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December 2004

David M. Wennergren, U.S. Department of the Navy

December 2004
By David M. Wennergren, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of the Navy

The pace of technological change is relentless. Living in a networked world offers tremendous opportunities to leverage emerging technologies to improve national defense capabilities and the quality of work and life for sailors, Marines and civilians. The advent of the Internet age opened the door for the U.S. Navy to move away from stand-alone solutions to a world of authoritative data sources that are available anywhere, anytime through self-service transactions. It is an age of knowledge, where Web services and portal technologies are allowing dramatically improved productivity and effectiveness, while eliminating the unnecessary cost of building and maintaining duplicate information solutions.

Experts Examine Business Continuity Challenges

December 2004

The diverse nature of threats in the 21st century calls for advanced planning strategies and international cooperation. As governments and the private sector face both physical and cyber attacks, organizations must focus not only on defense but also on how to recover after a disaster has occurred.

Plastic Antennas Mold Flexible New Frontier

December 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

An electrically conductive resin technology may soon free warfighter and civilian wireless devices from bulky aerials. The proprietary recipe can be added to any of the thousands of polymers used to manufacture cases and components, turning the entire bezel of a cellular telephone or handheld radio into an antenna.

Airborne Mission Planner Highlights Network-Centric Capabilities

December 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

The French army soon may benefit from a prototype command and control system for helicopters that allows low-flying aircraft to share data in a tactical network. The technology features detailed digital terrain maps that can be viewed in the cockpit or from a groundstation before a mission. Mission-planning information and text messaging also can be transmitted via this airborne system.

Switching at the Speed of Light

December 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

Researchers are taking optics to new levels by developing the architecture, components and prototype systems for all-optical packet routing that can send and receive up to 100 terabits of data every second. The research is based on the premise that photons can do more than just carry a signal from one point to another; they also can facilitate extremely high-speed switching.

Biometrics Makes Waves

December 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

It takes a lot of brains to develop new technologies, and one U.S. Navy project is capitalizing on another type of brainpower. Navy researchers are examining work conducted jointly by the New York University Medical School and Russia's Nizhny Novgorod State University and Institute for Applied Sciences that uses brain activity as the model for controlling movement in unmanned undersea vehicles. The advances culled from this research could support better designs for autonomous underwater vehicles that could hunt mines, deliver and retrieve sensors, track ship movement or gather plume samples.

Scientists Build Microdevices With Magnetic Manipulation

December 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

Researchers at a national laboratory have discovered a way to construct microelectrical systems using magnetic fields to arrange internal structures. The technology already is opening the door to breakthroughs in sensor and magnetic identification systems, and yet-undiscovered capabilities such as realistic artificial limbs and more esoteric applications may lie on the horizon.

Research Lays The Foundation

December 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

A research and development organization originally created to boost economic development in North Carolina is now providing cutting-edge technologies to the U.S. Defense Department. Areas of exploration range from information assurance to sensors to ultrahigh-speed communications. Many of the projects will facilitate intelligence gathering and directly support warfighters.

Engagement Packs Extend Combat Reach

December 2004
By Capt. Joseph Giaquinto, USN; Maj. Woody Hesser, USMC; and Lt. Cmdr. Dan Rieken, USN

With FORCEnet being touted as the glue that binds the pillars of Sea Power 21, the U.S. Navy is developing a concept to link sensors to shooters to weapons on demand and across joint platforms. By leveraging technology and system engineering know-how developed during the past 10 to 15 years, engagement packs would employ capabilities that are based on sharing and fusing multisource information and could be fielded in the next 5 years. The concept relies heavily on adaptable, flexible, composable forces and a distributed, network-centric, services-oriented architecture to make information available and usable by many systems.

Telecommunications Standard Key to Transformation

December 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

An advanced software architecture will allow the U.S. Navy to increase substantially the bandwidth and data throughput of its satellite communications systems and will serve as a bridge to the next-generation capabilities envisioned in FORCEnet and Sea Power 21. It will enter service as part of a sophisticated multiband satellite communications terminal designed to link with future spacecraft.

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