26 Mar 15. British Defence Minister Philip Dunne MP confirmed the transfer of land from MOD to allow the Plymouth City Deal to go ahead. Speaking at a ceremony at the city’s historic South Yard, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said, “Devonport has been at the heart of Plymouth for generations, so I am delighted to confirm that the Ministry of Defence will be transferring South Yard to Plymouth City Council for its City Deal programme, which in total is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs and bring in more than £290m in much-needed investment to the South West. It will also preserve this vital part of Plymouth’s naval heritage, further strengthening the bonds between Plymouth and the Royal Navy.”
More than 40 companies have already expressed interest in the site, which was declared an Enterprise Zone by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget. This will allow Plymouth City Council to offer competitive packages to business wishing to relocate to South Yard. The development of South Yard is expected to create 1,100 jobs as the site becomes a dynamic new centre of marine industry. Once finished, the redevelopment of the site will create 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water testing facilities suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors. (Source: U.K. MoD)
26 Mar 15. Raytheon moves environmental satellite ground sustainment team to Maryland in support of major upgrade. The team that sustains the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System (JPSS CGS) is now located much closer to key agency facilities – in support of a major upgrade to the existing system and to provide efficiencies to future missions – the company announced today. Raytheon moved 70 positions from Aurora, Colorado, to Riverdale, Maryland. The 1,600 mile move concludes a strategic milestone that brings the support team for the JPSS CGS program in close proximity to NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“Over the course of the year, we moved our sustainment of the JPSS CGS across the country, without disrupting program operations,” said Mark Sargent, the JPSS Common Ground System program director. “The move ensures we are sustaining the program in close proximity to our customer, and enables efficient extensibility of the common ground system to new missions.”
The move concludes a strategic milestone as Raytheon prepares to deliver an upgraded JPSS ground system to NOAA and NASA at the end of 2015. Its improvements include faster data retrieval for improved forecasting; the ability to support multiple missions at a better value; and an adjustable architecture to efficiently prioritize the needs of the different missions that the system supports. The new system, called JPSS CGS Block 2.0, will also improve perimeter security and harden defensive features to ensure uninterrupted operations and protection of equipment in an era of growing cyber threats. This move does not impact the scheduled 2017 date for the JPSS-1 satellite launch. The Raytheon Common Ground System was developed under contract with NASA for NOAA. The system provides mission planning, command, control and communications, data routing and data processing for satellite programs. The system’s data acquisition, routing and processing supports multiple national and international agencies partnered with NOAA including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, National Science Foundation, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
25 Mar 15. Lockheed Martin has purchased a wind tunnel that is one of only two of its kind in the United States, and is planning key improvements to the facility. Since 1958, Lockheed Martin and its heritage comp