June 2001

June 2001
By Sharon Berry

Military personnel abroad converse with locals through trainable interpreting tool.

A Star Trek-like communications instrument promises to help penetrate the language barrier by providing automated near-real-time translations. The mobile, lightweight device, which is the size of a cellular telephone and can be clipped to a belt, will translate English paired with Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Albanian and Thai as well as other major European languages.

June 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Intelligent security device reinforces network defense.

Smart hardware will allow administrators to foil intruders and internal attackers before they can cripple computer systems. The firewall, embedded within a network interface card, creates a tamper-resistant security layer that cannot be subverted or deactivated like traditional software-based defenses. When installed on desktop computers and servers throughout an organization, the cards selectively permit or deny certain types of activities at the department, office or individual levels.

June 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

However, interoperability remains a challenge for both joint and coalition operations.

The U.S. military is counting on the information superhighway in its march toward continued battlefield supremacy. As outlined in two recent studies describing future force goals, network-centric warfare is at the core of plans to ensure that military domination is maintained. The aim is for information to be the primary tool enabling U.S. forces to respond to and overcome any military challenge in any arena worldwide.

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Dot-com business savvy requires back-to- basics approach.

The economic wave that started out as a Tsunami has lost momentum, and the high tide of World Wide Web surfers as devoted consumers is beginning to ebb. Online start-up company owners who thought they would catch a wave and be sitting on top of the world have been caught in an undertow. Established firms that poured millions of dollars into creating an online presence are discovering that the same tried-and-true business practices that keep traditional business afloat are just as necessary in the cybermarketplace.

June 2001
By Michael A. Robinson

Company helps federal agencies join electronic revolution.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then Linda Gooden can qualify as an expert on both.   

Ever since 1790, inventors who wanted to protect their intellectual property against possible theft or exploitation have filed their patent applications pretty much the same way—they filled out a form on paper.

June 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Innovative devices ready to energize portable systems.

Miniature fuel cells are poised to replace batteries as the power source of choice for handheld communications and electronics equipment. Tests with prototypes indicate that these devices can generate more power, last longer and remain more environmentally friendly than existing batteries.

June 2001
By Christian B. Sheehy

Automated methodology makes the future more predictable.

A probability analysis program could enable surface and air military units to better predict a vehicle’s or a missile’s next move by discerning the likelihood that its track will either change or remain constant. Applying the same reasoning formula to study an entire mission, the system could combine factual and hypothetical data to predict the direction an enemy will take and produce theoretically sound solutions to tactically complex scenarios.

June 2001
By Christian B. Sheehy

Wireless links to commercial virtual portals to open global computing era.

The worlds of wireless and Web-based technology are converging in a new generation of linked networks that could produce a vast computing and communications infrastructure based on the interaction of currently exclusive technologies. The integration of these independent communication architectures will result from a gradual dissolution of the physical boundaries of today’s Internet, enabling the realization of a broader view of everyday computing.

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Users wrestle with uniform purchasing systems that support accountability.

As the Standard Procurement System reaches the installation halfway point, U.S. Defense Department officials are highlighting how the technology makes the department more responsive to Congress and the American taxpayer. Although some personnel are still wary of the new system, the department is forging ahead, and the U.S. Army has adopted additional capabilities that save time and money.

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Personal digital assistants open windows of opportunity, but not without risk.

Although good things may come in small packages, a handheld device that carries the power of a personal computer raises large information security issues. As more military service members employ cellular telephones, pagers and personal digital assistants to keep track of schedules or to perform duties, their leaders must address the new threats these pocket-sized devices pose in the workplace.

June 2001
By Lt. Gen. C. Norman Wood, USAF (Ret.)

June 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Manportable unit pushes mobile networking limits.

A prototype personal communications and situational awareness system may provide U.S. warfighters with an advantage in tactical combat. The device will link soldiers to a mobile voice and data network with the capability to share important information among individuals and entire units. A built-in inertial geolocation subsystem will enable troops to determine their location even if global positioning system signals are jammed or unavailable.