Army, Lockheed Martin, Sensors, tech

Q&A: CERDEC's Charlie Maraldo on C4ISR On-the-Move '09 and the Persistent Surveillance Testbed

At last month’s C4ISR On-the-Move Event ’09 exercise, the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Command (CERDEC) hosted an additional event – the Persistent Surveillance Testbed, run out of Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. In addition to the Lockheed Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab, CERDEC tested two other ISR platforms – an internal electronic intelligence and electronic warfare project called Sledgehammer, and a prototype acoustic Hostile Fire Indicator (HFI).

Last week, I spoke with Charlie Maraldo, a special projects manager with the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) at CERDEC about the Lockheed AML test and the other elements of the Persistent Surveillance Testbed. Here’s the transcript:

Charlie Maraldo : Today, we can network disparate types of systems — sensor systems, e/w systems, ISR systems and ingest their data into DCGS A, normalize it on a database that is then accessible via other tools that are out on the data enterprise, and then allowing that information to be either posted or pulled or otherwise sent down to warfighters, you know. right down to the edge. That was our objective, and AML was a part of that, and a big part. So let’s talk about that for a little bit.

So, Lockheed Martin has a CRADA with RDECOM and I2WD, and as part of that CRADA we have an ongoing technical exchange of information with them. They made us aware several months ago that they were developing a testbed capability, which was the AML. It’s a capital asset of theirs — we don’t have any control over or can tell them what to do with it — it’s a solely Lockheed Martin entity. But we talked about ways that we could cooperate using it, and one idea was to have them participate in the C4ISR on the move demo, as a sub element of our Persistent Surveillance Testbed capstone demonstration that we were running at I2WD, which was part of the c4isr on the move e09 demo. So that’s what we did.

Continue reading

Standard
Army, Lockheed Martin, Sensors, tech

Q&A: CERDEC’s Charlie Maraldo on C4ISR On-the-Move ’09 and the Persistent Surveillance Testbed

At last month’s C4ISR On-the-Move Event ’09 exercise, the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Command (CERDEC) hosted an additional event – the Persistent Surveillance Testbed, run out of Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. In addition to the Lockheed Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab, CERDEC tested two other ISR platforms – an internal electronic intelligence and electronic warfare project called Sledgehammer, and a prototype acoustic Hostile Fire Indicator (HFI).

Last week, I spoke with Charlie Maraldo, a special projects manager with the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) at CERDEC about the Lockheed AML test and the other elements of the Persistent Surveillance Testbed. Here’s the transcript:

Charlie Maraldo : Today, we can network disparate types of systems — sensor systems, e/w systems, ISR systems and ingest their data into DCGS A, normalize it on a database that is then accessible via other tools that are out on the data enterprise, and then allowing that information to be either posted or pulled or otherwise sent down to warfighters, you know. right down to the edge. That was our objective, and AML was a part of that, and a big part. So let’s talk about that for a little bit.

So, Lockheed Martin has a CRADA with RDECOM and I2WD, and as part of that CRADA we have an ongoing technical exchange of information with them. They made us aware several months ago that they were developing a testbed capability, which was the AML. It’s a capital asset of theirs — we don’t have any control over or can tell them what to do with it — it’s a solely Lockheed Martin entity. But we talked about ways that we could cooperate using it, and one idea was to have them participate in the C4ISR on the move demo, as a sub element of our Persistent Surveillance Testbed capstone demonstration that we were running at I2WD, which was part of the c4isr on the move e09 demo. So that’s what we did.

Continue reading

Standard
Army, Contractors & Vendors, Lockheed Martin, Sensors

Q&A – Lockheed's Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab

Last month, Lockheed-Martin brought an independently developed test aircraft, called the Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab, to the Army’s C4ISR On-the-Move exercise,

Lockheed Martin's Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory

which took place at and near Ft. Dix and Lakehurst, New Jersey. The AML is a repurposed used Gulfstream III corporate jet equipped with a large radome and commercial electronics racks; the aircraft is designed for testing the integration of multiple sensors and open architecture intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, providing aggregation of multiple sensors right on the aircraft by analysts, who pass that data to operators on the ground.

I spoke with Lockheed’s Jim Quinn, vice president, and John Beck and Mark Wand, both with Lockheed’s business development group. Here’s the interview:

Jim Quinn: A little over 10 or 11 months ago, Lockheed martin made some decisions, investment decisions in particular that looked at where the customer set was going — some of their higher priority needs. This was driven both internationally as well as domestically, and the importance of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in supporting operations around the globe.

We recognized that a lot of the difficulty that our customers were having were trying to take advantage of multiple sensors, and to fuse and correlate that data in a way that it provided meaningful and actionable intelligence to war fighters on the edge. Whether they be war fighters on the edge or a command post or ground station that were trying to turn that information into usable knowledge.

We know that a lot of the platforms and sensors that are in operation around the world do that in a single int. fashion. They are a dedicated platform that collects a single (form of) intelligence, whether it be synthetic aperture radar, or FLIR (forward looking infrared), kinds of electro-optic sensors, or whether it be a sigint (signals intelligence) sensor, and then usually that data is transported by data link to some sort of ground station, and in many cases those ground stations are dedicated to the platform and the sensor that they are affiliated with. So we recognize the value of trying to have at our customers’ disposal and for our own experimentation, a platform that could take and plug-and-play various sensors in a multi-intelligence configuration. That would allow us to investigate how we take multiple inputs from sensors, and then either cross-queue or show the benefit of merging and synthesizing that data onboard the platform, and then pushing it down to the users on the ground. Whether it is a ground station or a user on the edge

So we made an investment, and procured a used (Gulfstream III) in the aircraft market with partners that we worked with in industry, We constructed a first set of sensors, and perhaps more importantly, we put on the aircraft a hardware and a software infrastructure that allowed those sensors over time to be plugged and played — that is, we could configure the hardback of the aircraft and the software infrastructure of it, the ability to take a sensor from various suppliers, whether it be one of our own or from a supplier in industry that was wanting to partner with us, and put it onboard the aircraft, and do that very very quickly.

Continue reading

Standard
Army, Contractors & Vendors, Lockheed Martin, Sensors

Q&A – Lockheed’s Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab

Last month, Lockheed-Martin brought an independently developed test aircraft, called the Airborne Multi-Intelligence Lab, to the Army’s C4ISR On-the-Move exercise,

Lockheed Martin's Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory

which took place at and near Ft. Dix and Lakehurst, New Jersey. The AML is a repurposed used Gulfstream III corporate jet equipped with a large radome and commercial electronics racks; the aircraft is designed for testing the integration of multiple sensors and open architecture intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, providing aggregation of multiple sensors right on the aircraft by analysts, who pass that data to operators on the ground.

I spoke with Lockheed’s Jim Quinn, vice president, and John Beck and Mark Wand, both with Lockheed’s business development group. Here’s the interview:

Jim Quinn: A little over 10 or 11 months ago, Lockheed martin made some decisions, investment decisions in particular that looked at where the customer set was going — some of their higher priority needs. This was driven both internationally as well as domestically, and the importance of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in supporting operations around the globe.

We recognized that a lot of the difficulty that our customers were having were trying to take advantage of multiple sensors, and to fuse and correlate that data in a way that it provided meaningful and actionable intelligence to war fighters on the edge. Whether they be war fighters on the edge or a command post or ground station that were trying to turn that information into usable knowledge.

We know that a lot of the platforms and sensors that are in operation around the world do that in a single int. fashion. They are a dedicated platform that collects a single (form of) intelligence, whether it be synthetic aperture radar, or FLIR (forward looking infrared), kinds of electro-optic sensors, or whether it be a sigint (signals intelligence) sensor, and then usually that data is transported by data link to some sort of ground station, and in many cases those ground stations are dedicated to the platform and the sensor that they are affiliated with. So we recognize the value of trying to have at our customers’ disposal and for our own experimentation, a platform that could take and plug-and-play various sensors in a multi-intelligence configuration. That would allow us to investigate how we take multiple inputs from sensors, and then either cross-queue or show the benefit of merging and synthesizing that data onboard the platform, and then pushing it down to the users on the ground. Whether it is a ground station or a user on the edge

So we made an investment, and procured a used (Gulfstream III) in the aircraft market with partners that we worked with in industry, We constructed a first set of sensors, and perhaps more importantly, we put on the aircraft a hardware and a software infrastructure that allowed those sensors over time to be plugged and played — that is, we could configure the hardback of the aircraft and the software infrastructure of it, the ability to take a sensor from various suppliers, whether it be one of our own or from a supplier in industry that was wanting to partner with us, and put it onboard the aircraft, and do that very very quickly.

Continue reading

Standard
Army, Contractors & Vendors, Sensors, tech

Trick or treat–Army wants Shadow UAV retrofits for Halloween

RQ-7_LaunchThe Army Aviation and Missile Command has awarded a contract to perform engine retrofits on the RQ-7 Shadow UAV. The contract, awarded  to AI of Hunt Valley, MD on Sept. 22, 2009, was for  $49,185,103, a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract “over and above work for EFI,” the Army announcement said–that is, replacing the UAVs’ existing carbeurator-based Wankel rotary engines with electronic fuel injection Wankels.

The estimated completion date of the work is  Oct. 31, 2009.

The Shadow is the descendant of the Pioneer UAV, jointly developed by AAI and  Israeli Aircraft Industries — the “mother of all UAVs”.  Iraqi soldiers surrendered to a Pioneer RPV off USS Wisconsin during the Gulf War, after a bombardment of their positions by the USS Missouri.

Full disclosure– I was tangentially involved in Pioneer testing aboard USS Iowa in the late 1980s, as a deck officer on that ship…mostly I stood ready with a motor whaleboat to recover the bits of the aircraft we were recovering if it splashed rather than getting caught between the “goalposts” (see image below).

DN-ST-87-04514

The Shadow's predecessor, the Pioneer, being retrieved aboard USS Iowa (BB-64)

The Shadow’s stats:
General characteristics

  • Length: 11.2 ft in (3.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 14 ft in (3.87 m)
  • Height: 3.3 ft in (1 m)
  • Empty weight: 186 lb (77 kg)
  • Gross weight: 375 lb (170 kg)
  • Powerplant: × 1 Wankel UAV Engine 741, 38 hp (28.5 kW) each

Performance

  • Range: 68 miles (109.5 km)
  • Endurance: 6 hours
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft

The main sensor on the Shadow is an electro-optic/ infrared camera in a gimbaled ball on the underside of the UAV.  The Army was reportedly investigating possible signals intelligence sensors for the Shadow in 2008.

Standard
Air Force, Contractors & Vendors, Lockheed Martin, Navy, Sensors, weapons systems

Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed team on USAF light armed recon aircraft bid

The Air Force and Navy have both been investigating the idea of a return to propeller-driven aircraft for “irregular warfare” support — something that can provide both ISR for special forces on the ground with a long on-station time, and quick close air support when the need arises.  The Navy reportedly was looking at the Brazilian-made Super Tucano for that role (though the Super Tucano is not carrier-launch capable).

In July, the Air Force’s Air Combat Command issued a presolictation “capability request” for a Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft.  Now Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin have joined forces to put together a bid based on H/B’s T-6 Navy and Air Force trainer.

The AT-6, a hardened version of the T-6, is in prototype phase — a prototype successfully completed its first test flight on September 10.

From the release:Hawker Beechcraft Corporation

(HBC) and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have teamed to compete for the opportunity to

provide a low-cost, low-risk solution to address U.S. Air Force (USAF) needs for a Light

Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft. The USAF is expected to launch an

acquisition program in fiscal year 2010.

HBC, based in Wichita, Kan., will be prime contractor and Lockheed Martin Systems

Integration in Owego, NY, will be the mission systems integrator for the Beechcraft AT-6

LAAR aircraft. The AT-6 will be a product of the combined heritage and expertise of the

two companies, leveraging the existing worldwide fleet of Hawker Beechcraft T-6 aircraft

that recently passed the one million flying hour milestone, with the proven missions

systems integration expertise of Lockheed Martin.


Related links:

Hawker Beechcraft | Military/Trainer

Lockheed/Hawker joint release

Standard
Air Force, Army, BAE Systems, Boeing, Contractors & Vendors, Cyberdefense and Information Assurance, Defense Department, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Navy, Policy, Sensors, tech

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for primes — more C4ISR contract announcements

(Editor’s note:  Because of the volume of contracts announced this week, I’ll be following up with more detail in a seperate post.)

ARMY:

Flir Systems Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., was awarded on Sept. 10, 2009, a $15,389,821 delivery order (GSA). This requirement is for the procurement of the Star Safire II System Support Kits in support of the UH-60 family of aircraft.  Work is to be performed in Wilsonville, Ore., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010.  One bid solicited with one bid received.  U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-F-0010).
 
Five Rivers Services, LLC, Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded on Sept. 3, 2009, $20,978,988 single award services contract at a firm fixed price with time and materials CLINS for the Information Technology support services for the 1st Signal Center Army Global Network Operation and Security Center.  Work is to be performed in Fort Belvoir, Va., and Fort Huachuca, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 27, 2012.  Bids solicited from the ASFI and FedBizOpps with fourteen bids received.  ACC-ITEC4-w, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is the contracting activity (W91RUS-09-C-0036).
 
  
AOSENSE, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded on Sept. 3, 2009, a $11,230,139 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract.  This contract is for the High Dynamic Range Atomic Sensors (HiDRA) effort will build on the Precision Inertial Navigation System (PINS) work by demonstrating that atom optic (AO) sensors can outperform existing technologies in the presence of realistic platforms dynamics for a broad range of military applications.  The goal of this program is to provide jam-proof, non-emanating inertial navigation with near-GPS accuracies for future military systems.  Work is to be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 13, 2011.  Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with more than 25 bids received.  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-09-C-0116).
 
 
HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu, Calif., was awarded on Sept. 3, 2009, a $10,982,174 cost-no-fee contract.  This contract is for the SyNAPSE program seeks to break the programmable machine paradigm and define a new path forward for creating useful, intelligent machines.  The vision for the anticipated DARPA SyNAPSE program is the enabling of electronic neuromorphic machine technology that is scalable to biological levels.  Programmable machines are limited not only by their computational capacity, but also an architecture requiring (human-derived) algorithms to both describe and process information from their environment.  In contrast, biological neural systems (e.g., brains) autonomously process information in complex by automatically learning relevant and probabilistically stable features and associations.  The key to achieving the vision of the NyNAPSE program will be an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach that can coordinate aggressive technology development activities in the following areas 1) hardware; 2) architecture; 3) simulation; and 4) environment.  Work is to be performed in Malibu, Calif., (61.7 precent), San Diego, Calif., (6.3 precent), Portland, Ore., (2.1 precent), Fairfax, Va., (3.2 precent), Atlanta, Ga., (7 precent), Reno, N.V., (1.8 precent), Arlington, Va., (6 precent), Boston, Mass., (6.5 precent), and Irvine, Calif., (3.0%) with an estimated completion date of Feb. 2011.  Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 13 bids received. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency Contracts Managements Office, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-09-C-0001).
 
Orbimage, Inc., Dulles, Va., was awarded on Sept. 1, 2009, a $214,238,640 firm-fixed-price contract.  This contract modification is for the continued acquisition of commercial imagery from the ORBIMAGE satellite constellation.  The basic contract Service Level Agreement (SLA) will be extended 4-month through Mar. 31, 2010 ($50, 000,000 SLA value, $51,738,640 miscellaneous), followed by one 9-month option (April 2010 – December 2010, $112,500,000).  Work is to be performed in Dulles, Va., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2010.  One bid solicited with one bid received.  National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NGA/ACA-C, Bethesda, Md., is the contracting activity (HM1573-04-C-0014).
 
 
James G. Davis Construction Corp., Rockville, Md., was awarded on Aug. 27, 2009, a $20,740,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the consolidated North Facility, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Campus. Work is to be performed in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 21, 2010.  Eighty-five bids were solicited with 14 bids received.  U.S Army Engineer District, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (W912BU-09-C-0039).

The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on Aug. 25, 2009, a $17,828,572 firm-fixed-price contract for the CH-47G Recap, Lot 7, six each CH-47G Recap Aircraft.  Work is to be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2010.  One bid solicited with one bid received.  U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, CCAM-CH-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-G-0023).
  
Boeing S&IS Mission Systems, Springfield, Va., was awarded on Aug. 21, 2009, a $6,675,906 firm-fixed-price contract for the Global Geospatial Intelligence date products in support of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).  Work is to be performed in Springfield, Va. (35 precent), Rockville, Md. (3 precent), Bowie, Md. (2 precent), Albuquerque, N.M. (10 precent), Huntsville, Ala. (21 precent), Springfield, Mo. (4 precent), Tampa, Fla. (5 precent), and Chantilly, Va. (20 precent) with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2010.  One bid solicited with one bid received.  NGA, St. Louis, Mo., is the contracting activity (NMA302-03-D-0005).
 
BAE Systems National Security Solutions Inc, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 21, 2009 a $ 5,663,717 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of High Resolution Terrain Elevation Data (HRTe) Level 3 data product.  Work is to be performed Pittsburg, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 13, 2013.  Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eighteen (18) bids received. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, St. Louis, Mo., is the contracting activity (NMA302-03-D-0004).
 
AIR FORCE
 
Rome Research Corp., of Rome, N.Y., was awarded a $46,000,000 contract for research and development, testing and evaluation expertise to operate the far field antenna test ranges, anechoic chambers, other laboratory facilities for the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and conduct exercises and training missions on Air Force fielded technologies in combat.  At this time, $196,762 has been obligated.  AFRL/RIKD, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-D-0032).
 
UES, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, was awarded a $44,500,000 contract to provide development of materials and processing methodologies that are vital to create advanced materials and devices for future Air Force Systems.   At this time, $161,979 has been obligated.  Det 1 AFRL/PKMN, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-09-D05037).
 
ACTA Services Corporation of Torrance, Calif., was awarded a $36,096,013 contract to provide safety engineering analysis service in support of the 30th Space Wing Safety office.  At this time, the entire amount has been obligated.  30 CONS/LGCZG, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA4610-09-C-0006).
 
Northrop Grumman Defense Mission Systems, Inc., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $35,529,915 contract to provide the rapid fielding and support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node System.  At this time no money has been obligated.  653d ELSG/PK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8726-09-C-0010,P00003).
 
                
BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services of Rockville, Md., was awarded a $8,807,135 contract to provide non-personal services to operate, maintain, and support  the ground-based electro-based electro-optical deep space sensor system at the 21st Space Wing.  At this time, no money has been obligated.  21 CONS/LGCZB, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contractin.
 
BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services of Rockville, Md., was awarded a $7,543,573 contract  for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System which will provide non-personal services to operate, maintain, and support the system at Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D.  At this time no money has been obligated.  21 CONS, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contracting activity (FA2517-09-C-8000, P00012).

Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $6,491,386 contract which will provide storage for the third Wideband Global Satellite.  At this time the entire amount has been obligated. SMC/MCSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04601-00-C-0011, P00190). 
 
NAVY
 
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (LM MS2), Syracuse, N.Y., is being awarded a $15,200,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of five TB-29A Thin Line Towed Arrays (TLTA).  The TB-29A TLTA is a passive underwater acoustic sensor utilizing a thin line towed body. The TB-29A TLTA consists of a Tow Cable Assembly (TCA) and a Towed Array Assembly (TAA).  The TB-29A TLTA is deployed and operated underwater from a submarine to passively detect acoustic energy.  This contract contains options, which, if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to $29,900,000.  Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., (62 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah, (15 percent); Millersville, Md., (15 percent); Mauldin, S.C., (4 percent), and Cambridge, Mass, (4 percent), and is expected to be complete by January 2011.  This contract was competitively awarded based upon a limited competition with one offer received.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-6238).      
 
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Inc., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $7,190,354 cost plus incentive fee contract for follow-on to Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), Topics N93-078 (Utilization of High Resolution Color Displays), N98-072 (Combat Systems Software Migration to Open Systems), N98-127 (Next Generation Combat System Display Concepts), N99-133 (JAVA Applications for Naval Combat Systems) and N99-157 (Development of Low Cost COTS technology for Total Ship Monitoring (TSMS).  General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems shall continue these SBIR efforts to continue development and production of multiple upgrades to the hardware and software products for the Multipurpose Processor and TSMS systems that will be integrated into the Acoustic Rapid Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Insertion System.  This contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $45,961,330.  Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va., and is expected to be completed by February 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-6206).
 

Standard