Lockheed lab to advance software collaboration

Lockheed Martin Corp. will build and operate a collaboration and experimentation environment for developing software under a 36-month, $2.2 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The environment is for academic researchers, contractors' software developers and systems engineers, Defense Department program and research sponsors and vendors.

The contract supports Phase II of the Software-Intensive Systems Producibility Initiative. The project is expected to improve the quality of software created for military applications while reducing development costs. The system is called Spruce.

The lack of systematic collaboration among members of the development community has made it difficult for DOD to find and adopt new technologies. As a result, the department has had ongoing issues with software producibility, which refers to the ability of software-intensive systems to function and evolve.

Spruce will allow the community to use a uniform, collaborative process to identify, develop, experiment and transition new technologies. Officials anticipate dramatic efficiencies in time, cost and integration.

"We expect to revolutionize the way software-producibility technologies are identified, discovered, developed, evaluated and transitioned," said Rick Buskens, manager of advanced software technology research at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratories.

Spruce will be an open, Web-accessible collaboration and experimentation environment. It will use commercial hardware, customized collaboration software and a commercial and customized experiment infrastructure.

To initially populate Spruce with technologies for evaluation, the Advanced Technology Laboratories team will take advantage of Lockheed Martin's Software Technology Initiative, a $6 million, multiyear program that is solving issues associated with building and integrating software-intensive systems.

The organization leads a team composed of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Drexel University and Vanderbilt University.

Lockheed Martin ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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