AFCEA International is fast approaching its keystone event, TechNet International. For many years, this show has been the primary forum for accomplishments from AFCEA's field and a showcase of technology for its corporate associates. The entire AFCEA family looks forward to this event, as both active volunteers and geographically diverse members make plans to come to Washington, D.C. These activists, who include regional vice presidents, chapter officers and Young AFCEANs, participate in daylong business meetings and offer advice to the AFCEA headquarters staff.
An adaptive hypermedia system that streamlines and enhances work-order procedures demonstrates that technology can be profitably employed to achieve an organization's customer support goals. Although the initial deployment of the technology was limited to building maintenance, the software could have far-reaching implications for improved customer relations and effective time utilization.
The U.S. Air Force is developing a software-based system that will allow aircrews to diagnose and predict equipment failure with greater speed and accuracy, keeping more aircraft in the air, not the hangar. In a renewed effort to maintain operational readiness through enhanced systems integration, the service is emphasizing the need for greater precision and efficiency across the spectrum of aviation maintenance.
Germany, France and Italy are experimenting with a new fiber optic guided missile system that will enable surface ships more precisely to track and destroy air and surface targets by using remote imaging sensor technology. With an onboard infrared camera and fiber communications system, the weapon can conduct long-range autonomous strikes, then relay critical information to the launch operator for the rapid processing of point of impact and kill assessment data.
The Swedish armed forces and the U.S. Marine Corps are collaborating to develop a design for the possible command post of the future. The goal is to bridge the gap between operational knowledge and technological solutions.
What began accidentally could be the foundation for a revolutionary approach to optical data storage. By enhancing and controlling fluorescence exhibited by nanoparticles, scientists can rapidly switch the particle colors on and off, creating robust nanoscopic storage elements that can pack a large amount of data in a small amount of space.
The U.S. Joint Spectrum Center is developing and will maintain an extensive set of databases to directly support both the spectrum management and electromagnetic environmental effect communities. To accomplish this task, the center has established the Data Quality Metrics Program, which will monitor and enhance the quality of its databases.
An advanced personnel-location and communications system will allow U.S. and allied air forces to more easily locate downed pilots and crews. The technology consists of a warfighter-worn personal transceiver with a global positioning system capability and a signal interrogator carried on a search aircraft to query the beacon, and it could expedite efficient wartime aircrew recovery.
Network monitoring tools, long the purview of the U.S. Defense Department logistics community, now are moving to the warfighting environment to support future military operations. The technology continuously examines the health of networks, then reports this information to a central location. It also can prevent system slowdowns by predicting problems and offering solutions.
Tactical network software may enable deployed U.S. Marines to share data about numerous targets without the bandwidth constraints or large space requirements of other systems. As the principles of network-centric warfare continue to drive the development of military command and control doctrine, this central component network could provide answers to the challenges of system extensibility and interoperability.
The U.S. Marine Corps is developing battlefield management software and advanced communications tools that will help future commanders make critical decisions by filtering incoming information and suggesting courses of action. This incoming data and the corresponding orders will be broadcast through lightweight satellite communications devices and will reach all echelons from brigade to squad level.
The U.S. Marine Corps is working a new combined arms team approach to address the challenges posed by fighting in an urban environment. This focus emphasizes training Marines to fight in a new mix of armor and infantry that support each other without sacrificing maneuver warfare capabilities.
Personal identification technologies such as fingerprint, voice and facial recognition are adding another layer of security to government facilities and computer systems. Once prohibitively expensive, these devices are poised to become ubiquitous applications in wireless communications equipment, portable and desktop computers, smart cards and secure area access systems.