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Wireless Tail Wags Infrastructure Dog

September 2001
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

Assuring the integrity of information in radio frequency tactical networks is rapidly becoming a linchpin for the success of the U.S. Defense Department's Global Information Grid. Without cyberdefense advances, wireless domain devices cannot function properly in the face of information warfare, raising vulnerability issues for the entire U.S. communications infrastructure.

Plug in, Turn on, Surf Away

September 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Internet access may soon be as close as the nearest electrical outlet. New power-line networking technology allows voice, data and video signals to travel through standard electrical lines, turning building or campus electrical grids into ready-made communications pathways. Connected by devices similar to modems that are plugged into wall sockets, computers and smart appliances can be linked together or to existing fiber optic lines without extensive installation costs.

Sensor Web Supports Tactical Teamwork

September 2001
By P. Michael Hoffman and Veronica Deschambault

Networking technology currently under development will allow users to monitor and operate sensors from a single, central, distant location. In tactical scenarios, this capability will reduce the need to send soldiers into the field to check or activate sensors. The system features an optional radio communication module that enables it to operate much like a wide area network, and ease of installation and portability make it a candidate for use in military training exercises.

Littoral Battlespace Becomes Smaller

September 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

The extended littoral battlespace is beginning to shrink as commanders acquire the capability to monitor force operations from greater distances in near-real and real time. Recent exercises held on and off the California coast demonstrated a number of different approaches to linking offshore commanders with onshore events.

Privacy in the Public Domain

September 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

When the framers of the U.S. Constitution outlined citizens' rights, they could not have foreseen the birth of communications capabilities that would pervade both personal and professional life. Although the fourth amendment is very clear in its prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure, technology has blurred the line between what is considered public and private space. Privacy policy watchdog groups believe that the biggest challenge may be that technology seems to develop at the speed of light, while the legal protection of personal privacy moves at the speed of legislators.

Physical Disaster Propels Cybersecurity Initiatives

November 2001
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

While U.S. military forces retaliate against terrorists for the horrific World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, the Bush administration also is organizing to help shield the nation's critical information infrastructure. The White House is establishing U.S. cybersecurity functions under a single individual. That person will function as the president's special adviser for cybersecurity, reporting directly to both the new cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security and the National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Jolting Destruction Galvanizes U.S. Agencies To Walk the Walk

November 2001
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

The Bush administration's declaration of war on terrorism allows federal organizations such as the National Security Agency to expand their electronic intelligence-gathering practices. With initial deployment of U.S. forces to the Middle East, demand to locate hostile terrorist cells and their support mechanisms immediately is rising, both in the United States and overseas. In addition, what had been a gradually growing requirement for U.S. forces to conduct information operations, including computer network offense and defense, is now switching to fast forward.

Technologists Plan Tactical Future

November 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Unattended sensors in a future theater of operation detect enemy movements, identify and locate targets, and feed that information via unmanned aerial vehicle communications network nodes to the command center. Commanders collate their data with other information from space and U.S.-based sources, then signal unattended battlefield and airborne weapons to launch against enemy assets. These networked weapons keep track of battle damage and trade-off targets as they are destroyed.

Dressing the Wired Warrior

November 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Warfighters soon may be wearing clothing with built-in radio antennas and global positioning system receivers. These items would be embedded in uniforms and equipment harnesses laced with internal wiring and circuitry that connect personal communications devices, computers and power supplies to form a single network.

Aerial View Sharpened By Data-Sharing System

Novemer 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Air Force is examining technology that would enhance a B-1B Lancer crew's situational awareness while in the air and simultaneously record data that can be shared with other mission commanders or used to train future aircrews. The capability would provide pilots with information about existing threats, which would allow them to execute appropriate threat avoidance maneuvers.

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