SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10711]
INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COMPANIES
MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
MARCH 22, 2001
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For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
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MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
KEN CALVERT, California
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
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NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Katherine Gordon, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Thursday, March 22, 2001, Innovative Research Companies
Thursday, March 22, 2001
THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2001
INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COMPANIES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, a Representative from Hawaii, Ranking Member, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Carroll, Richard, Executive Officer, Digital System Resources
Karangelen, Nicholas, President, Trident Systems
Levy, Dr. Neil, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Leigh Aerosystems Corporation
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Petroff, Ralph, Chief Executive Officer, Time Domain, Inc.
Pouring, Dr. Andrew, Chief Scientist, Sonex, Inc.
Sullivan, Dr. Patrick, President, Oceanit
Susner, Nicholas, President and CEO, Science and Technology International
Voltmer, William, President and CEO, Iridian Technologies
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Levy, Dr. Neil
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Pouring, Dr. Andrew
Sullivan, Dr. Patrick
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Letter to Admiral Fargo from Dr. Neil A. Levy
Summary of Presenters
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers are pending.]
INNOVATIVE RESEARCH COMPANIES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 22, 2001.
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The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:31 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. HUNTER. The hearing will come to order.
This morning, the Military Research and Development Subcommittee will receive testimony from a series of innovative U.S. companies that are developing leading-edge technologies and proposing military applications of those technologies that address a variety of defense modernization needs. These companies will demonstrate to members of the subcommittee that they are capable of producing vital defense products more rapidly and at lower costs.
In the new defense era, it has become imperative to provide small, innovative companies the opportunity to gain entry into the defense acquisition system. And in shorthand, this is what I call our Wal-Mart hearing; that is, quality goods at a lower cost, something we need in the Department of Defense (DOD).
The Department of Defense is now examining how best to transform our armed services to meet the nation's needs in the century ahead. Many have concluded that this transformation will depend, in large part, on making better use of innovative technologies being generated throughout the private sector, including both defense and nondefense companies.
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Meanwhile, the defense industry has experienced its own transformation over the last decade, and one of the unfortunate consequences of the numerous mergers and consolidations is the disturbing shrinkage of the innovative research and development base within those remaining companies.
Our witnesses today will demonstrate that small companies are often capable of producing leading-edge technologies that offer great advantages for defense programs. However, companies not already part of the recognized defense industrial base often experience difficulty penetrating defense markets and dealing with the complex regulations and procedures that are required by the Department of Defense.
Each of you here today have experiences relating to this problem, and we look forward to discussion of your technologies and your suggestions that might make it simpler for nondefense companies to deal with the Department of Defense.
Before we get started, I want to turn to my good friend and ranking member, my partner on this subcommittee, Mr. Neil Abercrombie, for any comments he might have. And I might mention that Neil also has several constituent companies here today who are going to testify on some very outstanding ideas and products.
Neil, the floor is yours.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be found in the Appendix.]
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF HON. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM HAWAII, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to submit my statement for the record and just excerpt a phrase or two. I want to join you, obviously, in welcoming all the witnesses. I, of course, extend a particular welcome to two representatives from Hawaii. They made a special effort to be here, but aside from my parochial interest in them being here, I think they are exemplars of small-business innovation, which I think is something that is particularly important in military research.
And the fact that you have recognized that, Mr. Chairman, is most certainly to your credit.
I want to note for the record, Mr. Chairman, my pleasure in noting that this is your first official hearing as chairman of the subcommittee. I certainly expect your tenure to prove to be one of great success. And I want you to know that I look forward to serving at your side as the ranking minority member, a role that is new for me, as well, this year. I know and I expect and I extend to you, now, my hand on the basis that this will be the most bipartisan committee in the House.
And there is very good reason for that, Mr. Chairman, as you know. We are not dealing here with circumstances of Republican and Democrat or any other party persuasion. We are dealing with the security interests of the United States of America.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In that regard then, Mr. Chairman, you know I am supportive of targeted research and development investments aimed at reducing the operating costs for our weapons systems. I know that that is your concern. And I know that all the members who are joining us focus a keen eye on that.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned earlier, I am eager to hear more about the success of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and I think the folks that are coming here today are going to be exemplars of that.
I want to note that the Defense Department participation last year amounted to about $550 million with 2,000 awards across 700 different topics. I would like to see that increase, and I think that we could expect it to increase because of the innovation that is available. It is not, I think, for lack of talent or effort that the amount is not higher. And I think that your hearing today is going to put an accent on that that is much needed.
So if we accept the premise that small businesses represent the lifeblood of innovation in today's economy, I think we can also recognize that the SBIR program then represents an integral part of the effort to simulate innovation in the DOD acquisition process.
Mr. Chairman, once again, congratulations on your election to the chair of this committee. You can count on all of us on the minority side to be working with you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Abercrombie can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Neil, and it is great to be a partner with you and with all my colleagues in this endeavor.
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And ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a fun day. We are going to sit back and watch some great technologies unfold. And we are going to have more of these hearings, incidentally, and I encourage my colleagues to get some of these good companies in your district, or individuals, and line them up, and we will have more hearings in this area.
In order to be most efficient today, I want to encourage each of you, as our witnesses, to submit your prepared statements for the record rather than read them. One idea about this is, we are getting from point A to point B quicker and cheaper. That is the idea of the products.
And if your communication follows that line, that is better, too. And speak in plain English for us who are nontechnical folks, although there is a lot of folks on this committee with a lot more technical expertise than my 1.7 grade point average. And we want you to speak very directly about your technologies. Some of you have demonstrations; we want to see them.
We are plowing new ground today by holding this type of hearing, and I hope all of you will bear with us as we try to make it run as smoothly as possible. We have with us several companies from around the country, and I will introduce them in just a second.
I just want to tell my colleagues, let's do this. We have a number of witnesses to run through. I want them to each give a fairly short presentation. If you have a short question, like a 30-second question, ''Hey, tell me about this number,'' or whatever, that they can answer quickly to make sure you understand their testimony, just go ahead and ask it. This is going to be pretty informal.
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If you have a long series of questions to particular people that come to you, let's hold those off until the end, and that way, we make sure everybody gets a bite at the apple; all of our presenters get a good shot.
So we have with us, Mr. Nicholas Karangelen. He is the president of Trident Systems, Fairfax, Virginia.
Thank you for being with us.
Mr. Richard Carroll, chief executive officer, Digital System Resources (DSR), Fairfax, Virginia, one of the guys that helped to widen the superiority gap over the Russian submarine capability. Mr. Nicholas Susner, president and CEO, Science and Technology International, Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Andrew Pouring, chief scientist, Sonex Research, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland. Mr. Ralph Petroff, CEO, Time Domain, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama. Mr. William Voltmer, president and CEO, Iridian Technologies, Morristown, New Jersey. Dr. Neil Levy, senior VP, marketing, Leigh Systems Corporation, Carlsbad, California. And Dr. Patrick Sullivan, president, Oceanit, Honolulu, Hawaii.
So we would like to welcome all of you again today.
And Mr. Karangelen, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF NICHOLAS E. KARANGELEN, PRESIDENT, TRIDENT SYSTEMS INC.
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Mr. KARANGELEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to enter my written statement into the record before we proceed with my demo.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Mr. KARANGELEN. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie, distinguished members of the committee, thank you very much for inviting me here today to talk about innovative research ongoing at Trident Systems.
We are a small business of 85 dedicated professionals in northern Virginia, and we are an active participant in the DOD SBIR program. And after more than a decade since its inception, the SBIR program remains the single most effective means for the DOD to get the innovative power and creativity of small business in, to focus on DOD problems.
And Mr. Chairman, your recent efforts to strengthen the legislative language about DOD data rights will benefit all the small businesses that are involved in the program. But more importantly, it will help the DOD keep these companies engaged in providing these solutions. And I think that is a very important aspect of what you have done.
Today, I would like to tell you about digital intelligence system map (DISM). DISM is a small SBIR program that was initiated by the Army. It stands for dismounted situation awareness system. It was an SBIR program initiated by the Army several years ago and is now in phase three. And we are going to give you a short demonstration of some of the features of that program.
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Kate is handing out some palm-top computers. And I want to invite you to pull the stylus out of the top of that thing and operate it with us as I take you through our demonstration here. It will be both on the large screen
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Karangelen, am I correct that even a child can do this?
Mr. KARANGELEN. Well, the first time I picked one up, Mr. Abercrombie, I had some problems with it. There is a little silver button on top of the thing. If you mash that button, the little stylus will pop up, and you can pull that out, and
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you. I am that far.
Mr. KARANGELEN. Again, you can't hurt these devices. Please feel free to play along.
DISM runs first on any Windows NT or CE device, so it is completely commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) capable. And what that allows us to do is run it on a wide spectrum of devices, not just the ones you have in front of you, but ruggedized devices, embedded devices.
It also seamlessly connects to Army equipment, including the Single Channel Ground-to-Air Radio Systems (SINCGARS) radio, the PLGR GPS positioning device, the MELIOS laser range-finding binoculars; as well as commercial digital radios, which we may find in the force soon; as well as wireless local area network (LAN), local area networks, which is the one we are using to actually connect the palm-tops that you have today together.
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As you see on the screen here and on the handheld in front of you, the digital map is actually a NIMA product. This is something that is a standard military map, and we can zoom this map just by pushing the little plus and minus symbols in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You can zoom that map.
You can also set the scale. I am not going to show you how to do that, but you can also set the scale, if you have a specific scale in mind.
You can pan the map just by touching the map and dragging it, if you touch any point on the map and drag it. So if you are a user in the field, you can easily maneuver this map around.
The symbols that you see, the blue symbols represent the friendly force. The red symbols represent the threat force. Now, the blue force symbols would automatically be transmitted, because the PLGR GPS, the GPS position device, is plugged into my palm-top as well as my radio. And so those messages are sent automatically. The threat symbols are sent by observers, blue observers, sending spot reports like the one we are about to show you here on the screen. John Anderson, our program manager, is operating it down here for us.
There are a number of messages we can send from spot reports, enemy position reports, MedEvac requests and a number of others. But let's look at a spot report right now.
This report can be sent almost entirely by pull-down menu. It doesn't require typing, if you will, in a keyboard.
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For example here, what do we see? We see a tank, maybe we see two tanks. What is the tank doing? It is moving. It is moving to the northeast, slowly to the northeast. And where is its location? He mashes a little line of communication (LOC) button, and now he can select any spot on the map, and he is right there, east of the road by about a kilometer. And now that position is automatically entered without having, again, someone to type it in.
Now, if the user has a laser range-finding binocular, he could laze that target as well. And the location would go directly into the palm-top without him having to reenter the data, because it is plugged in, and entered into the message field. So he creates a complete spot report in seconds, without typing a single thing, without having to pick up his radio.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Hold on one second. And I want to announce to my colleagues, unfortunately, we have a vote. I am going to find out how many minutes we have left.
But just as an old guy, who once or twice had to call some artillery in, let's say you want to call artillery in at the edge of one of those blue lines, or lakes
Mr. KARANGELEN. I will do that right now. Go ahead, John.
Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. How do you do it?
Mr. KARANGELEN. Let's do a call for fire. Okay, he has already got it up.
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It is a similar format. You select the spot that you want to call for fire on, you tell them what kind of fire you want, and then hit send.
Actually, it is even a little more complex than that. Once you send this out, this message will go on your network and be hopped up to the other networks from, say, your company network up to your battalion network, to the battalion headquarters. The battalion headquarters will then process that in the Advanced Field Artillery Technical Data System (AFATDS) application, which is the Army supporting fires program.
Now, the message that we send is in the joint variable message format, which is compatible with that system. So even though we haven't completed that integration yet with AFATDS, we are already compatible with the messages they send, the call for fire messages that we send to them as well as what we get back, which is a TRP, a target reference point.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay, if you could hold on for one second here, I think members are going to have some questions. And my recommendation to the subcommittee is why don't we go vote right now, and come back as soon as possible? What do you think? Let's go get them, and we will be back, because I know we are going to have questions on this. Go to your Palm Pilot.
Mr. HUNTER. We will come to order again, and please accept our apologies for this kind of unexpected vote here. We thought we would be going straight through for at least a couple of hours. But please proceed, and we have had a couple of members say, ''Make sure that that gentleman talks slowly and heavy into that microphone,'' so that we can hear you real well.
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Go right ahead.
Mr. KARANGELEN. Let me just reset us all here. We are talking about digital intelligence system map (DISM), which is a software application for situation awareness for dismounted soldiers, which runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) processors, any processor from a palm-top to a laptop to a beta processor.
Mr. HUNTER. So you think maybe a company commander, a platoon leader, squad leaders could have these in the field?
Mr. KARANGELEN. Yes, Mr. Chairman. You are getting ahead of me, which is great. I am going to lead right into how this might work in a battalion-level unit. Let me just show you a couple more features before we get to that point.
One of the things about small screens is, normally, you have a map; it is a very, very large thing. And so we are used to, in the field, looking at very large maps.
So when you have a small map, on something the size of a palm-top that is in front of you, you need a mechanism to allow you to have what we call operational peripheral vision. You need to be able to see beyond the edge of the map, because there could be a unit that is right off the edge of that map, that has been reported, that could be a problem for you.
So what you see around the edge of the map is a gray band. And that band can be set to any distance by the user. In this case, it is set to six kilometers. What that means is, any reported unit that is six kilometers off the map will appear in that band. So you end up with, even if you only have a four-by-four or a two-by-four kilometer picture, you end up with this much bigger area of interest that you have immediate knowledge of anything that is reported in that area.
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Is that fairly clear?
Mr. HUNTER. So you just basically dial in that area if you want to get more information?
Mr. KARANGELEN. That is right.
Mr. HUNTER. You dial it over.
Mr. KARANGELEN. Right. Like, let's say you are a mobile unit, and six kilometers isn't enough. You could set it to 10 or 12 or 100
Mr. HUNTER. Got you.
Mr. KARANGELEN [continuing]. If you are a commander.
Okay, in this particular demonstration, we are using a wireless LAN. If you were to send a spot report or call for fire from where you are right now, everyone on your network here would receive it. But in the field, we use Single Channel Ground-to-Air Radio Systems (SINCGARS) radios. The troops are equipped with SINCGARS radios, and what the soldiers do with the DISM is plug that directly into their SINCGARS radio.
There is an unused digital channel on that radio today. The Army bought these fabulous radios. They have encryption, and they have this digital channel capability. But today, they only use the voice side. They use the same capabilities that we basically had 50 years ago.
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Here is a picture of a unit, like a company-level unit or a platoon-level unit, and they have radios and they have the SINCGARS net. As I said, they plug in their palm-tops to the radios, and they have an instant tactical digital network.
But it goes beyond that. The next level, what we have are multiple nets. Each platoon has its own net, each company has a net, and each battalion has a command net. And in fact, each of the unit leaders have a router; they are on both nets.
They have their subordinates on one network, like the company commander here has the subordinates, the platoon leader and his staff on one network, and he has his superior, the battalion commander and his company commander peers on another network. And because we have a little router built in as well, we don't just have the ability to send and receive messages, but we can route the messages from one network to another.
And this is a type of an example. Let's say a squad leader down in one of these guy's platoons, sends a spot report. Well, first, it immediately goes around the platoon network. It gets to the platoon leader. When his palm-top sees it, it recognizes it as a spot report and routes it to the other radio, which goes around the company net. Then it goes to the company commander and up to the battalion.
So in this way, with only the radios that they have today, without adding a radio, we can create an instant tactical visual network. Now, it doesn't have the capability, certainly, of what the Army is building for the next decade in the digitized force, with FBCB2 and Land Warrior. But it does have a key capability, which really is available today.
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We could field DISM in this form, with either these palm-tops or ruggedized palm-tops, to the entire force by 2004. Why? Because we don't have to build a lot of custom hardware. In fact, between now and the time we would actually make a fielding decision, there would be a whole new generation of hardware available to us.
The other thing we could take advantage of, of course, is when these units break, since the ones you are holding cost $499 apiece, and that is for a quantity of one; I am sure if we sat down with Compaq and told them we wanted to buy 100,000 units, we could get them substantially for less.
Mr. HUNTER. Is there anything else that is like this that is now in the force?
Mr. KARANGELEN. No. In fact, if you look at what we have in the force today, it is not much different from what we had 50 years ago. Our guys carry radios today much like the one that John is holding up here that was used over 30 years ago. And they use maps, and they plot the positions by hand on the maps. Even though they have these very sophisticated radios with encryption and the digital abilities, they don't use any of that. Now
Mr. HUNTER. And you have a little encryption wheel that you use by hand also to encrypt your coordinates
Mr. KARANGELEN. Well, that
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER [continuing]. And call them in over the radio. I mean, it is just quite a process.
Mr. KARANGELEN. Today, we can provide, by just plugging in these palm-tops with this software, a capability that isn't in the force and won't be there, won't begin being fielded. What is currently planned is, it will begin fielding by later in the decade, but really won't be fully fielded until the beginning of the next decade. And even then, if you look at where those systems are going, not every individual, not every unit will have them.
So, we don't see this as in conflict
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman.
Why are you saying the end of the decade and so in the next decade? Why? Because what you are saying is that this is readily available now. What is the reason?
Mr. KARANGELEN. Mr. Abercrombie, I am referring to the systems that are currently in development. Those systems won't be there until the end of the decade. This system is truly available in the very, very near term. And my point is simply that since this system is available now and our troops have nothing today, it is a perfect stepping stone to the digital Army of the future which will come with the programs that are currently under way. But again, this could represent a step toward that goal and give the capability to them today.
Now we have received a great deal of support from the operational forces. The 18th Airborne Corps has seen it and has been very enthusiastic. The Dismounted Battle Space Battle Lab at Fort Benning and the Marines down at Quantico have all responded that, yes, they would like to have this capability today.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Karangelen can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, thank you very much for this excellent presentation.
And what we will do, I will ask my colleagues, we are going to go through the other presentations, and then I want to have everybody available for questions. Is that okay? I know all of our guys have a number of questions here.
So if we can go to Rich Carroll, we will move on through, make sure every panel member gets a chance to speak. But this opens up lots of questions that I can see right now, and I know lots of members are going to have them, so hang with us here.
And Rich is the CEO of Digital System Resources in Virginia. And his little company basically came up with a system that allows us to process effectively our signals in our submarines that allowed us to re-expand the distance and the superiority that we once had over Soviet submarines. That disappeared to some degree in the 1990s and then was re-expanded, largely as a result of this small company with lots of innovations.
So, Rich, thank you for being with us, sir.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD CARROLL, (FOUNDER AND CEO), DIGITAL SYSTEM RESOURCES, INC.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CARROLL. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and Congressman Abercrombie, members of the subcommittee, I have prepared remarks that I would like to enter into the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Rich, without objection, they will be entered into the record and just tell us like it is.
Mr. CARROLL. Okay. My name is Richard Carroll. I am the founder and CEO of Digital System Resources, a company of approximately $90 million in annual revenues and 480 highly skilled and motivated individuals. We have offices in Southern California, Virginia, Hawaii and Florida. I am pleased to join the committee today to discuss the important issue of innovation in defense systems.
DSR, or Digital System Resources, along with our subcontractors, invented the multipurpose processor used in the submarine Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion (ARCI) program. I am pleased to be able to describe to this committee just how our product came to be.
For the multipurpose processor program, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program opened the door. If it were not for the SBIR program, I am confident that this product and much of the innovation it has created would not have come about. I say this not because I think our company is the only company capable of this innovation, but because the innovations themselves were not in the best business interests of the incumbents in this area, they would not have pursued them.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The SBIR program is the only avenue I know
Mr. HUNTER. And when you say that, you are talking about big companies?
Mr. CARROLL. Big companies, laboratories
Mr. HUNTER. As opposed to your small, much-maligned small company. [Laughter.]
Mr. CARROLL. The SBIR program is the only avenue I know that facilitates outside ideas for DOD acquisition programs and contains a procurement path that can be used to acquire these programs once they are developed.
Even with this, it still remains a rare occurrence that an SBIR company can truly break the DOD incumbent stranglehold on the status quo to affect real innovative change.
I will be going over a set of charts here, you also have a set in your documentation that looks like this. The SBIR topics that we began with were two areas. One was advanced combat system architectures, and the other was sonar system software migration. Those were both $50,000 awards that we got initially to study advance combat system architectures and software system migration.
We have also, since those initial awards, had many related topics, which incorporated technology, more than 50 competitive SBIR awards between 1991 and 2001. I would like to point out that that represents more than five competitions per year, which is unusual in the Department of Defense. Most Defense awards last for many, many years. And so the competitiveness of SBIR leads to the innovations that you see.
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We started with existing submarine combat systems when we looked at them. And they all had significant information-technology-related issues. The complex software systems were tied to legacy computer systems and they could not be adapted to new commercial technologies.
The commercial technology insertion cycles were 12 to 18 months, and the insertion cycles that we saw when we looked at submarine combat systems were eight to 12 years. Combat system architectures did not allow for the reuse of common application software, and the cost of making technology improvements was literally off the charts. We really couldn't believe it.
We set out to design a new approach for combat system architectures. We designed it to enable an annual technology insertion cycle. Every year, we would design these systems to take significant improvements affordably. We designed the software for these systems to be independent of the hardware, to allow for new, more capable and less costly hardware that you see coming in commercial industry to be easily procured and inserted into these systems. And we allowed the software to be modernized without detailed knowledge of the hardware.
When you look at the commercial technology cycle of improvement, you see a very similar thing in that the software companies, like Microsoft, are separate from the hardware companies, like Dell or Compaq. And they modernize independent of each other. There is a connection. They come together at the end, but they modernize independently. That lends itself to very affordable technology cycles.
In the DOD, it doesn't happen that way.
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We designed for the use of these commercial products wherever possible. We designed to reuse the software across common applications. And we most importantly designed this combat system architecture to allow for competitive alternatives to stimulate innovation and keep future improvements affordable.
We felt like we were on the outside, and we wanted to make sure that the new system allowed us and other companies to be on the inside.
If you look at a submarine, at the time we were looking at their combat system architectures, we decided to focus in on their sonars. And the reason we did was because our acoustic advantage was disappearing and we knew there would be a need for technology in this area. There are three arrays on a submarine that do their sonars: a spherical array up front, a high-frequency array on the sail and a towed array that is towed behind.
The bubble chart that you see underneath there shows what we could see at the time we were looking at this, which is represented by that green covering over the submarine to the right, and what they could see. And you could see, those were pretty close. That is not a good acoustic advantage. And if you can't see better than another submarine, it doesn't matter what weapons you have on board, you are in trouble.
The initial product we developed was called the multipurpose processor (MPP). It included a cabinet that allowed for the use of commercial products on board a submarine. It included a transportable middleware, a software layer to allow the hardware that we put on board to be independent from the software. In addition, we had a modular application software design to enable software reuse and a process we called advance-processing builds for rapid and affordable improvements.
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The next chart is a picture of what went on the submarine. And the MPP cabinet you can see there, a key feature of this cabinet was that it housed and protected and cooled commercial equipment while keeping all the noise and electromagnetic interference inside. But inside this cabinet are commercial off-the-shelf computer equipment that we could refresh on a regular basis and that we found was affordable.
The next chart that you see illustrates the different layers of software that go on this system, similar to the layers you would find on your PC which start with a Windows operating system and then Microsoft Word as an application. The bottom layer here is commercial hardware. The next layer up is the commercial software that we get, like Windows or other operating systems.
The third layer up was middleware technology, which isolated the layers above it from what was below it, so that we could take out the target hardware platform and the commercial operating systems, and replace them with new ones in the future, without having to change or affect the very expensive investment we had in military applications software above it. That effectively discouples the applications software that performs our sonar or other combat system functions from the hardware that is selected to process that. That was a very important feature.
Mr. HUNTER. So you can plug this stuff in and plug it out as the technology evolves?
Mr. CARROLL. Absolutely. And we have done it. It turns out that the installation on board our 60 or 70 submarines that get this, they only installed it on two submarines before they decided to change the hardware and put new hardware in place and rerun improved software. And that was done for the third installation at little cost. And that feature allows modernization of these systems to be ongoing every year, instead of waiting 10 or 20 years and having a new development program that costs, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars.
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In addition, the software that performed our undersea surveillance and ASW functions turned out to be, when we went into the design of the system, there were 10 independent systems doing very similar things. On board our submarines, there were four independent systems, a different system on Tridents from 688-class, and the new SSN had another system under development.
Our surveillance for undersea surveillance programs had three independent systems that did very similar things. And our surface ship programs had similar things.
We designed our software so it could be reused on all of those platforms. And now there is about 80 percent of it that will be reused. That literally saves hundreds of millions of dollars in eliminating independent programs that do the same thing.
On board the submarine, a picture of the cabinets that are on board to perform the sonar is shown in this next chart. And there are four MPP cabinets on board each of the 688-class submarines; this is a 688-class picture. One performs the sonar for the towed array, one for the spherical array, one for a high-frequency array, and there is one that helps switch the data between all of the sensors in these cabinets. And then there are four display consoles that are on board.
Everything there has the middleware on it, which means all the software there is protected in terms of the investment made for future use on different hardware when that gets changed out in a few years.
Another important feature was to be able to bring annual software improvements to the system, called advance processing builds. We named them, just like Microsoft names its Windows operating system improvements Windows 95, 98, 2000, we wanted the culture to be, we are going to have new stuff every year, too, because that is how we keep our systems current; that is how we keep our war-fighters with the best possible capabilities in the fleet. So we have named our advance processing builds APB 98, APB 99, APB 00. And we have done three of them, one each year for the past three years.
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It is possible to modernize every year. You don't have to wait. We have two more, APB 01 and 02, scheduled for delivery
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Carroll, when you say it is possible to modernize, you used the phrase several times now, what does that mean? Does it mean faster, silenter, what?
Mr. CARROLL. Well, let me show you on the next chart. The next chart shows what our submarine was able to see before we started this process. And you can see that the green around the ship there, that represents what they could hear or essentially see, because the sonar is the eyes for the submarine. And the threat is over to the right, and that is approximately what they could see. And you could see, that is where we started.
With the first advanced processing build, we added the following capability to our submarines. Now, the green that you see in the outer ring is called a convergent zone, and we could see out that far now with that advanced processing build, or that first improvement. When we added the next capability, the next advanced processing build, that is what we could see out in our submarine, and you can see how that improves every year.
Mr. HUNTER. So what you did was you gave our Navy the ability to evolve, capitalize on this new, ever-improving processing capability, to just plug this stuff in and plug it out as it got better, rather than have to redo the entire system. And as I understand, before you guys did this, it had been many years. I know one guy went into a submarine, that we talked to a couple of years ago, who said the processing capability was ancient in our attack boats. Had it been a number of years before they improved it?
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Mr. CARROLL. That is exactly correct. And really, they hadn't planned. The plan was not to put new capability out until 2002, back in 1998 when we fielded this. So there was no plan to do any of this originally.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I will tell you what, Rich, we have a number of other guys that need to roll. I think we have the general gist of this. I know we will have questions. So if you can stand by, we will keep on rolling.
Mr. CARROLL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Carroll can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, next we have Dr. Nicholas Susner.
Oh, excuse me. Go right ahead, Neil.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Carroll, what is the pace of outfitting all submarines with the system?
Mr. CARROLL. Well, I don't know. We did about 15, I think, last year. I am not exactly sure on that number. I would be glad to get you that.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is that a question of funding? Or is it a question of the sheer logistics of manufacture and
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Mr. CARROLL. Outfitting the submarines right now is a question of funding.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So has it been the policy of the Pentagon that the funding takes placewhat?year by year by year, or does everybody get it in the one year? Because you are saying you are doing this 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, but is the outfitting going on at the same pace?
Mr. CARROLL. The installations of the hardware on board the submarine is occurring each year, and that is limited right now by the amount of funding. When new software comes out, they put that software on as fast as they can on existing hardware, and in some cases they have to add new hardware to it. It is a reasonably complicated installation schedule. But I would be glad to provide that to you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Mr. CARROLL. All right. Thank you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, if it might, I would like to introduce Nick Susner.
And by the way Mr. Carroll, thank you very much. I would like to meet with you afterwards about your location in Hawaii.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CARROLL. Okay. I would be glad to do that.
Mr. HUNTER. And don't go anywhere. We are going to have questions for everybody, so hang tough.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Part of the reason I asked about the refitting, Mr. Chairman, is that everybody is quite aware of the tragic circumstances off Hawaii with the submarine Greeneville. I merely wanted to indicate, as I introduce Mr. Susner from Science and Technology Inc. in Hawaii, that he and I had been talking about submarine surface surveillance and collision avoidance systems well before anything like this came up.
And this has to do with the Littoral Airborne Sensor-Hyperspectral Anti-Submarine Warfare systemization. And so I want to indicate that I think Mr. Susner represents precisely the kind of, we say ''small business.'' It is not really small business so much as it is a question of innovative business, no matter what the particular size. I don't know whether you can pick numbers of employees as being the exact criteria or not. But in any event, his business represents, in my judgment, a perfect example of what concentrated, focused research being done by innovative and entrepreneurial people can accomplish.
STATEMENT OF NICHOLAS SUSNER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
Mr. SUSNER. Thank you.
Aloha, Chairman Hunter.
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Mr. HUNTER. We welcome you, Mr. Susner.
Mr. SUSNER. Thank you, Congressman Abercrombie.
And I also have testimony I would like to enter into the record, and present some of our thoughts.
We are a small company in Hawaii. Headquartered there, proud to be there. It was born, bred and raised in Hawaii, one of the larger, more dynamic companies there, with representatives and offices in California as well as Maryland and Northern Virginia.
And I am the CEO of the organization. We are privately held and pleased to have the opportunity to share with you today some of our innovative approaches to anti-submarine warfare, as well as submarine collision avoidance.
STI's LASH, that is Littoral Airborne Sensor-Hyperspectral system, is now a few years old, and it is based on camera technology to look at colors that are unique fingerprints. Everything in nature has a unique fingerprint, and we have very sophisticated cameras and algorithms that one can use to discriminate and detect targets of interest among very interesting, cluttered background.
And specifically, in December of 1999, we were awarded a $50 million contract from the Office of Naval Research to pursue our LASH program, to put it on P3s to detect submarines passively. As late as January 15, we are proud to say that the prestigious publication Aviation Week and Space Technology had characterized us and our sensor as being the farthest advanced hyperspectral system worldwide.
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We have, as a result of flying our system under a P3 Orion aircraft, been able to go ahead and detect passivelyvery importantpassively submarines at depths heretofore never been done before, and was told by folks within the military had we had this capability during the Persian Gulf incident, the war would have been fought entirely differently.
We have demonstrated time and time again our ability to detect these submarines by looking from a P3 down through the air and the water, underwater to be able to detect and characterize these targets.
In addition to defense applications, we are proud to say that we are using this technology to fight the world of cancer, specifically cancer diagnosis and detection. The same principles, the same parameters that we used to be able to go look down and find an anomaly, whether it is a mine or a submarine within the water, we use today to detect CIN3 cervical cancer in women, compared to healthy tissue.
So far, we have looked at 135 women, and the results are very encouraging. We plan on going into FDA clinical trials later on next year. We are very excited about that. That was a United States Army-funded program. We have interest all the way up to Vilnius, Lithuania, in addition to the U.S.
We are also using this technology to do coral reef monitoring, to look at the health and status of coral reefs around the world, as well as whale detection and counting. We worked with the National Marine Sanctuary a few weeks ago to do a whale count. Our technology flew over and correlated very well with what they had found from the shore.
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We had been a leader or are a leader in photonics and hyperspectral technology for well over two decades, as I have indicated. We have a very good, bright staff of engineers, scientists, including Navy SEAL and several submariners, including one I have with me today, who has been very gracious to operate the equipment for us, Mr. Tim Sprowls, who is a former XO on an attack submarine. He is a former commander and he is program manager of our LASH program. And he has offered a lot of insight to us into the operating parameters of submarines as we go forward.
So let's look at the specific problem we are trying to solve. And the results of the February 9, 2001 incident between the Ehime Maru and the USS Greeneville brought it all to focus; that the Greeneville accidentally rammed into the submarine off our shores. We saw that actually developing right outside our windows. Our windows overlook Waikiki and Oahu, and we saw a lot of the activity going on and had an enormous amount of discussion as to what, perhaps, we could do with our technology to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.
And what we propose to do, very simply, is to take our camera system, instead of flying along in an airplane as we have done, looking down through the air in the water to find objects under the water, mount the camera system on the submarine and look up.
As Mr. Richard Carroll very accurately said, sonar is the eyes of a submarine today. We don't expect to replace sonar. That is not the intent. The objective here is to offer another alternative so that the decision-makers in the control room can actually see what is there above the water above them, without having to go through the manipulations they do with sonar dot tracking that they do right now.
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The system is called submarine collision avoidance system, SCAS, and what we ask is that an extra set of eyes for the submarines to be able to look through the water and see what is there; using very sophisticated algorithms, they would be able to characterize the activity.
The science behind it is based on state-of-the-art modern optics, as well as the algorithms and the processing necessary to make it more sophisticated than what a periscope would see, with two operational modes, the direct path, which one would go ahead and have from a depth of 150 feet, look up and see what is above and in front of the submarine, which is the most important part. This is not going to be used at depth, but at periscope depths, or under 50 feet, it has enormous potential. The distance depends on the water clarity and the reflections of the sea surface.
Using the direct path, the surface ship viewed from below would be able to look at the contrasting color from above to determine that there is an object up above; the silhouette and the color are a key discriminate to say that there is something of significance in the path of the submarine. And then the system would automatically give continuous real-time surveillance information to the decision-makers.
In the refracted mode, that is the second mode where light is bent as it gets to the surface of the water, one can go ahead, and from that, using Snell's Law, get a fish-eye view of what is above the ship. And our imaging processing software can take this fish-eye round view, go ahead and re-present it such that you can have a more accurate description, as is shown on the screen, of a ship between a couple of masts that are above the target of interest.
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The projected performance that we expect is that with the SCAS, the operator will have two different modes of operation, the direct and the indirect path, and they can toggle them back and forth to see through them simultaneously. This fusion of data will accurately detect the range and location of a target of interest as we go forward.
An important part of this ability is that it can be done at speed. With a periscope, one has to come up to periscope depth, slow down to eight to ten knots or less, to be able to get a view as to what is happening. With our system, one could have it mounted on the front and more rapidly be able to detect what is near the surface.
And we expect to have a control room collision avoidance display, such that they can have a real picture, an image of what is up there. The submariners now in the control room have to have an enormous amount of analysis to determine what is there. This will provide an opportunity to them there, in real time, to see not just a blip or hear a sound, but the actual image of what is above them.
We at Science and Technology International (STI) are a leader in remote sensing, and with our Littoral Airborne Sensor, LASH, we have been very successful in continuing to be able to detect targets underwater with a very low false-alarm rate. And the key to this is a small company, having had over 25 years experience in the larger companies like the Northrop, Raytheon and Lockheeds of the world and the bureaucracy associated with that, once we were told, ''Can you find a submarine flying in a P3 passively?'' We had the system up on the airplane, certified, flying, and demonstrated, in less than 18 months, successfully, the rather quick reaction that we can do this.
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We propose to take this same innovative approach to providing new eyes for a submarine to look above, as we do today with the P3 LASH system. We understand optics that can be used both on a submarine as well as the P3 and are looking forward to continue working with the sub-tracker.
We have been working with the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on our sub-tracker system in Kauai, and plan to continue using that. With our location in Honolulu near Submarine Forces, Pacific (SUBPAC), we are ideally suited to have a good working relationship with the Commander in Charge (CINC). Communications and activities with Kaneohe and PMRF would be also very, very important. And as part of our company mission, we are there to apply an innovative technology to help solve daily problems for the military and look forward to having this consideration looked at very seriously.
And I thank you for your time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Susner can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, Mr. Susner. Thank you very much. I know we are going to have some questions for you. These miserable rats have called some votes on us here. I thought we would have a clearer schedule well through 12 o'clock.
So ladies and gentlemen, what do you think here? We have a 15? Three fives or two fives? Three fives. So do you want to try to be back here at, say, 12:30? And maybe you folks can grab a sandwich here in the coffee shop next door. What does everybody think?
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Okay. Bobby, what do you think here? What do you think? Come back at 12:30? Okay.
Okay, we will recess until 12:30, and doggone it, that is what we need to solve with this innovation. [Laughter.]
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, guys. Okay, folks, we will reconvene.
Mr. Susner, thank you so much for your presentation. And do you have any closing remarks? We will give you a chance in the question-answer period to elucidate if you want to.
Mr. SUSNER. I will wait and let Dr. Pouring go forward.
Mr. HUNTER. You are very kind.
And Dr. Pouring, for that, is going to transfer one of those low compression EPA-compliant heavy fuel engines over to your truck. [Laughter.]
STATEMENT OF DR. ANDREW A. POURING, CEO, SONEX RESEARCH, INC.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. POURING. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your committee.
Mr. HUNTER. And listen, I want to apologize, too. You know, we thought we would be able to go two, three hours with no votes. And we have just been cut up with votes today. That is part of the territory here. But we are listening, believe me.
Dr. POURING. Well, I understand. I also appreciate that we are dealing here with a subject that gets no respect: combustion. I request that the prepared remarks I have be entered into record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Dr. POURING. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to present to you some background on myself; the company, which I founded in 1980; what our company does that can help the military achieve the objective of a single battlefield fuel, JP5, JP8; how your committee can help us advance these objectives; and finally, how our country can benefit from a spinoff technology.
I notice on the agenda that I am listed as a scientist. I am an engineer and very proud of it. My undergraduate and master's degrees are from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My doctorate is from Yale University. I taught at both schools and took a post at the U.S. Naval Academy where I spent over 20 years in teaching, research, consulting before founding Sonex in 1980.
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The foundation of Sonex, which has been a public company, even though we are only six people, we founded the company as a public company in 1985. And it is based on combustion research conducted while I was on the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy. Sonex focuses its attention on controlling combustion inside the cylinder, such that emissions leaving the cylinder are at the lowest possible level and fuels of all types can be used.
In fact, a low-emission diesel engine is in pre-production evaluation in Europe, and another European program was signed just last week. This bothers me because this research was funded originally at the Naval Academy by the Navy and other groups, and it is all leaving the U.S. All of our success and attention has been in Japan and Europe. And that is where we are in pre-production.
Mr. HUNTER. What does this thing do?
Dr. POURING. I will show you, in a minute, what the essence of the technology is. But basically, it allows control of combustion for the first time inside the cylinder. Control is the key word. When the graduate students started their work in 1972, the objective was to control combustion in the engine and make it do what you need, not pour fuel in, ignite it and let it do what it wants. This is very hard for people to accept.
Mr. HUNTER. It sounds like a tall order.
Dr. POURING. Well, it is. It is. And that is why people, sort of, give you no respect. No one wants to hear about it. Large companies will only pay attention to you when, ''Sonny, hand me the keys and we will give it for a spin.'' So the difficulties are enormous in trying to develop this technology, particularly when you have very limited resources and limited personnel.
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The people this morning spoke about millions of dollars in terms of contracts on SBIR, different programs that they have had. Okay, we talk in terms of tens of thousands, at the most, a few hundred thousand. So, it is very difficult under these conditions to go on. But, in fact, we have. Now, let me just tell you what we have done in terms of small engines for the military.
Before we do that, you asked, what are the essential portions? Okay, we have a piston. That piston has a bowl in the center, which is typical of all direct injected engines. On the outer periphery of the bowl, you have a chamber, which we call a microchamber, and there is a connecting port between the two. The small chamber receives a certain amount of fuel and air, and chemical reactions take place within that chamber that are controlled and are very slow.
And what they do is produce partially burned species that are called radical species and intermediate species. And we have now calculations that show that these things are stable, can be saved from one cycle to the next, and, in fact, initiate combustion in the next cycle at very low compression ratios.
So we have two branches of the technology. The one you are looking at there is what we call the low-soot branch, and the other is where we have radical ignition where we use the species inside the chambers to initiate the combustion over the next cycle. Fortunately, after all these years, and it is almost 30 years now, we now have experimental evidence, we have the calculations that back up all of the statements which I make.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, the next slide, in fact, is the one where we have the first fielded technology from Sonex in the military. These are small, unmanned aerial vehicle engines that were converted, making use of a inventory that the Marine Corps had. We converted them from spark-ignited engines to JP5 military fuel. Everyone believed it could not be done. But the Marine Corps, within three months after the first test flight, in fact, the gentleman sitting next to you, Robert Lautrup saw the second flight of this vehicle. And within three months thereafter the Marine Corps had it certified for shipboard use.
Mr. HUNTER. Is your advice for him to keep his day job? [Laughter.]
Dr. POURING. Anyone dealing in this combustion field is advised to have another job.
So it was certified within three months of the first test flight for shipboard use. And the Marine Corps fielded it three months later, and it has been in use for two years and, knock wood, with no problems. So that is an example of a fielded Sonex technology not using the piston but in this case we used the cylinder head to do what we had to do.
Mr. HUNTER. Now what does that mean? I mean if you compared that to the classic engine that it had before, the traditional engine, what did it do?
Dr. POURING. Same power, same performance, but now it starts and runs on JP5 and operates with the full operational envelope that the aircraft did before on gasoline fuel.
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Mr. HUNTER. Very interesting.
Dr. POURING. And it is the only one of its type. And it has a very low profile because it was done at the Commandant's Warfare Lab in Quantico and it was not an official, recognized program, and, therefore, it remains unknown.
Mr. HUNTER. Now, explain for us, if you could, the practical application, what this could mean to the forces.
Dr. POURING. Well, this is just a small example. I think we should go on to the next example.
This is an example of the larger engines. And using the process which I showed in the first slide, where we had a jet coming out of the microchamber, this is one of the first pre-production pistons again produced outside the United States. But what it does is allow different fuels to be used or engines to be converted from spark-ignition to diesel fuel JP5.
Now, what we did, for instance, in larger engines, we had a contract following on the success of the unmanned aero-vehicle engine, the small engine. That was just eight horsepower. We had a contract with the Navy to show a system that would allow the conversion of a 600 horsepower V8 engine in the high-performance assault craft.
We demonstrated the feasibility of that process with a combustion concept known as stratified charge radical ignition. Again, a very popular name; we invented it. But in any case, what it does, it will allow low compression, from 9.5-to-1 to 12.5-to-1, ignition of the JP5 fuels, with no spark with remarkable stability, practically no smoke, very near zero, and extremely low oxides of nitrogen.
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In fact, I calculated that if we transfer the results from the single cylinder feasibility demonstrator into an industrial-type engine, larger engine, that we would be well below the future limits that EPA has specified for 2007 and beyond. But again, we are seeking funding to transfer this technology to larger engines.
And, Mr. Chairman, this is where your committee can help us. In fact, if the committee could help in providing funding for conversion of a full-scale engine that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is now using in the new UAV A160 helicopter, it would produce a heavy fuel prototype demonstrator for all of the services to evaluate.
DARPA is preparing an endorsement of our heavy fuel engine technology but states that no funding is available to implement it. And this is in spite of a DOD directive that says, ''No new technologies will be developed that rely on gasoline fuel.'' Now that is why I am here today to see if anything could be done about plussing up that program, adding funding to it so that, in fact, that same engine could also be a heavy-fuel engine.
The interesting thing is
Mr. HUNTER. Bob Lautrup will be down with his change purse here in a bit.
Dr. POURING. I would appreciate if he brought his wallet rather than his change purse. [Laughter.]
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, there are spinoffs possible from this. In fact, you may have heard of a GDI engine, again, a very popular topic, gasoline direct-injected engines. The Japanese have marketed over 750,000 of these engines because they show a 20 or 30 percent fuel economy improvement with gasoline. They are spark-ignited, direct-injected, but they cannot meet the oxides of nitrogen of this country.
We believe, based on the data that we have from this combustion technology, that a GDI engine using this type of technology would allow the U.S. to have the first-of-its-kind gasoline direct-injected engine that could meet U.S. emissions requirements in the oxides of nitrogen. So that is a very important spinoff technology that could come if we could just get the funding to continue this work.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Pouring, I am, kind of, a diesel-engine nut, so I am aware of the problems that folks at Detroit Diesel are having coming up with a small engine that meets the Clean Air Act. I understand the only domestic engine manufacturer that meets the standards now is Caterpillar. So what puzzles me is, why wouldn't someone like Penske be willing to work with you so that they could take the existing 71 series, 92 series, and clean them up to meet the standards?
Dr. POURING. Not invented here, simply. We have met with the former chairman and the president of DDC before it was taken over by Chrysler. Actually, a few years ago, Department of Energy (DOE) tried to get a joint program for us at DDC which would be funded by DOE. John Fairbanks told them, ''We would like you to work with Sonex and implement their technology in your engines.'' The next day, we got a violent phone call from DDC
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Mr. TAYLOR. Tell me who DDC is.
Dr. POURING. Detroit Diesels.
Mr. TAYLOR. Okay.
Dr. POURING. It was the vice president of DDC and he said, ''Get out of our knickers. That DOE money is ours, do you understand?''
Mr. TAYLOR. What was that person's name?
Dr. POURING. I would rather not say. I can provide it to you privately.
Mr. TAYLOR. He was probably out of a job when Penske took over to begin with. I am just trying to verify your story, because, again, I am also a ''Made in America'' nut. And I am deeply disturbed that we have so few American-made diesels that meet the new emissions standards, that quite possibly we are going to see the Made-in-America provisions for diesel engines waived simply because we are down to one American manufacturer that can meet them.
Dr. POURING. Well, you are quite aware, I am sure, of what the American diesel manufacturers decided to do rather than obey the EPA standards; in other words, the emission defeater chip. Are you aware of that?
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Mr. TAYLOR. Well, I know in the case of Caterpillar that, you know, they did a lot of electronic timing and what not to help meet it. But the alternative at what was GM is that they quit making them.
Dr. POURING. Well, in other words, the U.S. manufacturers decided to cheat rather than to do an honest job in cleaning up the emissions.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am not doubting your process, but I have to believe if it worked, that folks would be beating your door down, because you would solve problems for them.
Dr. POURING. We tried to get access to the funding that was supposed to be provided by the consent decree that the U.S. manufacturers signed rather than go to court over the emissions cheating business. We met and visited every U.S. manufacturer, presented our ideas.
Mr. TAYLOR. Who did you go visit?
Dr. POURING. We visited DDC.
Mr. TAYLOR. What year was this?
Dr. POURING. What year?
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. What year.
Dr. POURING. A year and a half ago.
Mr. TAYLOR. Okay.
Dr. POURING. We visited DDC, Cummings and Caterpillar and presented our ideas, where we were, what was happening in Europe. We backed all of our presentations with data. And in fact, DDC at that time said, ''Okay, we would like to work with you. We have an engine for you to work with.'' And the chairman of DDC and the president at that time said, ''Let's get started.'' He assigned a person to work with us but it never went anywhere. Then the takeover by Chrysler came along, and that went to sleep.
Cummings listened to us, provided us with an engine but never provided us with any funding even after we did a satisfactory demonstration. In fact, they asked us to implement this new technology that we have and asked us for a proposal, but never funded it. The excuse was the 40 percent downturn in the truck market.
Caterpillar asked us to work with Perkins, who is their small engine division. I have a long association with Perkins. They tested our designs, approved the results and all. But with our improved design they say they are too good for us: ''We don't need you now. We will get back to you when we need you.'' And you are welcome to come and see other documentation anytime at our office on this.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Pouring, what is your funding request?
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Dr. POURING. Our funding request is to provide at least $500,000 for a plus-up on this A160 helicopter engine to convert it from a spark-ignition to a no-spark ignition to enable it to use this stratified charge radical ignition which was documented in my prepared statement.
Mr. TAYLOR. How many spark-ignition helicopters do we have in the inventory?
Dr. POURING. I am not sure, because this is a new development program and in spite of
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, I think the answer is, few, if none. So my question would be, why are we chasing a nonexistent rabbit when there are real needs out there, more along the lines of what we have in the inventory?
Dr. POURING. Well, we have tried. We have visited the chief scientist of the Army, presented our ideas to him. This was now approximately a year ago. But we never got any positive response from them in terms of anything in the inventory. We knew from visits from DARPA personnel that this engine was in development, this helicopter was in development, and it was a new concept. It is an unmanned aerial vehicle, by the way, not a manned vehicle.
So they suggested, in fact, that we concentrate on this engine, and it would be a good demonstrator. But they don't have funding for it. But we are open to suggestion. If you have money, you have an engine, we will do it for you.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Well, my suggestion was going to be that there are any number of 471 engines available in America for $5,000 a pop. I would believe that if someone was really serious about this, for an investment of $5,000, you have a bottle to work on. There are, to my knowledge, 1 million 71 series engines out there in America that need to be brought up to the standard or else junked. I mean
Dr. POURING. Yes, you are talking about the Detroit Diesel 71?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, just for starters, okay?
Dr. POURING. Right. But it is a two-stroke engine.
Mr. TAYLOR. Correct.
Dr. POURING. Yes.
Mr. TAYLOR. But if your technology is all that great
Dr. POURING. But we haven't done any work in the two-stroke diesel. We did two-stroke, spark-ignited conversion of those engines to diesel fuel. There is no reason that the process would not work in that 71 engine, but we have no research on it. We would have to do a design study on how we apply it to that type of engine. And in fact, I had a meeting with people from Detroit Diesel at the Army tank command at the request of the Army tank command over two years ago and proposed to do a program with them.
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And the Detroit Diesel personnel that were there said, ''That all sounds very good, but we will not support this program. We will do nothing to help it. We hope that it fails if you do it, because we make a lot of money on rebuilding those engines, okay? And we only have to rebuild them to the old standards.'' And these are the kinds of things that we are up against.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, thank you, Mr. Taylor.
Dr. Pouring, thank you very much for your presentation, and if you can hang tough, we are going to have some questions for you.
And we would like now to introduce Mr. Ralph Petroff, who is CEO of Time Domain, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama. And he is going to talk about his radio, and I am going to talk to my staff guys about their handwriting. [Laughter.]
[The prepared statement of Dr. Pouring can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF RALPH G. PETROFF, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TIME DOMAIN CORPORATION
Mr. PETROFF. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Lautrup has been studying to be a doctor, and he has the handwriting. He has been working on that.
Mr. PETROFF. I have some prepared remarks that I would like to have entered into the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Mr. PETROFF. Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of Congress, I am honored to appear before you today.
Chairman Hunter, your subcommittee has fostered and sponsored some very beneficial research and development over the years. And I thank you, in particular, for the attention you are paying to small business, which, in the commercial world as well as the military, has been the engine of the economy for a good part of the century.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, thanks for the many thanks, but this is actually my first hearing as the chairman of this. So other people have to take credit.
Mr. PETROFF. And those people have long recognized that technology revolutions drive military transitions and that the United States must advance these technologies to ensure the safety and effectiveness of its armed forces. And this committee has had a long history of funding important new technologies: the laser, the transistor, the microprocessor.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And my message today, here, is pretty simple, that ultra-wide bandand I will call it UWB, ultra-wide bandis another revolutionary technology that deserves the full support of this committee. And with proper support, it will enable a leap ahead in our military affairs as well as our economic competitiveness.
This morning, I will tell you a little bit about the technology, the benefits, the problems it could solve and demonstrate in this room some of the unique capabilities.
But first, before I discuss that, I would like to just provide a personal perspective. I am an immigrant who has been fortunate enough to have lived the American dream. My father, the distinguished man over there in the silver hair, is a rocket scientist who escaped from Bulgarian communism and went on to play a key role in helping NASA put a man on the Moon.
My family went on to take part in several American technology successes: this first digital wristwatch, first wireless heart-monitoring, and an international pollution-control business. After being fortunate enough to achieve an early and comfortable retirement, we were introduced to a new wireless technology that had been developed in Mississippi by a man named Larry Fullerton. We quickly concluded that this was a world-changing technology. This technology would do things that nothing else in the world, that we were aware of, could do.
We were so impressed that we came out of retirement, invested the family nest egg and joined the company. Since then, our enthusiasm has been confirmed by many. Just to give you an example, this is a recent double cover story that appeared in USA Today, describing UWB as, ''an invention that might be as important as the transistor.'' So why is this UWB considered so important? There are four reasons, sir.
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First, it permits orders of magnitude improvement in wireless communications. Second, it also enables high-definition, precision radar. Third, it permits ultra-precise positioning systems. And then fourth, it can fuse these three capabilities to enable entirely new products and applications, wireless devices that can simultaneously communicate, position and see objects moving around.
When I asked my father for advice today on this testimony, he quoted an old Bulgarian proverb that says, ''It is better to see it once than to hear about it 100 times.''
So I will follow his advice and go to a demonstration. Do we have it locked in there?
Mr. HUNTER. There is a lot of pressure to be giving this presentation with your dad looking on to scrutinize it.
Mr. PETROFF. He will keep me in good stead. Well, this is a wireless transmission, that is coming from over there, of the matrix. Now you may have seen a wireless video demonstration before, but let me tell you what is different about this.
First, this is being transmitted at ultra, ultra, ultra-low power. That wireless link is running at one-ten-thousandth the transmit power of the cell phone. So this is, quite literally, bandwidth from thin air. The signals are being transmitted, literally, under the noise floor, and we have the potential to put many channels like this all at once.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, can we see what is going on outside? We have a camera mounted outside that is now going to demonstrate how the signals can be transmitted through walls, again, at one-ten-thousandth of the power of a cell phone. And just to put things in perspective, my cell phone doesn't work in this committee room at 10,000 times the power.
Do we have it there, Justin?
So this is the wall outside, or the hallway outside, people walking back and forth, and we are not transmitting at a few kilobits per second, but this is many megabits per second. So this is order of magnitude improvement in wireless that could deliver high-mobile, high-performance and secure command and control.
And you can envision from this secure communications, so that soldiers don't need to worry about this problem about maintaining radio silence all the time. And you can have many different channels, so that you can help solve this busy signal on the battlefield problem. And because we are sending signals, literally, under the noise floor, this doesn't consume spectrum in the traditional sense. It can effectively create new spectrum by sending signals under the noise floor, not many megahertz of spectrum, but many gigahertz of spectrum.
That was our telecommunications demonstration. Now let's move over to a quick demonstration of personal radar. And I would like my colleague, Colonel Webb there, to assist me. You may not recognize Colonel Webb out of uniform. Until last August, he was General Shelton's legislative director. Then, he too caught the excitement of UWB technology. Colonel Webb is showing our UWB security bubble. It sets up a 5-foot ring around the black object right there. And when he comes in, it sets it off.
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Now, this is an invisible security bubble that can be set to any size or range. So it could be used to protect a helicopter. You could have a fence around an air base, or soldiers as they are clearing areas could have leave-behind radar sensors that could set up protective barriers for force protection. And Joe Eash's ACTD office and assistant secretary of defense, Bob Shields, in particular, have helped to introduce this concept.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. At how great a distance could that be initiated?
Mr. PETROFF. It can, at this ultra, ultra, ultra-low power, which is just a few millionths of a watt, it would be enough to cover a room this size or a building, not the size of the Rayburn building, but a building the size of this room. At higher power, of course, it would have much greater range.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Can
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, and on a perimeter, like if you wanted to use this
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That was my next question. Could you link this from station to station or point to point?
Mr. PETROFF. Absolutely, sir. And it would tell you the size and shape of objects that penetrate it. So it could distinguish between a cat and a cat burglar at an army base, for example.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Can you explain, just a little bit, unless this would be one of the long questions, because I don't know? I am not sophisticated enough to understand when you are saying below the spectrum. How does this not interfere with other communications?
Mr. PETROFF. That is a very good question, Congressman. Right now
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you. I am so grateful you said that.
Mr. PETROFF. If you take a look at the entire spectrum, everybody has a little sliver for all these different applications. But there is sort of like an easement that goes across the bottom of the spectrum that FCC has set up for ultra-low power devices. For example, the Palm Pilots that you are using, your laptop computers, pocket calculators, all give off infinitesimal amounts of radio energy. So billions of these devices are allowed to use the very bottom of the spectrum as, sort of, this dumping ground for waste radio emissions.
And the wonderful thing about ultra-wide band is it is able, at these very low powers, to operate in this dumping ground of radio emissions and do constructive things like send wireless video or set up these invisible radar bubbles. So it turns this bottom-of-the-barrel spectrum into entirely new, usable spectrum.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How does that happen? I mean, is it Merlin the magician? How does it happen?
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Mr. PETROFF. Well, the wider you send your signal, there is something called spread-spectrum. You have heard that the wider the signal is, the more robust it is. But if you make that signal a thousand times wider again, it makes the signal much stronger. So this is, literally, a signal that goes out over half of the spectrum.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And so the difference in your, I am going to say invention, or your process, is that you have figured out how to do that. You have mastered that, and that is the catalyst for your enterprise?
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, that is exactly right.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. PETROFF. And just to show you another capability on the radar, this same radar bubble, one of the key problems that we have for aviators is having helicopters and airplanes run into cables. And what we are going to do is show how this radar, mounted on a helicopter or a plane, could be able to detect even the movement of cables. And Colonel Webb, as a former helicopter pilot, could tell you about the importance of that.
So the third capability, again wireless communications: This device also works through walls, so we will show how the movement of a cable behind a wall even can be found.
Now, this same technology is being used to develop a device that can find people moving in buildings. So when it comes to urban combat, you could set up your scanner and then figure out where all the people are moving around inside a building to help reduce the complexity and the challenge associated with urban combat.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Could that be dual-use for police and others, firefighters, to be able to detect
Mr. PETROFF. Absolutely, sir. We are marketing it right now under the name RadarVision for policemen and firemen so that they can detect people moving around in buildings.
I should also say that we have modified this for search and rescue, and in a recent experiment, we were able to detect breathing under 11 feet of concrete. So it could be used for search and rescue, either for national disasters or for bombings.
And the third capability, we have talked about communications and radar, the third capability ties into that, which is ultra-precise positioning systems. Think of it sort of like GPS that works indoors to within a few inches but doesn't need satellites and is very hard to jam. Well, actually, you can see it. We have it running in the background there. One of our devices is being moved along, and you can see it, as it goes from one room to another, that you can find something to within about three inches. And that is very important for urban combat so that
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Where is this now? What is being shown on the screen here?
Mr. PETROFF. We have one of these black boxes, and this is a digitized version of our office, and as this black box is moved around, it appears as this green ball.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. This is happening in real time.
Mr. PETROFF. Actually, this is a canned demonstration. We didn't quite have the room to do it here, sir. But this is a canned demonstration. Everything else was live, but this is canned, at our facility. And now you can see that, when he raises it, the green ball floats up as well. So the notion is to put that technology in a little tag that looks like this, so that you can have soldiers running around in buildings, and you would know where every soldier is, not to within plus-minus 30 feet, but plus-minus a few inches.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Can you indulge me a moment, Chairman?
I observed a main training exercise in Guam. The object was to test reflexes and accuracy of response in shooting. You would go into a building, it is dark, objects pop up at different times, angles, lighting, et cetera, and the individual obviously has to make an almost instantaneous discernment as to whether to shoot, not to shoot, to duck, to run, a whole series of things. But the burden on that there is that you simply can't figure out what is going on in the building. And you have to get into the building; you have to clear it. So the assumption is, is that the marine, in this instance, is simply going to have to make eyeball, instantaneous judgments.
Do I understand you correctly to say that that almost, in effect, could be eliminated, at least to know where the people were in such a building and to be able to know that there was one or two people and that they were two rooms down, and they were on the left side of the wall, and they were crouching, and they had a weapon in their hands?
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Mr. PETROFF. That is absolutely what the goal is.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And an individual soldier could be equipped?
Mr. PETROFF. An individual soldier could be equipped so that they would have one of these devices that could scan rooms, pick up the movement of people within the rooms, even see if they are carrying shiny, metallic, highly reflective devices, or if they were trussed up in a corner. They might be a hostage instead.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, that was one of the objects, and this is one of the difficulties: They ended up, of course, on occasion, then, shooting people that they were supposed to be saving.
Mr. PETROFF. Absolutely. And that is why our adversaries are always trying to lure us into urban combat, because you are going to take casualties. And the thrust of this technology is to try and give us the same overpowering advantage in unconventional and asymmetrical warfare that we currently enjoy in conventional warfare, with a particular emphasis on this urban combat.
So you go out there, you set up your devices, you screen the building, you find out where the people are. Your war-fighters have these tags, so you know where they are within the building. And then it makes the whole process a lot more efficient, and it is a great deterrent to adversaries who think, ''We will just lure the U.S. into a heavily urban area, inflict some casualties, and they will go home.''
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And this particular program here is a direct result of the ATES program under Troy Dere and Frank Tucker and Cory Youmans down at STRICOM, the Army's simulation and training command. And we have developed a lot of this core technology for Boeing's LPDD project, which is exactly this war-gaming kind of effort.
So as you can see from these demonstrations, there are a lot of good capabilities that could enhance military preparedness. And each of these is interesting in its own right, but as you pointed out, Mr. Abercrombie, when you fuse these three capabilities, the communications, the radar and the positioning, then you get some very, very interesting capabilities and ones that can be just as useful for firefighters and policemen as they are for the military.
I want to show you this. This is the little chip set that runs the radar, the communication, the positioning, as well as these fuse capabilities. So the best part about it is that the technology has been shrunken down to something very small that will be very affordable. Mr. Hunter, to paraphrase you this morning, you can get kind of a Waldorf capability but at a Wal-Mart price. So this thing can be affordable to everybody.
So in conclusionI know we have more witnesses to gothe U.S. faces strategic challenges on many fronts, not least of which is the field of battle. And these challenges call for a leap ahead, a big leap ahead, in our current capabilities. And we must always remember that military security and economic security are interlinked. And this country must be the first one to deploy this ultra-wide band technology. We have a huge lead, and the rest of the world is trying to catch up on it. We can't squander the lead that we have built. And continued support from members of Congress on this, and their fine staff, is very important.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What precisely are you looking for in that regard? What is before us?
Mr. PETROFF. Number one is just a continued support in education, championing, getting visionaries who see that this is a disruptive technology that can have a profound
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How does that translate into dollars and cents in projects?
Mr. PETROFF. Continued funding. We have made some good progress here, and we are getting some funding. We have two or three projects that were funded from last year, but those contracts haven't gotten out there. SoldierVision is one, the see-through-walls capability.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So you have two or three projects?
Mr. PETROFF. We have them that are approved, but the money, the funding hasn't quite been released. So that is a specific example. And the third, and maybe the most important, is to get support from the defense establishment for changes in the regulatory process. This stuff needs FCC approval, and this company has been trying, since 1989, to obtain it. And hearing from high-level defense institutions, such as yours, I think, would really help push this along, because the other thing, other than being a new technology, is that it is not 100 percent approved now by the FCC. So that would be a big help.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. One hundred percent approved for what purpose? I am not quite sure what you mean.
Mr. PETROFF. For commercial purpose, commercial purpose.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Because are they worried about other applications other than DOD?
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, sir. Any time you change the rules at the FCC, you need to go through a very formal process. And right now those billions of devices, like the laptops that I described to you, those things are allowed to discharge beneath the noise floor, because they are discharging unintentionally. And our technology discharges intentionally.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes. That is the last point I wanted to ask you about. Now, are you dealing with certain patents and copyrights here that are yours, or are such patents and copyrights not a question where ultra-wide band is concerned?
Mr. PETROFF. This is not an intellectual property issue so much as it is a regulatory issue. There are a number of ultra-wide band companies. We happen to be one, and we are all struggling to try and get regulatory approved. Because we are not going to get down to the point of COTS unless there is a commercial comparable, unless there are
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Last point. You are making your point. I am just trying to move along. Don't think I am trying to cut you off.
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Mr. PETROFF. Yes, sir; go ahead.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And we can discuss things further in other contexts. But that takes me to something I can tell you that Mr. Hunter and I have a particular interest in, and I am sure other members as well. And this has to do with transfer of technology. I recognize there may be others; that is why I asked the question about patents and et cetera.
There are other ultra-wide band companies, and it may be that patents are not particularly the issue here; innovation and what to do with the spectrum is, or below-the-spectrum possibilities. But what does this have to do, including with your device there, with transfer of technology and encryption, the capacity to be able to do the things you are talking about but prevent other people from being able to necessarily get their hands on that technology? Could we prevent that, prevent transfer of technology? Because it sounds like you are out there. Even if you can't patent it, I certainly wouldn't want that. It seems to me you have some unique capabilities is what I am saying.
Mr. PETROFF. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. And we have found ourselves, I am sorry to say, in this nation, having to have people come in and tell us, ''Well, we are just going to transfer all this stuff into circumstances that are going to be used against us.''
Mr. PETROFF. Yes. Well, like any technology, it has a commercial version that is, sort of, a dumbed-down version, and then a very sophisticated military version. And the military version, of course, would reside with the military, but the, sort of, the dumbed-down version, which you could have wireless TVs in your house or you could
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Can encryption be incorporated into your
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Process?
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, sir; it can.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. PETROFF. And just on a different
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You have done research on that. Do you have a program for research on encrypting the process?
Mr. PETROFF. Yes, sir. Yes, sir, we do. We work with
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Has that been funded?
Mr. PETROFF. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Have you had trouble getting that funding?
Mr. PETROFF. It is similar to the process we have gone through on other projects.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. PETROFF. And so, in conclusion, I saw a quote from President Bush the other day. He was asked about military readiness, and he says, ''Our goal is to move beyond marginal improvements, to harness new technologies that will support a new strategy.'' And Time Domain, as a company, stands ready here to help our nation harness this important new technology to the benefit of both our security and our prosperity.
Thank you, sirs.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Petroff can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Petroff. And you notice the staff took away your nameplate to indicate that you wereit is like cleaning out your lockerto indicate that you were finished here. [Laughter.]
Thank you. And we will have, definitely, questions for you. A most interesting presentation, as were all the others.
And I now turn to my good friend and colleague, Mr. Andrews, to introduce the next presenter.
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I speak on behalf of myself and my friend and neighbor, Mr. Saxton. I know Jim had a commitment off the Hill and wanted to be part of this as well.
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Our next panelist is the CEO of a company in Mr. Saxton's district. Mr. Saxton and I are fortunate enough to share this company, though, because many of my constituents are employees of this company.
Our military has been the beneficiary of an amazing array of technological breakthroughs, as has our society in general. But each one of those technologies has one common element, and that is at some level, at some point, it is used by a human being, at least one human being. In the field of national security, the identity of that human being is critical. If the wrong person engages the system, there can calamitous consequences, so it is very important to assure that the right people are interfacing the technology.
Mr. William Voltmer and Iridian, the company he is here today representing, has created a compelling technology to deal with that problem. I have had the opportunity to witness its demonstration at the NSA about two weeks ago. I know that the NSA is very enthusiastic about it. And I am enthusiastic about the fact that the subject of this hearing, which I commend the chairman for calling, is very well represented by the testimony we are about to hear.
One of the byproducts of the explosion of entrepreneurial activity we have seen in our country in recent years is that we have come up with a whole generation of telecommunications, information, networking technology from the private sector that promises great advances for our national security. And I think this committee is very well served by thinking through the ways that we can take full advantage of that private sector leap that has occurred for the purposes of defending our country.
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Mr. Voltmer, we are looking forward to hearing you talk about that this afternoon. I know on behalf of my friend and neighbor, Jim Saxton, and myself, the chairman and our colleagues, we welcome you.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM VOLTMER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, IRIDIAN TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
Mr. VOLTMER. Thank you for the introduction.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you on behalf of Iridian Technologies and specifically about authentication technology and specifically about iris recognition.
I have prepared documents that I would like to admit for the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Mr. VOLTMER. Thank you. I am with Mr. John Siedlarz today, who is the business founder, as well as a gentleman with extensive military experience. And what I would like to do is just give you an introduction about who we are, what we do and demonstrate the technology very quickly.
Iridian Technologies is a privately held small company in New Jersey. We are the owner and developer of iris recognition technology, which authenticates individuals by looking at the patterns of their iris. This authentication technology can be used for any sort of information as well as physical access needs, secure needs.
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Iris recognition fits into the category called biometrics. And what biometrics is is the technology that uses a body part, or some function of a body, to identify people positively. That can be done either in a format that is verification, like comparing a smart card to a live-represented individual, or in the form of an identification process, which is a one-to-many search of a large database.
Historically, biometrics has been centered around fingerprints, and fingerprints have been around for hundreds of years, all centered around forensic and criminal-type activities. But over the last 20 years, the amount of biometrics technology has risen dramatically to the point where degrees of accuracy as well as cost have both improved to the point now where commercial organizations are using this in everyday facility entrance as well as, now, information access.
We think the most effective biometrics is iris recognition, hence we are the owner and developer of it. What we do is, using a video-conferencing camera, we will take a picture of the eye and convert the image of the iris, the colored portion of the eye, the colored portion surrounding the pupil, we will look at those patterns and convert that over into a template and then go through the search process. The accuracy of the technology is outstanding, to say the least. Very simply, if you look at a fingerprint-type technology, they are right 95 percent to 98 percent of the time. We will reject you and ask you try again when we are six places to the right of the decimal place.
So with our degree of accuracy, our fast speed and our exhaustive search capability, we believe we now have the ability to get out into the markets in a very rapid way.
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What I would like to do is first demonstrate this for you. I have a video-conferencing camera here that is an Iridian product. It will be manufactured and distributed by Panasonic in the July time frame. And very simply, from about an arm's distance away, I will simply look at the camera, it will find my eye and identify myself as Bill Voltmer.
John, if you would just click the iris recognition, perform iris recognition, down below, in the middle. That is it. Very simply, I look at the eye, it is done. You saw my eye up in the left-hand corner. And it comes back and says that it is Voltmer, right eye, and it has a nice little picture of me.
If you can imagine that this was me gaining access to a Web application or gaining access to a facility or perhaps numerous other types of applications that need a high degree of individual authentication and security, the process took a couple of seconds, and that is true for a one-to-one search as well as a one-to-many search. The size of the code that we create is very, very small without giving up any degree of accuracy.
If you look at the NIST standard requirements for fingerprints, they require a 500 by 500 dpi template, which creates a template that is 250 kilobytes in size. If you use the FBI-approved process for compression, it goes down to a 16 kilobyte size, or 512 bytes in size, a factor of 32. When you are thinking of data transmission requirements or data storage requirements, this is extremely important.
Additionally, we believe with the degree of accuracy, we actually can promote privacy rather than degrade privacy. First, the individual needs to participate. In other words, they have a choice to be involved with iris recognition or not. We cannot go through a process of finding an individual out of a stadium full of people. We can, in fact, require the individual to cooperate. Additionally, the degree of privacy enhanced because the biographical data, or personal data, of the individual is very different and can be stored separate from the information about the iris code template. Therefore, they do not have to come into play against each other in a single database.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Excuse me, Mr. Voltmer. What exactly is being identified? What exactly is being identified? In other words, if you were doing it for me, and it was to be identified whether I can come into the room or not of a classified hearing, a highly sensitive naturewe want to make sure who is coming through the dooris a picture taken of my eye and then that goes into a repository or something and then is scanned? How does it work?
Mr. VOLTMER. Yes. The process is that we will use a video camera to take the picture, immediately convert that over to a template or an iris code, which is a digital representation of the patterns of the eye and the changes of the patterns of the eye. It is not a representation; it is not a stored image of the eye, so therefore you cannot replay that. That iris code template, which is a hexadecimal file, can then be compared to a database, therefore giving you the privilege to enter into that facility.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. A database that would have been achieved at some time previous.
Mr. VOLTMER. Yes. Initially, you would enroll.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Beg your pardon?
Mr. VOLTMER. You would enroll.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. VOLTMER. So you have certain privileges given to you to get into that building or that facility. Or, initially, you could have used it just to get a smart card and just compare the two.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What happens with your eye changing? I have a cataract that I am dealing with, and I am trying to decide or we are trying to decide whether we operate on it or don't operate on it or at what point we do or don't and so on and so forth, because that is invasive surgery. No matter how common it might be, it nonetheless is. The point being is that I am beginning to learn how much one's eye changes, even from week to week or month to month.
Mr. VOLTMER. The lens changes, the patterns of the retina change, but the iris patterns do not change during the course of your life.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I see.
Mr. VOLTMER. The pupil will expand and contract. The patterns remain the same regardless if it expands or contracts. The color of your iris will change, and therefore, we use shades of gray in our process.
Now, the Department of Defense
Mr. HUNTER. Excuse me, Mr. Voltmer, for one second, too. I know one of our new members of the committee, Mr. Schrock, wants a question.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, Ed, incidentally, we are very informal here, so if you have a question any time, just jump right in. We are all doing that.
Mr. SCHROCK. I am fascinated by this. This is probably a stupid question. Does an eye have a signature like a fingerprint does? My left eye is unlike anybody else's in the world?
Mr. VOLTMER. Your left and right eye are different. All eyes are different. And the degrees of characteristic differences between a fingerprint and the eye are exponentially different.
Mr. SCHROCK. Okay.
Mr. VOLTMER. In other words, the iris is that much more detailed and is well-stable during the course of life, where the fingerprint is not that extensive.
Mr. SCHROCK. Okay. Number two, if there were 100,000 eyes in a bank somewhere, and Mr. Abercrombie's was one of them, and he walked up to that little machine, it would automatically pick him up immediately?
Mr. VOLTMER. Yes. In less than two seconds.
Mr. SCHROCK. Okay. What if Mr. Abercrombie's eye was in there, but just before he came up, he went like this and looked in there? What would happen?
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Mr. VOLTMER. No difference. You could shine a light in his eye, close the pupil
Mr. SCHROCK. So we can't get by with anything, can we?
Mr. VOLTMER. Not really.
Mr. ANDREWS. Bill, is it possible for someone to replicate Mr. Abercrombie's eye? Can they create a decoy?
Mr. VOLTMER. Only in movies. [Laughter.]
And they do show that in movies, and it is a Hollywood gig. It is not true. They cannot, in fact, do that.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. You have given the chairman's prerogative one time. I have been waiting for years for this, so this is perfect. Jim Watt, former secretary of the interior, under Ronald Reagan, told this great story about growing up in Wyoming. And his dad had a small business there and went down to the banker one day to get a loan. And this banker was the toughest banker in the West, and he had a glass eye. And he has just gone to Salt Lake City to get the newest glass eye, very proud of it.
And so after Jim Watt's dad made his pitch, the banker looked him right in the eye and said, ''Okay,'' he said, ''Joe, I am going to give you the loan if you can tell me which one is the glass eye.'' And immediately Jim's dad said, ''Well, it is the one on the right.'' And the banker said, ''Doggone it.'' He reached up and popped the eye out. He said, ''How could you tell?'' And his dad said, ''It was the one with the glimmer of compassion in it.'' [Laughter.]
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I waited 20 years for this. Thank you.
Mr. VOLTMER. I am glad I could afford you the opportunity.
The Department of Defense has, over the last number of years, examined biometrics and recently has begun to extend their interest in biometrics to the point where they have recently appointed the U.S. Army as executive agent for the application of biometrics technology in the armed services. This is called the Biometric Management Office Information Assurance Directorate and Office of the Secretary of the Army.
They, along with the NSA, have tested the use of iris recognition in many different constraints. One of the constraints is chemical warfare MOP gear where most everything of the individual is covered. Your fingers, your hands are covered, your face is covered, therefore you can't use facial recognition, and your voice is in fact degraded. The only thing that you have left to positively identify an individual is to use the iris.
So I would like to take the risk and see if I could show you again using MOP gear, and it should come back as me. There are multiple lenses that you can place on this, and the multiple lenses all work the same. This camera, by the way, is not designed necessarily for MOP gear. This is designed to be a desktop, so it is the same technology throughout. It is just the types of devices or types of plastics used would be different as time changes.
So we believe that there are really three categories of use for the Department of Defense or Armed Services, and I would like to see if I could briefly go through them. The first category is in the sense of application around physical security. There are really four different types of application we think could be used immediately with iris recognition. The first is access authentication to all high-security, restricted and controlled areas, particularly in the nuclear weapons environment. Second, access to intelligence operations
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Mr. HUNTER. This is Wen Ho Lee country, right? Okay. Also, I was thinking, and we were talking about this as you were going through this, that this is within our security program for the weapons base, strategic weapons base in Russia. Beyond the gates, dogs and guards, an identification system like this might be a useful thing.
Mr. VOLTMER. Right.
Mr. HUNTER. Is it cheap?
Mr. VOLTMER. Yes, it is.
Mr. HUNTER. Good.
Mr. VOLTMER. Unlike my colleagues before me, this is a list price of $239, that is it. Quantity, one.
The second application would be access to the intelligence operations and classified data for storage facilities, entry-at-front authorization for personnel at work and lodgings, particularly in high-threat overseas locations.
And fourth, the general antiterrorist applications for entry access control. Positive authentication for voting would also be a nice application.
Information security and assurance. One, personal authentication prior to sensitive communications in the battlefield or in normal operating environments. Personal authentication for network access in both the wide and local area network environments. Sender and receiver authentication for emergency action messages and related high-priority execution orders. And fourth, personal verification of staff coordination on high-priority, high-sensitivity electronic messages, including e-mail.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Tell you what. Mr. Voltmer, we will have some questions for you at the end here. We are going to have a vote, obviously, in 15 minutes. My hopes and dreams would be we have Mr. Neil Levy, who has a great system from California, that I am somewhat familiar with, if Neil could come up, make his presentation, maybe we could get that done before we take off for the next vote.
Rob, what do you think? Sound okay? Okay.
Mr. VOLTMER. Thank you for the opportunity.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Voltmer can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Great, great presentation, and extremely interesting.
One thing I want to do, too. Neil, while you are settling in and this is the nature of the beast here. We have had these doggone votes ripping our hearing apart, but I want the staff to do a summary of our presenters today that is very quick and dirty. And if maybe each presenter can help, it is almost a memorandum, the system you have, what it does and the potential applications and benefits for DOD and then the status, what you are seeking and the present status of the program and any notes on hurdles or problems. And I want to make that available, Neil, for all the members.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Could I just ask that one
Mr. HUNTER. Certainly.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Further thing be taken into account when you do your summaries is what, if any, application of what you have been discussing is possible with respect to the detection of the shipment of drugs? The shipment, obviously, they take all kinds of forms and so on. But if any imaging, et cetera, and I am talking about being able to come through checkpoints and so on to the degree anything can be utilized toward being able to detect objects which don't appear to be what one would expect. In other words, a car is coming through, you have a muffler, and all of a sudden you see there is some objects in the muffler or in a panel or something of that nature.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay? If everybody will take that into consideration, we would appreciate it.
And, Neil, thank you for being with us. And Neil has come up with something that gives us lots of bang for the buck, lots of capability on precision munitions. And for that, we are going to punish him.
And he has a system that has now been tested through a fairly decent stage that basically involves strap-on guidance. You can put it on dumb bombs, of which we have a massive quantity, in contrast to the 50 percent shortfall of so-called smart munitions across the services, and thereby give us a precision capability without spending a lot of money.
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So thank you, Dr. Levy.
And incidentally, we have my good friend Jerry Woods from Northrop here, who is sitting behind you there, the co-chairman of the crab and golf tournament that we do for the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home. And I have asked Jerry to listen carefully, because in my estimation that might be a good hookup with B2 bomber. And that is a California state plane, you know.
So please proceed, and thank you for being with us.
STATEMENT OF DR. NEIL A. LEVY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, LEIGH AEROSYSTEMS CORPORATION
Dr. LEVY. Thanks for your remarks, Mr. Chairman. Knowing that you are going to have to vote, I will try to keep mine
Mr. HUNTER. Got to bring that microphone closer, Neil.
Dr. LEVY. I will try to keep my remarks brief, in light of your having to vote soon. And at this time, I would like to have my remarks entered into the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Dr. LEVY. I am here to talk about a product we call LongShot.
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Mr. HUNTER. And might I say, that is probably the worst name you could have possibly given this thing.
Dr. LEVY. Yes, I know.
Mr. HUNTER. Everybody here has one of those.
Dr. LEVY. Yes, I know. But after you understand what it is, you will understand why we named it that.
LongShot has been, at once, a source of great excitement for us over the past several years, because it does offer what we feel is an unprecedented level of cost-effectiveness for the war-fighter. But at the same time, it has also been a source of continuing frustration, because it has been derived out of the technology that did not follow the accepted path of weapon development within the U.S. Government, the classic ''not invented here'' approach. In spite of this, we believe we have brought LongShot to the point where it can offer a dramatic increase in the operational capabilities of both fighter and bomber aircraft of the U.S. and its allies, and without breaking the bank.
LongShot started in private development about 11, 12 years ago, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We got the idea that, since military planners were going to be thinking more about how to upgrade their existing systems rather than how to buy and invent new and expensive ones, we got the idea of how to upgrade the vast inventories of air-to-surface munitions throughout the world.
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And we came up with this idea of LongShot that would, essentially, allow you to convert an existing dumb bomb in your inventory into a smart standoff weapon, so it would provide both guidance and navigation to a target and also allow the pilot to release the weapon from a standoff distance to protect both himself and his aircraft from surface-to-air threats.
The development of LongShot has been largely private, as I said. It has been a tough road since we have had to compete with well-funded, government-funded and sponsored programs. But we have managed to survive, largely on second mortgages, credit lines and some small foreign contracts.
Well, as I said, LongShot is basically a wing adapter kit, and it attaches to just about any bomb in the inventory as long as it doesn't weigh more than about 1,000 pounds. And the neat thing about it is that it operates completely independent of aircraft systems so that there is absolutely no need to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars that is normally spent to integrate the new weapon with an aircraft type.
The way we do this is through a fairly simple technique that we call the data insertion unit, and it is simply a knee-pad device that the pilot carries with him in the cockpit. And he plugs that into his UHF radio and uses the aircraft's radio to communicate with all of these weapons on his aircraft.
Now, when I was invited to testify before this committee, I was asked if I could bring some hardware, and I thought that, well, yes, we could bring a wing kit here, but it would have to be attached to a bomb, and I had second thoughts about trying to bring that hardware through the front door. The next best thing was to show a video, a short video, and I am going to do that now. And I hope that it is not too far away for the members to be able to see. We can move it closer? Is that okay?
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Mr. HUNTER. How long is your video?
Dr. LEVY. Five minutes.
Mr. HUNTER. It is five?
Dr. LEVY. Five.
Mr. HUNTER. I will tell you what. Why don't we go vote? We will be right back.
Dr. LEVY. Okay.
Mr. HUNTER. Get that baby ready to go, Neil; we want to see it.
Dr. LEVY. It is ready.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Mr. HUNTER. Neil, is your video fired up here? Let's roll it. We can roll the video while we are waiting for Mr. Abercrombie, and then we can show him the second preview.
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Dr. LEVY. Yes, if the chairman is ready.
Mr. HUNTER. Rock 'n' roll. LongShot or ''Gone with the Budget.'' And I will tell you what, let's turn that around so that everybody can see it, too. They are going to be thrilled to see this. I want Rich Carroll to pay particular attention to this. There will be a test.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, Neil, you have shown us enough to know that we have to punish you. So thanks for that great film.
Let me ask you: What kind of costs are you looking at?
Dr. LEVY. It certainly depends upon quantity, but
Mr. HUNTER. Assuming you get your old dumb bombs for nothing.
Dr. LEVY. Yes. The old dumb bombs are some cost, so you are just covering the cost of the wing kit. But I would say in quantities of several hundred, you are talking about $40,000, low $40s per wing kit.
Mr. HUNTER. How does that compare with some of the other systems that we are developing right now?
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Dr. LEVY. It does compare rather directly in performance. I will give you one example. When you attach the wing kit to the CBU87, or otherwise known as the Combined Effects Munition, it is a cluster bomb that has been used widely, recently, in our regional conflicts, it carries the same submunition as carried by the AGM154A JSOW. The difference is that the CBU87 carries 202 of those bomblets, whereas Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) carries 145.
The range performance is similar. The LongShot version will attain roughly 40 nautical miles, which is the minimum, I believe, stated for JSOW. On the other hand, when you attach it to a Mark 82, 500 pound general purpose bomb, it will exceed 60 nautical miles in range, which will give it somewhat greater range than JSOW.
When you attach it to the sensor-fused weapon, or the CBU97, the LongShot will deliver 68 percent more BLU108 submunitions on the target than the B version of JSOW will, because the SFW carries 10 of the BLU108 sensor-fused submunitions, whereas the B version of JSOW carries six. So you are getting considerably more area coverage at a somewhat lower cost.
The cost comparison with the A version of JSOW, though, is more dramatic, because the CBU87 would be considered a sunk cost, and therefore, the difference between the two weapons would be a factor of five.
Mr. HUNTER. Explain.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Money. How much money?
Dr. LEVY. Oh. JSOW, roughly $200,000 to deliver 145 bomblets. And LongShot equipped CBU87, $40,000 to deliver 202 bomblets. It performs the same mission and has the same accuracy, because it uses the same satellites for its navigational information.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. May I?
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. Go right ahead.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The video is one thing. How do we know that what you say in the video is true? What have you done by way of tests. Obviously, I know you wouldn't be here had you not done them, but both for the record and for my own edification as a new member.
Dr. LEVY. Okay. We have done, to date, about 36 releases from about five different aircraft types, using four different munitions. Most of these have been outside the U.S., because we are looked upon in the foreign market as a very affordable solution to satisfy Precision Guided Munition (PGM) acquisition programs with foreign air forces. And for some, LongShots are the only solution, because there is no way that they could afford
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So your sales right now are overseas.
Dr. LEVY. Most of them. However, we do have one existing U.S. Air Force contract, which is a demonstration to show the capability of LongShot at Eglin Air Force, and those tests will be completed within the next, I would say, three months.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Couldn't the Air Force or any other American military entity be privy to the presumed recorded, filmed, whatever proof that you have from what you are doing overseas?
Dr. LEVY. Well, we have opened up our databases to the Air Force. The Air Force knows pretty much what we have done overseas.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, I have read through your testimony, and is it fair to say that your contention is that, at least, it is hard not to conclude that there are other institutional forces for whom finding something that is better, faster and cheaper is not necessarily the desired outcome?
Dr. LEVY. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That is what you are up against.
Dr. LEVY. Yes, absolutely.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So there are institutional forces at work here.
Dr. LEVY. Yes. That is largely
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I sense, in your testimony, a frustration that it is not that you are not good enough or that you can't stay in the ring with somebody. It is that somebody doesn't want to fight you in the first place.
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Dr. LEVY. Yes. Well, that is true, and, I mean, that is natural. Everybody has a fear of being displaced. By the same token, our aim is not to displace anything that is ongoing. But we know, for instance, that there is a critical shortage of Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) within the services, and there is a projected shortage over the next five years. And LongShot is a perfect way to ensure that the services can have adequate numbers of PGMs for the next 20 years. In fact, recently, there were articles published about the Navy's projected shortages for PGMs through 2005, and
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes. I am interested in that, because it came out of the Pacific, didn't it?
Dr. LEVY. Yes. Admiral Fargo was interviewed and bemoaned the critical lack of PGMs in the near term. And he made, what was to me, the astounding statement that, after we are out of PGMs, we are back to dumb bombs. Well, that sent me reeling, and I posted a letter to Admiral Fargo saying, ''Hey, Admiral, we are here.''
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Could you get me or get the committee a copy of that
Dr. LEVY. Sure.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Letter to Admiral Fargo?
One last thing. Again, please forgive me my lack of sophistication in this. In fact, I commented during the presentation, I said, ''Can this really be done with laser-guided bombs?''
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Dr. LEVY. Yes. The purpose of LongShot on the laser-guided bomb is simply to provide it long legs, so that once LongShot delivers it to a target area, it releases it, and the bomb just thinks it has been released from an aircraft and goes about its business. Its laser system becomes active at that point.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Does this kit and your system associated with it, when we are dealing with dumb bombs here, does that then make them smart or does it just help the dumb bomb to be a little dumb in the first place?
Dr. LEVY. Oh, no. It makes the real dumb bomb smart, and forget about the laser
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
Dr. LEVY [continuing]. Ones for a minute. But you take a 500 or 1,000 pound general purpose bomb.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Right. General purpose is what I am referring to.
Dr. LEVY. Which is as dumb as they come.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Pardon?
Dr. LEVY. Which is as dumb as they come, all right? You put a LongShot kit on it, and you can drop it from 50 miles away and have an accuracy essentially the same as what we are getting from JDAM, because it uses the same information. So you are getting a 13-meter circular error, probable (CEP) accuracy. Otherwise, dumb bombs, you know, you are talking about several hundred feet or even meters without any guidance. So you have both guidance and accuracy afforded to these bombs.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Levy can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you very much, Neil, and hang tough and wait for some questions.
Dr. LEVY. Okay. I have brought other copies of this video for any of the members who want to view it at their leisure.
Mr. HUNTER. Great. Okay. I really appreciate that.
Again, we are going to send out this summary to all the guys that missed a lot of our hearing due to our votes.
And, Neil, you have Dr. Patrick Sullivan. Would you like to introduce him?
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I certainly would. Thank you.
And, Dr. Sullivan, you will be the last presenter today, Mr. Chairman, and for the edification of others who maybe haven't had a chance to get really well acquainted during the long absences that we have had during this hearing.
Dr. Sullivan was the last person in today. He arrived, just literally, before the hearing from Hawaii, so he is very bright-eyed and eager and, of course, will not mix up his metaphors or anything today during his presentation. Why don't you take a stretch beforehand.
I wanted to say one other thing, Mr. Chairman, and I don't suppose I have to say it to anybody in the room, but, again, for the record, the garden variety cynicism says that members of Congress are unreachable, not accessible, et cetera, that the average person doesn't have a clue as to how to get next to us. The political vaudevillians on television talk about buying access and all the rest of it.
Dr. Sullivan, I can tell you, the reason he is here today is because he got an appointment with me. He said that he had something that I needed to know about, and so I try to see as many folks as I can. But I think he was somewhat surprised when we actually got together. I am not trying to put words in his mouth, but
Dr. SULLIVAN. It is true.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. I don't think he ever expected to be here today. But the point of it is, Mr. Chairman, the reason I, when we were given the opportunity to have this hearing, I said that I wanted to have him here is because I thought, by God, here is someone who fills just about every criteria that we have discussed at different points about entrepreneurship, about trying to put your brains to work on behalf of the national interest, of being not a gigantic company or having tremendous facilities at your command but good ideas and a lot of perseverance and sweat and concentration. So I think that what he has to talk about today, aside from philosophically, if you will, fulfilling the bill, I think is going to be a very nice conclusion to this extraordinary hearing that we have had today.
STATEMENT OF DR. PATRICK K. SULLIVAN, FOUNDER, CEO, PRESIDENT OF OCEANIT
Dr. SULLIVAN. Thank you, Congressman Abercrombie and Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am really delighted and honored to be here.
As Congressman Abercrombie was pointing out, I am sort of the, I don't want to say American dream, because it is maybe an overused metaphor, but I grew up in a family with five kids. We all worked our ways through college, started Oceanit with about 100 bucks in 1985. We employ about 100 people now. We are in Hawaii.
We solve strange problems, partly by accident, I suppose, because when I started Oceanit, we thought we would do more research. It took a few years to get the first research contracts going, but we had a knack for finding solutions to weird problems, and the company has evolved around that. We have now three areas where we try to productize things. One is in information technology. One is in biotechnology. One is in environmental industrial technology.
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But it is really quite an honor to be here, and I am amazed myself. So thanks for taking the time and being here at the end of the day. I know everybody must be kind of tired, and the rest of the room here is full of people that have sat here, and I hope this is worth your while.
Next slide, please. I put this slide in because to some extent this theme underscores some of the things going on today. We take for granted that aircraft work. Obviously, I wouldn't be here if it didn't. But we have a distinguished person from a position of authority saying it is not possible. This happens all the time to small businesses. It is one of the unique things about small businesses that we have to develop a value proposition in order to make the business work, particularly in the areas of technology. And that is what I am going to really talk about today, some of the things that we do at Oceanit, in particular, as it addresses space and how we have developed some unique value propositions.
The areas, too, just to note, that we received funding through the SBIR program for two programs, two areas. One is called HANDS; one is called TODEM. One is supported by Air Force; one is supported by NASA.
Next slide. This is to give you kind of an overview of some of the problems associated with space and the areas where we tried to focus. And I think in the testimony I provided, I talked about chaos and nightmares. I think what you will see here is what happens or one of the issues before us, I think, as a country and how we deal with space, and that is the area of space debris. There have been massive investments in space, both by the Department of Defense and the commercial sector. This is the possibility of a satellite getting hit by a piece of debris.
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This next one now is actually a replay of a French satellite that was disabled in 1996. The debris that disabled it wasn't being tracked by the Americans, although later it was discovered that it was, in fact, a piece of rocket from a French rocket, took out a French satellite. I guess that is what they get.
This is one of the challenges, though, is this debris, making more debris and causing a cascade of debris that could render the planet, the low Earth orbit zone inoperable for a long time. And this is an area where we focus. This is a simulation of a Cold War scenario by the former Soviet Union and disabling American satellites by casting debris. So there is a lot of ways to disable our space infrastructure, and there continues to be major investments into space.
Next slide, please. And by the way, I should note that in the latest issue of ''Defense News,'' I think the country of Turkey is looking at establishing a Turkish space agency. I think China has major interest in developing and more aggressively pursuing space. I think Iran was looking at buying the Mir from the Russians. So everybody wants a piece of it.
HANDS, or High Accuracy Network Determination System, is something that Oceanit developed. And when we first proposed this, we were told it wouldn't work. Again, back to the earlier slide about aircraft, it happens more than you think. And it is because larger companies and institutions, sort of, have an interest in continuing with their legacy system.
What we were able to do is develop a concept that provides very accurate, less than an arc-second, positioning in space for a fraction of the cost of what it is done for today; in essence, creating a distributed space surveillance network, using these small optics, a small footprint and connecting it all to the Internet, so you get information on what is going on 247 around the planet.
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Next slide. This is actual data taken about a month ago. This is a third-stage booster launch vehicle that just happened to come through our image. This was done while we were just testing something on Maui, no special preparation. Don't have to be at high altitude. What we have done is integrate a lot of class technologies and clever software and analytical tools. But what we have is five geosync satellites; we have a couple that could be spy satellites; and we have this rocket launch booster just passing through the picture.
This is an extremely inexpensive way to do what costs the government a lot of money today, and I think it has a lot of potential for commercial as well as Department of Defense applications. This is our hardware approach to this problem.
Next slide. For objects that are small, however, and as you can see here, this is a small pellet that hit a piece of aluminum plate about two inches thick. The pellet was moving at about 7,000 miles an hour. In outer space, they are moving more like 20,000 miles an hour. But as you can see, the small pellet can do quite a bit of damage. These pellets and objects this size, and there are a lot of them in space; they are very hard to track, and so the ability to predict and model, that becomes the effective management tool. And that is what we have developed.
Next slide, please. TODEM, for Total Orbital Debris Environmental and Engineering Model, was funded by NASA through an SBIR. And the interesting thing about this is that it is an Internet deal without the dot-com part of it. We took what was a legacy system. NASA has invested 15 years and a lot of money into a technology called Evolve. It is only available to a few. It is really designed to run on mainframe computers.
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What we have developed is a total Web-based system that is available to people all the time. And with a Web-based system, you can have different versions and different types of functionality available to the users. It becomes a very important tool then for engineering and design and risk assessment. So you can apply the same type of risk thinking that you might have for a 16-year-old driving a car. What is the risk of getting in an accident? What is the insurance worth? What sort of damage to the car, the vehicle, to the person might we expect under different scenarios? That is essentially what TODEM provides.
Next slide, please. And this just gives you an idea, but it is available on the Web. It is very adaptable to a multitude of scenarios. It is very accessible. That is one of the beauties of the Web. So anybody, anywhere, anytime can use it. It has high scalability, and it has a lot of different functionality that can be built into it. And, again, from the standpoint of national security, there are versions that could be made available to commercial space versus Department of Defense space. And I think that from the earlier slides in the video that show the debris fields in space, it is in everybody's best interest to keep the environment clean, because it is going to be a horrendous problem once it gets polluted more than it is.
Next slide, please. This sort of summarizes the value proposition. HANDS is a measurement system that is hardware; whereas TODEM is a model that is software. Both are dealing with low cost and accessibility, back to theI don't want to say Wal-Martbut essentially it is very, very inexpensive, over what is available today. The HANDS is very insertion-friendly. You could put this in embassies around the globe. No major special preparation. It is an integrated network. One station alone will not defeat the network and will not provide proprietary information to the user. And it has a major application in missile defense.
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The nice thing about TODEM
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. In what sense does it have the application in missile defense?
Dr. SULLIVAN. Well, just as you saw the booster launch going through the picture, you can be tracking things in the sky with this. And it is automatic. So you don't have to have an operator. You can put in exceedence events and threshold characteristics. Then when something occurs, it will notify you right away. We already do this with software and other things; we do atmospheric measurements, for example. When there is an exceedence event, pagers go off, e-mails go out. You can do something just like this here.
The nice thing, too, about TODEM is the fact that it is very scalable in the real Internet sense, so that you can have multiple users running all different sorts of scenarios. Interesting thing, too, is that just as when you log onto Yahoo or when you log onto America Online, they are tracking who you are, what you are doing. You can do the same thing. You can know who is using it, what sort of scenarios are they tracking, what kinds of conditions are they looking at? I think it is some terrific potential.
Both of these, again, were supported through competitive SBIRs. They were just ideas that we had. We threw them in, and there were some people or somebody in that whole chain that said, ''This is a really cool thing. We want to try it.'' And, again, not everybody thought we could do it. As a matter of fact, the conventional thinking said that it couldn't be done. But I think we were able to prove them wrong. Anyway, this is my last slide.
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Again, I appreciate you taking the time to hear what I have, and I would be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What proposals do you have at this stage, in terms of seeking funding or seeking support?
Dr. SULLIVAN. Well, what we really need is what would be considered a phase-three support. And that is, basically, the roll out of the technology. So what you do in a phase one is a sanity check; phase two, you demonstrate it; phase three, you implement it. And phase three, there is no funding for that. And that is where SBIR is a fine program, but it doesn't provide for phase-three support.
Mr. HUNTER. Then the sanity check is why did you go forward with this thing to phase two, right?
Dr. SULLIVAN. Right. Well, exactly. And that is the irony, is that the way SBIR is set up, you can bring some awesome technology to the table, but you can't necessarily get the program to buy it. And that is because there is no provision with the acquisition process, the way it is set up, to move it into the acquisition cycle.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What institutional barriers exist in your particular instance for TODEM and HANDS? What institutional barriers are there now to prevent the funding or the implementation? What is in the way? What obstacles are there?
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. SULLIVAN. Well, one of the things that is, sort of, unique to the way technology is moving is the way the acquisition process is designed today. It is kind of like, if you go back not too many years, if you are going to put up a building, you do plans and specs, you put it out to bid, you go through this whole thing. But by the time you get ready to build, the technology to build, it hasn't changed. That is not the case today.
So one of the things is that this kind of technology is really out of sync with the acquisition cycle. And to get it spun up into the cycle could take years. And it sort of reminds me of, as an example, a personal story, but my wife had a law practice for about 12 years, took a job with the city and decided was going to automate the city permitting system. She brought home the plan
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Which means she had some councilmen who understood what she wanted to do.
Dr. SULLIVAN. That is right. And Congressman Abercrombie, years ago, was a councilman in Honolulu.
But what happened was, she had the plans and specs and showed them to me. And I looked at them, I said, ''I don't think you can buy this stuff anymore.'' It took three years to figure out the cycle to get it to the point where they were going to buy it. It was too late. That is one of the issues going on here. The technology's evolving that fast.
The other thing is that, as much as possible, we are trying to include COTS technology. Things that other people are doing well, you integrate it into what you are doing. That is not necessarily the way the acquisition cycle was put together. It is a very long, laborious thing that, by the time you get to being able to do the acquisition, everything has changed.
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[The prepared statement of Dr. Sullivan can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. I will tell you what, Dr. Sullivan, you had a great point here, because this is kind of one of the points for everybody. Can everybody come up and take a seat here?
Neil, this is our problem, and I want to hear everybody comment on this thing that thinks they have something to add. Neil, with your indulgence.
We have a system which is extremely slow, in terms of getting things into the field, fielding technology, and it is not a speed of technology, because the technology is moving very quickly; it is the speed of bureaucracy. And it is a total mismatch with the speed of technological development.
And I think Rich Carroll's point is kind of your point, Dr. Sullivan. Here we have this ability, this microprocessing capability, which is going up like a rocket, but we had, in our submarines, these old legacy systems shackled to hardware where the old prime contractor would say, ''Give me a six-year contract, and we will see if we can change one boat.'' And so what we did was, we built a way that you could evolve this stuff through quickly and thereby built ourselves a capability of riding the technology. And you have just given this great description of, by the time you get through the acquisition stuff, the stuff is old.
But here is a problem we have. There is one reason why it is so laborious to get through this stuff, and that is us. And it is, I guess to some degree, it is the fairness issue. I mean it is a reason why you have mill specs for potato chips. Nobody is really so dumb as to think that GIs need to have extra strong potato chips. But what we have done is we have done these mill specs for everything on the basis that that is the only way to have a fair competition.
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Because somewhere down the line somebody won a potato chip competition, and there was an appeal by one of the losers, and they said, ''We made much better potato chips or weightier or whatever,'' so somebody slapped his head in DOD and said, ''What we really needed was to define precisely what type of military potato chip we wanted, and that would make the level playing field for everybody.''
So the question to anyone here who wants to answer this thing is, how do we have a system that quickly gets stuff into the field and still passes the hurdles that we in Congress have always laid down, which is the fair competition hurdle, making sure everybody gets their chance to put their ore in the water and gets their chance to bid on precisely the same thing and gets their chance to review the decision and gets their chance to protest and on down the line? Who will have at that one? And I want to hear from all of you, so everybody will get a chance.
Mr. CARROLL. Okay. I will take my first shot at it, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Abercrombie.
I am going to describe the SBIR program, because the advantage of building something that allows for acquisition of innovative technologies into your acquisition programs in the Department of Defense, our acquisition programs, if we can start with the SBIR program, we have come a long way, because it already satisfies the Competition in Contracting Act, as put forth by this Congress. You have heard a number of companies here have developed under that program.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There is a competition in phase one, and any company under 500 people can compete. And there are plenty of competitions where, if you are under 500 people, you can't compete. So that is not unfair to larger companies. They have competitions we are unable to compete in. And, phase two, you competitively win that as well, and under that procurement you are competing against other innovative ideas that have passed phase one for funding. And the current law allows for phase three to continue without further competition, and we will have satisfied the Competition in Contracting Act.
So in many respects, under that process, it is not a matter of fairness. You have already passed all the laws necessary to allow it to occur. It is a matter of culture. It is a matter that DOD doesn't want to see new things come their way and that causes a disruption in a program of record that they may have. It may be a disruptive program of record for a particular technology. As an example of something like that, there was, in fact, in the case of our sonar, already a sonar program of record that was to deliver in 2001, and we delivered in 1998 with something they hadn't even planned on. That is a disruption to that program, and they tend to resist those types of disruptions.
Mr. HUNTER. So you are saying it is a handoff, if you will, from where you guys aren't in somebody's rice bowl.
Mr. CARROLL. It is a culture change.
Mr. HUNTER. You are doing your proposals, you are interacting with the guys that are reviewing them, but when you get down to the point where you are actually going to want a service to buy them, at that point, the service's own stovepipe of acquisition path now has an invader, if you will.
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Mr. CARROLL. That is right. That has an invader. And the culture to change that culture really would be a requirement for them to look at alternative technologies during the development of their program and, essentially, require them to look at these new innovative technologies that are out there on a regular basis and not just stay with the program that they have currently.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, and you recall, Rich, one thing that we had that we started off on a couple years ago was our so-called Challenge program where anybody could say, ''Hey, I can get from A to B quicker than the existing system,'' and when we first put this thing together it was hoped that we would be able to build a structure in the Pentagon where you would have some honest broker who would have the technical skills.
This is the great former Congressman, Brian Bilbray, my turkey-hunting partner. Don't leave home without me. If we miss turkey season, this is going to be really bad.
But getting back to this thing, you have the system where you are trying to get this done, and you have the military that has their own system. But if you have a right to challenge the system that is in place and say, ''Okay, I can get from A to B cheaper or faster or more efficiently,'' and you have the honest broker in the Pentagon with the technical skills and his staff to let the challenger make his pitch, whether it is a total system or a subsystem of a big system, and then let the defender, that is the big prime or whoever, says, ''Hey, this is going to kill the integration of theyou know, we have a lot of factors here, and it is mission impossible,'' let him make his pitch as to why it is mission impossible, and then make a clean cut on whether or not it could be accepted, that would be one way to allow people to come in.
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But it looks to me like this handoff is maybe a more difficult thing, Rich, than a change in culture. And if you want to answer that, I want to go to other people too, because I want them to answer the base question.
Mr. CARROLL. All right. I am going to say just one quick addition about the honest broker. A requirement that you cannot both evaluate alternative technologies and be providing a technology of your own would be a very good requirement for you to put on the Department of Defense. In many cases, the evaluators of our technology are providing an alternative technology themselves, and it shouldn't be surprising that they say, ''Gee, we don't think yours is the right technology.'' And a requirement that you have to be an honest broker if you are evaluating an alternative technology would be a very constructive thing, in my opinion.
Mr. HUNTER. And Neil, let's go right down the line and see if, on this general idea, does anybody have comments they want to make on this thing?
Mr. SIEDLARZ. Mr. Chairman, my name is John Siedlarz. I have, I think, the unusual perspective of having spent 20 years on both sides: 20 years in the military buying systems or being influential on what systems were required; and then another 20 years, in essence, selling them to both the Defense Department as well as to industry. And I think what the gentleman said is largely true, but the idea for an honest broker has to accompanied by some notion or process for a fast-track acquisition.
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Because what you are trying to do is layer on the current acquisition system, which doesn't really allow for the initiative of doing something like we are suggesting here. It is easy to say that there are hidden agendas on the part of the Pentagon and all that, but the truth of the matter is their hands are tied, as well, by a cumbersome system, both in terms of budgeting and in terms of acquisition.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. So you are talking about a fast field system that we could lock into, and when you come up with something that is good, that is new, that is going to be efficient, you can field it.
Mr. SIEDLARZ. Right. And it can't just be a layer on top of what we have now. It has to be an alternative to that, but that doesn't mean creating a whole new program. It might be at much lower funding levels; it might have much more specifics to it that allow initiatives from small businesses and all the other things that we have used before, like the SBIR and the Small Business Incentive programs, whatever, couple those together.
But they are still all part of the problem today, because the basic problem hasn't been solved. We are still burdened by that heavy system, by three-year projections, by five-year projections and by the funding cycles that are necessary to sustain a program once it is initiated. And nobody wants to give it up when they have had two or three years of funding. And they see themselves near fruition, and somebody comes in with a great idea, it is tough to walk away from that.
Mr. HUNTER. Sure.
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SIEDLARZ. So we have to look at it a different way.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. We have to make a quick cut.
Yes, sir. Mr. Karangelen, and then in the back. Yes, sir.
Mr. KARANGELEN. I think that the notion that we have a cultural problem is really a good one. Program managers have a tremendous amount of power to make decisions in their programs today. I don't think you need to legislate. I mean, I think, in the past, acquisition reform has really given them the power.
But, at the same time, their hands are tied by the program of record. It is very difficult for them to demonstrate any agility in their programs, because they are in lock step trying to execute those programs. I think we need a way to incentivize these program managers to do the exact thing you suggest. It is not that they don't have the power to do it. It is just that it is very hard for them to do it.
And it is very difficult for them to find honest brokers. I agree with Rich entirely that many times we have been evaluated by laboratories or organizations that have a dog in the fight. And that is very frustrating, not just from a fairness point of view, but from the point of view of what is really good and in the best interest of our country. It is nice to be able to stand up and wave the flag and say that we really believe this is in the best interest of our country. And I think in a lot of cases it is hard for a program manager to do that when he has other forces that are really weighing on him.
Page 109 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Yes. And maybe because the system is so long, he looks at his incumbent, if you will, and here this guy has been paying his dues, going through the cumbersome system himself for five years, and he feels, ''My gosh, if I knock these guys out now, nobody else is going to step up to the plate.'' Because we forced him to go through this system that we built, and he has gone through the torture, and the last thing I am going to do is, ''Hey, we found a guy that will do it for 20 percent of the cost.'' I think there is a motivation, at that point, to protect the status quo almost on the basis of equity.
Mr. KARANGELEN. That is right. Mr. Chairman, it is human nature to form a bond with your primary provider. I mean a program manager looks to his prime, not just to provide the system, but in a lot of ways to support him in his program and in his career. And that is a difficult thing for him to turn his back on, when in fact something better might come along. So his agility, I like to use the term agility, he doesn't have any.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, wait, wait, wait, wait. Okay. I understand all that. I am a sociologist. I understand small group dynamics, but that is not what we are talking about. I mean, I am not saying this is your position, but if that mentality is allowed to succeed or if we acquiesce to that on the basis, well, that it is human nature in a big social construct, then it would almost be like if the general of the German staff would say, ''You know, we really ought to attack the Maginot Line, because look at all the effort that went into the French in putting it together and all that. It is kind of cheating to run through Belgium. You know, that was a compelling argument that succeeded. And in this particular instance, I mean, where my views go on this, is that we are talking about whether people get killed or not.''
Mr. KARANGELEN. Mr. Abercrombie, I am not advocating
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Oh, I know you are not. What I am saying is, I think you are answering the chairman's question. And what I am thinking about and what I wanted to ask at this juncturebecause it is late, and please forgive me for interrupting you, but I have your point; I am sure we both dois that I am thinking about what we can do as legislators. We are not theologians, despite what we sound like on occasion; we are legislators. And, therefore, we have to try to come up with something that we can affect by way of authorizing and by way of setting direction to the people who find themselves in that dilemma.
And what I am thinking about here is perhaps, not even less-than-honest-broker thing, but coming to the point about if you fund phase one, somebody won that. You had to get through whatever thicket exists there. Then you get to phase two, which is your demonstration phase. Now, to me, if something is demonstrated, you asked somebody to demonstrate it, that is a serious step, because it meant you wanted it, you wanted to see if it worked, to put it in Dr. Sullivan's terms. So if it does work, shouldn't we write some legislation, then, in phase three, along the lines of you have to show cause why you wouldn't implement it, as opposed to throwing you to the vagaries of whatever winds are blowing in terms of either personal relations or institutional history?
Mr. KARANGELEN. I believe it is just that kind of legislation that might give them an incentive to do that, as opposed to letting
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Almost a kind of show-cause kind of thing as to why you wouldn't implement it. Let me take the question of the kit, the LongShot. Wouldn't you have to show cause as to why you wouldn't want to do that? And the cause can't be because Lockheed Martin doesn't like it or whomever. And I picked there, I picked Lockheed, I could somebody else, because what is happening here, as you know, is this whole consolidation thing and to these conglomerates, which almost by definition are going to clump down Frankensteinean paths, not because they are bad people or anything else, but for the sociological reasons that you have cited earlier.
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Mr. HUNTER. Would you yield on that?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Sure, I am sorry.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. On that point, my thoughts are this: I think it is human nature, just like it is human nature with us, to attach ourselves to a constituency which has been there for us and which does have a supportive role. And so my thoughts were that this wouldn't be a program manager who is making the cut, because I think it would almost disserve the program manager. It would ask him to get rid of one of his children. I think the guy that would have to do that would be in the secretary for acquisitions office with some tough-minded folks, with some independent engineering experience, who are smart enough to be able to really know the system.
So that when the undersecretary for acquisition called in the program manager on a system and said, ''Hey, I want to walk you through this, okay? We have this company that says we go from A to B. Here is their new technology. They do it for 20 percent of the cost, and they ran these six tests. Now, bring your guys in and show me why this doesn't work.'' And when he brings his guys and they make their pitch, he is smart enough and has enough technical expertise that he knows whether their objections are real or not.
And if they aren't real, he has the power. He is empowered by SecDef to make the cut. And what that will result in is, maybe, somebody who has become strongly attached. I mean we have great people working in these companies, and they are out there working hard, and I think all of us become attached to our colleagues. And so that ends up with a program manager calling in the company that has been doing this thing and saying, ''Joe, you are a great team, you have worked really hard, but let me tell you, the acquisition secretary called me in. We worked this thing six ways from Sunday. I made your case, believe me I did, but it didn't pan out. We are going to have to cut you free.''
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So, you are right, Neil, we are talking about people's lives, we are talking about national security. I think it has to be the third party. But that could be under the secretary for acquisitions office. Now what do you guys think about that?
Mr. KARANGELEN. I, personally, would like, maybe, this group to give you a written response to that answer. I would like to think about that a little bit more.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Excuse me. If you are going to do that, remember, if you are at the secretary's level, then those people are answerable directly to us in terms of oversight. And if you have someone like Mr. Hunter in charge, you can bet that that wouldn't sit fallow.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes, and Mr. Abercrombie here.
We have a gentleman in the back. Yes, sir. This is General Dynamics.
Mr. KELLER. My name is Mike Keller. I work with
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I meant to use General Dynamics as the bad guy rather than Lockheed Martin, by the way.
Mr. HUNTER. They are great Americans, too.
Mr. KELLER. First of all, my name is Mike Keller. I work with Dr. Pouring, and I used to be in DDR&E, and I spent nine years there. And also worked for the Marine Corps.
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My advice to you in this whole matter is, the whole budget program element structure reflects nothing to you. It doesn't tell you anything about the status of intellectual property, competitiveness, what is going on in the commercial world. I mean, we assigned a program element when I was in DDR&E, it was like a dart board. And so as a result, managers at Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and elsewhere have no obligation, by virtue of their program element, to be kept aware of what is going on commercially at any level.
And I have just finished a study for the OSD, and I can tell you I have asked 15 people who I have interviewed whether they use the intellectual property information in any part of their work, and the answer is, ''Why?'' They don't say, ''No.'' They say, ''Why?'' And so my advice to you is, the only way to get at it is to change the program element budgeting number system, which currently means nothing with respect to anything other than that is the project number. And that is the way to get at it.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Very good. Anybody else on this thing?
Dr. SULLIVAN. I was just going to make a comment in response to a few comments back. But one of the things that needs to also be considered that is part of this is, in the review process the FFRDCs, which are Federally Funded R&D Centers and have served a very critical value to the country, but I think needs to be reviewed, and perhaps what it represented before in the 1940s is not what it represents today. And what we see in the review process is objectivity compromised because a vested interest in the outcome, even within the FFRDCs. They play both sides of the fence, happens all the time. And I am sure others here have had similar experiences. And that becomes one of the issues that undermines the process.
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The other thing I was going to also get to on the phase three is just the total amount of funding that goes into SBIR. It is treated as a tax, and I think within different parts of Department of Defense, it is regarded more highly than others. It is sort of an annoyance to some of them, play money, I think. Looking at how it is structured might create more seriousness in terms of the value of it and transitioning phase twos to phase threes. So that is additional background.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Dr. LEVY. Yes. I would like to make a comment about the fact that I think there are various levels of problems here. For instance, you are comparing the case where a company is advancing the technology out of its infancy, and that is where maybe the program manager is the guy to take the task. Whereas, some company who has largely spent all of the development money that it needed to on a project, well, that is maybe where it goes to the assistant secretary level, where there is nobody else around to make a decision on where the development money is going to come from. So, you know, the problem lies in many places.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Any other comments on this?
Mr. CARROLL. I would make one more comment that I think, over the years, it has been satisfactorily demonstrated that involving small, high-technology companies in technology projects, whether they be commercial of DOD, always seems to move innovation ahead rapidly, and especially in computer technology biotechnology, and in addition to providing the avenues for this to occur, that you are looking at, legislatively, to monitor to see whether or not your DOD actually engages the community at a level commensurate with what you see other places to determine whether it is effective or not.
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I think, like you said, Congressman Abercrombie, requiring at least justification why they don't go to phase three if you spent time in phase one and phase two and it is demonstrated, you could get a lot of people justifying why it couldn't go to phase three, because excuses can be made. But if the aggregate number that don't go to phase three isn't consistent with what happens in the rest of our society relative to the companies our size, you know that those are just excuses.
Mr. HUNTER. And in the end, you have to have people with really good judgment who have the big picture in mind; and that is, who have the need to get more bang for the buck, the people that want to watch our fielding of weapons systems parallel the radical uprise in technology so that we are riding technology. And I think we have some folks like that who are going to be working in the administration. I think what I would like to do is to have all of you who have other ideas on this, as well as your own projects, because we want to engage on that, too, to give us any ideas you have on this.
And Neil, we ought to sit down with the new guys in the administration and see if they don't have some agreement. I mean they are talking about the, so-called, skip-a-generation of systems. That may be another way of saying, ''Field the best stuff available,'' and it takes you a long time to field stuff now. It is like a generator, an electricity generator in California. It takes so long to get one sited, that you have stuff that is 35 percent inefficient when you are waiting to get it done.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. By way of perspective on that for you folks so that you don'tI don't think you think you are wasting time today, but to make sureyou may be pioneers in thisthis will not be the last hearing of this nature that is going to be held by this committee, if I understand the chairman's direction correctly.
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Mr. HUNTER. Absolutely.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Also, I want to add for purposes of perspective, I am very much in favor of what is being done by Secretary Rumsfeld and the thrust of the administration in this. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue.
Now, some people are screaming. Well, again, this is the political vaudevillians out there, that talk about, ''Well, we were supposed to get a lot of infusion of money right away.'' And when it comes to maintenance and equipment and training and that, I am all for that. That is an immediate need that in some instances has been suppressed because of some of the elements that you have all cited today: bureaucratic inertia, acquisition problems that have sucked up vast amounts of money and cannibalized other parts of the military budget. So I think we should be reevaluating how we are doing them.
And the reason I bring it up at this point is, is that you folks may be able to make pioneering efforts here in making a substantive institutional change in how we deal with this phase-three question. This is not an academic exercise here today. We really, genuinely need your collective thoughts on what do we do practically in terms of legislation to get over this phase-three hump and obstacle that exists now.
And I can assure you that I could speak for the chairman in this instance in saying that this will be taken seriously, and to the degree we are able to achieve something, put forward legislatively in the midst of this whole review as to how do we reconstitute the military in the 21st century to be worthy of our charge here, both in Congress and for those who are contributing to the national defense.
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Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Plus, this may ruin Rumsfeld's whole approach now that he knows that I think it is a good idea, I don't know.
Mr. HUNTER. I think he is going to appreciate that, Neil.
And I want to thank Kate Gordon also for sticking around here and Jesse for helping out as much as he has in this hearing. Because this has been a long arduous hearing here, not because of you guys but because of our terrible voting schedule today.
I want to close with this little quote from Bob Lautrup. I don't know who gave me this. Okay, the gentleman in the back.
What is your name again, sir?
Mr. KELLER. Mike Keller.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Well, Mike, I will read your quote. It is pretty good. It says, ''It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system, for the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones,'' Machiavelli, 1513.
Page 118 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So understanding the challenge that we face, let's march forward and try to get something done here. And if we can make a small change that can plug you guys and lots of guys like you into this system where we can field technology quickly, that is going to help this country. Then we will have done a service for this country.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, before we close
Mr. HUNTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE [continuing]. Could I ask you to kind of formally request of the group, to the degree that anybody is willing to volunteer, to try to put together a collective response on the question of how we move the, I am going to say, phase threenow, that is kind of very crude of way of putting the whole discussionbut move this phase three into something
Mr. HUNTER. Absolutely. Let's do that. And if anybody wants to take the particular lead on that. I know Rich has been working SBIR. If you want to be the point of contact for people to work with, Rich, that would be great. And if anybody else wants to work that thing, too, in terms of being the point of contact, that would be super. So why don't you guys talk it over and figure this baby out.
Is that good enough, Neil? Okay.
Thanks so much, and thank you for your time, gentlemen. We know it is valuable, and we appreciate it.
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The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:25 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 22, 2001
[The Appendix is pending.]