March 2009

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
by Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Army has unveiled to the public a new robot that aids troops in their fight against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Intended to attach to more than 8,000 other robotic assets already deployed in the field, Tanglefoot employs simple tools to clear routes that military members must traverse. Developers of this new machine believe its capabilities will help save lives by improving the security of roadways and by keeping soldiers away from explosives during the detection and disarming processes.

March 2009

Once of the most distinguishing characteristics of cyber warfare is that it is not fought on land, at sea or in the air. Cyber space is not an operational theatre that any military branch or relevant agency can lay claim to dominating. The necessities and challenges of defending the nation in the Information Age require a team approach. They also demand the ongoing sharing of ideas, best business practices and lessons learned.

March 2009
By Christopher J. Dorobek

Some government phrases should be retired. By far, the most destructive is, “That’s not the way we’ve always done things.” Those words have sapped the life out of more innovative ideas, change and evolution than perhaps any others. But right behind that idea is the concept that the private sector does everything right and the public sector ... well ... does not.

March 2009
By Kent R. Schneider

Each year we conduct a membership satisfaction survey so you can give us direct feedback on what is important to you and how well we are delivering on those areas of importance. More than 1,500 of you responded to the survey this year. These survey results, which I outline below, will help guide us in improving our association and its service to you.

March 2009
By Adam Baddeley

NATO is exploring the benefits that telepresence capabilities offer military commanders and military families. The organization established a high-capacity communications link between several sites in Europe and Kabul to provide an immersive, face-to-face virtual meeting capability, far beyond that provided by today’s videoconferencing capabilities.

March 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

International defense acquisition reform finally may come from a NATO industrial group traditionally known for generating studies rather than initiating innovative reorganization. The NATO Industrial Advisory Group, known as NIAG, is striving to redefine the relationship between industry and the 26 nations that constitute its parent alliance.

March 2009
By Rita Boland

The dark-hearted members of the human race have found ways to exploit innovations for their own selfish means throughout time. Now, with the ever-growing global dependence on computer networks, criminals are finding new ways to disrupt lives in the real world through enterprise in the cyber one. The U.S. Department of Justice and its allies have adapted their methods and techniques over the past decade and continue to adjust to prevent the morphing illegal activities in cyberspace, whether the computer crime itself is the full intent or only part of a larger scheme.

March 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Modeling initiatives and new research into predictive systems are required to thwart the increasingly aggressive, ever-evolving cyberattacks on both equipment and data. These efforts are part of the recommendations of a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy that calls for a more scientific approach to cybersecurity. The report criticized U.S. government and private organizations for relying on outdated forms of cyberdefense that are a step behind the latest threats.

March 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

The next “shot heard ’round the world” may turn out to be the surreptitious movement of millions of bits and bytes careening through cyberspace. Suspicions already surround the cyberactivity that took place in the weeks before Russia launched a conventional military attack against Georgia last year. And in May 2007, the removal of a bronze statue of a World-War-II-era Soviet soldier from a park in Estonia resulted not in riots in the streets but rather in what has been described as the first war in cyberspace. These incidents may indicate how adversaries—and the United States military—could deploy cyberweapons as the first line of offense prior to traditional kinetic activity.

March 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

Businesses, be aware and prepare. The latest wave of digital disruptions is rolling in, and future success depends on being ready for them and their effects. A comprehensive yearlong study reveals that, in the next three to five years, emerging technologies will reshape industry and initiate new business models.

March 2009
By Dean Risseeuw

The proliferation of inexpensive yet high-quality transducers for acoustic, seismic and optical images, along with inexpensive and low-power digital signal processing and radios, enable improved target detection, classification, tracking and even location prediction. These capabilities are being demonstrated now in the prototypes of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems Tactical Unattended Ground Sensor Program.

March 2009
By Rita Boland

It’s a paperback! It’s a belt buckle! No, it’s a supercomputer! It’s a wearable supercomputer, actually, and it can clip onto a belt so users can take it anywhere they need to go. The product is part of a larger project designed to deliver the capabilities of a simulation center to warfighters instead of requiring them to travel to special facilities. If all goes according to plan, service members can expect the powerful new hardware as well as software and applications to transform their training when they receive the technology. And even if the plan goes awry, the open-source basis for the simulation still could benefit the military.

March 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

A data capture and marking technology permits images to describe where and by whom they were taken. The capability allows warfighters to take photographs on the battlefield that have embedded location coordinates and other data. These coded images then are loaded onto digital maps of a region. Studded with hyperlinked information, these maps provide commanders and analysts with immediate information about their operational zones.

March 2009
By Rita Boland

The U.S. military and its allies have embarked on a project to distribute and standardize geospatial information across all echelons of command. It is no secret that the United States and its allies are facing an agile, adaptive enemy. The danger of this reality is spurring coalition forces to alter how they disseminate information and intelligence, ensuring that commanders have the information they need in a timely manner.

March 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Army researchers are speeding innovations to the battlefield by attaching them to system upgrades or adding them to large programs on the verge of fielding. The prevalence of software-driven systems allows for non-hardware improvements, and the modular nature of an increasing number of systems allows for new developments to be incorporated into them without adversely affecting their timeline or performance.