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Resiliency and Recovery Offset Cybersecurity Detection Limits

May 27, 2014
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

Not only is the cost of cyber intrusion severe, the likelihood of it occurring is assured. Cybersecurity defenses must be flexible, innovative and persistent to address an ever-changing threat.

DARPA Unveils Hack-Proof Drone, Bomb Bot

May 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled a drone and a mini bomb-detecting bot that operate on secure software that officials say make them hack-proof.

NATO Testing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities

May 16, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Representatives from the U.S. Army and Air Force, along with 17 NATO nations and three partner nations, will participate in a joint reconnaissance trial in Norway this month to test and evaluate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance concepts and technologies.

Scientists' Experiment Regrows Muscle in Wounded Legs

May 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine might have discovered a way to get bodies to regrow muscle following traumatic injuries.

Navy Scientists Create Harder Ceramic for Armor Windows

May 15, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Scientists with the U.S. Naval Research Lab are the first to succeed at creating a ceramic window for all types of military vehicles that is not only 50 percent harder than current materials, but lighter, more crack resistant and likely to be a cost-saving endeavor, researchers say.

The Drive Toward the JIE Has Multiple Fronts

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The battle toward a unified defense information architecture is being waged on several fronts as different organizations and disciplines strive to break down silos and give the Defense Department its Joint Information Environment. Leading defense communicators agree that the force cannot prevail in future operations without a single information environment, but they must ensure that it does not ignore the specific needs of some individual elements within the defense community.

Halvorsen Named Acting Defense Department CIO

May 14, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Terry Halvorsen, currently the U.S. Navy’s chief information officer (CIO), will take over as the Defense Department’s acting CIO on May 21, a position vacated somewhat abruptly by Teri Takai when she announced at the end of April that she would be leaving the post by May 2.

Many Choices, Few Clear Paths to Information Environments

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Different challenges and potential solutions were the focus of day 2 at AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. The day began with a panel featuring military officers offering views from different command perspectives, and it ended with a panel of private sector technology officials discussing the challenges and solutions in their companies’ activities.

The Military Needs JIE, and JIE Needs Innovation

May 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The explosion of information technologies is seeding Defense Department efforts to build the Joint Information Environment, but ultimately it will be emerging capabilities that enable the defense-wide endeavor to reach its full potential. Industry and government leaders discussed these technology issues on the first day of AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14.

Scientists Create Thermal-Imaging Lenses From Waste Sulfur

May 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

One man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure. Professors at the University of Arizona (UA) recently transformed sulfur waste from refining fossil fuels into moldable, infrared-capable plastic lenses—an incredibly inexpensive and lightweight component that can be used for night-vision goggles among other uses.

The discovery could have huge positive implications for the U.S. military, which has already expressed interest in the patent-pending polymer, Robert A. Norwood, professor of optical sciences at UA, says.

The polymer can be molded into any arbitrary shape needed, opening up a new range of options for military developers seeking alternatives to expensive and heavier night-vision goggles, Norwood says. Other military applications on a short list include thermal imaging, missile sites and spectroscopic threat detection, he adds.

These lenses could be used for any function or mission that involves heat detection and infrared light, from cameras to night-vision goggles or surveillance systems.

Norwood and his colleague Jeffrey Pyun, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UA who was first to start experimenting with sulfur-based polymers, placed the new polymer in a sort of window and snapped a photo of a man standing on the other side. “We could see the heat coming off the body,” Norwood says. “It was pretty exciting to see that.”

The professors discovered the sulfur-based lenses are transparent to mid-range infrared, between 3 to 8 microns. And the lenses have “high optical” or focusing power, which means they can be thin—and thus lightweight—to focus on nearby objects.

The UA scientists' next step involves drumming up industry and Defense Department talk and funding as they continue their research and work to improve the product. “We really would like to have now a focused program on further development of these materials,” Norwood says.

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