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All Native Services to Develop Reconnaissance System

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

All Native Services, Winnebago, Neb., is being awarded a $15,009,514 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed fee research and development contract to exercise option year two for the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. The Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate will promote research and development, which will result in a prototype of a Cerberus Lite system, which will be capable of becoming a four-person hand carried portable unit. Support areas include infrared, laser, thermal imaging and other related sensor technologies. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity. 

Diving for Port Security

February 20, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The Long Beach Police Department dive team adopts new homeland security equipment.

The Long Beach, California, police department dive team is now using a newly acquired search and recovery system to help protect the local port, shipping lanes and critical infrastructure.

The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) dive team has an atypical and varied mission along the port and in the city waterways. “We have the law enforcement responsibility as well as the homeland security mission, mostly dealing with the Port of Long Beach and protecting the port against any type of terrorist threat or action,” says Sgt. Steve Smock, LBPD dive team supervisor. “Everything that the police do on land, we do underwater.”

The mission can include body recovery after a shipping accident or searching for underwater mines attached to ships or piers. The LBPD works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to search for and confiscate narcotics or other contraband being smuggled into the country. Additionally, the port is a potential terrorist target for several reasons, including the shipping lanes and some of the cargo coming into port.

“We have all these different wharfs and piers that these ships come up to and tie to. A good example is the oil exchange terminals where the oil container ships come in and offload their oil. These are, for obvious reasons, very sensitive. We do a lot to make sure that nobody gets in there to tamper with anything,” the sergeant states.

U.S. Navy Modifies Sensors Research and Development Contract

February 14, 2013
George I. Seffers

Cortana Corp., Falls Church, Va., is being awarded a $7,818,326 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to exercise an option for the research and development of sensors and systems in support of the Advanced Sensor Application Program and the Remote Environmental Sensor Program. Sensors and systems support a variety of naval aviation missions, including air-under-sea warfare, defense suppression, electronic attack, naval warfare and amphibious, strike and anti-surface warfare. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Sensor, Listening
 Device Integration
 Provide Battlefield Intelligence Boon

February 1, 2013
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Industry opens up an array of real-time imaging

Sweeping advances in sensor technologies are enabling wide-area airborne persistent surveillance on both manned and unmanned aircraft. Emerging sensor systems can provide high-resolution mosaic imagery for large swaths of the battlefield while focusing on individual objects.

These intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensor systems are winning their spurs on the battlefield in Afghanistan. They are meeting combat commanders’ urgent operational requirements to provide city-size area coverage. These sensors simultaneously can focus on and track individual vehicles and dismounted hostiles.

Sensor systems such as the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) offer radical improvements for ISR. This sensor system was developed for special operations by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). BAE Systems provides the optics and processing technologies. Argus was envisioned to be mounted in a pod on the A-160 Hummingbird (SIGNAL Magazine, June 2007, page 43, “High Hover”) unmanned rotary wing aircraft headed for Afghanistan. However, an A-160 crash during trials prior to deployment is delaying the move.

Testing with the sensor pod mounted on a Sikorsky Blackhawk helicopter continues before combat deployment. This slight deployment delay also is enabling incorporating more recent advances in both sensor and processing technologies. ARGUS-IS also may be mounted on other unmanned aircraft, such as the MQ-9 Reaper, extending time on station. The camera is being considered for additional multiple wide-area persistent surveillance programs.

Northrop to Provide Missile Warning Sensors and Processors

January 2, 2013
George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded a $7,190,928 contract modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option to procure 40 sensors, 20 upgrade processors and associated technical data in support of the advanced threat missile warning system, a subsystem of the large aircraft infrared countermeasures system. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.  

Frontier to Provide Shipboard Sensor and Data Distribution Systems

December 21, 2012
George I. Seffers

Frontier Electronic Systems Corp., Stillwater, Okla., is being awarded a $49,567,126 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract using firm-fixed price and cost-plus-fixed-fee orders for AN/SPQ-14(V) Advanced Sensor Distribution System, AN/SPQ-15(V) Data Distribution System equipment and engineering support services in support of the systems procured for shipboard systems. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., is the contracting activity. 

L-3 KEO to Produce Submarine Sensor Mast

December 10, 2012
George I. Seffers

L-3 KEO, Northampton, Mass., is being awarded a potential $54,936,636 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed fee contract for production of 16 Universal Modular Masts (UMM) and 142,000 hours of engineering services. The UMM is a non-hull penetrating mast that is installed on Virginia-class submarines that serves as a lifting mechanism for five different sensors including the Photonics Mast Program, High Data Rate Mast, Multi-Functional Mast, Multi-Functional Modular Mast and Integrated Electronic Signal Monitoring Mast. Each sensor is mounted on a UMM. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Receives Sensor Netting System Production Funds

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $20,334,000 not-to-exceed firm-fixed-price letter contract for Cooperative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) production during fiscal years 2012-2013. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Managing Change in the
 Intelligence Community

October 1, 2012
By Max Cacas

A new computing architecture emphasizes shared resources.

The nation’s intelligence community has embarked on a path toward a common computer desktop and a cloud computing environment designed to facilitate both timely sharing of information and cost savings. The implementation could result in budget savings of 20 to 25 percent over existing information technology spending within six years, but the ramifications could include large cultural changes that result both in lost jobs and business for industry partners.

Al Tarasiuk, chief intelligence officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), explains that the changes will be difficult. Agency employees, and the vendors who help operate and manage information technology for the 17 agencies composing the nation’s intelligence apparatus, will feel the effects of the cost cuts.

“Right now, technology is not our biggest risk. The culture change is our biggest risk, and that extends to our industry partners. We have a lot of industry employed in the community through service contracts and other things. They could help, or they could choose not to help,” Tarasiuk emphasizes, candidly describing the pivotal role of these firms in a transition that could spell the loss of both business and jobs. “They know, and I’ve been very open with them, that we’re not going to need the pool of resources of people that we have today to manage what we have in the future.”

SAIC to Support Sensors in Afghanistan

September 28, 2012
George I. Seffers

Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., was awarded a $56,275,374 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the services in support of sensor technologies to the Army’s current force architecture. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 25, 2014.  The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Alexandria, Va., is the contracting activity. 


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