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SIGNAL Connections

The Bottom Line: Technology Is Not Communication.

August 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

AFCEA headquarters lost power right in the middle of the production cycle of this issue of SIGNAL Connections. Rumor has it that road construction taking place in the area caused the glitch. Without access to computers and VoIP phones, staff members emerged from their work spaces like bears after hibernation and actually talked to each other face to face. The incident brought to light an escalating issue that is often ignored: technology is a tool; it’s not communication.

The Vulnerability of Technology

July 15, 2011
By Rear Adm. Hamlin Tallent, USN (Ret.), and Capt. Thomas H. Lang, USN (Ret.)

The U.S. Navy may be setting itself up for strategic mismatches of historic proportions in the near future. While its perception of victory may be tainted by the vision of several aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Fleet listing heavily, on fire and dead in the water during the Battle of Midway, today’s mismatch could likely center on the expectation of data flow in the face of an adversary’s ability to deny it.

Hacking But a Snippet of Cybersecurity Menace

July 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

The recent attack by Lulz Security on the CIA's networks and other breaches of major organizations have brought hacking and hacktivism to the public's attention, but these violations are only a small part of the larger landscape. Different assaults damaged networks worldwide earlier this year, and experts predict that what could happen in the future is even more frightening.

Smart Robotic Targets on the Move

July 15, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Connections

A new training system featuring armored autonomous robots could help the U.S. Marine Corps prepare snipers to face human enemies in battle. The smart mobile targets use Segway platforms to mimic human motion and behavior—even running for cover when a fellow robot gets hit.

Homefront Help

July 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

T.A.M.P.A. USMC Family Support

Since 2004, this organization has offered support to Marines and their loved ones in Florida. In addition to working for active-duty families, the group reaches out to reservists, retired Marines, veterans, wounded warriors and those in boot camp or the delayed entry program. "Family" includes not only spouses and children but also mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and friends. Gold and Silver Star families are always welcome to seek support as well. Though dedicated to the Devil Dog community, the organization extends its outreach to include all military branches and other patriotic supporters.

New Products

July 15, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections

Squad Car Command Center

 
A newly introduced video downlink technology transforms emergency responder vehicles, such as police squad cars or firetrucks, into mobile command centers. The in-car downlink system is touted by its maker as providing seamless integration into any first responder vehicle. Recently introduced by Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT), the system can be integrated into the existing infrastructure on a squad car or first responder vehicle; no hardware or software modifications are required, and the system reportedly creates no interference with the existing computer set-up. IMT’s ruggedized Mobile Tactical Receiver lies at the heart of the system, which also includes a coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexer receiver with an Ethernet port for streaming video over Internet protocol or local or remote software to hardware decodes.

This allows many remote viewers, in addition to the first responder vehicle, to monitor the same video simultaneously, increasing situational awareness.

Next-Generation 3-D

New Products

July 15, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections

Squad Car Command Center

A newly introduced video downlink technology transforms emergency responder vehicles, such as police squad cars or firetrucks, into mobile command centers. The in-car downlink system is touted by its maker as providing seamless integration into any first responder vehicle. Recently introduced by Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT), the system can be integrated into the existing infrastructure on a squad car or first responder vehicle; no hardware or software modifications are required, and the system reportedly creates no interference with the existing computer set-up. IMT’s ruggedized Mobile Tactical Receiver lies at the heart of the system, which also includes a coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexer receiver with an Ethernet port for streaming video over Internet protocol or local or remote software to hardware decodes.

This allows many remote viewers, in addition to the first responder vehicle, to monitor the same video simultaneously, increasing situational awareness.

PHOTO: GIS-CX-NP-SquadCar-JULY11

Next-Generation 3-D

Cyber Wargamers Set Sail Against Pirates

June 15, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Connections

The Office of Naval Research is turning to a community of more than 1,000 cyber wargame players in a three-week effort to “crowdsource” new ideas on how to combat Somali pirates.

Getting In Touch with Digital Data

June 15, 2011
By Jordan Garegnani, SIGNAL Connections

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is asking companies not only to create better keyboard-tethered 3-D imaging platforms but also to bring analysts into the 3-D world through kinesthetic interaction with imagery taken from above areas of interest.

Homefront Help

June 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

Armed Forces Vacation Club

This special travel organization offers service members and other U.S. Defense Department personnel a chance to enjoy vacations for discount prices at more than 3,500 time share properties in approximately 80 countries. Through the deals, travelers can stay at locations without buying into a time share or even attending a presentation for one, if they so choose. Several different types of deals are available including: space available, a seven-night vacation option typically during the off season and/or on very short notice for $369; high-demand weekly rentals in popular locations during peak season but at discounted commercial rates; nightly getaways; and special offers from lodging locations that may include car rentals or other discounts. 

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