SDL awarded contract to continue its defense work

By Adam Benson
The Herald Journal
July 29, 2005

NORTH LOGAN — Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory will remain involved with several of the nation’s defense agencies, after a $48 million, five-year contract was awarded by the Missile Defense Agency.

“It’s a great recognition of the SDL’s competency in specific areas, and we are looking forward to many exciting and new projects that will be funded,” said Harry Ames, SDL’s deputy director.

Under the new contract, projects could range from studies and research to building equipment for the MDA, Ames said. The lab has contracted with the MDA for several years. Although none of the money is yet in the hands of researchers and only the first year of the contract is guaranteed by the MDA, Ames said it will enable the facility to continue providing support in a variety of ways to bolster the nation’s defense capabilities.

“It’s really important, because there’s a lot of work to be done out there,” he said.

SDL’s contract administrator for the University Affiliated Research Center, Hilary Lovell, said the laboratory isn’t bound to work exclusively with the MDA and could take on projects from the U.S. Air Force, Navy and NASA — which all have UARC designations at other higher education institutions.

“This contract doesn’t prevent us from working with people who aren’t UARC affiliates,” Lovell said. “This is a tremendous contract vehicle that allows government agencies to use SDL expertise in a non-competitive environment.”

USU is one of just 12 higher education institutes in the nation that have been designated as a UARC. To achieve the designation, a company must be affiliated or work with part of a university and the Department of Defense to provide engineering, research and development capabilities in core areas.

SDL fills that role for USU by developing and engineering sensor systems for airborne and space-based platforms, including work for the MDA.

Copyright © 2005 The Herald Journal. Logan, Utah