Daily Business Report-May 13, 2015
An X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator performs a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Atlantic Ocean. Photographer: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter/U.S. Navy via Getty Images
Armed Drones Seen as Dogfight Ready
In the Not-Too-Distant Future
As the fighter jet of the future rolls and climbs to outmaneuver an enemy plane and bore in for the kill, one thing will be missing: a pilot.
That’s the vision of Northrop Grumman Corp., which is working on an autonomous fighter programmed for aerial combat without human control. Northrop has already refueled its experimental X-47B unmanned combat jet in flight and made takeoffs and landings from an aircraft carrier.
“It’s a very dynamic, moving 3-D environment,” said Scott Winship, Northrop’s vice president of advanced warfare development. “It’s a difficult problem. But it’s something that we’re very keen to resolve.”
As drone makers and users gathered this week in Atlanta to discuss topics such as package deliveries and airborne surveys of rail lines, U.S. defense contractors outlined the emergence of vastly more complex technology in pilotless aviation. While a dogfighting drone remains “a ways out,” as Winship put it, the time frame for achieving that capability may be measured in years, not decades.
The U.S. military and Central Intelligence Agency have long used remotely piloted drones, including General Atomics’ propeller-driven Predator and Northrop’s Global Hawk jet, for surveillance and strikes against terrorists. Their suitability for more combat is limited because of slower speeds and wingspans too wide for aircraft carriers.
Experimental models such Northrop’s X-47B are showing how far the capabilities of unmanned aircraft can be pushed, Winship said in an interview.
“It’s fully autonomous,” Winship said. “It will do all the things it’s supposed to go do without having to call home.”
Northrop, the fifth-largest U.S. defense contractor, isn’t alone in developing drones that go beyond reconnaissance missions. Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and General Atomics are all working on a plane for the U.S. Navy’s unmanned carrier-launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program.
— Bloomberg Businessweek
Library and Comic-Con International
To Present ‘Art of Comic-Con’ Exhibit
The San Diego Public Library will partner with Comic-Con International to sponsor an exhibition that features original art by more than 60 comic artists and traces the history of Comic-Con from its beginning in San Diego 45 years ago.
“The Art of Comic-Con” will open on June 20 in the art gallery on the ninth floor of the San Diego Central Library. It will run through Aug. 30. A reception will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on opening day.
The exhibit will offer a sneak peek into the evolving process of creating comic art. Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to see process drawings in a variety of mediums that were used in souvenir and program books for Comic-Con, WonderCon, and APE, the Alternative Press Expo. Artworks that are representative of the comic books and art that Comic-Con International presents to a growing audience.
Select pieces from the organization’s archives will be exhibited, including works by Sergio Aragonés, Howard Chaykin, Cliff Chiang, Michael Cho, Colleen Coover, Rick Geary, Gilbert Hernandez, Jim Lee, Dave McKean, Frank Miller, Marshall Rogers, John Romita Jr., Bill Sienkiewicz, William Stout, Babs Tarr, and others.
The exhibition was developed and jointly organized by Kara West, the Library’s arts and culture exhibition manager, and Gary Sassaman, Comic-Con International’s director of print and digital media.
Preuss School UCSD Ranked Best
High School In San Diego County
The Preuss School UCSD — a charter middle and high school for low-income students, has been ranked the best high school in San Diego County by U.S. News & World Report, which recently released its annual list of “Best High Schools.”
Located on the campus of UC San Diego, the school is also ranked the 5th best high school in California, the 9th best charter school in the country and 39th overall in the nation.
“For more than 15 years, The Preuss School has offered students a pathway to college and the opportunity to transform their lives and the lives of those around them,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are proud to be recognized as one of the nation’s best high schools.”
To compile the list, U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 19,000 eligible public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, a comprehensive rankings methodology was used, which was based on two key principles: that a great high school must serve all students well, not just those who will go to college, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators. A three-step process was then used to determine the Best High Schools.
While Preuss was ranked 5th in California, it was the only school in the top 5 that requires that all prospective students must be from a low-income family and have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college. At 97 percent, Preuss tied with another school for the highest minority population of the top 5 schools.
UC San Diego Renames School
To Reflect Broadened Scope
The School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego will become the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, effective July 1, the university announced.
The new name reflects the increasingly broadened scope of the school’s research impact worldwide. In addition to the name change, the school’s Master of Pacific and International Affairs degree will become a Master of International Affairs, a more standard degree awarded by international relations schools, which will also recognize students’ studies beyond the Pacific region.
To support the school, local philanthropists and community leaders Joan and Irwin Jacobs have designated $4 million, through their Dunaway Foundation, to transform and expand the school’s Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies into the Center for Global Transformation. The newly renamed center will focus on understanding and quantifying the consequences of global economic changes and technological growth.
Irwin Jacobs is the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Inc. and a former faculty member at UC San Diego.
“The name School of Global Policy and Strategy is a fitting representation of the school’s trajectory to match the profound transformations of our increasingly globalized world,” said Peter Cowhey, dean of the school. “We are truly grateful to the Jacobs for their vision and support of strategic direction.”
County Supervisors Bring 2 More Rural
Fire Districts Under County Fire Authority
The county Board of Supervisors approved a series of administrative steps toward bringing two more rural fire districts under the umbrella of the County Fire Authority. Tuesday’s board action allows the Fire Authority to assume the assets and liabilities of the Rural and Pine Valley Fire Protection Districts.
The districts have filed applications with the Local Agency Formation Commission to dissolve and transfer responsibility for fire services to the county. The transfer is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
When complete, the Fire Authority will be directly responsible for services in 1.59 million acres, marking the completion of the consolidation and fire service improvement plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors about seven years ago.
The Fire Authority already supports fire services in the Rural and Pine Valley districts by funding CAL FIRE, the operational lead in the County Fire Authority, to augment fire coverage for both districts. Residents will notice no change in services once the administrative transfer is complete.
On Tuesday, Fire Authority staff and a CAL FIRE deputy chief highlighted the many improvements to rural fire protection since the formation of the Fire Authority in 2008. Some of these were noted by the San Diego County Grand Jury in its report released Monday. The body also made recommendations for further county coordination, and staff said they are reviewing those.
Recent improvements in rural response include adding paramedics to CAL FIRE stations. The Fire Authority placed four of these paramedic-firefighters into service since last spring, and by summer, seven stations will have advanced lifesaving capabilities.
Supervisors Pass Measures in Response
To State Orders to Cut Back on Water Use
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a package of measures to respond to state orders to cut back on water use in the face of California’s continuing
drought. The supervisors, who blasted state officials for not taking previous conservation measures into account when mandatory cutbacks were ordered last week, voted unanimously to continue retrofitting water systems at county facilities, installing artificial turf at county-run playing fields and reducing the operating hours of the fountains at the downtown Waterfront Park.
The county also plans to lessen irrigation along county roads, eliminate watering of plants in roadway medians, connect a water reclamation system at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee, and study the feasibility of such a system for nonpotable uses at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.
Projects envisioned by county staff will cost $14.8 million, of which $13.2 million would be entirely new appropriations, according to April Heinze, the county director of general services. She said more than half of the water used at county facilities was consumed at jails, and the amounts have increased annually since the state’s prison realignment plan sent more inmates to county detention centers.
— City News Service
Stephanie Conduff-Rogers Joins Procopio
Stephanie Conduff-Rogers has joined Procopio law firm’s Real Estate and Environmental team and is a member of the Native American Law practice group.
Conduff-Rogers’ practice emphasizes working with tribal governments, individual Native people and companies doing business in Indian Country. She provides advice and strategic policy analysis on national regulatory issues and advises clients of the legal and policy issues. Her work focuses on tribal sovereignty and self-governance, tribal lands and the federal trust responsibility.
While in law school, Conduff-Rogers joined an international human rights legal clinic that traveled to Bogota, Colombia to work on a report for the United Nations. She currently works with the Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee of the Federal Indian Health Service, which meets quarterly in Washington, D.C.
DeVry University Names San Diego Campus Director
Gregory Pace has been named president of the San Diego campus of DeVry University. Pace has been Tampa campus director since 2013.
Pace holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree from Old Dominion University.
Before joining the university, Pace was with Washington Mutual Bank and the Huffy Corp. He served in the Marine Corps for more than 12 years.
Cabrillo Festival Added to Fleet Week Roster
The San Diego Fleet Week Foundation has added the 52nd annual Cabrillo Festival to its roster of events. The celebration recreates the voyage of Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who, sailing under the flag of Spain, landed on the shore of San Diego Bay on Sept. 28, 1542.
The pivotal moment in history is remembered every year with a series of events hosted by Cabrillo Festival Inc. and the National Park Service — now joined by Fleet Week San Diego.
“Cabrillo Festival is an historical San Diego tradition, celebrated on one of our leading military bases,” said Brian Sack, executive director of the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation. “Pooling our resources to commemorate this event and honor our military was a natural fit.”
The festival will be held at Ballast Point on Naval Base Point Loma, south end of Rosecrans Street, on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. There will be music, dancing, children’s activities and foods of Native Americans, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. There will be Kumeyaay basket making, knot tying and a 16th Century Spanish soldiers living history encampment. Re-enactment of Cabrillo’s landing on Ballast Point begins at 1 p.m. Bring identification.