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Safety through supercomputing. The Army Corps of Engineers used supercomputers to prepare for an attack on the Pentagon long before Sept. 11.

Officials say some of the prepara- tions paid off.

Many more people would have lost their lives if part of the Pentagon hadn't been recently renovated with reinforced steel beams and blast-resistant windows, which were tested in simulated bombing scenarios by the Army Corps of Engineers, officials said.

The Army Corps uses supercomputers to model the effects bombs would have on different structures, said Dennis Van Derlaske, who works in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

The Army Corps' modeling included the testing and evaluation of more than 100 window designs using supercomputers, Derlaske said in a presentation last month at the Homeland Security and National Defense Symposium in Atlantic City, N.J.

Derlaske said the Army Corps of Engineers is now using the same supercomputers to analyze the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon to evaluate which structures held up and which ones toppled under the impact.

Lines of communication. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego has awarded two $40 million contracts to Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. to advance its next-generation narrowband satellite communications system.

During the 14-month contract, the companies will conduct architecture and risk reduction work on the Mobile User Objective System, a system for communicating with U.S. and allied users at both fixed and mobile terminals.

The new mobile system will be a component of the Defense Department's Advanced Narrowband Communications system and will replace the Navy's Ultra High Frequency Follow-On system over the next two decades.

Paul Scearce, Lockheed Martin's MUOS program manager, said the system will expand the capacity for ultra-high-frequency communications.

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