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Posted: Sep 29, 2005  14:17

Idaho Defense Projects Cleared by Committee


The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved several projects for Idaho in the fiscal year 2006 Defense Appropriations bill. Idaho Senator Larry Craig is a member of the Committee, which wrote the bill.

“Idaho has long played a key role in the nation’s defense efforts and will continue to do so, and I’m pleased the Committee agrees,” said Craig. “The research, development and training in these projects will help keep our men and women in uniform on the cutting edge of technology and safety. With Idaho’s help, they will remain the best-equipped, best-trained forces in the world.”

Idaho projects include:

Critical Infrastructure Test Range at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) ($10 million) Funds will be used to upgrade and apply capabilities at the INL Critical Infrastructure Test Range to support Department of Defense critical infrastructure requirements.

Medical Modeling and Simulation through Synthetic Digital Genes ($1.75 million) This initiative continues research and development on ways to provide a risk-free, realistic learning environment for medical skills training, from buddy aid to trauma surgery procedures, using high fidelity modeling.

Characterization, Reliability, and Applications of Three-Dimensional Micro-Structures – Boise State University ($3 million) This is part of a multi-year funding effort. BSU is developing layered microchips, which will allow chip designers and manufacturers to pack increasingly more electronics into the same footprint. Much like a city will build taller buildings to put more in less space, this approach seeks to layer chips – a technology still very much under development.

Rural Electronic Medical Record/Teleradiology System ($2 million) This project would upgrade the current teleradiology and EMR technologies to allow the continuation of these services to rural areas.

Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) Manufacturing Improvement ($4 million) This initiative seeks to improve the manufacture of read out integrated circuit (ROIC) semiconductors, which is vital to the development of the new Joint Strike Fighter. AMI Semiconductor of Idaho is nationally preeminent in this technology. The Air Force is expected to work with AMI on this project.

Advanced Materials Deposition for Semiconductor Nanostructures Using Supercritical Fluids – University of Idaho ($1.4 million) Supports critical research and testing to incorporate these technologies into the manufacturing process for semiconductor products like computer chips and sensors.

Advanced Unmanned Vehicle System Development ($7 million) Utilizing the assets of INL, this proposal would develop, test, and evaluate an integrated unmanned protection system in support of transport security missions.

Small Accelerators and Detection Systems for Homeland Defense and National Security Applications ($2.5 million) The Idaho Accelerator Center at Idaho State University will continue to develop portable, high-intensity, radiation producing accelerators that can be used to destroy a wide variety of chemical and biological agents. Idaho State University would use its state-of-the-art pulsed electron accelerator to research and develop radiation-producing, high-dose rate accelerators capable of destroying chemical and biological agents without harming nearby materials, people, or facilities.

Advanced Lead Acid Battery Development for Military Vehicles – University of Idaho ($1.5 million) The U of I has a renowned history in battery development, and is a logical partner in the research and design of increasingly superior batteries for our military.

Naval Acoustic Research Detachment (Bayview) ($8 million) This will fund ongoing research and development of quiet hull and propulsion designs for the next generation of naval vessels, including the SeaJet model of the DDX destroyer.

Magnetic Random-Access Memory (MRAM) Innovative Communications Materials – University of Idaho ($1 million) This ongoing research will combine MRAM cells, which are intrinsically radiation-hard, with radiation-tolerant microelectronics, leading to low power, nonvolatile memories that function in space.

Information Therapy Program ($2.6 million) Funding will help the Department of Defense improve healthcare quality through the use of electronic health records and other health information technology initiatives.

Credibility Assessment Research Initiative - Boise State University ($1.75 million) Supporting research to improve the reliability of polygraph screenings.

Advanced Microwave Ferrite Research for RF Systems ($2.5 million) Critical to point-to-point communication and RADAR systems are the class of microwave devices that employ ferrite materials. Incorporating these into smaller and more portable microwave communication devices is an important research thrust of the military.

Remediation of Environments Contaminated by Ammonium Perchlorate – University of Idaho ($1 million) This project will characterize at the molecular level the microbial populations most successful and efficient at promoting the degradation of perchlorate to innocuous products.

Systematic Hierarchical Approach to Radiation Hardened Electronics (SHARE) ($4 million) Consistent, reliable performance of integrated circuitry used in space-deployed communication, surveillance, and guidance systems is a persistent problem for the military services. The Air Force is pursuing technologies and techniques that will ensure a ready, economical, domestic capability for producing radiation-hardened circuitry using the most advanced commercial processes. SHARE has been identified by the Air Force as a critical capability that will facilitate collaboration among commercial circuit designers, simulation software vendors, and fabrication facilities.

Naval Surface Warfare Center at INL ($3 million) To continue research and manufacture engineering of frequency selective surfaces for absorbing and emitting infrared radiation.

Molecular Approach to Hazardous Materials Decontamination ($1 million) This fundamental research is needed to formulate a new generation of decontamination solutions that will be faster, more efficient, versatile, stable, environmentally friendly, and easy to use, as well as effective against the threats of today and unknown, future threats.

Smart Prosthetic Devices Technology – Idaho State University ($1 million) The goal of this project is to research, develop, and demonstrate a “smart” prosthetic device that provides people who are missing limbs – whether they are veterans with combat injuries or non-veterans with other injuries – the ability to have natural/human-like motions using synergy of mycology, signal processing, robotics, control, and micro-technology.

DNA Safeguard Project – Boise State University ($1 million) The DNA safeguard marker is a DNA-based label that will be included in sample collection vessels used in DNA collection. The marker will assure the public that the blood or cheek samples they provide cannot be planted or accidentally contaminate evidence.

As members of their respective Appropriations Committees, Senator Craig and Idaho Representative Mike Simpson cooperate to ensure federal spending is restrained, tax dollars are appropriately spent, and that high-priority Idaho projects are included.

More information on the appropriations process is available at

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