Domenici Secures Funding for Tech Projects, July 16, 2002

Contact: Chris Gallegos
(202) 224-7082


Subcommittee Approves FY2003 Defense Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 16, 2002 -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today secured funding to support national defense research projects supported by New Mexico Tech in Socorro, including $10 million for a microelectronics testing program.

Domenici is a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that today approved the FY2003 Defense Appropriations Bill with the funding to support the MicroElectronics Testing, Technology & Obsolescence Program (METTOP) program at New Mexico Tech.

"Gaining subcommittee-level approval is an important step in the long appropriations process. I'm pleased my colleagues believe that the technology and research capabilities at New Mexico Tech can be brought to bear on our national defense," Domenici said. "I will continue to work to ensure that this funding eventually becomes law."

The funding is provided within the Defense Micro-Electronics Activity account to establish METTOP within Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC). The METTOP funding will allow New Mexico Tech to expand its RDT&E capabilities to exercise virtually any microelectronic component used in military, space, and commercial applications.

The specific purposes of the METTOP include the verification of complex software models, the determination and documentation of large variations in microelectronic device responses to various environments, and the tracking and documentation of changes in the manufacturing processes of various microelectronic devices used in military, space, and commercial programs.

The FY2003 Defense Appropriations Bill is next expected to be considered and approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. From there it will be referred to the Senate for debate. Congress and the White House have expressed a desire to expedite the consideration of this $355.1 billion national defense spending bill. This funding level is $35.4 billion more than the FY2002 funding level.

Domenici said he is hopeful that the final Defense Appropriations Bill will include much of the funding already approved by the House Appropriations Committee that will affect work supported by New Mexico Tech, including $30 million for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, $6 million for the Geosynchronous Laser Imaging Testbed (GLINT), and $10 million for the Institute of Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA).