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Don’t Blink! Eyes Provide Long-Term Identifications

August 26, 2013
By Rita Boland

Iris scans are a legitimate form of biometric identification over the long term, a new study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology confirms.

Emerging Space Program Investments Reach $1.8 Billion in 2013

August 13, 2013


Twenty-seven countries have begun investing this year in space programs estimated to be valued at $1.8 billion, according to an executive brief, Trends & Prospects for Emerging Space Programs, published by Euroconsult, a Paris-based consulting firm. The report includes projects, development models, lessons learned and perspectives of countries starting their first or second generation satellite programs. Investments are more than two times what they were in the company’s 2007 estimate. Of the 29 countries assessed in the report, 27 have begun investing in a space program, including $1.4 billion in satellite procurement. Seventeen of those countries have reported funding for a satellite communications program for a combined value of $950 million, and 18 countries are undertaking an Earth observation program with associated budgets of more than $500 million by 2015.

Meet Jennifer Argote, Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer, AFCEA International

April 15, 2013
By Max Cacas

If you have ever called Kent Schneider, president and chief executive officer of AFCEA International, or arranged his attendance at your chapter’s upcoming function, chances are you have either spoken to or interacted with his ebullient executive assistant, Jennifer Argote. Now celebrating two years on the job, Argote is a native of Worcester, a town in the British midlands, and she attended an all-girls secondary school. After what she calls some “technical education,” she went to work for the British Ministry of Defense.

Virtually Navy Education

March 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) is in the first stages of a five-stage plan to virtualize its computers at facilities across the globe in an attempt to save resources. Though the program itself has no direct connection to the recent sequester cuts that went into effect earlier this month, such projects could present possible cost-saving options to budget-constrained organizations.

New NASA Communications Satellite Bridges Legacy, Future Technologies

February 15, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The latest generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K, updates existing technology with an eye to the future. New electronics and better power management will help extend the TDRS constellation for at least another decade, but NASA already is looking ahead to major changes in the system’s capabilities that would define the next-generation TDRS.

BAH to Support Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Deputy CIO

November 30, 2012
George I. Seffers

Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va., is being awarded a $15,888,620 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for information technology (IT) governance; IT privacy and security; policy and planning; IT workforce and training; SharePoint development and deployment; IT information integration; project management; and administrative support of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Deputy Chief of Information Management/Information Technology/Chief Information Office. The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity. 

Making Sense of Big Data From Supercomputers

October 11, 2012
By Rita Boland

Big data can mean big problems for the people trying to derive usable information from a large number of sources. Since coming into existence in March, the Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization Institute has made strides to resolve this issue for programs running on supercomputers. The young organization’s efforts have applicability to a variety of scientific fields—including nuclear physics—and its tools are open source so others can take advantage of the findings.

Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under which the institute falls. For the next five years, the department will provide $5 million annually to support research among the members, which include seven universities and six national laboratories. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is the lead, because one of its staff, Arie Shoshani, was chosen as the institute’s director. The private company Kitware Incorporated also is a member, supplying its visualization toolkit for partners to use. Shoshani explains that his organization’s emphasis on scientific data, large scale simulations and in-situ processing separate it from other agencies working on big data projects. Running data reduction, analysis and visualization tasks in situ means that these tasks are performed on the same machine where the simulation takes place. This allows such functions to be performed on the system in memory before getting the data out to disk, and therefore greatly reduces the amount of data that has to be stored on disk for further, or post-processing, analysis.

NATO Support Agency 
Continues Evolution

September 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

NATO recently consolidated three support and acquisition agencies into one to create effectiveness, improve efficiencies and increase savings. The organization will continue to evolve as the NATO mission transforms, including changes expected following the withdrawal from the war zone in Afghanistan.

The NATO Support Agency (NSPA), Capellen, Luxembourg, was officially established on July 1 under the leadership of Rear Adm. Michael Lyden, USN, (Ret.), who will serve as the general manager. The NSPA combines three previous organizations, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency, the NATO Airlift Management Agency and the Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency. The NSPA is a fully customer-funded organization, operating on a no-profit/no-loss basis. It focuses on providing integrated multinational support solutions for its stakeholders.

The support agency’s written mission is to provide responsive, effective and cost-efficient logistics support services for systems and operations. It is designed to provide needed assistance in times of peace, crisis and war to the NATO member nations, the NATO military authorities and partner nations, both individually and collectively. It also aims to maximize the ability and flexibility of armed forces, contingents and other relevant organizations to execute their core missions.

Among other tasks, the mission includes in-service support of weapons systems, as well as communications and electronics systems. “We do operational logistics and real-life support, like running some of the base functions in Afghanistan. We do fuel work. We do airlift. A big piece of our mission is geared toward the current mission in Afghanistan,” Adm. Lyden says.


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