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Test Center Forges Network-Centric Future

October 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

Europe's armed forces are using virtual reality to develop and integrate new technologies. Consisting of several networked facilities operating as a single entity, this research and design capability allows defense firms and their customers to test how systems operate before funds are committed for acquisition and production. This virtual testing center uses sophisticated modeling and simulation functions to create operational and training methodologies.

Desktop System Streamlines Analysis Work

October 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

An advanced thin-client station allows U.S. intelligence analysts to work more effectively by enabling them to share information efficiently on the same network. Data that once resided on multiple networks is now stored on a secure server providing material to individual desktop units. The equipment creates a smaller hardware footprint while improving workflow and reducing security risks.

Tough Intelligence Choices

October 2004
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

Many of us who live inside the Washington, D.C., beltway are considering the ramifications of the 9/11 Commission Report. Foremost among the commission's recommendations is the establishment of a director of national intelligence, or DNI. Experts are split on whether this new position would help eliminate intelligence shortcomings and increase efficiency, or whether it would impart lasting damage on the intelligence community when our nation is faced with a deadly menace.

Army Intelligence Incorporates Iraq Lessons

October 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Iraq War has provided a wealth of lessons that already are being applied to diverse U.S. Army intelligence disciplines such as sensors, situational awareness, information dissemination and secure conferencing. The Army has been incorporating many of these lessons by accelerating some programs and altering others, and many of these activities are supporting the ongoing Army transformation while others are altering its course.

Data on Demand

October 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

A prototype information management and communications technology soon will provide warfighters with near-real-time intelligence. The network-based system collects imagery, video and other data from airborne and ground-based sensors and stores it in specialized servers. Commanders can then access this raw information for needed materials without waiting for analysts to process it.

Unique Status Challenges Northern Command

October 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

The two-year-old U.S. combatant command tasked with both homeland security and homeland defense is juggling conflicting requirements as it strives to establish a vital infostructure. The U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, must balance the need to deter, prevent and defeat threats to the United States with legal limitations on domestic information sharing. This poses both technological and organizational challenges to intelligence dissemination and communications.

Multiforce Protection In a Portal

October 2004
By Cheryl Lilie

A cross-service network that shares sensitive but unclassified information among U.S. Defense Department installations is moving nationwide. The Web-portal technology allows users to document and immediately disseminate information regarding potential threats to personnel, facilities and resources to meet antiterrorism and force protection needs.

Simulation Plots Its Own Path

October 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

As defense simulation grows more complex and more capable, it is segmenting just as it moves toward greater interoperability. Instead of diverse simulations evolving into a single, all-encompassing synthetic battlespace, the course is toward individual activities or systems simulated by powerful computing technologies. The goal of modeling developers is to treat these new simulations as modules and assemble them into large-scale simulations that are tailored to trainees' or commanders' requirements.

Planting Our Seed Corn

April 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

As the world barrels headlong into the information age, a growing trend is beginning to alarm many experts in academia, industry and government. Despite the attractiveness of information technology (IT) as a profession, our prime stock of engineers and IT professionals has, by and large, been in our industry for more than 15 years.

Ultrawideband, Free But Not Clear

April 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

After considerable interagency debate, the U.S. government has approved ultrawideband radio technology for commercial use. Ultrawideband devices operate across a wide spectrum range instead of a specific frequency. This allows for more efficient spectrum use at lower power levels and presents a possible solution for bandwidth-starved wireless providers. Other applications include ground-penetrating radar, imaging, surveillance and medical systems. However, issues such as possible interference with navigation and commercial aviation systems must be resolved before the technology gains wider acceptance.

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