Tradition permeates AFCEA International. Our roots are in the military, an organization that many affectionately refer to as "family." And our heritage also stems from the government-the cornerstone of every country. Intertwining these two entities is industry that supports them, provides for them and depends on them. As we look toward the beginning of a new century, information technology has become the common language between these three organizations, and AFCEA has evolved into the conduit for communication.
Extreme ultraviolet lithography, a technology being developed by a consortium of U.S. national laboratories and the semiconductor industry, is a strong contender to produce new generations of computer chips with features perhaps as small as 30 nanometers.
Urban warfare concepts are receiving increased scrutiny through a series of U.S. Marine Corps experiments aimed at preparing the Corps for likely future missions. Participants in these experiments are studying the problems of urban conflicts and are identifying and developing new tactics, techniques, procedures and technologies that could prove useful on an urban battlefield.
Military units and law enforcement personnel are employing the latest in integrated technology and real-time video transmission to conduct operations ranging from narcotics trafficking interdiction to search and rescue efforts. These mature yet evolving systems, used for several years to monitor the jungles of South America, are wending their way to new applications on the streets of Washington, D.C.
Next-century warriors will face a radically different electronic warfare and electronic intelligence environment in the information age battlespace. Rapid advances in technology will profoundly influence 21st century conflicts because highly advanced systems will provide greater situational awareness, higher quality threat assessment, and more accurate, timely automated matching of active signals with the resources of widely distributed libraries. Operators and analysts will be able to collaborate in real time within a distributed virtual environment. They will configure, launch and control highly efficient software agents to conduct geographically widespread tasks and accomplish complex analyses within a changing operational context efficiently and quickly.
As a first point in the United States' electronic combat test process, researchers strive to re-create electronic warfare accurately to challenge the effectiveness of hardware against hostile threats. A major link in this process is the U.S. Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator in Fort Worth, Texas, which can evaluate defensive systems against most known threats and can respond quickly to newly discovered threats.
Integrated signal processors are the buzzword for new electronic warfare suites designed for adaptability across a broad range of threat environments. Embedding these commercial off-the-shelf devices in sea- and airborne signals intelligence platforms both increases interoperability and reduces the likelihood of rapid obsolescence.
Not since the second American revolution has the United States had to defend its homeland, yet the country is not much better prepared today than it was when much of Washington, D.C., was torched by an invading military force during the War of 1812.
The U.S. Army is developing new countermeasures to defeat smarter air defense threats, including systems that rely on radar targeting technology. The recently introduced suite of tools detects, identifies, locates and jams modern gun and missile radars.
Distributed computer simulation training is bringing forces together and trimming instruction costs for North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Partnership for Peace nations. The worldwide military training moves 27 countries toward greater readiness and interoperability and prepares commanders and their staffs for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
A European organization is heading a global effort to develop standards for an emerging market in telecommunications-voice over Internet protocol. Aiming to write specifications that will achieve worldwide acceptance among industry, administrators, regulators and other standards bodies, this group is gathering support from related organizations and experts in the field of Internet protocol telephony.
Major advancements in Internet technologies are shaping the future of the telecommunications industry. The very real possibility of widespread use of voice over Internet protocol is affecting the market and the way service providers and equipment vendors are tooling for the future.
In the information age, pirates are busy surfing the waves of networks and the Internet. The treasures they pilfer are not doubloons or pieces of eight, but software, and it is certainly just as valuable. These modern-day buccaneers wear neither eye patches nor Jolly Roger insignia but rather business suits and corporate logos, and the term freebooter has now taken on a whole new meaning. But industry and government software sea rovers beware; you could find a U.S. marshal at your door holding a court order in one hand and an auditing program to identify illegal copies of software in the other.
Entrepreneurs aiming to take advantage of the opportunities the Internet offers are benefiting from a proven approach to fostering successful businesses. Affordable office space, venture capital and experienced mentors are helping the first wave of computer-comfortable visionaries realize their dreams while opening up a whole new world of alternatives to traditional marketing.
Letting people know whether to expect rain, sleet or snow for tomorrow morning's commute may not seem to have much in common with providing technological expertise for the Trident submarine, Minuteman missile or the space shuttle, but Evan Hineman has a way of pulling it all together.
A microcosm of the global information grid, the key to network-centric operations, will provide GovTechNet International '99 attendees with a preview of the possibilities that military, government and industry cooperation will offer in the future. More than 20 companies and government organizations have joined forces to present an advanced technology demonstration designed to reveal how individual capabilities can convene in a single environment to offer end-users data and processes that help solve challenges.