News From Washington

US Air Force Awards Harris Corp. $24 M Contract

Harris Corp., a world leader in satellite network support and control solutions, announced that it has been awarded a one-year, $24.3 M contract option to provide operations, maintenance and support services to the US Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) and Global Positioning System (GPS) ground network. The latest Operational Space Service and Support (OSSS) award brings the total current contract value to date for Harris to over $50 M, with options for five additional years that could increase the overall value to $202 M.

The OSSS contract calls for Harris and its teammates to operate and perform organizational level maintenance at all ground stations assigned to the AFSCN and GPS. The ground stations are in such diverse locations as Thule, Greenland; Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; New Boston, NH; and other geographically separated locations. The initial contract focuses on the remote locations, providing antenna operations and maintenance, GPS site software and hardware support, training, security and management services. Beginning in the third year of the contract, satellite orbital analysis and technical assistance support at Schriever AFB, CO, will be added to the contract. Harris Technical Services Corp. (HTSC) will execute the contract on behalf of Harris Corp.

"We are very pleased that the Air Force continues to rely on Harris to provide value-added technical services where performance is absolutely critical and core to the success of its satellite control networks," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD).

Northrop Grumman Awarded $64.8 M Order for Joint Stars

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Integrated Systems sector has been awarded a $64.8 M test support delivery order by the US Air Force for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS).

A four-year, fixed-price delivery order for the Joint STARS program, Joint STARS Extended Test Support (JETS), is a continuation of the current test program, Follow-on Test Support (FOTS), with similar objectives and provisions. The delivery order provides the critical skill infrastructure and test assets necessary for the continued development of the Joint STARS system.

Key JETS mission objectives include conducting government testing; providing training and proficiency flights for mission crew and primary aircrew; supplying office facilities for the government Joint Test Force (JTF), engineering services; participating in system demonstrations and exercises; and installing, evaluating and testing potential system modifications and improvements.

"Northrop Grumman's JETS team is dedicated to providing a superior test platform," said Alan Doshier, Integrated Systems vice president for Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management (AGS&BM) Systems. "We have built a strong relationship with the JTF and this will ensure we continue to test the latest technology for the Joint STARS program. The timing of this delivery order will also allow for a seamless transition of test support from FOTS to JETS and provide uninterrupted test coverage for ongoing and future Joint STARS development efforts." For more information visit: http://www.iss.

JPALS Landings Move GPS-based System Forward

The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, MA, and prime contractor Raytheon recently completed the initial phase of flight testing for the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, or JPALS, program.

Now, according to program manager Eric Lekberg of the Global Air Traffic Operation/Mobility Command and Control Program Office, it is time to analyze the results and map future risk reduction and testing activities. "Initial analysis shows that the tests were very successful," Lekberg said. "Clearly, expectations were exceeded."

JPALS uses the Global Positioning System, or GPS, as the enabling technology to provide accurate and reliable landing guidance for low visibility approaches. JPALS is designed to provide precision approach and landing for all military services in any weather and for virtually any mission. The Air Force is the Defense Department's lead service for the entire joint program.

JPALS is being designed to support fixed base, tactical, special mission and shipboard landing environments. The Navy, which is working on developing its own variant of the system for shipboard landings, had its first successful landing using its version of the system, this past spring. When an F/A-18 Hornet landed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in April, it marked the world's first fully automated GPS landing at sea.

According to Brian Pierce, a support contractor who provides acquisition and engineering support for the program office, a small amount of error is inherent with GPS navigation. With JPALS, a process known as Differential GPS is used to acquire the needed precision.

The JPALS system uses GPS receivers on board the aircraft and an accompanying ground station. The ground station, being in a fixed location, can constantly measure the ever-changing error factor, or differential, and transmit it to the aircraft. Navigation processing equipment onboard the aircraft incorporates the information to increase the accuracy of the aircraft position.

Finally, JPALS will use waypoints provided from the ground station to construct an approach path between the aircraft and touchdown point. The pilot can fly this approach using standard cockpit instruments, or JPALS can be coupled to the aircraft autopilot to perform "hands-off," auto-coupled landings. For more information, contact Chuck Paone (781) 377-5078, or via e-mail:

Merrimac Receives Defense Satellite Contract from Boeing

Merrimac Industries Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of RF microwave components, assemblies and microwave multifunction modules (MMFM(R)), announced that it was awarded a contract which is estimated to reach $1.2 M from the Boeing Co. Navigation Systems Division, to design, develop and manufacture RF components and subsystems for the redesigned GPS Block IIF program.

Boeing was awarded a long-term contract valued at approximately $1.3 B by the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center to provide the next generation GPS satellite-based navigation system. This space-based system is to be operated by the US Department of Defense. The system permits land, sea and airborne users to instantaneously determine their three-dimensional position, velocity and time, 24 hours a day, under all weather conditions anywhere in the world.

Mason N. Carter, chairman and CEO commented, "This contract clearly illustrates our strong competency of providing innovative, complex, space qualified Total Integrated Packaging Solutionsª to major defense satellite communication companies. We have a long working relationship with Boeing, in supplying space, defense and commercial aircraft components. Our design provides a creative, value solution based upon 40 plus years of RF microwave component/subsystem design and manufacturing process expertise. Merrimac was selected to participate on the GPS IIF upgrade program because of our unique ability to provide low insertion loss, lightweight, high power RF and microwave components. As part of this contract, Merrimac will provide high power beam forming networks designed to interface directly with the L-band antenna of the spacecraft. Since this beam-forming network interfaces directly to the antenna system, insertion loss and the ability to handle the high transmitter power are critical design parameters. The beam forming network will consist of multi-port power dividers of various configurations and quadrature hybrids dividers."