In Brief

May 1, 2009
Boeing in Huntington Beach, Calif., delivered the first two engineering development models (EDM) of the Joint Tactical Radio System ground mobile radios (JTRS GMR) to the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.

Boeing delivers JTRS GMR engineering development models to U.S. Army

Boeing in Huntington Beach, Calif., delivered the first two engineering development models (EDM) of the Joint Tactical Radio System ground mobile radios (JTRS GMR) to the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. FCS will use the EDM units for software development, integration, and testing. Combined with pre-EDM radios, the EDM units will provide mobile networking capability during this summer’s FCS spin out limited user test at Fort Bliss, Texas. “When fielded, JTRS GMR will allow warfighters to communicate and share information over a secure, interoperable tactical radio system,” says Army Col. Daniel Hughes, program manager, JTRS Ground Domain. Boeing will provide additional engineering models to the JTRS Joint Program Executive Office over the next six months for a government-run system integration test scheduled to begin later this year.

Physical Optics Corp.’s digital video recorder system to fly on Sikorsky helicopters

Officials at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in Stratford, Conn., selected the FAERITO digital video recorder from Physical Optics Corp. (POC) in Torrance, Calif., to provide its S-76C+ and S-76C++ helicopters with a digital video recorder system (DVRS). The DVRS provides advanced flight data recording. The agreement between POC and Sikorsky stems originally from a U.S. Navy small business innovation research (SBIR) project for advanced flight data recording systems. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted a supplemental type certification for this system late last year. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is expected to validate the STC this month. The POC crash survivable DVRS will be the first flight data recorder certified to the EURO CAE ED-112–the European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment’s minimum operational performance specification for crash protected airborne recorder systems standard–and compliant with both FAA and EASA requirements.

BAE Systems seeker detects smaller, faster missile in latest THAAD test

A BAE Systems seeker detected an incoming target representing a ballistic missile in a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system in Kauai, Hawaii. The test, conducted in April by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and THAAD prime contractor and systems integrator Lockheed Martin, examined how the interceptor and other THAAD system components detect and intercept a target missile. “In this test, the THAAD program demonstrated its tactical salvo capability, launching two THAAD interceptors,” says Bruce Whaley, seeker program manager at BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., where the THAAD seeker is developed and built. The BAE Systems seeker detects infrared imagery from the warhead to guide the interceptor to its target. THAAD intercept testing will continue through 2011. THAAD is designed to defend U.S. and allied soldiers, military assets, and population centers from the threat of ballistic-missile attacks, destroying enemy warheads and missiles through direct hit-to-kill targeting.

Marines, Air Guard choose LITENING targeting and sensor pod from Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Marine Corp and Air National Guard selected the LITENING G4 targeting and sensor pod from Northrop Grumman Corp. in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Delivery of these LITENING G4 pods will start in mid 2009. “100 percent of all target identification for 100 percent of all weapons employed by my squadron was done using LITENING video down link to the JTAC and ground commander,” says Maj. Rich Hunt, 104th FS weapons and tactics officer at the Air National Guard base at Martin State Airfield in Baltimore. “The pod was used constantly to ensure 100 percent positive identification of friendlies and civilians to prevent fratricide and collateral damage. The pod just always worked.” The LITENING Gen 4 technology and capability is also available in a kit form that allows current LITENING users to upgrade their fielded LITENING pods to the standard.

Eurocopter’s EC135 flight simulator ready for Germany

Eurocopter officials are making their EC135 flight simulator available at the Eurocopter site in Donauworth, Germany. The flight simulator at the Donauworth Training Academy provides helicopter pilots with flight and avionics training. The flight simulator has a motion system with six degrees of freedom. It includes flight technology such as a visual-system field of view of 160 degrees horizontal and 80 degrees vertical and can visualize daylight, twilight, and night conditions as well as any weather situation. Its mission spectrum includes, for example, rescue operations in high snowy mountains. Landscapes and buildings are displayed realistically in 3D. The simulator was developed by Eurocopter in collaboration with CAE and Indra.

Cubic to provide Joint STARS data link components and technical support

Cubic Defense Applications in San Diego reported a $19 million increase in its contract to supply components and technical support for the U.S. Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). The Logistics Readiness Center, part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., has placed $4 million in orders to date under the $19 million ID/IQ allocation, and Cubic anticipates additional orders this year. The orders are for Joint STARS Ground Data Terminals and technical support services. Cubic is scheduled to deliver its first shipment of hardware in fall 2009 and complete deliveries by January 2010. Cubic is also under contract to deliver technical services. Cubic also announced that it is engaged in a separate internal research and development effort to create a wider bandwidth data link system to meet the growing information demands for Joint STARS.

General Dynamics Amphibious Systems achieves software CMMI level 5 maturity rating

General Dynamics Amphibious Systems in Woodbridge, Va., has achieved the maturity level 5 rating on the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI’s) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Version 1.2, the highest maturity rating a company can obtain in a combined systems engineering, software engineering, and supplier sourcing process evaluation. General Dynamics Amphibious Systems is part of General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich. CMMI appraisal level requirements are being built into U.S. Government requests for proposals for large and small-scale programs. “The SEI, in addition to updating the model, implemented an external audit program by an SEI board, external to the appraisal team, as an entry criteria to the higher maturity Levels,” says Darrell Duszka, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle technical director for General Dynamics Amphibious Systems. The SEI advocates CMMI as the best process improvement model available for product and service development and maintenance.

Lockheed Martin, University of Florida to develop and launch five miniature satellites

Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services in King of Prussia, Pa., has joined hands with the University of Florida to develop and launch five miniature satellites to test space solutions. Lockheed Martin will pay for $450,000 of research and development projects at the university this year. Lockheed Martin and the University of Florida will use these satellites to investigate technological advances such as miniaturized, space-hardened GPS (global positioning system) electronics and state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin engineers will also perform payload data analysis for these satellite missions. The satellites, called CubeSats, are built in the shape of a cube, measuring 10 centimeters (less than four inches) on each side. They operate on a power output similar to a cell phone and weigh less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). Cubesats can be built and launched relatively inexpensively and in a matter of months, compared to more sophisticated satellites that weigh thousands of pounds and cost millions of dollars to develop and launch, Lockheed Martin officials say.

Raytheon wins contract for stand-off radiation detection system

The Department of Homeland Security in Washington awarded Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Tewskbury, Mass., a phase 3 contract to continue development of a stand-off radiation detection system (SORDS). Phase 3 is an eight-month contract for $2.3 million managed by DHS’ Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and includes the construction of a prototype. “The purpose of SORDS is to develop an advanced nuclear sensor that can determine the type and location of radiation sources at much greater distances than current systems,” says Michael Del Checcolo, vice president of Engineering for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Raytheon is teaming with experts from Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.; Bubble Technology Industries in Chalk River, Ontario; Radiation Monitoring Devices in Watertown, Mass.; Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.; The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in, Cambridge, Mass.; and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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