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NSF awards supercomputing grants

The National Science Foundation has tapped two universities for a new program that will replace its supercomputing centers.

An academic and research institution partnership led by the University of California San Diego and one led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will each be awarded five-year grants not to exceed $170 million.The grants will be awarded as part of NSF's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure competition. The project is designed to create a national "mega-computing" environment which will consist of high-performance computers data servers storage devices and visualization systems linked by high-speed networks so that their aggregate power can be applied to research problems that cannot be solved any other way.v

DOD awards contracts to GRC Unisys

The Defense Department last week awarded GRC International Inc. and Unisys Corp. contracts to develop and maintain the U.S. Conventional Forces Database. GRC's pact is valued at $57.6 million and Unisys' contract is worth $48.1 million.

The companies will provide technical support services to develop and maintain computational tools databases and models used to analyze the effectiveness of conventional forces on worldwide and regional levels according to Federal Sources Inc. McLean Va.

Commerce officials shift positions

A number of key managers are changing at the Commerce Department. Fred Alt chief financial officer and acting associate director for information technology at the Census Bureau is headed to the General Services Administration to be controller for GSA's Public Buildings Service.

Earlier this month Alt replaced the former IT director Arnold Jackson who left to join Arthur Andersen.

Brad Huther associate commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office is expected to take up the post of deputy director of Census replacing Bryant Benton who is retiring. No one has been named to fill Huther's post at PTO.

Scott Gould deputy assistant secretary for finance and management at Treasury is expected to move over to Commerce to be the CFO and assistant secretary for administration a post now held by Ray Kammer who is reportedly moving back to the National Institute of Standards and Technology as its deputy director.

FAA cancels pact uses other contracts

The Federal Aviation Administration last week canceled the $250 million Air Traffic Management System Development and Integration (ATMSDI) program in favor of using another contract to revolutionize the way air traffic is managed.

The FAA announced on its home page that it would use other contracts such as the En Route Software Development and Support II (ERSDS II) pact to fulfill the requirements of ATMSDI. Computer Sciences Corp. is the prime contractor for ERSDS II.

By overhauling the ATM infrastructure and deploying advanced traffic flow management tools the FAA hopes to build a seamless management environment in which airlines can have great flexibility in selecting the most efficient paths for a given flight known as free flight.

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