Northwest Florida Roundup
Tallahassee-based Applied Fiber's high-performance cables are vital component of NASA's James Webb Telescope
A Tallahassee company plays a key role as NASA peers into deep space.
Tallahassee-based Applied Fiber’s high-performance cables are a key component of NASA’s James Webb Telescope. The company supplied Northrop Grumman, a NASA contractor, with nearly 200 cable assemblies used in the sunshields that protect the lens from extreme temperatures. The company began work with Northrop Grumman on the project more than 13 years ago.
“Having been involved with the project since 2009, it is amazing to see how well all of NASA’s, Northrop Grumman’s and other team efforts and planning have come together to achieve this mission,” says Paul Badeau, vice president of sales and marketing at Applied Fiber.
The $10-billion telescope, NASA’s largest and most powerful, recently released its first images of deep field space, peering back billions of years at distant galaxies.
“We watched it launch on Christmas day last year, and now these pictures are coming back, and it’s working so well,” says Badeau. “We couldn’t be happier about its success.”
NASA says it is hoping to unlock the origins of life and focus on the first light in the universe, the creation of galaxies in the early universe, the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, and planets.
- Panama City-based Eastern Shipbuilding lost its bid for a $3.3-billion Department of Defense contract to build another series of Coast Guard cutters. The company won an initial contract in 2016 to build four cutters with an option to build seven more. Eastern’s option was canceled after Hurricane Michael in 2018 caused extensive damage to the company’s operations base at Port Panama City. Mobile, Ala.-based Austal USA won the contract.
- In the year since Latitude Margaritaville Watersound in Panama City Beach first began offering homes for sale, more than 700 have been sold and some 340 are under construction. The first phase calls for 3,500 homes.
- Pensacola is on the most recent list of top 100 best cities report by Resonance Consultancy, a global adviser in real estate, tourism and economic development. The smallest municipality on the list, Pensacola ranked 81st overall on six categories that include place, product, programming, people, prosperity and promotion. The city ranked 10th in income equality, 20th in parks and outdoors, 46th in place and 51st in prosperity.
- LiveOak Fiber, a Georgia-based broadband service provider, is investing $100 million in a high-speed fiber optics network in Okaloosa County. When complete, the 10-gigper- second network will serve some 60,000 homes and businesses in the region. Jody Craft, LiveOak Fiber’s president, says the company’s investment will create 50 jobs.
- Monolithic Building Systems has begun construction of a manufacturing facility at the Mossy Head Industrial Park near DeFuniak Springs in Walton County, creating more than 50 jobs. The six-acre site will feature a 40,000-sq.-ft. facility where Monolithic will manufacture concrete panel building systems. The site also has an additional 40,000-sq.- ft. building pad ready for future expansion.
- plans to build a distribution warehouse in Santa Rosa County. The proposal calls for the retrofitting of two existing structures in the Santa Rosa Industrial Park currently being used as a call center. The facility will encompass approximately 81,000 square feet.
- Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Director David Pollard says Southern Sky Aviation is investing $25 million to build a fixed-base operation on 11 acres of airport property. Southern Sky, based in Birmingham, Ala., says plans include a 73,000-sq.-ft. hangar and an 8,800-sq.-ft. terminal that will include a conference room, lounge, offices, shower facilities and a flight planning and refreshment center. “There is a significant need for a second fixed-base operator on the airfield, and that is truly being driven by the growth,” says Donald Howell president and CFO of Southern Sky Aviation.