September 10, 2009

Crapo, Risch Funding Requests Approved

Defense-related funding benefits Idaho universities, businesses

Washington, DC - Idaho funding requests for defense and military-related projects submitted by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch were approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 apply to many universities and employers in Idaho, and the funding may also be augmented through ongoing federal programs. The funding levels must still be approved by the full Senate but recommendations by Senate appropriators are generally accepted for annual budgeting purposes.

Among the Crapo and Risch requests approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today:

• $4 million, American Semiconductor, Inc., Domestic Manufacturing of 45nm Electronics (DOME) - Boise.  An initiative to implement a 45nm state-of-the-art wafer fabrication capability to meet current and future system requirements for fabrication of specialized integrated circuits in a broadly available foundry capacity that can serve all DOD, DOE and NASA agencies requiring custom integrated circuits.

• $3.75 million, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Support Equipment for Time Critical Targeting, Senior Scout - Idaho Falls.  Expands communication systems designed to simulate real world terrorist networks to test and evaluate tactics, techniques and procedures; provides joint training for all facets of the intelligence, surveillance, and the reconnaissance chain.

• $4 million, Unitech Composites, Composite Bottles for Survival Egress Air - Hayden.  Reduces the bulk and weight of Army personal compressed air systems used in emergency exiting helicopters through the use of composites in place of metal canisters, to improve air capacity for survivability and meet ballistic threshold requirements.

• $2 million, University of Idaho, Electromagnetic Signature Assessment System using Multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Phase III - Moscow and Bayview.  Integrates easily deployable electromagnetic and acoustic measurement systems into small autonomous underwater vehicles to assess the signature of a forward-deployed ship or submarine, and assuring its stealth condition relative to potential threats, especially torpedoes and mines.

• $5 million, Idaho National Laboratory, Disaster Response: Risk Assessment of Networked Critical Infrastructure - Idaho Falls. Develops a networked and distributed risk assessment capability for the DOD, with the goal of providing DOD an enhanced capability to simulate, assess, and develop techniques to sustain mission operations when critical infrastructures are threatened by either natural disasters or events such as cyber attacks.

• $2 million, ATK - CCI/Speer, 5.56 mm Aluminum Cartridge Case - Lewiston.  Supports a DOD initiative to eliminate heavy metal components from priming mixtures by capitalizing on industry technology development efforts to find potential heavy metal free compounds that can be applied to military small-caliber ammunition requirements.

• $2 million, Boise Technology, Inc., Laser Studied and Enhanced Reactive Materials: Self-Decontaminating Polymers for Chem-Bio Defense - Nampa.  Supports a DOD requirement to improve the chemical/biological protection capability of the present chemical-biological suit by studying the molecular scale properties of the materials interactions with threat agents and the environment to develop new self-deactivating or "self-decontaminating" materials.

• $1 million, Boise State University, Reconfigurable Electronics and Non-Volatile Memory Research - Boise.  Study on materials systems and electronic devices for reconfigurable electronics and phase-change memory applications to develop new memory devices capable of maintaining information in the absence of electrical power systems or in the presence of radiation sources.

• $1 million, Idaho State University, Security Solutions from Life in Extreme Environments Center - Pocatello.  A study focusing on the molecular mechanisms that enable extremely radiation-resistant extremophiles to survive radiation levels orders of magnitude greater than what humans can withstand, with the goal of decreasing radiation resistance of biological weapons and increase the effectiveness of radiation sterilization applications.

• $1 million, Idaho National Laboratory, Electric Grid Reliability/Assurance - Idaho Falls.  This project would develop the capability to perform research and testing of the effects of Electromagnetic Pulse attacks on the electric power grid and associated control systems, critical communications systems, and other defense critical infrastructure.

"High-tech companies and research universities in Idaho have long distinguished themselves in research and development initiatives to improve our nation's security and support our men and women in uniform," said Crapo. "This recognition by Senate Appropriators once again demonstrates the talent and research expertise we have in Idaho regarding innovation and excellence related to our national defense. I am proud to support these projects and will continue to work to see that these funding requests from Idahoans make it through to the final Department of Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010."

"The contracts awarded to Idaho researchers and companies show the important role our state continues to play in national defense through the development of equipment and technologies that make the jobs of our military men and women more effective and safe," said Risch. "I was also pleased to see the committee increased funding for C-17's and the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account-something I pushed for earlier this year in the Supplemental Appropriations bill. Over the past decade the equipment our National Guard and Reserve troops rely on has simply worn out due to extensive use, and this funding will go a long way toward replenishing it."