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Defense

DARPA Creates Easier Process to Vie for Biotech Funding

November 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department’s research agency has simplified the process for researchers trying to break into the federal marketplace and earmarked up to $700,000 in seedling funds for cutting-edge biotech ideas.

U.S. Army Ponders 3-D Printed Food For Troops

November 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Army has not begun using a 3-D printer for food—yet. But scientists at the Natick Research Center have the idea and the funding to research the potential capabilities of 3-D food printers.

Cyborg Cockroaches Step Up to the Microphone

November 6, 2014
George I. Seffers

NC State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

CERDEC Sets Priorities as It Prepares for New Environments

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Article updated December 3, 2014.

With a number of uncertainties coloring their activities, officials at the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are preparing their program objective memorandum, laying out several key projects and goals for the coming years. The leaders are calibrating efforts to align with expected congressional funding as well as with the capabilities soldiers require for mission success.

For fiscal year 2015, sequestration will not affect that budget timeline; however, fiscal year 2016 presents a different challenge, with possible large cuts to funding. The situation shadows the development of the program objective memorandum for fiscal years 2017 to 2021. Planning programs and budgets for the upcoming years involves making choices about what demands attention in an age of diminished resources and about where resources might remain viable. The autonomous systems command and control and sensing systems, or communications systems that might be on autonomous platforms, is one area of the portfolio undergoing adjustment. “That is something we’re going to have to go back and reinvestigate because there’s been an added incentive—though it’s not been finalized—through the various budgetary processes of re-emphasizing autonomous systems,” explains Robert Zanzalari, associate director, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “That’s a business area that we think we’re going to have to try to go back into if there really is going to be a concerted effort to do more work at the platform level.”

CERDEC has nine strategic initiatives underway. They illustrate what the organization seeks to accomplish for warfighters from a science and technology perspective. They are not ranked in order of importance.

Task Force Cyber Awakening Recommendations Due

November 3, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Cyber Awakening, which was established in July, is expected to deliver its first report to the service’s leadership this month, task force officials say. The report will include recommendations for improving the service’s cyber posture, both ashore and afloat.

Orbital Sciences Wins DARPA Contract

November 3, 2014

Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia, has been awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-15-C-0020) for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research project with a Phase 1 total amount of $7,174,748. Phase 1 of the contract is the first of a three-phase program and has a period of performance of 10 months. Fiscal 2014 research and development funds in the amount of $4,618,063 have been applied to Phase 1 at the time of award. Work will be performed in Dulles, Virginia, with an expected completion date of Aug. 31, 2015. This contract was a competitive acquisition. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, located in Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

 

Oceanographic Institution to Support Navy Research and Development Programs

November 3, 2014

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, was awarded a $35,545,211 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only contract for engineering and technical services to support the Navy in developing, assessing, upgrading and modernizing the Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance program, the Digital Acoustic Communications development program, the Remote Environmental Measuring Units (REMUS) Autonomous Undersea Vehicle program, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal "Fast Track" program, development and operational support for the REMUS Automated Submarine Launch and Recovery Capability program, and the development of new advanced ocean technologies related to these programs.

These systems are essential to evaluate the evolving advanced ocean technologies, improve operational capability, support rapid prototype development and provide technology improvement recommendations including: battery and energy systems, propulsion systems, navigation systems, control systems, sensor systems, acoustic communication systems, data acquisition systems and the development of new functionality to shipboard systems.

NCI Announces $11 Million in Army Task Orders

October 31, 2014

NCI Incorporated, Reston, Virginia, recently announced it was awarded three firm-fixed price task orders and one cost-plus-fixed-fee task order aggregating $10.9 million under the Total Engineering and Information Systems III contract for information technology services in support of the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command. These task orders represent both new and follow-on work for NCI at U.S. Army locations worldwide, and each task order consists of a 12-month base period and one option year.

For the Military Construction Army and Sustainment Restoration and Modernization Programs, NCI will continue providing design reviews for programs that will impact every new and renovated facility in the U.S. Army. NCI also will ensure information technology components meet applicable U.S. Army, Defense Department and other federal standards. For the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency, NCI will provide enterprise-level information assurance support services and Defense Department information assurance certification and accreditation process support.

NCI also will provide security engineering assistance to support the Enterprise Information Technology Project Management Office’s Medical Research Information Technology System, which centralizes collaborative data for the medical community.

General Atomics to Support French MQ-9 Reapers

October 31, 2014

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated, Poway, California, has been awarded a $16,064,628 modification to exercise an option on a delivery order (0113) for an existing basic ordering agreement (FA8620-10-G-3038) for France's MQ-9 Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) Phase 2. Contractor will provide an additional period of CLS for the French Air Force. Work will be performed at Poway, California, and Niamey, Niger, and is expected to be completed by October 31, 2015. This modification is 100 percent foreign military sales for France. Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Clarifying DISA's Cloud Computing Role

October 29, 2014
George I. Seffers

The Defense Department is expected very soon to release a new policy revising the role DISA plays in brokering cloud services. The changes are designed to speed cloud service acquisitions. DISA no longer will be the sole acquisition agency, but it will continue to ensure network access to cloud service providers is secure and reliable, agency officials say.

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