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27 Nov 14. BAE Systems and scientists from The Open University have worked together to design new atmosphere monitoring technology for the UK’s future submarine programme, based on lessons learned from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission. The analyser continuously monitors the precarious environmental atmospheres found on-board submarines and is capable of analysing dozens of gas species simultaneously with a response time of less than a minute. This new atmosphere analyser far exceeds the capabilities of the current system and shares many of the attributes of the instrument that recently landed on a comet. It needed to be much smaller and lighter than the current system and work in extreme environments, yet remain robust and operate for long periods with minimal human interaction. The proven prototype analyser is now being developed for manufacture by Analox Military Systems after it was awarded a £1m contract from BAE Systems. The final system will offer a significant increase in performance, improved reliability and lower procurement and through-life costs.
24 Nov 14. Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully conducted the integrated baseline review (IBR) of the production, deployment and initial sustainment phase for the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS). The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides space-enabled, secure communications capabilities to polar users in support of national objectives. EPS CAPS receives telemetry and supplies configuration commands, mission and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload. The Military Satellite Communications Systems (MILSATCOM) directorate at the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is acquiring EPS and EPS CAPS. The IBR assessed resources allocated to EPS CAPS and demonstrated how anticipated risks would be tracked and managed. The program also successfully completed an IBR during the design and risk-reduction phase. The IBR focused on EPS CAPS technical baseline, including an assessment of potential risks associated with the program’s technical performance, cost, schedule and resources. The reviewers unanimously agreed the program is executable with resolution of actions and adherence to risk management measures. Future program milestones will focus on software development, followed by segment and system tests with the other EPS segments over the next two years. Northrop Grumman was awarded the EPS CAPS contract in November 2012. The base contract for segment design and risk-reduction efforts was completed earlier this year. The current phase of the contract covers the next 48 months to complete CAPS development, deployment and initial sustainment. Primary design, development and testing are being done in Redondo Beach, California, with additional CAPS work performed in Orlando, Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts. The CAPS design leverages Northrop Grumman’s ability to quickly deliver innovative national space security products and establishes a pathfinder for affordable, scalable mission control capability for any variety of future protected satellite communications architecture options the company may pursue.
27 Nov 14. Raytheon announced the winners of its SPaRK (SME Partnerships advancing Raytheon Knowledge) Competition. These were Plextek, for a new GPS solider location system, MAAS for a CyberSPaRK research programme enabling the reverse engineering of vulnerable software and the University of Nottingham for Power Converter and Control systems research. Raytheon works with 1000 SMEs across 200 programmes. The Company had 104 Applications for the ward in areas as diverse as Targeting Research, Power & Control, Defence and Intelligence & Security.
27 Nov 14. China’s Holographic Ground Control System. AVIC, China’s top aerospace manufac