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Manned and Unmanned Systems Team Up for Warfighters

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Navy officials have, for the first time, proved that the unmanned X-47B aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet can operate at the same time within the same aircraft carrier-controlled landing pattern. Manned and unmanned aircraft flying from the same flight deck may change the way warfighters operate in the decades to come.

 

Fast-Flying Flimmer No Underwater Fluke

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

A developmental U.S. Navy project aims to provide a creative solution to the challenge of how to move unmanned underwater vehicles to their proper point for submersion. The project is creating a bio-inspired seacraft that will use flight to reach its destinations.

Cyber Commander Expects Damaging Critical Infrastructure Attack

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, who leads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, predicts a damaging attack to critical infrastructure networks within the coming years. If an attack happens, the agency and Cyber Command will coordinate a response along with other government agencies and potentially the private sector organizations that own many of the networks.

CERDEC Sets Priorities as It Prepares for New Environments

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Article updated December 3, 2014.

With a number of uncertainties coloring their activities, officials at the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are preparing their program objective memorandum, laying out several key projects and goals for the coming years. The leaders are calibrating efforts to align with expected congressional funding as well as with the capabilities soldiers require for mission success.

For fiscal year 2015, sequestration will not affect that budget timeline; however, fiscal year 2016 presents a different challenge, with possible large cuts to funding. The situation shadows the development of the program objective memorandum for fiscal years 2017 to 2021. Planning programs and budgets for the upcoming years involves making choices about what demands attention in an age of diminished resources and about where resources might remain viable. The autonomous systems command and control and sensing systems, or communications systems that might be on autonomous platforms, is one area of the portfolio undergoing adjustment. “That is something we’re going to have to go back and reinvestigate because there’s been an added incentive—though it’s not been finalized—through the various budgetary processes of re-emphasizing autonomous systems,” explains Robert Zanzalari, associate director, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “That’s a business area that we think we’re going to have to try to go back into if there really is going to be a concerted effort to do more work at the platform level.”

CERDEC has nine strategic initiatives underway. They illustrate what the organization seeks to accomplish for warfighters from a science and technology perspective. They are not ranked in order of importance.

DISA Targeted to Tackle Network Defense Role

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency is being tasked with an operational role in the cyber domain, namely network defense. The new role creates a formal relationship between the agency, U.S. Cyber Command and the military services; integrates network operations and defense; and should ultimately improve security.

Building an Autonomous Army of Protection

December 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. military for decades has employed unmanned systems—from dropping bombs miles above the Earth’s surface to detecting underwater mines from miles below. Now, researchers and scientists are on the threshold of tweaking the technology as part of a new concept for the use of unmanned assets, which could bring an army of autonomous protective robots to the battlefield.

Research, Relationships and Time Key to Foreign Military Sales

December 1, 2014
By Andrew Schoulder, Chris Williams and Matt Donovan

U.S. contractors looking to increase their foreign military sales cannot expect to flip a switch and create international commerce by pursuing the same methods that met with success domestically. Long-term endeavors such as accumulating knowledge of the market and its laws, building relationships and investing in efforts are necessary for breaking into a potentially lucrative overseas market.

 

Task Force Cyber Awakening Recommendations Due

November 3, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Cyber Awakening, which was established in July, is expected to deliver its first report to the service’s leadership this month, task force officials say. The report will include recommendations for improving the service’s cyber posture, both ashore and afloat.

Clarifying DISA's Cloud Computing Role

October 29, 2014
George I. Seffers

The Defense Department is expected very soon to release a new policy revising the role DISA plays in brokering cloud services. The changes are designed to speed cloud service acquisitions. DISA no longer will be the sole acquisition agency, but it will continue to ensure network access to cloud service providers is secure and reliable, agency officials say.

Northrop Grumman Sets World Record with 1-Terahertz Circuit

October 28, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

A five-year project funded by the Defense Department’s research arm and developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation has netted the world’s fastest integrated circuit amplifier and a place in the record books.

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