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Shh, a roundup of things we've heard ...

Here's a roundup of tidbits of news and deals by government and contractor players in Top Secret America that we've recently heard.

We picked these because either (a) there are mega bucks involved that will make your head spin; or (b) they make you say, hmm, that's an interesting, gee whiz technology.

*Wheel of Fortune -- As Pat Sajak's contestants would say on his game show, "Big money, Big money! -- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) spent $8.3 billion in the past few weeks with contractors to do its spy work.

In one deal, DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colo., won a contract worth $3.5 billion and in another GeoEye Imagery Collection Systems of Dulles received a $3.8 billion contract. The contracts are part of the "EnhancedView" commercial imagery program. Under the agreements, the companies will "help meet the increasing geospatial intelligence needs of the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense," according to the NGA. Translation: The companies will use some of the money to build new satellites and get them into orbit. The deals could go for 10 years, if the government extends the option years.

They weren't the only ones to hit the wheel big from NGA.

NGA threw some greenbacks to SAIC, too. It won a share of TASER -- no, it is not some sort of police stun gun. It is the "Total Application Services for Enterprise Requirements" contract, a five-year deal that's an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a total value of $1 billion for SAIC and a host of other big players, including BAE, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Booz Allen Hamilton. SAIC said it will "research and implement innovative solutions to emerging critical geospatial intelligence requirements," as part of the deal.

*Money talks -- Lockheed Martin of Bethesda spent $3.2 million lobbying Washington in the second quarter of this year.

That's down slightly from the $3.3 million Lockheed spent in the same quarter a year ago. The company is the biggest defense contractor in the country and one of the top 10 in Top Secret America, based on the number of locations where it does work.

Lockheed focused its spending on Pentagon issues dealing with "cyber security, shipbuilding, aircraft and legislation affecting overseas trade in weapons," according to an Associated Press article.

*Keep out those eavesdroppers! -- Falls Church-based USIS said it has launched a new "proprietary mobile construction surveillance system," called SiteBoss. The company said "construction surveillance technicians (also known as CSTs) can put the surveillance systems onto a Toughbook laptop and track the architecture and construction of a high-security government building.

"You use it so you don't have to use a clipboard," said Michael John, a spokesman for the company.

USIS's press releases describes it this way: "The system with 256-bit encryption allows a CST to file construction data reports, sync them to servers and record every detail in real time that's occurring on a job site."

Why use this at all? The company says to prevent incidents like the one in August 1985, when it says work on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was "halted after a U.S. inspection team discovered numerous eavesdropping devices in the building." USIS has deals with the government to make sure listening devices don't get smuggled into buildings and hidden in walls as they're being built.

Do you have other interesting tidbits to share of contract awards, gee whiz technologies or things that readers might be surprised to find are contracted out in Top Secret America? Send them to me at hedgpethd@washpost.com. Please write in the subject line: weekly roundup suggestion.

By Dana Hedgpeth  |  August 27, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
 | Tags: Contracting, Defense Contractors, Weekly Roundup  
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Next: Tale of the Tomahawk

Comments

ooooh, shhhhh, its all a secret... sheesh! come up with something or give up, this is getting pathetic.

Posted by: jesusHhong | September 1, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

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