Aerospace & Defence News.

 
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Aug 27, 2007

NFIRE satellite successfully tracks missile. The U.S. Near Field Infrared Experiment research satellite successfully carried out a data-collection experiment that will aid in the development of space-based missile defense technology. The satellite tracked a modified Minuteman II booster vehicle that was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Aug 24, 2007

University of Colorado wins $92M contract for satellite gear to forecast solar disturbances. The University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics has landed a $92 million contract to build satellite instruments to forecast solar disturbances. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA tapped the school to build four satellite instruments for detecting and measuring solar flare activity and radiation. LASP will deliver the first of the four instruments in 2012. Aug 24, 2007

Cassini may encounter plumes of ice particles near Saturn moon. Small particles of ice or space dust could damage the Cassini spacecraft as it passes Enceladus, a Saturn moon, scientists say. The March 2008 flyby of the spacecraft will provide researchers a great view of plumes from the moon's south polar region, but will also put the craft in the path of the spray, which some scientists believe could be water spurting out from the moon. Aug 23, 2007

Fewer MRAPs than hoped to reach U.S. troops. Pentagon officials say that only about 1,500 mine-resistant vehicles are expected to reach troops by the end of the year, far short of the planned 3,500. Production of the vehicles is on target, but the military is taking longer than expected to fully outfit and deliver the vehicles. Aug 23, 2007

NASA testing drone to monitor wildfires. A Predator B aircraft flown remotely from a ground control station at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California has begun flights over the West. The craft will test technology for real-time thermal imaging and mapping of wildfires, with data transmitted as a Google Earth overlay. Aug 23, 2007

Shift in US DoD priorities could benefit small businesses. Small businesses could benefit as the Pentagon and large contractors shift gears to embrace a global war on terror that will require innovations produced quickly and inexpensively. "Affordability is becoming the No. 1 objective," said a US DoD spokeswoman. "Cost and schedule overruns are so commonplace that affordability becomes paramount." Aug 23, 2007

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