Saturday, March 18, 2017

Week in review (3/12 to 3/18)

NASA selected 133 proposals from U.S. companies to conduct research and develop technologies to help NASA's future deep-space missions. They include four projects with a combined value of $3 million that are tied to Stennis Space Center, Miss.

The proposals were selected under Phase II of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR Phase II projects will expand on the results of recently-completed Phase I projects. Phase I projects received six-month contracts of as much as $125,000. Phase II contracts are awarded up to $750,000 and the period of performance is no more than two years.

Successful Phase II projects may go on to Phase III of the program, which is commercialization. The proposals were selected according to technical merit and feasibility, in addition to the experience, qualifications and facilities of the companies, and their work plans and commercial potential. (Post)

In another space-related item outside this region, OneWeb Satellites LLC broke ground on an $85 million high-volume satellite manufacturing factory in Exploration Park, Fla., near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. It's set to begin production, integration and satellite testing later this year.

OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb, a satellite-based internet provider, and Airbus.

The factory is being built in partnership with the state of Florida and Space Florida. The initiative is anticipated to create nearly 250 direct, highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, as well as thousands more throughout a broad supplier base across the nation that will support production.

"This new American-built manufacturing facility is the latest example of Airbus' commitment to expanding our manufacturing footprint in the U.S.," said Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas. "We already build civil and military helicopters in Texas and Mississippi, as well as commercial aircraft in Alabama. So, building satellites in Florida with our partner OneWeb continues the Airbus trend of growing U.S.-based manufacturing and jobs and staying close to our American supply chain, within which we invest $17 billion annually.” (Press release)

MAAS Aviation named Geoffrey Myrick as the chief operating officer in Mobile, Ala. Myrick will serve as operations officer for both the existing OEM (original equipment manufacturing) hangar that supports Airbus Americas and the new twin bay MRO hangar that provides services to commercial aircraft carriers as well as lease companies, military and corporate jet markets.

Prior to joining MAAS, Myrick served as vice president of sales for Certified Aviation Services, LLC, where his focus was the creation and execution of sales strategies in the MRO market. In previous roles, Myrick spent about five years at VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering in various capacities centered around marketing, sales, and management. (Post)

Two Eglin Air Force Base officers have been nominated for general rank appointments. In one appointment, Brig. Gen. Shaun Morris, the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons and Armament Directorate director, was nominated to the grade of major general. In the other, Col. Lansing R. Pilch, commander 33rd Fighter Wing, Air Education and Training Command, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. (Post)

-- Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced that Rear Adm. (lower half) Kyle J. Cozad, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla. Cozad is currently serving as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Va. (Post)

HX5 LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $95 million contract for personnel, supervision, and services necessary to provide services for research and development and related activities for the Engineer Research and Development Center Information Technology Laboratory. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 14, 2022. … Kratos Defense and Security Solutions’ subsidiary Composite Engineering Inc. (CEi) received the Lot 13 production of a previous awarded contract for Lots 11-13 of the Air Force Subscale Aerial Target. The $22.3 million contract will be performed by the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, comprised of CEi and Micro Systems Inc. (MSI). CEi’s Sacramento, Calif., facility will lead the effort and provide 25 high performance BQM-167A aerial targets and associated technical support. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based MSI will supply the majority of the high performance avionics utilized on the aircraft, including critical command, control and flight computer systems. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. received a task order to support the U.S. Air Force 53rd Wing operations. The task order was awarded with a value of $204.9 million over four years and nine months if all options are exercised, and focuses on the provision of information technology support for weapons and computer systems related to systems development and operational activities. Work sites are primarily located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., but some work will also be done at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and other locations. … Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded a $15 million modification to a previously awarded contract for Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) engineering, manufacture and development. Work will be performed at Sunnyvale and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019. Work on the propulsion module for the SBIRS is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss. … URS Federal Services Inc., Germantown, Md., was awarded a $35.1 million contract to provide maintenance services, including integrated support equipment (SE) maintenance repair and overhaul services to reduce repair cycle time and the availability of ready for use SE in the fleet and the Fleet Readiness Center Aviation Support Equipment sites. New Orleans will be the location for 5 percent of the work.

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