In Brief

July 1, 2006

NASA selects AIAA for standards program management

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that it has contracted with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) to designate AIAA as the secretariat support organization for the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS). Through this arrangement, AIAA will provide standardization management and administration, Web site development, and promotional services for CCSDS. NASA provides the secretariat within CCSDS, and the AIAA contract will execute the secretariat tasks of standards document management and other key support functions. The contract will be managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), NASA’s field center for technical and data standards. CCSDS was formed in 1982 by the major space agencies of the world to provide a forum for discussion of common problems in the development and operation of space data systems. It is currently composed of 10 member agencies, 22 observer agencies, and more than 100 industrial associates. Since its founding in 1982, CCSDS has provided a forum for discussion of common problems in the development and operation of space data systems. For more information, visit

BAE Systems to provide enhanced vision for U.S. Army combat vehicles

BAE Systems engineers in Nashua, N.H., will develop a situational-awareness capability for U.S. Army combat vehicles. BAE Systems’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS) will enable the vehicle driver, crewmembers, and soldiers riding inside to “see” through the armor of the vehicle, providing enhanced situational awareness for driving and before dismounting. DAS will be developed and demonstrated for the U.S. Army’s Research, Development, and Engineering Command’s Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate. The two-year program will culminate with BAE Systems’ installation of the DAS on an M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle modified to simulate a notional vehicle crew station. The DAS provides independent, simultaneous, closed-hatched hemispherical views of the area surrounding the vehicle. It can function day or night, and when the vehicle is moving or stationary. Camera pods mounted around the vehicle will provide a combined field of view that covers 360 degrees and a view from the horizon to directly above the vehicle.

Analysts say FPGA market to reach $2.75 billion

The field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) market, with a quickly expanding array of uses, is on a roll, reports In-Stat in Scottsdale, Ariz. The value of worldwide FPGA shipments will increase from $1.9 billion in 2005 to $2.75 billion by 2010, analysts at the high-tech market research firm says. Much of this revenue will come from low-volume shipments. “In large part, low-volume use of this product, relates directly to price, which directly correlates to complexity, and prices can run from less that $100 per unit to several thousand dollars per unit,” says Jerry Worchel, senior analysts for In-Stat. “End-use applications will determine the viability of using FPGAs for the long haul.” The research, “Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs): Expanding Its Boundaries” (IN0603187SI), covers the worldwide FPGA market. It includes forecasts of end-use dollar consumption by category through 2010. It also contains analysis of market trends and profiles of major vendors. For more information visit

Boeing wins demonstration contract to detect biological warfare agents

Boeing in St. Louis and a team of U.S. biodefense companies will modify the ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle to look for biological warfare agents as part of a program funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. The DTRA has awarded Boeing Phantom Works a two-year, Phase 1 contract worth $8.2 million for the Biological Combat Assessment System (BCAS) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program. The DTRA and the Boeing-led team will work with the U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Navy Third Fleet develop a remote sensor system to locate, track, and collect simulated biological warfare agents.

Aitech and LynuxWorks partner on software/hardware solutions

Leaders at Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif., and LynuxWorks in San Jose, Calif., have joined forces to provide modular computing and integrated subsystems for aerospace, defense, and industrial applications. The companies will first port LynuxWorks’s LynxOS real-time operating system family to Aitech’s ruggedized, conduction-cooled PowerPC VMEbus and CompactPCI platforms of single-board computers (SBCs). Aitech has long supported customer-configured LynxOS on some of its SBCs, and this combined hardware-software solution represents the first POSIX-conformant and Linux binary-compatible operating system to be ported native on Aitech’s PowerPC SBC platform. “The integrated, software development environment we can now provide under a flexible and powerful operating system like LynxOS, will enable our customers to focus their attentions on what they do best-their application software-not struggle to get the hardware to function,” says Doug Patterson, Aitech vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. For more information Aitech go to For more information on LynuxWorks go to

Raytheon to provide SM-3 development for sea-based missile defense

U.S. Navy officials awarded Raytheon in Tucson, Ariz., a contract for engineering and manufacturing to complete development of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA and to continue Block IB development, leading to sea-based missile defense deployment. Initial funding of $96 million has been issued to support engineering services, engineering studies and technology development technical instruction efforts. The SM-3 Block IA provides an incremental upgrade to improve missile reliability and supportability at a reduced cost. Block IB incorporates into the kinetic warhead an advanced two-color infrared seeker and a throttling divert and attitude control system providing additional capability against evolving threats. SM-3 has transitioned from engineering development to manufacturing build process and is being built along with production SM-2s in Raytheon Missile Systems’s factories in Tucson, Ariz., and Camden, Ark.

General Dynamics awarded contract for Canadian mine-protected vehicles

The government of Canada has awarded a $28 million contract to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada in London, Ontario, to provide 25 additional RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicles. This order is an option to a contract originally awarded in November 2005 that called for the delivery of 50 RG-31 vehicles. Under this contract, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada provides program management and engineering and logistics support while BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa manufactures the vehicles. The vehicles incorporate a Kongsberg Protector M151 Remote Weapon Station equipped with a day and night sighting system, which allows the operator to fire the weapon while remaining protected within the vehicle. The RG-31 tactical vehicle offers enhanced mine-blast resistance as well as protection against both improvised explosive devices and ballistic threats. The vehicles are being used in Afghanistan.

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