The U.S. Army Research Office has awarded Dr. Amir Shirkhodaie, a professor in the Tennessee State University College of Engineering, a $334,000 research grant. Shirkhodaie, director of the college's Center of Excellence for Battlefield Sensor Fusion, will use the grant monies to investigate the possibility of developing an advanced technology that improves the capability of automated surveillance systems.
Relatedly, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, announced three new research projects with Boeing, valued at approximately $500,000. The Boeing projects include using artificial intelligence for the development of aircraft propulsion controls, the development of resilient control mechanisms to mitigate cyber attack in engineering embedded systems and the development of mathematical models for energy harvesting and storage.
The faculty members involved in these projects are Drs. Sachin Shetty, Mohammed Saleh Zein-Sabatto, both professors of electrical engineering; and Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of mechanical engineering.
“The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a robust information-theoretic framework with supportive techniques that can detect obscure group activities in areas such as inside a vehicle, boat, airplanes or corner alleys of urban areas,” said Dr. Shirkhodaie.
He said this could greatly reduce the false alarm rates in surveillance operations that frequently occur as a result of miscalculation of enemy intent, and help shift the “balance of power” in peacekeeping operations.
"If we can deliver this kind of technology to the battlefield, this is a game-changer," said Maj. Jay Deason, an aviator with the Tennessee Army National Guard, who has served two tours in Iraq, flying Black Hawk Helicopters.
He said while this technology would have limited application for air reconnaissance operations, it would be greatly useful to ground forces and civil affairs specialists, who identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations.
Civilians would also greatly benefit from this technology in homeland security, crowd control, and anti-drug and anti-crime operations, Dr. Shirkhodaie said.
The U.S. Army has tapped five construction companies to perform $249 million worth of work between now and 2017 at Fort Campbell. Among them is East Nashville-based Sabre Construction, a specialist in government contracting that is run by former Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Cashio.
HotelNewsNow.com has an in-depth feature on the successes Nashville-based Lend Lease and hospitality giant InterContinental are having with a portfolio of U.S. Army base hotels. Lend Lease recently secured $275 million in financing for phase two of the project and should get its hands on another 20 or so properties next spring.
“I would think that on the heels of seeing the success of this program, they’d be thinking about it,” he said. “In the midst of the cuts out there, especially the government, they’re about defending our country, not running hotels. Why not have a developer and operator run a hotel for you? Let us take care of your soldiers, their families, your airmen or your sailors. Let us take care of them so they’re happy and can go do what you hired them to do.”
The U.S. Army has awarded Turner Universal Construction a $51 million contract to build the next phase of its Missile Defense Agency complex at the Redstone Arsenal base in Huntsville. The 225,000-square-foot building will house administrative offices, IT facilities and meeting spaces and is expected to open its doors in two years.
SEE ALSO: Turner Universal scores major Marine contract from a year ago
This military contract stuff is getting to be big business for Nashville-based Delta Coals. A year after having its annual contract to supply coals to the Army and Marine Corps upsized to more than $8 million, the company founded by a former Vanderbilt University trustee has been chosen again (over nine other bidders this time) and been given a contract that is worth more than $11.6 million.
Tennessee Apparel Corp. in Tullahoma has been selected as one of three companies to make chemical and biological protective gear for the Army. The company is sharing the five-year contract worth $129 million with two other suppliers who will do work in Maine.
Facility Management Services out of Clarksville has been selected to provide various support services to U.S. Army projects at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The three-year contract is worth $16.4 million. FSI, whch was founded in 1994, provides everything from tree trimming to transportation services to janitorial work at military installations around the country.
Virginia-based military clothing maker Atlantic Diving Supply has this month been awarded two contracts to make gear suitable for extreme cold weather situations. A chunk of the work on those contracts, which are worth a combined $43 million, will be done in Nashville. Tullahoma workers also will chip in. Check the details here and here.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS