Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., or HTSI, is one of a number of U.S. engineering services companies angling for a piece of the action as the U.S. Air Force looks to consolidate major elements of its space-related ground infrastructure.
A longstanding prime contractor on the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN), HTSI has to be considered a leading contender for the billion-dollar Consolidated Air Force Satellite Control Network Modifications, Maintenance and Operations, or CAMMO, program, which would combine that contract with two others that support the service’s satellite operations.
In contrast, HTSI has no current activities that would be folded into the multibillion-dollar Launch and Test Range Systems Integrated Support Contract, or LISC, program, which consolidates three separate contracts providing for the operation and maintenance of the Air Force’s two main launch ranges.
Carey Smith says HTSI’s work on other engineering services contracts, including a long-running contract to support NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, along with prior range support to the suborbital sounding rocket program at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, will be applicable to the LISC program. HTSI is teamed with the former technology division of CSC, now part of PAE, in the competition for the LISC contract, now slated for award in September.
The Goddard contract is a mainstay of HTSI’s civil space business, and includes support for the center’s ongoing science missions. The company also supports the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s geostationary-orbiting weather satellite program, as well as the long-running series of Landsat satellites operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Smith views HTSI’s U.S. government business as stable, with opportunities for modest growth in the years ahead. The company’s international business, supporting eight to 10 government space programs, has more growth potential.
HTSI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell that falls within the parent company’s Defense and Space Group, a provider of, among other things, satellite communications, navigation and avionics gear.
Smith spoke recently with SpaceNews Editor Warren Ferster.
How is HTSI organized?
We have basically three segments within the organization. The first one is space engineering and operations. The second is security, which is both physical security and cybersecurity. And the third one is logistics and health.
Can you give me a sense of the size of your business?
We’re one of the larger businesses within Honeywell’s space and defense portfolio. We have roughly 5,000 people at just under 100 locations worldwide.
How much of your revenue is space-related?
Roughly a third [but] it’s broader than space. We have a group called Space Engineering and Operations that also includes other efforts like support to the USGS for seismology work, and work for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for weapons instrumentation testing.
Have your space-related revenues grown over the last five years?
They’ve been very steady, very stable. We predict they’re going to go up slightly. We’re not exclusively in the U.S. market. We have work in Japan, Germany, Australia, India, Europe and South Africa. That makes us a little unique compared to a lot of the U.S. space firms. The other difference with Honeywell is our commercial nature.
What’s the growth potential for your U.S. government business?
The NASA market is anticipated to be about a plus 1 or 2 percent. But there are a lot of countries that have major space-related activities underway.
Who are your biggest international customers?
India, Japan, Korea.
What types of services are they buying?
It’s product support as well as some space geodesy and space laser ranging work. We’re starting to get into ground systems as well.
Can you explain space geodesy and space laser ranging?
Through space geodesy, the international community uses a variety of techniques like space laser ranging and very long-baseline interferometry to define Earth’s geodetic reference frame. HTSI has been a key contributor to the international community since the 1970s.
Are you happy with the proportion of space business in your overall portfolio?
I’m happy, but always looking for new opportunities. Our two fastest-growing market areas are security and health care. The security business couples in very nicely with the space business because right now one of the major needs of the space networks is for information assurance and we provide cybersecurity services. We do certification and accreditation — that’s one of our core competencies. It couples quite well with the space area and where space needs to go in the future.
Can you expand a bit on the relationship between cyber and satellite security?
We are providing extreme protection of networks for satellite and terrestrial systems, each with unique system requirements. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed an information security protocol. It’s evolving right now into the next generation, which will be the risk management framework. Our role is to come in and make sure that those networks are secure from any cyber threats and cover those framework areas. I’m really not at liberty to talk about types of threats.
What’s the size of your international business compared with the U.S. government business?
The U.S. government is our largest customer but our international opportunity is growing.
Does HTSI provide any support services to commercial satellite operators today?
No. Not today. But the broader Honeywell Defense and Space supports commercial satellite operators.
Why not? That seems right up your alley especially since, as you point out, Honeywell is a commercial company.
It’s something that we would definitely be interested in. And we’ve had discussions with many of the commercial providers. I don’t think anything is keeping us out of it. It’s just that in the past our focus has been on NASA, the military, NOAA, USGS. We’re looking at commercial grounds systems right now.
You’re bidding in partnership with the former CSC applied technology division — now part of PAE — for LISC. Do you have any legacy business in launch range support?
Although we do not have current business that is rolling into LISC, we do have past range experience. HTSI was the range operations and maintenance contractor for NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, supporting range operations and maintenance for over 10 years.
Who are your teammates on the CAMMO bid?
Our primary teammate is Raytheon and we haven’t really disclosed the rest of the team. What I will say is that it’s an extremely strong team of very proven performers around the two primary aspects, both the operations as well as the Satellite Control Network. The award will likely be late 2015 to 2016 now with the delays.
Are you concerned at all about potential commercialization of the Air Force Satellite Control Network?
The commercialization of the AFSCN does not concern us, as we feel that Honeywell is positioned to best support the Air Force in any future direction. We think it makes sense for the long term that they need to get some commercial support for the AFSCN mission and we strongly support the path that they’re headed.
But won’t the outsourcing of certain Air Force satellite control functions reduce the scope of work under CAMMO?
I think it helps the Air Force leverage the use of the network to other users. CAMMO will remain the sustainment piece — CAMMO is basically going to be the sustainment of the AFSCN as commercial capability is introduced. The commercial provisioning won’t affect CAMMO in the near-term.
What kinds of modernization work have you performed under the Air Force Satellite Control Network contract?
We’ve had two recent, very successful project completions on the Satellite Control Network. We’re developing the remote, block-change hybrid units, which basically modernize the electronics with the legacy antennas. It will provide automated satellite contacts, improve redundancy, improve the tracking range — an extremely successful project for us. The other one is the Electronic Scheduling Determination program, which basically replaces an old [disk operating] system with a Microsoft scheduling system. We’ve been in the process of modernizing the network because the system is so old, it really needs to be upgraded for better sustainment capabilities.
How closely do you work with the products group on contract bids and execution?
Quite a bit. Not just with the products group but across Honeywell. An example of that is cyber. We have one Honeywell cyber team that covers the entire company. We have one Honeywell space team. So we get together very frequently.
Can you give me some examples of how these groups work together on bids?
One that we submitted recently is the Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract that’s coming out of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command. That’s an example of where you have to develop prototype systems and it’s a combination of services competencies plus product development competencies. So we pulled in our HTSI group, our space group and our missiles and ammunition group to respond to that.
The other one I’ll give you was the General Services Administration’s OASIS [One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services] contract. We bid five of the six domains and were awarded all five domains, and that included everything because you have domains that cover aviation, aircraft parts, space — very, very broad scopes. That contract is potentially worth $60 billion over 10 years.
Who are the primary space customers on the OASIS contract?
It’s open to any users across the government. The Air Force has said, particularly on the life-cycle management center, that they intend to use it almost exclusively for their work. I was down at Redstone Arsenal recently meeting with customers there — the Army’s Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, the Missile Defense Agency — they’re all taking a look at it.
Do you have much work for the Missile Defense Agency?
Currently it’s at more of a second-tier level. One thing that my group is looking at is the upcoming MDA Engineering and Support Services contract as that goes into repeat.
Would you be looking to be a prime contractor or subcontractor on that?
We would be looking to prime.