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Schumer, Clinton: Key Senate Panel Backs $31 Million In Defense Funds For Capital Region

$18 million included for programs that will benefit the Watervliet Arsenal Federal funds include millions in research and development dollars and high tech programs for the region

US Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $31 million under the FY05 National Defense Appropriations Act for defense projects in the Capital Region. The bill must now be approved by the full Senate before being sent to a House and Senate Conference Committee and eventually being signed into law.

"This money will mean great things for the Capital Region economy while supporting major advances that will improve the lives of all Americans,” said Schumer. "Bringing dollars to the region for high tech projects, as well as providing millions for programs that will benefit the Watervliet Arsenal will help create jobs and keep the Capital Region's economy strong."

“As a Senator, and especially since joining the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have been very impressed by the research, technologies and skills that the Captial region has to offer to our national defense. Funding for these projects means that we are supporting the area's cutting-edge knowledge and expertise, that in turn will support our men and women in uniform,” Senator Clinton said. “I am particularly pleased to support this federal funding that will benefit Watervliet Arsenal.” said Senator Clinton. “The Watervliet Arsenal is a critical part of our national defense base and deserves this additional support.”

Schumer and Clinton announced funds for the following Capital Region projects: $4 million for Common Core Power Production-Plug Power. Based in Latham, just outside of Albany, Plug Power is at the forefront of hydrogen energy research. The Long Island Power Authority uses Plug Power cells in to generate energy and Plug Power has entered into a contract with Honda to develop a home refueling system for cars based on fuel cell technology. The Plug Power program will develop a modular fuel cell architecture that comes in a variety of sizes, creating fuel cells that can operate in different settings and equipment. The military will use the technology to provide energy for bases used in forward troop deployment, airplane and boat refueling, and other sea port and air field applications. The expandable modular architecture will also allow engineers to design equipment with varying power demands that are based on a fuel cell power source that is more efficient, clean and reliable than a traditional power supply. As a result, modular fuel cell architecture is likely to increase the use of fuel cells in both military and civilian applications.

$3 million for the National Nanoelectronics Defense Initiative (NNDSI). The NNDSI being created by SUNY Albany's Center of Excellence in NanoElectronics and College of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering will support national defense needs through the development and implementation of manufacturing-friendly nanodevice based technologies that will develop low-cost nano-electro-mechanical-systems (NEMS) for emerging sensors, detectors, and detonators for Personnel and Armament Nano-Device Acceleration (PANDA) and will develop low-loss power electronics with increased efficiency and enhanced performance for High-density Energy Advanced Technology (HEAT).

Each of these initiatives will provide the military services with next generation core technology targeted for significant improvement in performance, reliability and economy. This will result in nanoelectronic and electric devices deployed in a wide range of applications such as sensors, detectors, detonators, system-on-a-chip, system-in-package, programmable logic controls, directed energy weapons, all-electric ship and aircraft as well as energy storage systems that will provide substantial benefits to the military. PANDA will work to accelerate the development of plug and play sensor, detector and fused-armament platforms tailored for applications in defense and homeland security by leveraging rapid 300 mm wafer nanoelectronics processing capabilities, 200mm wafer MEMS integration pilot prototyping facilities and advanced multi-device packaging expertise. HEAT is expected to significantly enhance the performance of nanoelectronics and electrical devices through cryogenic operation.

$2 million for the Advanced Technology Lightweight Armament System-Rarefaction Wave Gun (ATLAS) Raven-Benet Labs. ATLAS supports the current Army Vision by setting the basis for the development of ultra-lightweight combat vehicles that will significantly enhance the ability of all services to rapidly deploy to trouble spots worldwide with a suite of extremely lethal, agile, and survivable vehicles. The ATLAS system will provide the enabling technologies for unprecedented reductions in the weight (up to 50%) of large caliber high muzzle energy cannons. These weight reductions in the gun system will in-turn bring the vehicle weight well under the 14-ton limit required for air transportability.

The weight reductions will be achieved through the use of the Sonic Rarefaction Wave Gun (Raven), which has been demonstrated to reduce recoil impulse by 75% and bore heating by 50% with no loss of muzzle energy. The Raven concept functions just like a high velocity cannon until the projectile has traveled a predetermine distance down bore.

At this time the breech is opened allowing the propellant gases to vent out the breech through a diverging nozzle thus generating forward thrust canceling much of the recoil force. Funding supported by this request would be utilized to define the materials and design requirements, perform initial engineering analysis, and develop composite materials, optimize manufacturing technologies and develop demonstrators of ATLAS structures.

$1 million for the Functionally Integrated Reactive Surfaces-Starfire Systems (FIRST). FIRST would establish a “one stop shop” for research, development, systems integration, and technology transfer of surface reactive technologies into functional materials and devices for specialized clothing, sensors, tools and materials structures operating in hazardous environments. The technologies would be able to detect and automatically ameliorate the threat of any injury to the soldier on the battlefield as well as allow first responders to operate unimpeded or with enhanced capability for longer periods of time in the presence of biological, chemical, and fire threats.

Functionally enhanced, renewable, biosurfaces in textile fiber or multifilm form will not only be able to neutralize bio and chemical attacks but will also perform tissue repair and serve as an interface for enhanced sensory perception. A systems of systems prototype manufacturing approach would be used to functionally integrate smart bio-surfaces with renewable enzymatic action and controlled drug release capability, system-on-a-chip technologies, opto-electronics and photonics devices and closed loop sensors for monitoring, detection and the implementation of protection into field deployable solution operating on minimal power.

$12 million for the Arsenal Support Program Initiative (ASPI). The purpose of the ASPI is to help maintain the viability of Army manufacturing arsenals and the unique capabilities of these arsenals in supporting the national security interests of the United States. ASPI funds are used by the arsenal to market its unused space - and its potential - to private contractors. In Watervliet's case, this program would help the arsenal get companies to set up shop in its vacated buildings, bringing significant new investment to the Capital Region.

$6 million for GSIE-AGILE Program. The U.S. Tank-automotive Armaments Command (TACOM) has initiated an effort to tie 6 Army Arsenals and Depots under their command. They call this effort Ground Systems Industrial Enterprise (GSIE). The Army Ground systems Lean Enterprise (AGILE) program will deploy software and hardware to each of these sites therefore allowing their industrial capabilities to communicate efficiently and effectively with each other resulting in a 50% reduction in time and a 15- 35% reduction in cost for their product data exchange.

$3 million for Prophet I Block Enhancements for the 642 Utility Intelligence Battalion in Troy, NY. The Prophet Ground Block I receiver and antenna group supports the interception, interpretation and line-of-bearing detection of enemy radios or telephones. Multiple systems may be used working together to precisely determine the location of opposition radio positions. This funding will enhance the current system by allowing it to recognize and track a wider variety of enemy radio signals.


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