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By | June 9, 2008

      Boeing Gives Ares I Rocket Subcontracts to Three Firms

      The Boeing Co. [BA] has awarded subcontracts to three small businesses under its NASA Ares I avionics contract.

      The avionics ring mounted between the Ares I upper stage and Orion capsule consists of onboard computers, flight controls, communications equipment, power systems, navigation and control systems and other instruments and their associated software for monitoring the rocket’s speed and position while supporting safe assembly, check-out and flight operation.

      The avionics complement is the brains of the Ares I rocket, which will transport astronauts into orbit for their journey back to the moon by 2020.

      Boeing awarded subcontracts to minority-owned GeoLogics Corp., based in Alexandria, Va.; to minority-owned Moseley Technical Services Inc., based in Huntsville, Ala., and to service-disabled veteran-owned Muniz Engineering Inc. (MEI) Technologies, based in Houston.

      All three companies are classified as small disadvantaged businesses under government contracting guidelines. The value of the subcontracts was not disclosed.

      Moseley Technical Services will support avionics subsystem development and systems engineering and integration; GeoLogics will provide software support to Boeing; and MEI Technologies will support the electronic ground equipment development and test activities.

      Boeing conducted a competition among 15 companies and selected the three that offered the best overall value. The Boeing source selection team included engineering, finance, human resources, supplier management and the Boeing Small Business Office. The contracts are for one year with four one-year options that could last through 2013.

      "We based our evaluations on their technical ability, management capability and cost," said Larry B. McWhorter, Boeing Ares I Instrument Unit Avionics (IUA) Engineering manager, who was involved in the selection process. "This is the first of many opportunities for engineering support services as we strive to exceed our aggressive small-business goals."

      Northrop Granted Contract For Changing NPOESS Sensor

      NASA gave Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] a contract to modify a sensor on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Mission (NPP), scheduled for launch in 2010.

      That sensor would help calculate how clouds affect the temperature on Earth.

      The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensor was one of six built by Northrop Grumman Space Technology for long-term climate monitoring.

      CERES and an earlier generation of similar sensors have been continuously capturing measurements of the reflected solar radiation and emitted thermal radiation over the Earth’s surface since 1984.

      Four CERES sensors currently operate on the Terra and Aqua Earth Observing System. The first CERES sensor was a part of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.

      "The addition of CERES to NPP will enable the continuation of these vital climate measurements through 2015," said David L. Ryan, vice president and division general manager for civil systems at Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "This sensor is providing the most accurate global radiation measurements currently available and its data has provided increased understanding of climate change."

      Northrop will make electrical and thermal modifications, update software and calibrate the sensor. It will be delivered this autumn for integration onto NPP, which Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is building under contract to Goddard Space Flight Center.

      Northrop is the prime contractor for NPOESS for three government agencies: the Air Force, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce.

      NPP has a twofold mission: to reduce risk on NPOESS through early flight validation of critical NPOESS sensors, and to serve as a bridge for data continuity between the Earth Observing System research satellites and NPOESS, the next generation U.S. operational Earth observation system.

      Boeing, Lockheed, Each Get $75 Million Contract Change For TSAT Work; Northrop Grumman Also Involved; 24-Month Delay Included In Deal

      The Air Force gave The Boeing Co. [BA] and Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] each a $75 million contract change in the Transformational Satellite [TSAT] program.

      In the Lockheed deal, it will perform about a third of the work, with the remainder going to subcontractor Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC].

      Thus these two deals involve the three largest defense contractors.

      In detail, the deals require Boeing and Lockheed to perform separate work.

      Each firm will conduct additional risk reduction and system definition baseline efforts as well as adding two tasks.

      First, they will perform an industrial base impact study which assumes a Transformational Communications Satellite System (TSAT) Development and Production contract start date of July 1.

      The study will include the assumption of a start date 6 months thereafter, through a total delay of 24 months.

      Second, they will develop system definition and design concepts and present the results in the form of an interim design review for two government-provided alternative TSAT program requirements sets (TSAT "Digital Core" and "TSAT-Lite").

      The TSAT work here for each of the three firms involves their California operations.

      Contractors Receive NASA Order For Kennedy Ground Equipment

      NASA chose multiple contractors to supply ground equipment for the Constellation Program that is developing the next-generation U.S. spaceship and for other space programs at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

      The multiple award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract has a maximum value of $400 million during a five-year ordering period, with potential for a one-year extension.

      NASA awarded the electrical ground support equipment contract to Engravers Metal Fabricators of Cocoa, Fla., Jackson & Tull of Seabrook, Md., Spectrum Laser & Technologies Inc. of Colorado Springs, Colo., and TJ Inc. of Christmas, Fla.

      The fluids ground support equipment contract was awarded to Hydraulics International, Inc. of Chatsworth, Calif., Precision Fabricating & Cleaning Co., Inc. of Cocoa, Fla., Sierra Lobo, Inc. of Milan, Ohio, and United Paradyne Corp. of Santa Maria, Calif.

      The mechanical ground support equipment contract was awarded to Coastal Steel, Inc. of Cocoa, Fla., Engravers Metal Fabricators of Cocoa, Fla., Met-Con, Inc. of Cocoa, Fla., Oregon Iron Works of Clackamas, Ore., Precision Fabricating & Cleaning Co. Inc. of Cocoa, Fla., Rogers Associates Machine and Tool Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., Samson Metal & Machine of Lakeland, Fla., and Specialty Maintenance and Construction of Lakeland, Fla.

      Contract provisions cover all required management, labor, facilities, materials and equipment to fabricate, mark, package, deliver, clean, assemble, precision clean, and test equipment, ground systems and other hardware for Kennedy as firm fixed price delivery orders.

      Raytheon Gets $44.8 Million Contract Change For AMRAAM Assets

      The Air Force gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $44.8 million contract change for overseas sales of Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) assets being bought by Greece and Taiwan.

      That work will involve the AMRAAM Air Intercept Missile (AIM) 120-C7 Software Tapes 18A/20.

      Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., handles the contract.

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