Murray Announces $55 million in Job-Creating Defense Contracts for Washington State

Jul 20 2006

Projects will create 531 good-paying jobs in Washington state

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today announced that she has secured $55 million in federal defense work for Washington state companies in the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Appropriations bill. Murray, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted for the Senate bill today at a meeting of the full committee. The full Senate is expected to take up the bill later this month.

"Washington state companies are creating innovative products to help our military men and women complete their missions safely and successfully," Murray said. "I'm proud to provide the funding that will support our troops in the field and create more than 500 high skill, high wage here at home. Washington state companies are already seeing their technologies save lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this funding, we'll be able to do even more to bring more of our soldiers, sailors and airmen home safely to their families."

The following Washington state projects received funding in the Senate FY 2007 Defense Appropriations bill:

High Pressure/Microwave Processing for Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE)
Avure Technologies Inc., Kent, and Washington State University, Pullman
$6 million
The Combat Feeding Directorate, U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, in partnership with a consortium of industry and academic partners, develops advanced food preservation and processing technologies to improve combat ration quality and variety, and extend their shelf life for improved supply chain management. The use of high hydrostatic pressure (Avure) and microwave sterilization (WSU) has proven to be a very effective means of controlling spoilage and disease-causing microorganisms. The processes have minimal effects on food chemistry compared to those imparted by traditional food processing methods such as canning, which exposes foods to high temperatures for extended periods of time. High pressure and microwave sterilized foods meet consumer demands for minimally processed, additive free foods with fresh-like characteristics while providing the ultimate in safety. Successful transition of this technology will permit the introduction of extended shelf-life, stable food products in support of the Department of Defense goals of providing fresher, high quality food to deployed forces worldwide.

Air Force Weather Systems
Coastal Environmental Systems, Seattle
$6 million
The Air Force is currently purchasing weather stations built by Coastal Environmental Systems in order to replace obsolete, broken or inaccurate instrumentation at U.S. Air Force bases worldwide. However, the original requirement for 199 stations has been limited to 114 due to funding. These Weather Stations are necessary to land pilots and aircraft safely at all times and under all weather conditions by providing a much more accurate picture of weather conditions at the most crucial points of flight, during take off and landing, when flight crews depend most on accurate weather data. This funding will allow the Air Force to purchase approximately 20 additional FMQ-19 weather stations.

Lightweight Multi-purpose Laser
nLight Corporation, Vancouver
$6 million
This program will develop and demonstrate an efficient and directly eye-safe laser technology that can be quickly inserted into military platforms. Currently, military laser systems operated at a wavelength near one micron are used for a broad range of missions, including range finding, target designation, illumination and imaging, and weapons systems. At this wavelength, the laser power required to accomplish these missions often precludes the possibility of eye-safe operation. This program will mature the appropriate laser technology and demonstrate its effectiveness in enabling a new class of eye-safe military lasers.

Intelligent Graphic Data Distribution Training
Dimension 4, Bremerton
$5 million
This tool allows the Navy to retrieve information such as ship configuration data, job requirements, crewmember skill sets and a technical data repository. It will create work packages that are tailored to specific tasks and crewmember skills. This effort will significantly increase readiness by shortening the time required to address shipboard maintenance.

Real-Time Weight and Balance Measurement System for C-130s
Crane Aerospace, Lynnwood
$4.5 million
This project will allow the Air Force to install onboard weights and balance system that can improve aircraft safety, dispatch speed and cost-savings by measuring the actual aircraft weight and center of gravity of an aircraft. Current dispatching procedures “calculate” the aircraft weight based on historical survey data such as average troop weight. Investigators have determined that inaccurate weight assumptions had led to overloaded aircraft and military airplane crashes. This funding will allow Crane Aerospace to complete the development and to qualify the Real-Time Measurement Weight and Balance system for the C-130 fleet.

Long-Shelf Life Fruits and Vegetables for Military Rations
Arcadia Biosciences (formerly Anawah, Inc.), Seattle
$3 million
This project will help our troops in the field get fresh tomatoes, lettuce and other produce, especially in areas where soldiers can't get frequent food deliveries. This funding will allow the company to continue its development of non-genetically modified organism varieties of tomato and lettuce with at least 30 days of fresh shelf-life, and to establish and evaluate variant populations of bell pepper, cantaloupe and strawberry using their advanced molecular biology techniques. This will improve nutrition for soldiers on the frontlines and improved morale of sailors, soldiers and marines deployed on ships, submarines or in field environment where provisioning is infrequent.

Individual Water Purification System
Cascade Designs, Seattle
$3 million
This project will allow the Marine Corps to purchase and field approximately 20,000 individual water purifier system (IWPS), developed and manufactured by Cascade Designs. Conventional water-purification systems use chlorine, iodine pills or pump filtration devices that are costly and heavy, and produce water with bad taste and residual untreated contaminants. This new system is essentially integrated into a “camel-back” water carrying device, and produces drinking water that meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards within 30 minutes. This technology was field tested by the Marine Corps in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, and was shown to offer safe, palatable drinking water in a lightweight, reduced footprint.

ScanEagle Advanced Concepts Development
Insitu, Bingen
$3 million
The ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been successful as a low-cost, small, tactical platform for collecting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery for the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq. Senator Murray previously provided funding for the U.S. Marine Corps to purchase ScanEagle UAVs, which have been used to fly very low and close to roads and other threat areas searching for Improvised Explosive Devices. Military commanders now want to expand the role of this class of UAV making ScanEagle the only small UAV supporting all four services--a true joint asset. This funding would allow the Air Force to provide further testing that will fully exploit ScanEagle capabilities.

Warfighter Pocket XP Project
Itronix (General Dynamics), Spokane
$3 million
Current commercially available computers are bulky, too slow, require too much battery power and are often incompatible with various military application requirements. This project will allow the Department of Defense to field approximately 500 extremely durable, ultra-small, lightweight, personal “hand-top” computers, developed by Vulcan, Inc. of Seattle and Itronix Corp. of Spokane, that meet both the current needs outlined in the DOD programs but also future needs as network computing evolves within the US military forces.

Mounted Warrior Command and Control Heads Up Display
Microvision, Bothell
$3 million
The Mounted Warrior Command and Control Head Up Display (C2HUD), an integral part of the Mounted Warrior system, will increase force protection by enablling vehicle crewmen to view non-see through tactical maps and vehicle sensors and when complete, return to a see-through mode of operation. Additionally, with a fused night vision capability, soldiers will need a single device on helmet, whether day or night in order to view the immediate environment. Fusing night vision capability with tactical displays provides a significant leap in capability from current operations. The requested funding is essential to fully develop the electronic occluder and a night vision capability into a color Helmet Mounted Display.

SEAFOX Remote Controlled Surface Vessel
Northwind Marine, Seattle
$3 million
The SEAFOX unmanned, remote-controlled, surface vehicle was developed under contract with the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center. Two prototypes were built and extensive U.S. Navy testing and proof of concept demonstrations with various payload mission packages showed that the vehicle is effective for anti-terrorism/force protection activities such as area patrol, route survey, vessel interrogation and escort, swimmer detection, underwater survey of piers and docks, bottom surveys, operational test range monitoring and clearance. Consequently, SEAFOX USV was selected in summer 2005 for immediate deployment by the office of the Chief of Naval Operations to provide added capability and safety for U.S. Navy maritime interdiction operations. Other SEAFOX vehicles with a variety of mission packages have been fielded for security uses in direct response to operational commanders’ needs worldwide. This request would fund the construction of 5 vehicles.

Navy Boat Lifts
Sunstream Corporation, Kent
$3 million
The Navy has now identified the need for 143 boat lifts to prevent premature aging of the boat inventory and optimize boat supportability. This request would purchase approximately 75 advanced boat lifts for the Navy, which will expand boat life cycles and provide easy boat access, reduce maintenance costs, and permit safe docking and boarding by Navy personnel. In order to meet the increasingly challenging boat missions that are required of Special Operations units and fleet-wide Navy personnel, these advanced lifts will be configured to support multiple missions at multiple commands, which will expand capability and provide the greatest possible savings Navy-wide.

Floating Area Network
Mobilisa, Port Townsend
$2 million
Currently, the U.S. Navy uses satellite systems to communicate between ships at sea, even if ships are only a few miles apart. This typically includes relaying messages through a network operations center (NOC) and using satellites that are over-tasked, the result being communication links with limited access and limited bandwidth. This project will allow Mobilisa to install secure, wireless communications equipment to connect six ships in a battle group so that they are able to communicate wirelessly, point-to-point (without satellite relay) at high bandwidth speeds of greater than 10Mbps. Advanced networking software is required to allow the Floating Area Network to adapt to the constantly changing topology of the network. Senator Murray previously provided funding to allow the Washington State Ferries to pilot-test this technology. These funds will complete development of the FAN system by making the technology more rugged and to certify the technology with the Navy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as well as install FAN aboard Navy vessels to demonstrate in a live Intra Battle Group communications exercise. It is expected that this technology will improve the battle group’s communication capabilities over 100-fold.

P3 Micro-Power Devices
Washington State University, Pullman
$2 million
Small-scale power devices are essential for the development of next-generation command, control, communication, computing and intelligence (C4I) sensors. Scientists at Washington State University will use this funding to complete development of the Palouse piezoelectric power (P3) micro-power devices that “harvest” mechanical vibration to generate electrical power and possess a power density well beyond that available from conventional batteries. With the ability to operate from the combustion of a variety of fuels, or from waste heat, the P3 micro-power source is an attractive choice for commercial products such as cell phones, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, radios, personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptop computers and other portable electronic devices.

Marine Corps Flame Resistant Contact Glove
Outdoor Research, Seattle
$1.5 million
Most current clothing and glove systems used by Marine Air/Ground Task Forces employ textiles and designs consistent with 1960’s technology. Unfortunately, the emerging threat of improvised explosive devices (IED’s) necessitates that gloves worn by Marines be constructed to withstand the secondary effects of explosives and electrical traps, specifically flame and heat threats. This funding will allow Outdoor Research to manufacture and provide the U.S. Marine Corps with approximately 10,000 pair of new gloves that offer improved tactility, warmth-to-weight ratio, and flame resistance. This technology offers substantial advancements that will meet the increasing demands on the military.

Braided Rope for U.S. Navy Ship Salvage
Puget Sound Rope, Anacortes
$1 million
For many years the U.S. Navy Emergency Ship Salvage Material System (ESSM) has used only one type of rope for lifting, mooring and rigging during salvage operations. This project will allow the Navy test and evaluate the performance of twelve-strand braided rope that is “torque-balanced” (does not twist) and not susceptible to “hockling” (forming loops and kinks). This twelve-strand braided rope can be easily spliced without distorting or damaging its structure, thus allowing any length of rope to be manufactured with uniform properties. This would allow the Navy to store bulk lengths long enough to reach full-ocean depth.