When it comes to computer design, sometimes, less is more.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested the state of California could benefit by operating like Apple and other high-technology companies. Citing the need for accountability and avoiding crippling debt, Wozniak said, "I wish California were run like Apple" and other similar companies. The state should adopt an approach of, "Here's the goal, here's the money, where's the return on investment?" he told the MILCOM 2010 plenary address audience.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, says that his father's work as an electrical engineer for Lockheed helped guide him into computing. Speaking at the plenary session opening MILCOM 2010 in San Jose, California, Wozniak related how his father would take him to technology shows to spur his interest in the field. Wozniak described how, in the late 1950s, one exhibitor showed him a diagram of some squares connected by lines. "This is a future chip," the exhibitor said, "that will hold six transistors on a single bit of silicon." Wozinak thought that he would be able to listen to a better transistor radio, but his father advised him that these "chips" would be hugely expensive and available only to the military. Ultimately, obsolete versions would trickle down to the consumer. Wozniak was embittered at that thought, but his curiousity was aroused. Now, he pointed out, it is the private sector--especially the computer and gaming industries--that are driving technology advances.
Raytheon Company recently received the first production order for next-generation Navy Multiband Terminal (NMT) satellite communication terminals. The initial production award is for 22 systems, consisting of 15 ship, five submarine and two shore terminals, along with other services and products; it is valued at more than $37 million. The program could potentially be valued at $1 billion over five years. NMT is a family of multi-banded ship, submarine and shore communications terminals providing the Navy and international partners, with the possibility of selected Army and Air Force users, a powerful and reliable new capability in support of its net-centric architecture. The terminals will provide all Navy military-band satellite communications up to five times the bandwidth and less size, weight and power than the systems they will replace.
The United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence has extended its contract with Systematic to continue to provide expert support to the UK's involvement in the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP). The contract is valued at more than £1 million (nearly $2 million). Systematic provides maintenance for the UK MIP Gateway, the capability for a bilateral United States-UK military interoperability exercise in 2010, support to a UK-French military exercise planned for June 2011, and continued technical support for the UK's membership and contribution to MIP standardization working groups and MIP test events.
RADA Electronic Industries Limited recently announced that it has signed a contract for avionics installation design, valued at nearly $4 million. This contract is part of an upgrade program for fighter aircraft run by a South American customer, a program for which RADA also supplies various avionics units. RADA will design the installation of all upgraded units in the aircraft as well as support the customer in the implementation of these upgrades.
Whether for military ops, standard communications or a lofty connection linking nations together during crises, space systems are critical. Enhancing the ability to monitor space assets-and to augment them with newer, better equipment-is a major STRATCOM mission. The command continues to move forward and to seek commercial support, but are the requirements clear? Is the acquisition process easily navigable? Share your thoughts here.