Feds Pass Funding Measure That Provides $8M for PAXRVR Projects - Southern Maryland Headline News

Feds Pass Funding Measure That Provides $8M for PAXRVR Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Appropriations conference report today that contains over $8 million in funding important to Patuxent River Naval Air Station and Southern Maryland.

Upgrading Range Instrumentation to Support Network Centric Operations, $2.6 million

Pax River is the world's busiest test flight center in the world, providing a full spectrum of RDT&E through its research and engineering expertise, fully instrumented and integrated open-air ranges, and powerful modeling and simulation facilities, making it a significant contributor to the transformation process. This funding will upgrade current NAWCAD, Patuxent River instrumentation resources and capabilities to provide new and/or enhanced integrated test, training and experimentation to support the Navy's transformation to a network-centric force. This enhanced range capability will support the complex scenarios involved in a network centric or cooperative engagement. Just as DoD is transforming its war fighting capability, this allows Pax to upgrade supporting test and evaluation capabilities to keep pace with upgraded net-centric operational capabilities.

Network Expansion & Integration of Navy/NASA RDT&E Ranges & Facilities, $2 million

This funding provides a much needed communications link upgrade between Pax River and NASA's Wallops Island facility on the lower Eastern Shore. This enhancement expands the Pax range capabilities out over the Atlantic Ocean by allowing tests to be tracked from Wallops to be tied directly to the labs and capabilities of Pax River.

The Atlantic Test Range (ATR) requires an effective communications infrastructure to successfully and safely accomplish its mission. The Digital Microwave Data Link System (DMDLS), which is the core system supporting NAWCAD testing of the Navy's best and newest aircraft systems, is now operating at near capacity. With an increase of offshore Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) work expected and the development of hypersonic air vehicles and weapons, escalating requirements for instrumentation data (video, voice, and data) feeds will be unsupportable on the current DMDLS. This project will upgrade the capabilities of the Atlantic Test Range (ATR) through installation of a Fiber Optic Data Link system that will support existing and emergent range requirements as more capable digital range and aircraft systems continue to expand the need for high capacity data links.

AGE Exploration Model Extension to Multi-Signal Diagnostics, $2 million

The Health Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) that are being installed on both legacy (CH-53E) and new platforms (VH-71A - Presidential Helicopter, CH-53 HLR, UH-1Y, AH-1Z, MH-60R/S) provide the collection of specific health and diagnostic sensor data which can be used to support the application of the Navy's Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) program. These HUMS-based sensors will be used to advance insight to platform health and improving reliability through timely maintenance actions. However, the HUMS require improvements in the diagnostics methods in order to better translate the data acquired into information which can be directly applied to the maintenance actions required for conversion to a condition based maintenance environment. The AGE Exploration Model was created to support prediction of age impacts on platforms and systems and excels in the modeling of system degradation and failures based on data collected through the Navy's 3-M program. The AGE Exploration Model will be enhanced to include multiple signal analysis techniques to identify system and component degradation to provide a better awareness of component health. This will improve safety of aircraft operations and produce reduced maintenance man-hours, reduced spares requirements, and an increase in aircraft availability.

Maritime Intelligence Integration for Shared Situational Awareness, $1.3 million

National Security Presidential Directive 41 / Homeland Security Presidential Directive 13 (NSPD-41/HSPD-13) established policy guidelines to enhance national security by protecting U.S. maritime interests. The strategy mandates implementation of a shared common situational awareness capability among the intelligence, law enforcement, and operational communities. The Navy has already established a baseline shared intelligence awareness capability with the Distributed Common Ground Station (DCGS-N) program and the initial establishment of experimental facilities at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

With additional funding, the Pax River facility will establish and field joint, interagency, and coalition capability between DCGS-N, Littoral Surveillance Systems (LSS) and SouthCom JIATF-South Intel operations, to receive, merge, and share expanded sensor data, correlate threat information, and provide automated exploitation tools to include computer network operations.

SureTrak, $1 million

Developed by the U.S. Navy at the Patuxent River NAWCAD, SureTrak is a government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), state-of-the-art, multi-sensor, integrated data system that has been designed to receive, integrate, display and distribute data from a variety of remote sensors including surface surveillance radars, air surveillance radars, infrared and closed circuit television cameras, and environmental monitors. This system is under consideration for protecting the Baltimore Harbor and other critical assets along Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. It employs a sophisticated alarms module and a fully integrated database that can be used to alert operators to developing situations or immediate threats. SureTrak provides full remote control capability for the sensors and distributes sensor data in real-time to commercial-off-the-shelf computer workstations located at remote facilities. The use of Windows style pull-down menus throughout the system provides for a fast and familiar interface.

Unmanned Air Systems Tactical Control System "Open Architecture" Migration, $1 million

This project supports a high priority Navy need by enabling interoperability across Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) platforms. Funding will provide continuation of a Small Business Innovative Research Project (SBIR N04-011) effort focusing on high risk/high reward open architecture migration of components of the Unmanned Air Systems Tactical Control System. It will identify opportunities for commonality across all Unmanned Air Systems platforms to provide significant cost reductions and much needed interoperability. A model for common components will be established and disseminated through collaboration between industry and laboratories.

Other funding that will benefit Pax River and Southern Maryland companies included in the FY07 Department of Defense Appropriations conference report passed today is listed below.

* $632 million to fully fund the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program

* $1.3 billion to fully fund the request for V-22 Osprey

* $11 billion for Navy shipbuilding and conversion, including $1.8 billion to purchase one Virginia-class submarine

* $2.6 billion for the purchase of two DD(X) Destroyers

* $2.5 billion for 34 F/A 18's

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