., say that their high-tech batteries played a role in the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery as well as the in-flight repairs. Company officials say 11 BST batteries were aboard Discovery. During the launch, six of the firm’s flight-instrumentation batteries provided power to the vehicle’s radar tracking system and its safety and flight electronics subsystems, ensuring a successful launch. In addition to the six BST batteries, five extravehicular-mobility-unit, or EMU, batteries were on board the shuttle. The batteries are in the astronaut’s spacesuits and provide life-support power outside the craft during space walks. Those batteries were used during the flight’s tile inspection and repair operations outside the shuttle by astronaut Steve Robinson and his team. Those specialized batteries will remain on board the shuttle for future flights. For more information, see

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