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Apr 07. The Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (Composites CRC) and its new partners have started the detailed planning phase of their new three-year, A$10.3m R&D program to support the emerging helicopter composite structures industry centred in south-east Queensland. The leader of the industrial team is Australian Aerospace which is developing major new facilities for helicopter production in Brisbane. Australian Aerospace has won the Government’s AIR 87 and AIR 9000 programs for new military helicopters, which are substantially constructed from advanced composite materials. As previously announced, an investment of up to AUD 15 million has been committed for the state-of-the-art composites manufacturing plant in Queensland. The Composites CRC has worked with both the Queensland and Commonwealth Government to obtain substantial support under their respective schemes known as the Smart State Innovation Fund and the Cooperative Research Centres Supplementary Funding Program. Over the period of the present plan, total government investment will be A$5.4m. The remainder of the planned funding will be made up of cash and in-kind contributions of a similar magnitude from the industry and research partners. A large array of talent has been assembled by the Composites CRC to take on the challenge of creating and sustaining a globally-competitive hub for helicopter composite component design, manufacture and through-life support. In Queensland, Buchanan Advanced Composites, QMI Solutions and the University of Queensland, each will make crucial technical and business inputs to the program.
Additionally, specialist contributions will be made in New South Wales by Pacific Engineering Systems International and The University of New South Wales, and in Victoria, by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation – Air Vehicles Division.

13 Apr 07. DARPA seeks strategic collaboration ideas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking innovative ideas and concepts that can advance the area of strategic collaboration, according to a request for information issued by DARPA. The agency wants interested individuals and organizations to submit white papers on technologies and concepts that could form the basis for a DARPA program to develop a network-enabled collaborative environment. Ultimately, the networked environment would bring together large numbers of people with different experiences, cultures and expertise to address the complex problems of large-scale disaster recovery and relief operations. (Source: GCN)

19 Apr 07. Embraer is studying the possible development of a medium-sized military transport jet aircraft, the C-390. If approved, the Embraer C-390 would be the heaviest aircraft ever produced by the Brazilian group, and would take it into a new segment of the aerospace and defence market. Embraer is best known for its development of commercial jets up to 120 seats, a market in which it has overtaken Canada’s Bombardier to become the global market leader. It is also seeking to expand its presence in corporate aviation with the development of several new business jets. The C-390 project would mark its first effort to develop a jet-engined military transport aircraft, which would be designed to transport up to 19 tons of cargo. Embraer believes there is a gap in the market between Lockheed Martin’s long-lived C130 Hercules and the C27J transport aircraft supplied by Alenia Aeronautica, part of Italy’s Finmeccanica. (Source: FT.com)

16 Apr 07. Computer Router To Go Into Orbit. The Pentagon is partially funding an experimental, $80 million communications satellite that will move information using Internet data-packet standards, allowing direct access to a network via satellite for faster communications than current connections. For a year after it goes into orbit in the first quarter of 2009, the U.S. mi

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