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NAWCAD Signs Educational Partnerships with Drexel, Villanova

Posted November 17, 2011

Two of the nation's top engineering schools signed an agreement with the Naval Air Warfare Center's aircraft division at Lakehurst, N.J. that will, among other things, provide educational opportunities for students, faculty and the Navy and help with recruiting.

The partnership with Drexel and Villanova universities signed Nov. 9 will provide students and faculty with access to hardware, personnel and facilities. It also provides an opportunity for students to collaborate in the many disciplines associated with all aspects of aircraft systems and sub-systems from concept, to integration, through testing, which would not otherwise be available in a school environment.

"This is significant for Villanova because we've had a long-lasting relationship with the Navy in lots of different areas, particularly in engineering education," said Villanova's dean of the college of engineering, Gary Gabriele. "This is a chance to solidify that partnership. We have a long history of Navy ROTC being a major institution at Villanova, so this kind of brings engineering into the picture in a more established way than we have in the past, so we're excited about that."

Drexel currently has a an on-site graduate program in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lakehurst, where employees working with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and the Advanced Arresting Gear continue their education and learn on these advanced technologies that will replace Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment on the next generation of Ford-Class aircraft carriers.

"This is an educational partnership. It's not just the Navy throwing a project over the wall to Villanova," Gabriele said. "It's a chance for Villanova students to interact with Navy personnel and also get a chance to see what kind of engineering problems that the Navy works on. As we've seen in the past, it can attract some good students over to naval engineering careers."

Drexel University officials were equally enthusiastic. "We had a great meeting," said John DiNardo, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. "They came to appreciate some of the resources and some of the talent that the people at Drexel have."

The Drexel tour included meeting with leaders in the school's department of engineering, who showcased resources Drexel has that could benefit the Navy.

"We're looking forward to exploring this a little more and taking a trip out to Lakehurst," DiNardo said.

For several years Villanova has been ranked highly on U.S. News and World Report's list of top schools. This year it was one of the magazine's top 10 engineering schools in the nation for its undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

Drexel, a private, comprehensive research university, has also been ranked highly by the magazine.

The partnership aims, in part, to facilitate student interest and expertise in science, mathematics, and engineering, particularly as these fields relate to real-world technical applications required by the U. S. Navy.

"We present real, technological Naval Aviation challenges to these students in the form of Capstone Projects, where they come to Lakehurst as a team, tour our facilities and get better acquainted with the problem," said Gaetan Mangano, the Education Outreach Coordinator at NAWCAD Lakehurst, who manages Capstone Projects across nine universities surrounding Lakehurst. "They work on the project with assistance from our engineers and scientists throughout the school year and then present their findings and/or analysis."

The Secretary of Defense authorizes defense laboratories to form partnerships like these with educational institutions to improve education in science, mathematics, and engineering.

Students and faculty benefit from the staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment related to naval warfare systems and technologies available at Lakehurst through this Education Partnership Agreement. It also gives the Navy access to school facilities.

The agreement also provides students and other employees access to state-of-the-art, innovative technological methods for solving existing technical problems; facilitates the training and recruitment of potential future NAWCAD LKE employees; encourages and facilitates early interest in the sciences and engineering by young people at all stages of their academic careers; and facilitates the identification of other mutually beneficial partnership opportunities.

For NAWCAD it will promote and facilitate educating future scientists and engineers; enhance perspective on projects by exposure to the ideas of the academic community; increase opportunities for scientific growth, exploration and experience by participation in the academic process and provide potential for collaborative effort with students and staff in various technology areas as they relate to a variety of scientific disciplines.

The agreements were signed following tours of the schools by Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, NAWCAD commander; Capt. David Gleisner, NAWCAD vice commander; Kathleen Donnelly, engineering director for Lakehurst's support equipment and aircraft launch and recovery equipment department ; Gary Kessler, NAWCAD executive director; Gaetan Mangano, NAWCAD Lakehurst's Business & Partnership Office Site Lead and Education Outreach Coordinator; Michael Schroeder, Director of NAWCAD Business & Partnership Office; William Borkowski, of Lakehurst's Business & Educational Partnership Office; Joanna McVey, a Villanova alumni who works in NAWCAD's Materials Engineering Lab and James Hing, a Drexel alumni who works in NAWCAD's Advanced Technologies Branch.

Submitted by Doug Abbotts NAWCAD Public Affairs to Tester
Editor's note: Brian Seraile contributed to this article.

Navy airship gets new colors

Posted October 28, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The U.S. Navy MZ-3A manned airship advanced flying laboratory has new markings and colors. The new colors celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation.

Historic Hangar One at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., was the setting where Navy officials re-dedicated the only airship currently in Navy active flying service this week. Lakehurst was the site where the Navy’s old lighter-than air-program operated from 1921 to 1962.

The MZ-3A is used as a testbed for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors requiring a stable and vibration free testing environment. The Navy used the MZ-3A to help during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery operation from March, 2010 to July, 2010. The airship and crew operated out of Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores, Ala., transporting the U.S. Coast Guard investigating the waters over the Gulf of Mexico. Observers report excellent results when searching vast areas like the Gulf due to the slow travel speed of the airship.

“Airships also bring affordability to testing,” said Steve Huett, program manager for the MZ-3A. “You can operate an airship for 40 percent of the cost of fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.”

The airship is assigned to Naval Research Laboratory Military Support Division Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1). The Navy Airship Program is managed by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. Both organizations are at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Integrated Systems Solutions, Inc. is the contractor responsible for maintaining and operating the airship in many locations throughout the country.

The MZ-3A is 178 feet long, capable of flying up to 9,500 feet and cruises at 45 knots. The ship is fitted with two Lycoming engines and has space for one pilot and nine passengers.

NAWCAD Public Affairs
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NAWCAD commander named lab director of the year

Posted October 31, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Rear Adm. Randy Mahr was named lab director of the year by the mid-Atlantic region of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

The award recognizes a lab director for outstanding contributions to support technology transfer activities within an organization and the communities it serves.

The region consists of more than 70 labs at the FBI, CIA, NASA and other federal agencies across five states and the District of Columbia.

As commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Mahr oversees all labs. After receiving the award Oct. 6, he said he accepted on behalf of those who work in the labs and the Technology Transfer team.

“I accepted the Federal Lab Consortium Mid-Atlantic Region Lab Director of the Year Award on behalf of the men and women of NAWCAD Pax,” Mahr said. “It has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the great work of the NAWCAD Business and Partnership, represented by (retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer) Paul Fritz.”

Since 2004 NAWCAD has had more than 75 cooperative research and development agreements, 15 patent license agreements and 37 patent applications.

“This is the first time a NAVAIR organization has received this award,” he said. “This recognition shows we are on the right track.”

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Educational Partnership Agreement Signed

Posted October 20, 2011

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and The Patuxent Partnership have formalized an educational partnership agreement that will advance scientific research and foster academic growth in science, mathematics, technology, and engineering. Representatives from those organizations gathered on the college campus Tuesday, Oct. 18, to sign the agreement.

The signers included Joseph Urgo, St. Mary’s College president; Rear Admiral Randy Mahr, Commander, NAWCAD; and Bonnie Green, executive director, The Patuxent Partnership, a non-profit member organization that works with government, industry, and academia to advance technology-related education and workforce development.

“This agreement formalizes a partnership with the Navy that has existed for several years in the form of student internships and faculty research collaborations,” said Urgo. “I’m glad for the opportunity to more closely collaborate on our shared goals of advancing research and academic growth in Southern Maryland.”

“The labs on the base are national assets to be shared with St. Mary’s faculty and student interns alike,” said Mahr.  “We need the bright young minds at St. Mary’s to work with us, in physics and math and the visual arts. We welcome you formally today to come learn and create with us.”

Bonnie Green, of The Patuxent Partnership, expressed her satisfaction with the agreement. “Our work on behalf of workforce development and technology-related education affirms the value of the partnership between the three entities and its impact on the future workforce.”
 The agreement will also provide educational experiences for St. Mary’s College of Maryland students and faculty using expertise, unique facilities, equipment, and technology. Furthermore, the agreement will facilitate student internships, particularly in fields relating to the real-world technical applications required by the U.S. Navy.

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New street named for Lakehurst teammate

Posted October 13, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Lakehurst, N.J. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) Team at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) honored a fallen shipmate last week when they renamed a Lakehurst street in his honor.

Matthew DeWeese, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, worked as an equipment specialist on the EMALS team until his passing in February of this year.

“Matt was known for his infectious smile and having a back-up plan for everything he did,” said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Commander. “He couldn’t wait to ‘high five’ everyone on the team following the first successful EMALS launch in December 2010.“

“Matt will be remembered for his three qualities – enthusiasm, commitment and teamwork” said Kathy Donnelly, Engineering Director for Support Equipment and Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment in Lakehurst.

The DeWeese family was on hand for the street renaming ceremony. Matt’s wife Julie assisted Rear Adm. Mahr in pulling the green shirt covering the newest street sign on base.

NAWCAD Public Affairs
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Prowler flies energy intercept mission

Posted September 28, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – An EA-6B Prowler successfully completed its inaugural biofuel flight here, continuing the Navy’s surge toward energy independence.

The aircraft, from the “Salty Dogs” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) here, flew on a biofuel blend of JP-5 aviation fuel and camelina oil. The camelina seed contains 30 to 40 percent oil making it a vital component of the Navy’s biofuel program. 
This mission is the most recent biofuel testing milestone reached at NAS Patuxent River and displays the Navy’s resolve in the advancement of an energy source that is self-sustaining. Aircraft already tested include platforms ranging from trainers to fighters. The Prowler is the first aircraft in the electronic warfare category.

CAPT John Green, Program Manager for the EA-6B, emphasized that, “given the EA-6B Prowler’s critical role in Joint warfare it was important that we complete this qualification to allow Carrier Air Wings and expeditionary sites the operational flexibility to utilize biofuel.”
The Prowler is capable of flying long-range missions in support of war fighters in the air, at sea, and on the ground. It has the ability to jam and intercept enemy radar, data and communication signals and can also retrieve valuable data in support of tactical mission operations. 

Additional aircraft scheduled for biofuel testing include the AV-8B Harrier and the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

First Navy trainer flies on biofuel

Posted September 2, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The Navy’s alternative energy program expanded yesterday when a T-45 training aircraft completed a successful biofuel flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

The “Salty Dogs” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) flew the high performance jet trainer on a biofuel mixture of petroleum based JP-5 jet fuel and plant based camelina. The high oil content of the camelina seed makes it a valuable source of renewable and sustainable energy.

“This successful test flight brings us a step closer to meeting the Navy’s energy security goals,” said Vice Adm. David Architzel, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command. “My congratulations to the Navy fuels team here at NAVAIR for playing an instrumental role in proving the viability of biofuels to power naval aircraft.”

The T-45 “Goshawk” is a tandem-seat aircraft used by the Navy and Marine Corps to train pilots on carrier and tactical mission operations.

This is the fifth aircraft successfully tested using biofuel at NAS Patuxent River and showcases the Navy’s commitment to achieve energy independence by reducing the need for foreign oil. Previous aircraft tested include the F/A-18E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18D, and most recently, the MV-22. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' goal is to cut the Navy's oil usage in half by 2025.

"This test of the T-45 with a 50/50 blend of biofuel represents another significant milestone in the long list of detailed flight test and demonstrations of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the MH-60S, and the MV-22," said Rear Adm. Phil Cullom, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. "Our commitment to the aggressive test schedule for drop-in replacement fuels for JP-5 and F-76 keep us on pace for the 2012 demonstration and 2016 deployment of the Great Green Fleet."

Three additional Navy aircraft are scheduled for biofuel test flights before the end of the year.

NAWCAD Public Affairs
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F-35C Completes Jet Blast Deflector Testing

Posted August 24, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The F-35C is another step closer to initial ship trials on an aircraft carrier at sea.

The F-35 integrated test force completed jet blast deflector (JBD) testing at the NAVAIR facility in Lakehurst, N.J. Aug. 13 with a round of two-aircraft testing. F-35C test aircraft CF-1 along with an F/A-18E tested a combined JBD cooling panel configuration to assess the integration of F-35s in aircraft carrier launch operations.

“We completed all of our JBD test points efficiently,” said Andrew Maack, government chief test engineer. “It was a great collaborative effort by all parties.”

The government and industry team completed tests that measured temperatures, pressures, sound levels, velocities, and other environmental data. The combined JBD model will enable carrier deck crews to operate all air wing aircraft, now including the F-35C, as operational tempo requires.

“We came out of testing with no surprises,” said Maack. “The fact that we’ve collected all the data required to validate our requirements is a testament to the talent on the team and all of their pre-testing preparation and simulations.”

Future carrier suitability testing is scheduled throughout this year, including ongoing catapult testing and the start of arrestment testing in preparation for initial ship trials in 2013.

The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for catapult launch, slower landing approach speeds, and deck impacts associated with the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

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UCAS-D Soars to Success

Posted August 15, 2011

The following post was written by LCDR Kevin “LAMB” Watkins, X-47B Department Head, Government Flight Test Director – UCAS-D and posted on Navy Live Blog by T. Johnson...

Click to read >> Navy Live » Blog Archive » UCAS-D Soars to Success

CNO Visits NAVAIR Lakehurst

Posted August 1, 2011

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Gary Roughead, witnessed an F/A-18E Super Hornet launch using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) while visiting Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) facilities at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 22.

EMALS, a complete launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and future Ford-class aircraft carriers, will replace the steam catapult system which has been in use for more than 50 years. The system at Lakehurst is a full-scale shipboard representative test platform that includes the major software and hardware components to be installed on Gerald R. Ford.

Additionally, CNO visited other Navy Support Equipment (SE) and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) operational sites and programs based at Lakehurst. He met with Kathleen Donnelly, senior executive for SE and ALRE, and commended her on the expertise, knowledge and dedication of the engineers and artisans at Lakehurst who support the fleet on a daily basis.

The mission and functions of EMALS remain the same as the steam catapult; however, EMALS employs entirely different technologies. Consisting of six subsystems, the launching system is designed to expand the operational capability of the Navy’s future carriers.

EMALS delivers the necessary higher launch energy capacity as well as substantial improvements in system maintenance, efficiency, and more accurate end-speed control.

The system’s technology allows for smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier’s ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter. The system will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned aircraft to heavy strike fighters.

The EMALS program is currently conducting aircraft compatibility testing and is delivering ship components to Gerald R. Ford.

NAWCAD Lakehurst Public Affairs
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Navy Invents Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Solvent

Posted July 28, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Cleaning old grease from aircraft or automotive parts is a messy business. In the past, the Navy used petroleum based solvents--great on grease but not so great for the environment.

Now, there’s an environmentally friendly solution called NAVSOLVE that the Department of Defense (DoD) is embracing. In fact, The Office of the Secretary of Defense has selected the newly developed cleaner as the “Hot Technology of the Year” for 2011.

Dr. El Sayed Arafat, working as a chemist at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Material Laboratory, invented the low volatile organic compound (VOC) Type II solvent that is tough on grease and good for the earth.

Initial testing results at five DoD locations involved in aircraft maintenance, show that NAVSOLVE works well and it is designed to pass rigid California environmental standards.

Cold solvent cleaning of aircraft components is performed at organizational, intermediate and depot level maintenance facilities and usually takes place in either spray booths or dip tanks. Cleaning carbon residue and grease from these parts is essential so inspectors can check them for wear and cracks before rebuilding and returning the parts back to service.

Traditionally, these operations used a solvent that contained hazardous air pollutants that can cause health problems and waste storage issues. Some localities and states, like California, have banned the use of high VOC solvents due to environmental regulations. Water based cleaners used under high pressure have proven to be weak and can cause other problems such as flash rusting. The new solvent has a high flash point of 142 degrees, is non-toxic, hazardous air pollutant free and is non-ozone depleting.

“NAVSOLVE cleaner will allow the Navy to comply with local environmental regulations while providing a safer cleaner to the fleet,” said Dr. Arafat

As part of the final stage testing, two vendors already have licensed this new technology to make it available to DoD services and commercial applications.

NAWCAD Public Affairs
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Navy Lakehurst employee named top Navy engineer for 2010

Posted July 19, 2011

LAKEHURST, N.J. — Michael Doyle, the lead Electro-Magnetics technologist for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) program at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in Lakehurst, N.J., has been chosen as one of the “2010 Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year” for the U.S. Navy.

In a ceremony held at the Pentagon July 15, Doyle was singled out for his role as the Navy’s leading expert in high energy, high power electromagnetic systems as they relate to launching and recovering aircraft. In 2010, his efforts were integral in the Navy’s first historic launch of an aircraft utilizing the EMALS system at Lakehurst.

According to Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, in presenting the award he stated, “your technical excellence is outstanding and the payoff of your achievements to the Department of the Navy is significant.”

The EMALS system, along with the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) program, which have both been in research, development, production and now testing at Lakehurst, are the critical technologies leading a new era of naval aviation that will enable aircraft to more safely and efficiently launch and recover aboard ships at sea.

The Navy’s current steam catapults and hydraulic arresting gear engines reflect the technology of the 1950’s. Largely through the vision and technical leadership of Doyle, the Navy is addressing a major need for high powered electromagnetic technologies to support the next generation of aircraft carrier – the Gerald R. Ford class, which will deploy in 2015.

Doyle is often called upon to provide his opinion on these concepts, to discuss the risks associated with them and to postulate on their operational value. According to his supervisor, Robert Rossi, “in many instances, Mike’s opinion has become the U.S. Navy’s opinion. He is the go-to expert, whose nuanced insight and inspired innovation is a leading force driving the vision of electromagnetic technology in support of naval aviation.”

Additionally, Doyle has contributed his technical guidance to the AAG program by helping define limitations and suggesting system configurations that will enhance the development of the program. He has also authored several technical papers on the application of linear motor technology as it applies to aircraft launch and recovery. He was recently the keynote speaker at the International Electric Machine and Drives Conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Also this year, he assisted NASA with their single stage to orbit launch assist program. And as an international expert in his field, Doyle was asked to support the United Kingdom’s electromagnetic catapult test program.

Throughout Doyle’s career with NAVAIR, which began in 1988 at Lakehurst, he has demonstrated commitment to the Navy’s mission. As a result of his knowledge and leadership, the Navy is preparing to institute ground-breaking technology in the form of electromagnetic launch and recovery of aircraft from ships at sea, a technology that will carry the Navy through the 21st century.


 Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley, left, presents the 2010 Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award to NAVAIR Lakehurst engineer Michael Doyle in a ceremony held at the Pentagon July 15. (U.S. Navy photo)

“I am extremely honored in being selected to receive this award," Doyle said. "I am truly accepting it as a representative of the entire EMALS team that has worked so hard for so many years to bring the concept of electromagnetic to a reality for the Navy. They are an incredibly talented group of people, and I am humbled to be a part of their success.”

Doyle, a native of Morestown, N.J., and current resident of Medford, N.J., is a graduate of Drexel University.

NAWCAD Lakehurst Public Affairs
(732) 323-1079


Navy testbed helicopter demonstrates big leap in tactical networking

Posted June 10, 2011

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The Navy’s only maritime helicopter testbed successfully prototyped and demonstrated technology offering significant improvements in tactical battlefield situational awareness recently at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

Exercising technology developed and provided by Northrop Grumman’s Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory, “T-Rex” (Testbed for Rapid Warfighter Response and Experimentation), the Navy’s UH-1N testbed aircraft, provided an airborne “bridge” capability to link ground and airborne networks and provide a common operational picture to Marines and Sailors on the battlefield.

“The capabilities the team demonstrated represent a big leap forward in battlefield situational awareness by providing Beyond Line Of Sight access to voice/data/imagery and targeting information for disadvantaged users like Marines or Sailors in small or isolated units,” explained Doug Isleib, director of the Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement, the team that operates the testbed. “T-Rex was able to participate and exercise recently developed technology that could allow Sailors and Marines in tactical environments more rapid access to tactical networks at greater range and with up to 30 times more bandwidth.”

Additional objectives demonstrated by the NACRA test team during early May included geo-location and transmission of IR threat data into the network, onboard integration of FLIR and missile warning sensors, tactical white boarding over the network, and remote tasking of the NACRA testbed FLIR which can significantly shorten response times, according to Isleib.

Earlier at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, Calif., NACRA completed risk reduction tests for the H-1 program’s Digital System Upgrade through successful demonstration of Strike Link software and moving map capability (on a card) in the AH-1Z mission computer (integrated into the testbed system).

“We have a pretty wide range of projects in the near term that will reduce programmatic risk, lower total ownership costs and ultimately put improved capability into the hands of our Sailors and Marines,” Isleib said. “Hopefully, we can help transition some promising technology like fiber optics, small business projects, full-motion video and the next phase of Digital Systems Upgrade work.”
Testbed success in this, as well as other efforts came through teamwork across the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, according to Isleib.

“Technical and modification assistance from the Aircraft Prototype Systems Division was critical to our successful completion of this demonstration,” Isleib said. “Their timely response and technical expertise helped us flex to a very demanding schedule and fluid situation.”

“T-Rex” is a risk reduction/rapid test capability centered on a fleet platform (a former US Marine Corps UH-1N Huey light utility helicopter) configured as a dedicated flying test bed. The aircraft is equipped with modern communications, navigational and survivability equipment such as a 1553 data bus, ARC-210 radios, embedded GPS and an external sensor with in-dash display (BRITEStar FLIR) -- all tied into the aircraft’s specially designed and configured equipment racks allowing rapid configuration changes and flight clearance approval.

Not limited to DoD only, access to T-Rex is available to Industry, Academia and other government agencies as well.

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‘Elite of the elite’ receive awards for numerous patents and inventions

Posted May 31, 2011

By NAWCAD Public Affairs

Pax River chemists Geoff Eldridge and Thomas Jalinsk created a low-cost way to detect biodiesel in fuel, which will help the Navy reduce costly engine overhauls.

Eldridge and Jalinsk are two of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) scientists and engineers who received 107 awards in recognition of their inventions at a ceremony May 17.

Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, NAWCAD commander, praised all the inventors for their work.

“You are the elite of the elite,” he said. “It’s phenomenal, what is represented in this room.”

When inventions are made by Navy scientists and engineers the government files for patents to protect the technology and establish ownership. Those patents pay dividends for the inventor and the Navy. Eldridge and Jalinsk’s invention will pay dividends for the Navy in the form of cost savings.

The invention works like a slightly more complicated pool-test kit, Eldridge said.

“The user receives chemicals in packets and hand warmers. Following the directions, they mix the chemicals with the fuel and heat using the hand warmer,” he said. “A ‘developer’ is added and if biodiesel is present the fuel will turn purple in color. The chemicals required are very inexpensive, so we can produce dozens of test kits for less than the cost of one biodiesel detecting instrument.”

This is important to ship operators because fatty-acid methyl ester biodiesel can defeat the separators used to strip water from fuel, and it increases the probability of microbial growth issues aboard ships. Commercial users may wish to avoid biodiesel because of its solvent properties, which can lead to fuel filter clogs and potential engine overhauls.

In Mahr’s blog of May 18, he wrote that NAWCAD holds 57 active patents and has 137 more pending at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“Over the last decade, royalties on licenses using these patents brought in over $1.5 million to the command,” he said. Of that amount, $689,000 was paid to the individual inventors.

One award was for a composition and process for removing and preventing mold, mildew and fungal growth. Another was for a mechanism that enables rapid release and access to contents stored at inconveniently located garment or storage receptacles.

NAWCAD Vice Commander Capt. David Gleisner said the patents promote technology and are a source of revenue for the Navy and the inventor. The patents also ensure the Navy retains ownership of technology with military applications and does not have to pay an outside vendor for technology developed by the government.

Gleiser said NAWAD has six new record and disclosure of inventions in review with the Warfare Center Invention Evaluation Board, 15 signed patent license agreements with outside vendors and two new patent license agreements in negotiations.

“The contributions made by our inventors are quite significant,” Gleisner said. Each inventor receives $200 after filing a patent application and then additional awards of $500 for a sole inventor and $250 for multiple inventors. If the patent application or patent is licensed, inventors receive $2,000 each calendar year and split 20 percent of the royalties thereafter each year. The remaining money is distributed to the activity or lab where the invention was developed or used to further NAWWCAD’s research of technology transfer program. The maximum an inventor can receive per year is $150,000.

Those receiving awards for pending patents in addition to Eldridge and Jalinsk were Alan Laux, Alexis Cenko, Allen Landers, Angela Sample, Bill Nickerson, Bryan Vandrovec, Carla W. Mattingly, Craig Matzdorf, Craig Price, Curt Foianini, Dan Alberts, Daniel Allford, David G. Jones, David J. Kayser, David Pedersen, Donald Mielcarek, Donald Statter, Donato Russo, Douglas Mousseau, El Sayed Arafat, Francesco “Frank” A. Narducci, Jon P. Davis, Edward Lipnickas, Edwin Sieveka, Eric Hallberg, Gary Bradley, Gary R. Humphrey, George A. Gmytrasiewicz, Glenn Paskoff, Gregory K. Askew, Ingi Ford, Jackie B. Pratt. James C. Withers, Jason Smith, Jonathan Kaufman, Joseph Wolfe, Kevin Smith, Leon Rhodes, Linda J. Mullen, Mark E. Silbert, Mark Long, Mark Phippen, Mark W. Beranek, Matthew Stepura, Melvyn L. Berg, Michael Clarke, Michael J. Hackert, Michelle B. Warren, Nathan Mielcarek, Neal Prescott, Pavlo Molchanov, Raouf Loutfy, Ravikant Barot, Richard Billmers, Robert E. Taylor, Robert Jacob, Robert Riser, Rodney Pursell, Roger Storm, Ronald Abler, Ronald Buratti, Shu-Chiang Lei, Stan Zanis, Stephen M. Coleman, Thomas D. Hesbach, Thomas E. Anderson, Todd Anderson, Tom Butler, Vincent M. Contarino, Walter P. Gatewood, Jr., William “Bill” Reason, and William H. Godiksen.

Award recipients who already received patents were El Sayed Arafat, David Gauntt, Craig Matzdorf, Paul Roser, Stephen M. Spadafora, James Whitfield, Vincent M.Contarino, Pavlo Molchanov, Mark W. Beranek, Michael J. Hackert, Judy Butler-Kowalik, Kenneth Clark, David Gauntt, Craig Matzdor, Bill Nickerson, Curt Foianini, Glenn Paskoff, Edwin Sieveka, Craig Matzdorf, James Whitfield, Ravikant Barot, Stephen M. Coleman, Jonathan Kaufman, Allen Landers, Mark Long, Robert Riser, Matthew Stepura and Mark W. Beranek.

NAWCAD Robotics Competition Kicks Off

Posted May 4, 2011

Featured in Tester April 28, 2011
By Chris Basham

Nothing gets a group of young engineers going like a little practical competition.  On April 25, 10 teams of Engineering and Scientist Development Program and Scientist and Engineer Acquisition Intern Program members from various competencies around Patuxent River gathered in Bldg. 2370 for the kick-off of a NAWCAD-wide, six-week engineering challenge based on the FIRST Technology Challenge, a robotics tournament developed for students and young professionals by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM initiatives.

Over the next few weeks, 10 teams of apprentice-level Pax River employees, as well as two teams from NAWCAD Lakehurst, N.J. and one team from NAWCAD Orlando, Fla., will work together to create functional robots able to lift, carry and deposit small rods across a 12-foot-by-12-foot playing field complicated by varied and mobile terrain.

“It’s not BattleBots – sorry,” said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, who attended the kick-off. “It’s about winning – winning as a team. I expect that you all are going to come up with a lot more innovative designs.”

Most intriguing to Mahr was the idea that this competition condenses the concept-to-working-model experience that can sometimes take years on a large project into a six-week span.

“This will help the ESTPs to get to know each other and give them a real project with a problem, software code to write, testing, and testing again,” Mahr said. “It’s a lot of trial and error, build-test-build.”

Each team received a kit of parts and the competition rules, modified slightly from those followed by high school, middle school and college teams to make the competition more challenging and interesting for working engineers. As they create and test their robots, they are not allowed to consult professional engineersjust students. Fortunately for them, the World Champions for last year’s FTC live right here in St. Mary’s County. That team, a group of home-schooled high school students, loaned their game arena to the NAWCAD competitors for the duration of the challenge.

The teams will compete against each other in the semifinals on June 1 and the final four teams will fight for bragging rightsand as-yet-undetermined prizes on June 2, with both events occurring here at NAS Patuxent River.

The competition was organized by Randy Gross, NAVAIR SEDIC and a FTC coach for local high school teams. His goal for the competition, beyond providing a fun and challenging learning experience for apprentice-level engineering employees at Pax River, is to encourage more young engineers to reach back and establish mentoring relationships with students considering careers in STEM fields.

“I hope at least 10 percent of you say, ‘This is fun! I’d like to do this with high school kids,’” Gross explained to the Patuxent River teams at the kick-off meeting.

Gross also intends to coordinate a similar competition again for the summer engineering interns.

U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Celebrates 66 Years

Posted March 21, 2011
Standing in front of the the Navy’s oldest and newest aircraft, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School students, staff and faculty celebrated the school's birthday earlier this month.

On March 14, members of USNTPS gathered for a command photo in front of an NU-1B Otter and a brand new T-6B Texan II trainer, the Navy’s oldest and newest aircraft spanning 55 years of naval aircraft evolution.

The school was founded on March 12, 1945 when the first class of “Flight Test Pilots’ Training Program” commenced. The class graduated on May 30, 1945 with each student being presented with a diploma and a slide rule from Capt. A.D. Storrs, Commander of the Naval Air Test Center.

In 1961 USNTPS added a rotary wing curriculum making it the only U.S. test pilot school to have such training. In 1975 an airborne systems curriculum was added as well. Since its inception, 138 classes of test professionals have graduated from the school. USNTPS currently operates 12 types of fixed and rotary wing aircraft for a total of 42 total aircraft onboard. Amongst those aircraft are five of the oldest flying aircraft in the Navy.
The NU-1B DeHavilland Otter, Bureau Number (BUNO) 144670, has been in service with the Navy longer than any other aircraft. It was delivered to the Navy on Sept. 28, 1956 where it went into service with 13 other Otters at VX-6 in Antarctica, ferrying equipment and personnel to and from the south pole until 1966. Primarily used to instruct lateral directional stability characteristics, it was the last Navy Otter to fly in Antarctica and is the only remaining military Otter in the world. It has been with the Test Pilot School since it left Antarctica. The aircraft is one of three “tail draggers” here at the school.

The latest addition to the USNTPS stable is a T-6B Texan II advanced primary trainer. Throughout 2010, TPS has been receiving new T-6B’s to replace its fleet of T-6A’s. The T-6B adds a glass cockpit, heads up display (HUD), and a number of other upgrades to the platform. USNTPS uses the aircraft as its primary fixed wing trainer focusing on performance demonstration, spin, photo chase, and directional stability test techniques.

The new T-6B, BUNO 166075, arrived from the Hawker Beechcraft assembly plant in Kansas March 10, 2011 making it the newest aircraft in the Navy at that time.

F-35B Test Aircraft Accomplish Formation Test

Posted March 31, 2011

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - At a test range near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., two F-35B test aircraft accomplish a formation test point March 17. Lockheed Martin test pilot David "Doc" Nelson flew BF-2 and Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Steve Long piloted BF-3. The F-35B and F-35C variants are undergoing test and evaluation for delivery to the Marine Corps and Navy respectively. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Navy Test Pilot Completes First F-35C Flight

Posted February 28, 2011
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – On Feb. 11, the carrier variant of the F-35 (CF-1) flew for the first time with a Navy test pilot at the controls.

Taking off at 2:06 pm, Lt Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus flew the F-35C for 2.1 hours. Buus’ first flight in CF-1 checked the function of the flutter excitation system, which will help measure structural loads of the airframe during various flight maneuvers.

“The aircraft flew great for more than two hours with no issues. It’s a really smooth, solid flying airplane and a joy to fly,” said Buus. “This flight was a great milestone for me, personally, and more importantly, for the Services during the 100 year anniversary of Naval Aviation. This airplane is going to give us a great leap in capability, and I’m looking forward to putting it through the demanding carrier suitability tests required to ensure it’s ready for the Fleet,” he said.

The F-35C is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

“Magic's flight today is a tremendous accomplishment for him and the test team, and a historic event for Naval aviation,” said Capt. Thomas Huff, commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic. “The determination and thoroughness of test professionals across all our programs is shaped by the education and training they receive at the United States Naval Test Pilot School and Test and Evaluation University, ensuring delivery of warfighting capability to Sailors and Marines,” said Huff.

Coincidentally timed with the kickoff of the Centennial of Naval Aviation in San Diego, Calif., this milestone represents the Navy’s first hands-on experience in its future fighter aircraft with stealth capabilities.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program is in the system development and demonstration phase, focusing on delivering three different, new aircraft variants to the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The integrated test force at NAS Patuxent River is focused on testing and evaluation of the F-35B and F-35C.

Annual Naval Test Wing Atlantic Awards Highlight Top Performers

Posted February 10, 2011

The Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic recently presented awards to the Test Pilot of the Year, Flight Test Engineer of the Year, Test Naval Flight Officer of the Year and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Instructor of the year for 2010. The recipients were honored during a luncheon ceremony at the River’s Edge Conference Center at NAS Patuxent River.

This year’s Test Pilot of the Year, Lt. Kimberly J. Riggle, said she was inspired to become a test pilot when she was attending a class at the University of Michigan. “Our guest speaker for that week was an Air Force flight test engineer, Capt. Stagg. When she described what she did, it sounded very interesting and a job I would enjoy,” explained Riggle, who is assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21).

At the time, Riggle said she was not contemplating a military career. Later, she attended a "Women in Engineering" conference, where a presentation on aviation given by a Marine sparked her interest.

“I decided that this sounded more interesting than an engineering desk job, so I joined the Navy,” she said. “I felt that I was well suited to the blend of engineering and aviation inherent in the test pilot job and that I would enjoy it; and I definitely do.”

“The most rewarding aspect about being a test pilot is the knowledge that you helped to ensure that the fleet gets a safer and better product,” Riggle added.

This year’s Flight Engineer of the Year, Greg Eggleston, serves as Propulsion & Mechanical Systems Team Lead for the P-8A Poseidon Integrated Test Team, leading a team of 5 engineers to plan & execute multiple P-8A subsystem tests, including fuel, auxiliary fuel, electrical, onboard oxygen & maintenance systems as well as human factors.

Eggleston said his inspiration to become a test engineer also came in college when he was working as a co-op employee with GE Power Systems.

“I worked in a test facility for steam turbines,” he said. “I found the test environment to be exciting, challenging, and very addictive.”

According to Eggleston, the most exciting aspect of his job is the actual test execution, but added, “However, I truly enjoy the environment of working with other engineers, test pilots, and fleet aircrew to develop a better product for the USN and USMC.”

Eggleston said he knew he wasted be an engineer as far back as high school. “I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but didn't have an exact idea of what kind,” he said. “Through my school I got on a project with NASA Langley where a team of students designed, built, and launched our own high power rocket. My mentor on that team was Dr. Dianne DeTurris. She introduced me to the world of being a test engineer.”

Lt. Roger A. Davis, who is assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero, was selected as the Test Naval flight Officer of the year. Davis said he became a test NFO because of his love of aircraft and engineering. “I studied engineering at Texas A&M, where I enjoyed learning and applying the science and methodology behind engineering, specifically in regards to aircraft and engines. 

“While in college, I was inspired by stories of the great military Test Pilots in US history, and aspired to attend US Naval Test Pilot School, and become a test NFO myself,” said Davis, who said his former VQ-3 department heads Lt. Cdr. Bob Strahm (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and Cmdr. Adam Scott motivated him to become a Test NFO.

Davis said that the direct impact he can have on development of Naval aircraft is the most exciting aspect of the job. “As a test NFO, I have been heavily involved with the development of the future of the E-6B mission systems. I have had the fortune of watching the upgraded mission system evolve as the deficiencies that I have identified are corrected. It is gratifying to know that, when the upgraded systems are fielded, I was a part of making that happen.”

“The opportunity to have a positive influence on the future of Naval Air Test and Evaluation,” is the reason Bill Warlick, the 2010 U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Instructor of the year, said he became a test pilot instructor. “The motivation and inquisitive minds of each new class challenge me to continue to study and prepare for each exercise in which I participate,” he said. Not surprisingly, Warlick credits his motivation to a very special teacher. “My wife (who is an awesome middle school teacher) continues to motivate me with her stories of her student's many successes.”

Navy launches first aircraft using EMALS

Posted December 20, 2010

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The Navy made history Saturday when it launched the first aircraft from the Naval Air Systems Command, Lakehurst, N.J., test site using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, technology.

The Navy has been using steam for more than 50 years to launch aircraft from carriers. Saturday, the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) program launched an F/A-18E Super Hornet using the EMALS technology that will replace steam catapults on future aircraft carriers.

“This is a tremendous achievement not just for the ALRE team, but for the entire Navy,” said Capt. James Donnelly, ALRE program manager. “Saturday’s EMALS launch demonstrates an evolution in carrier flight deck operations using advanced computer control, system monitoring and automation for tomorrow’s carrier air wings.”

EMALS is a complete carrier-based launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and future Ford-class carriers.

“I thought the launch went great,” said Lt. Daniel Radocaj, the test pilot from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) who made the first EMALS manned launch. “I got excited once I was on the catapult but I went through the same procedures as on a steam catapult. The catapult stroke felt similar to a steam catapult and EMALS met all of the expectations I had.”

The current aircraft launch system for Navy aircraft carriers is the steam catapult. Newer, heavier and faster aircraft will result in launch energy requirements approaching the limits of the steam catapult system.

The mission and function of EMALS remain the same as the steam catapult; however, EMALS employs entirely different technologies. EMALS will deliver the necessary higher launch energy capacity as well as substantial improvements in system weight, maintenance, increased efficiency, and more accurate end-speed control.

“I felt honored to be chosen as the Shooter to help launch the first live aircraft tested on the new EMALS track at Lakehurst,” said Chief Petty Officer Brandon Barr, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Test Department, Lakehurst. “It was very exciting to knowingly be a part of naval aviation history. Petty Officers 1st Class Hunsaker and Robinson, Petty Officers 2nd Class Williams, Wong, and Simmons, were the sailors on my team who worked together to help make this test a success. We all look forward to seeing this cutting edge technology deployed on the Gerald R. Ford."

“I’m excited about the improvement EMALS will bring to the fleet from a capability and reliability perspective,” said Cmdr. Russ McCormack, ALRE, PMA-251, deputy program manager for future systems. “EMALS was designed for just that purpose, and the team is delivering that requirement.”

The system’s technology allows for a smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier’s ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter.

The system will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters.

Engineers will continue system functional demonstration testing at NAVAIR Lakehurst. The team will expand aircraft launches with the addition of T-45 and C-2 aircraft next year.

NAWCAD Industry Day

Posted February 2, 2011

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) will be holding Industry Day 2011 on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at the Holiday Inn in Solomon's Island. The objective of this conference is to enhance NAWCAD-Industry collaboration in support of the Naval Aviation Warfighter by presenting potential contracting opportunities to our Industry partners.

The agenda will include introductory presentations by VADM David Architzel, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command; RDML R. L. Mahr, Commander, NAWCAD; and Mr. Gary Kessler, Executive Director, NAWCAD. The NAWCAD competency leadership will then present forecasted contracting opportunities for FY11, FY12 and FY13.

The conference is open to all industry representatives whose companies can provide products and services to NAWCAD. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. Identification will be required at check-in.

Click here to register.

Please note the forecast is for informational and marketing purposes only. It does not constitute a specific offer or commitment by the Navy to fund, in whole or in part, the opportunities referenced herein.

Navy Launches First Aircraft Using EMALS

Posted January 27, 2011


Play Video - EMALS First Launch

NAWCAD Holds First Warfighter Support Conference

Posted June 22, 2010

NAS PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- More than 200 warfighters, Pentagon officials, NAVAIR leaders, and industry representatives recently convened at the J.T. Daugherty Center. Their purpose was to specifically focus on discussing how to better support the warfighter.

“One of my key goals at this conference is to have an open exchange between NAWCAD and its warfighting customers,” said Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, NAWCAD commander.

During the two-day conference, various NAWCAD leaders presented information on the NAWCAD capabilities, current initiatives and specific projects.

As Vice Adm. David Architzel, NAVAIR commander opened the conference, he established two key points. First, NAWCAD is superior in its mission of aircraft Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and acquisition support. Second, the NAWCAD resources of people, facilities, ranges and processes offer solutions to the warfighter.

During his remarks, Gaddis said that while most of the Aircraft Division’s workload supports Naval Aviation Programs, there is a very important part of the work that directly supports the warfighter in the field. He urged the NAWCAD workforce to focus on accelerating solutions to the battlefield, in support of the joint warfighter.

Both Architzel and Gaddis encouraged networking during the conference as a means to facilitate solutions to current challenges facing our joint warfighters.

John Chilton, senior director for the Operations Integration Group in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, addressed Irregular Warfare. He discussed the historical outcomes of Irregular Warfare within the Navy and Marine Corps which has made the importance of its effectiveness a clear priority.

“The professional team under Rear Adm. Gaddis at the NAWCAD understands rapid response and is making a difference for the warfighter on the ground,” said Chilton.

James O’Connell, director of the Joint Irregular Warfare Center, recognized irregular warfare as being a persistent form of conflict in the future and summarized fourteen specific focus areas to address this challenge.

A panel discussion on current in-theater requirements and possible approaches to satisfying those followed the presentations.

The panel consisted of Cmdr. Alex MacKenzie, commanding officer, Naval Special Warfare Support Activity TWO; Cmdr. David Harris, Innovation Branch chief, National Maritime Intelligence Center; Lt. Col Charles VadenBossche, from the Air Force’s Irregular Warfare Operations Support Division; Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, head of Naval Aviation Programs on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and acting OPNAV N88; and Col. John Torres, commanding officer, Marine Aviation Detachment. Dave Parsons, managing director of NAVAIR’s Warfighter Innovation Cell, moderated the panel discussion.

NAWCAD Office to Present Inventions at World's Best Technologies Showcase

Posted January 8, 2009

NAWCAD’s Office of Research and Technology Applications will present a portable medical equipment suite and an online just-in-time wiring information system at the World’s Best Techologies Showcase, an international exposition to be held March 24 and 25 in Arlington, Texas.

More than 100 presenters from organizations as near as NAVSEA in Washington, D.C., and far as Russia, Spain, Israel and India are scheduled to attend. Each will make a six-minute presentation. Technologies were selected based on their potential to generate new products, give rise to a new industry and be commercially marketable.

Paul Fritz of the Office of Research and Technology Applications at NAS Patuxent River, Md., will accompany the inventors in the NAWCAD contingent. “We’re getting visibility from all over,” he said. Both the medical equipment suite and the wiring information system could have usefulness outside the military, boosting economic development for the Navy as well as supporting the warfighter, Fritz said. He plans to network and make connections with companies interested in making, using and selling the inventions.

The portable medical equipment suite fits in a case 20 inches deep by 48 inches high. It contains a defibrillator, monitoring system, oxygen canister and mask, tools for suction and more. It was invented by Commander select Robert Frank Medve, a former pilot with Air Test & Evaluation Squadron ONE (VX-1) at NAS Patuxent River.

The unit can be deployed on helicopters and in a variety of other situations for patients who may be in critical condition and in need of trauma treatment. It plugs into any AC or DC outlet, such as a wall socket or a car cigarette lighter. Medve, now an International Project Officer at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, says his portable medical equipment suite can be transported quickly in and out of a variety of aircraft or ground vehicles. His invention was designed to allow first responders to treat a greater number of patients as quickly as possible and in much greater numbers. The most critical time for treatment of a casual