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Scottsdale, AZ, United States, 2010/02/02 - Scottsdale technology firm, STARA Technologies, Inc. awarded $23M Navy contract (Alternative Energy Sources for Battlefields).
STARA Technologies Inc., an innovator in “rapid development” engineering solutions for both commercial and government customers, has been awarded a $23 million dollar contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division for research and development efforts associated with alternative energy sources for persistent ground surveillance systems.
STARA’s president Colin McCavitt stated, “The United States Department of Defense is determined to explore new ways to introduce renewable power sources into the battlefield. Due to Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain, sketchy roads and hostile insurgents, gasoline is frequently air lifted into Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) via helicopter, vastly increasing the price of a gallon of gas.”
Gen. James Conway, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, told a Navy Energy Forum recently that transporting fuel into Afghanistan and Iraq along risky and dangerous routes can raise the cost of a gallon of gas from $1.00 up to $400, and in the event of an airlift, the price can be as high as $1,000 per gallon.
To address this problem, STARA has modified its Scottsdale Airpark training facility as well as its Gilbert facility to include an integration center, designed to test and evaluate renewable resource technologies for rapid incorporation into the field.
Last month at an assessment exercise at the Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG), STARA demonstrated their portable, solar and wind powered surveillance trailer that will help protect US troops operating in remote areas of Afghanistan. McCavitt commented “The first thing you notice is the lack of noise. Anyone that has worked with the military is familiar with the incessant rumble of diesel generators, which power the entire infrastructure of a FOB. Because this surveillance system is being powered by our renewable power trailer, its noise free.“
During the week long test at YPG, STARA’s portable power trailer provided 24 hour, nonstop power to a high end surveillance camera and a portable radar unit continuously for five days. “We stopped at five days because we had to go home”, joked STARA’s Chief Engineer Glen Bailey. “Theoretically we could have operated indefinitely, but in reality it all depends on the sun. If these same electronics had been powered by diesel fuel in Afghanistan, those five days would have could cost the tax payer anywhere between $50,000 and $120,000.”
STARA is scheduled to develop and deliver twenty four of these renewable energy source trailers over the next three years, and anticipates hiring up to 100 new employees to operate and maintain these units overseas.
Company info: STARA Technologies Inc., is a custom engineering firm which specializes in rapid development of engineering solutions for both commercial and government customers.