Saturday, December 15, 2012

Week in review (12/9 to 12/15)

The J-2X powerpack wraps up testing; an early warning system created by Stennis Space Center and other agencies wins an award; NASA is named the best place to work in the federal government; a city and county prepare to vote on incentives for an Airbus supplier; Airbus lands an order for 100 A320s; a governor visits Eglin to check the noise level of the F-35; and an unmanned combat aircraft taxis on a carrier deck.

Here's your week in review:

Engineers conducted the final test of the J-2X powerpack assembly at Stennis Space Center, Miss., at the end of the week. The powerpack, which sits on top of the engine and feeds propellants to the bell nozzle of the engine to produce thrust, has burned millions of pounds of propellants during 13 tests totaling more than an hour and a half in 2012.

NASA engineers will remove the assembly from the test stand to focus on tests of the fully integrated engine. Installation on a test stand at Stennis will begin in 2013. The J-2X, developed by Rocketdyne, will power the upper stage of the Space Launch System that will take astronauts into deep space missions. (Post)

-- The ForWarn forest monitoring and assessment tool developed by NASA Stennis Space Center's Applied Science and Technology Project Office and other federal and university partners was chosen to receive a technology transfer award.

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer announced last month that the ForWarn early warning system will receive the 2013 FLC Interagency Partnership Award. It recognizes the collaborative efforts of laboratory employees from at least two different agencies on a technology transfer project.

The ForWarn system was released earlier this year as a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool for tracking changes in forest vegetation across the country, and providing a strategic, national overview of potential forest disturbances and environmental threats. (Post)

For a background story, see Pages 7-8 of the April 2010 issue of Alliance Insight.

-- NASA is the best place to work in the federal government among large agencies. That's according to a survey by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization.

The ranking reflects NASA's highest results since this index was developed. The rankings are based on responses from nearly 700,000 federal workers. This is the seventh edition of the Best Places to Work rankings. NASA's Stennis Space Center was ranked second in the sub-agency component category. (Post) Previous year

The city of Mobile and the county will vote next week on the economic incentives used to lure the first Airbus supplier to Mobile. The city will vote on a $70,000 incentive and the county on a $24,000 incentive. The state also is providing $12,000 to Labinal Engineering, a subsidiary of Safran Engineering Services, a France-based aerospace and defense firm that will create 50 jobs at Brookley Aeroplex. Airbus plans to build an A320 assembly line. (Post)

-- Airbus said it has received an order for 100 Airbus A320 aircraft from AirAsia. Asia's largest budget airline is expanding its fleet to tap into the growth in air travel in the region. The price was not disclosed, but the list price would come to $9.37 billion. (Post)

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, several staff members and two Vermont mayors were at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during the week to see first-hand how loud the F-35 is compared to an F-16. The National Air Guard Base in Burlington, Vt., currently has F-16s, but the base is a contender for F-35s. Shumlin concluded the F-35 would be quieter than the F-16. (Post)

Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $127.7 million modification to the previously awarded F-35 Low Rate Initial Production Lot 5 contract. This effort includes requirements for the international partner governments as well as for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center. (Post)

A Northrop Grumman-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator aircraft for the first time taxied aboard a carrier earlier this month. During the test aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, deck operators used an arm-mounted control display unit to remotely control the aircraft. More tests are scheduled before the Truman returns to its homeport in Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Northrop Grumman builds portions of two other UAVs, Global Hawk and Fire Scout, in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III was nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as director, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va. Clarke is currently serving as commander, First Air Force (Air Force North), and commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (Post)

BAE Systems of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was selected by the Navy to  maintain and service T-34, T-44 and T-6 trainer aircraft under a contract valued at $400 million over five years. The work will be done at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. … Two Fort Walton Beach, Fla., companies, InDyne Inc. and Williams Electric Co., were among 10 companies awarded a $315,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide for the services in support of various security and control systems. Work location will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 6, 2017. … Boeing of St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $17 million contract modification for engineering, manufacturing and development phase option 1. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBYK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Austal: Craig Perciavalle was promoted to president of Austal USA, effective Dec. 17. Austal USA Interim President and Chief Financial Officer Brian Leathers was promoted to senior vice president and CFO, also effective Monday. (Post)

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