It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail. As PS3s with the OtherOS feature are no longer produced since the Slim was introduced, replacements will have to come from the existing stock of used PS3s. However, as most gamers have probably updated their PS3s, that used stock is no longer suitable for the USAF's research. In addition, smaller educational clusters using PS3s also have the same fate — unable to replace machines that die in their clusters.
(Personal note: My PS3 does have the OtherOS feature — seeing as all my PS3 games are single player only, I don't need the Playstation Network. So USAF — I'm willing to trade...)"