In Brief

March 1, 2009
Raytheon Technical Services Co. opened a management office in Orlando, Fla., that houses the program management team for the U.S. Army’s Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) program.

Raytheon opens management office to support Warfighter FOCUS program

Raytheon Technical Services Co. opened a management office in Orlando, Fla., that houses the program management team for the U.S. Army’s Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) program. The 70,000 square-foot building, located at the Central Florida Research Park, is home to 225 Raytheon and Warrior Training Alliance employees. The Raytheon-led WTA with teammates Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics IT, and MPRI, provides turnkey, life-cycle training services at more than 400 locations worldwide. The building has a demonstration area where various technologies for live, virtual, and constructive training can be viewed. It is also home to the WTA’s central engineering laboratory and a logistics depot auxiliary facility. Warfighter FOCUS is a U.S. Army program under the Program Executive Office for Training, Simulation, and Instrumentation to consolidate operations and maintenance, systems integration, and engineering support services for the Army’s live, virtual, and constructive training systems. The Raytheon-led Warrior Training Alliance is a team of industry leaders in training who bring experience across all training environments, including live, virtual, and constructive.

BAE Systems business honored with top engineering rating

BAE Systems Ground Systems in Arlington, Va., achieved Level 5 certification against the Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). This is the highest level rating that an engineering organization can achieve, BAE Systems officials say. The designation was awarded after an independent two-week investigation led by the Systems and Software Productivity Consortium which involved in-depth interviews and document reviews. CMMI is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of processes. More than 100 Ground Systems employees from three different sites–Santa Clara, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; and York, Pa.–in 10 different functional areas from engineering and project management were surveyed. As part of this process, the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., requires validation of the results certified by the appraisal team, thus raising the bar of the appraisal process. In all, more than 2000 artifacts such as drawings, designs, documents, and video were reviewed. A rating of CMMI Level 5 requires BAE Systems Ground Systems to have and follow a defined set of processes, evaluate implementation of those processes, and seek ways to improve the company’s methods used to develop and build products.

Air traffic control modernization no longer on GAO high-risk list

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials in Washington announced that air traffic control modernization has been dropped from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) high-risk list after 14 years. “Steady improvements in the FAA’s financial management and strategies for fielding air traffic technology have shown that we’re committed to keeping these programs on track,” says FAA acting administrator Lynne Osmus. “Many FAA employees have worked hard to get us where we are today.” The GAO first included FAA air traffic control modernization on its biennial list of federal programs that are considered particular management challenges in 1995 because of previous cost overruns, schedule delays, and performance shortfalls. It was among the 27 programs and issues named in the GAO’s 2007 High Risk List.

Boeing completes Canadian CF-18 avionics modernization

Boeing completed its Industrial and Regional Benefits program for Phase 1 of the CF-18 fighter avionics modernization program for the Canadian forces. “The completion of the CF-18 Phase 1 industrial and regional benefits program continues our long-standing commitment to investing in the regions where we do business,” says Gwen Kopsie, director of industrial participation for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. With the completion of the program, worth nearly $378 million, Boeing has three active IP programs in Canada, each coordinated by Industry Canada. The IP program for Phase 2 of CF-18 avionics modernization, worth nearly $138 million, is on track for completion in May 2011. The company also has two IP programs tied to the Canadian government’s 2007 order for four C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, which have delivered and are already supporting Canadian Forces’ military and humanitarian missions.

Northrop Grumman prototype ground system controls GPS test satellite

Northrop Grumman Corp. in Reston, Va. demonstrated command and control of a Global Positioning System (GPS) IIR-M satellite using its Next Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) engineering model. The OCX modernization effort will provide mission enterprise control support for the nation’s existing GPS Block II and future Block III satellites. The GPS control segment includes satellite command and control, mission planning, constellation management, monitoring stations, and ground antennas. The Northrop Grumman team used its GPS OCX Modernized Capability Engineering Model (MCEM) to command and control a satellite test simulator located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., from a Northrop Grumman plant in Redondo Beach, Calif., Northrop Grumman officials say. The Northrop Grumman OCX team includes Harris Corp. of Melbourne Fla., Integral Systems Inc. of Lanham, Md., Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services of Gaithersburg, Md., and Infinity Systems Engineering of Colorado Springs, Colo.

First SBIRS satellite with flight software completes key test

The first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO-1) satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin team for the U.S. Air Force, completed a major test using flight software. The software will enable spacecraft command-and-control operations, Lockheed Martin officials say. Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS flight software architecture is designed to enable command and data handling, fault management, and safe-hold capabilities on the GEO satellite system, Lockheed Martin officials say. The SBIRS program is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace awareness. The flight software used during BIST contains applications that control space vehicle electrical power, temperature, attitude, and navigation. It also has a fault-management system, which responds when an anomaly is detected during on-orbit operations, putting the satellite into a safe state while ground operators analyze the situation and take corrective action.

Ecliptic’s RocketCam digital video systems built with Integrity RTOS

Ecliptic Enterprises Corp. selected the Integrity real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif., for Ecliptic’s next-generation RocketCam digital video system (DVS). Integrity manages all DVS command and telemetry functions as well as real-time video processing tasks on the RocketCam DVS, which is being used in NASA’s Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle capsule Pad Abort Test program. The program employs high-speed digital video cameras to capture onboard video of Orion’s parachute deployments during each test flight. NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., manages the test program. RocketCam is used to: observe staging and propulsion events; observe spacecraft separation, deployments, and operations events; characterize operational environments; support anomaly investigations and failure reviews; and support other engineering and project outreach.

Lockheed Martin tests Army ATACMS missile on British launcher

Lockheed Martin proved the interoperability of the U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile with British M270B1 launchers in a test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The test provided the members of the British military and United Kingdom defense equipment and support delegation a close look at ATACMS as they refine their artillery system requirements. M270B1 is the United Kingdom’s Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launcher, which has been in use with United Kingdom Forces since the early 1990s. The current M270B1 allows the firing of all MLRS rocket munitions, but not ATACMS, which is not fielded by the United Kingdom. This test proved that with a system upgrade, the M270B1 can broaden its MLRS-based capabilities to include ATACMS. The test used an ATACMS Unitary variant to destroy a target more than 80 miles away. The operation met all mission objectives, which included: demonstrating the missile–United Kingdom launcher interface; validating missile performance and accuracy; proving performance of system software; and obtaining performance, technical, and reliability data.

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