SEPTEMBER 2006

Visualization facility opens
LAFAYETTE, La. – The opening Wednesday of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies
Enterprise is a turning point in the history of economic development of Louisiana, Gov.
Kathleen Blanco said. LITE is a $27 million facility, operated by the University of Louisiana
at Lafayette and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. Already the facility has
nine contracts for business and researchers interested in tapping into the special
immersive visualization environments, powered by one of the country’s largest
supercomputers. The facility allows researchers to look around and inside vast amounts
of data crunched by the supercomputers. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 09/21/06)


JULY 2006

Surveillance radar
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Northrop Grumman received a $90 million Air Force contract, to be
completed in September 2009, to integrate a new airborne surveillance radar on the
Global Hawk UAV. It’s designed to provide unprecedented situational awareness to
battlefield commanders. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Company are jointly
developing and producing the radar under the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion
Program (MP-RTIP). MP-RTIP is an advanced air-to-surface/air-to-air radar that will
deliver long-range, very high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, ground moving-target
indicator capabilities and air target-tracking capabilities. Northrop Grumman also is the
prime contractor MP-RTIP. Testing of the pod that will house the radar has already
begun. The pod was flown on the high-altitude Proteus test aircraft April 27 to test the
aerodynamic effects of adding the pod to the aircraft. The pod contained mass simulators
to replicate the weight and characteristics of the radar. First flight with the actual radar is
expected this fall aboard the Proteus. (
Source: Northrop Grumman, 07/18/06)


MAY 2006

Sverdrup awarded contract
Sverdrup Technologies Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., was awarded a $50 million contract
modification to provide a wide range of diverse engineering, technical and acquisition
management support. This is required in the acquisition, development, production, and
support of various equipment and weapon systems within the Air Armament Center and
other organizations at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This is an option exercise to extend the
term of the contract, June 11 through Dec. 10, 2006. The Air Force can issue delivery
orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, though requirements may
necessitate less than the amount indicated above. This work will be complete December
2006. Headquarters Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base is the contracting activity.
(
Source: DefenseLink, 05/12/06)


APRIL 2006

Human-centered computing
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Scientists at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
are studying ways to make the tongue a key sensor for the warrior of the future. Among
the possibilities: Army Rangers with 360-degree unobstructed night vision, Navy SEALs
sensing sonar in their heads while maintaining normal vision underwater. By routing
signals from helmet-mounted sensors, such as cameras and sonar, through the tongue to
the brain, they hope to give soldiers superhuman senses. The device, known as "Brain
Port," was pioneered more than 30 years ago by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, a University of
Wisconsin neuroscientist. Bach-y-Rita began routing images from a camera through
electrodes taped to people's backs and later discovered the tongue a superior
transmitter. In testing, blind people found doorways, noticed people walking in front of
them and caught balls. A version of the device, expected to be commercially marketed
soon, has restored balance to those whose vestibular systems in the inner ear were
destroyed by antibiotics. IHMC is the first to research military uses of sensory
augmentation. The brain port will be demonstrated to Navy and Marine Corps divers in
May. If the military screeners like what they see, it could be put on a "rapid response" to
quickly get in the hands of military users within the next three to six months. The research
is being funded by through the Department of Defenses' Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency. (
Source: The Associated Press, 04/23/06)

Barrier islands topic of gathering
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Scientists will meet in Biloxi this week to set priorities for
research about preserving barrier islands and their role in protecting the mainland. Greg
Carter, chief scientist of the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Geospatial
Center in Ocean Springs will guide a visit to Horn Island so participants can see how
Hurricane Katrina affected the island’s dunes and plant life. The meeting is hosted by the
Barrier Island Consortium, a project supported by the National Science Foundation.
Carter said the Southern Miss geospatial center is particularly interested in how images
taken from satellites and aircraft can be used to study changes that occur on barrier
islands over months, years and decades. “They allow us to measure changes that occur
on the islands much more effectively than ground measurements alone,” said Carter.
(
Source: Gulf Coast Research Lab, 04/12/06)

Flexibile Access Secure Transfer Internet Protocol waveform tested
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force, in conjunction with BAE Systems and SRA
International, has successfully flown the Flexible Access Secure Transfer (FAST) Internet
Protocol waveform. The successful concept demonstration flights took place March 29 at
Eglin. The flights demonstrated the ability to add high-speed Internet Protocol connectivity
to the Multifunction Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) Fighter Data Link. The
demonstrations were performed with an F-15, a Beechcraft King Air, and two ground
stations. The modifications enabled the terminals to simultaneously transmit and receive
Link 16 and FAST waveform functions. FAST supports missions that require free flow of
data without pre-mission planning. BAE Systems is under contract with the Air Force to
develop and demonstrate the FAST concept, which improves tactical communications and
adds mobile ad hoc networking on existing Link 16 Terminals while waiting for future
technologies. (
Source: Business Wire, 04/11/06)


JANUARY 2006

Technology park begins to take shape
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. - A technology park outside Stennis Space Center is
beginning to take shape, and interest has been great enough that the developer has
approved construction of two more buildings. Robbie Maxwell, a consultant for the Mobile
developers, says he gets calls every day, and didn’t expect it to be like this. Stennis
Technology Park, which has room to develop into 700 acres, is being built in phases
based on market conditions. It will provide a home to fledgling technology companies and
other businesses with links to Stennis Space Center. The $3.75 million building now under
construction is 30,000 square feet, and two prospective tenants have expressed interest
in using the entire building, said Maxwell. Now the developer has committed to a second
building of 10,000 square feet and a third of 30,000 square feet. The developer is also
now exploring building single-family and townhouses on land south of Interstate 10 for
those who eventually work at the technology park. Maxwell said the development would fit
in with some of the New Urban ideas that were discussed during the Mississippi Renewal
Forum in October. The technology park is designed to appeal to operations that are in
the same fields as Stennis Space Center, including geospatial and aerospace. (
Source:
Sun Herald, 01/07/06)