Air Force lab awards largest-ever contract - Albuquerque Journal

Air Force lab awards largest-ever contract

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The Air Force Research Laboratory announced this week that is has awarded its largest-ever contract – worth more than $1 billion over the next five years – to a university-affiliated laboratory for space-related technology development.

The contract was awarded to Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory, which has a local presence. The Department of Defense’s website says that work will be done in North Logan, Utah, and Albuquerque, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2026. The sole source contract was awarded to the laboratory, which is one of about a dozen University Affiliated Research Centers throughout the country.

“The partnership will accelerate critical space science and technology projects, especially when we need to quickly respond to urgent and unexpected needs,” Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, said in a statement. “It will allow us to focus on proactively out-innovating our peer competitors to ensure the Space Force continues to have the technology required to deter conflict, and assure our nation’s critical space capabilities are available whenever and wherever needed.”

According to an AFRL news release, research areas include:

— Space-related sensor systems

— Space-cyberspace and information-related capabilities

— Nuclear-related science and technology deterrence operations

— Advanced satellite navigation and Global Positioning Systems technology

— Precision quantum and photonic sensors

— Space environment exploitation and mitigation

— Small satellite portfolio

— Distributed RF sensing

Some of the spending from the contract will happen in Albuquerque, though an estimate was not available Tuesday.

Utah State’s SDL has had a physical presence in Albuquerque since 2007, and many of its employees live in the city, according to the university’s website.

“The Space Dynamics Laboratory is honored to be a partner of the Air Force Research Laboratory and proud to be part of the Albuquerque community. A significant portion of the work under the contract will be supported by the dedicated SDL employees who live and work in this community,” Michael Wojcik, SDL’s Albuquerque site lead, said in a statement.


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