A package of sensors, software and navigation equipment will soon permit U.S. Army ground robots, trucks and armored vehicles to move around a battlefield with minimal human supervision. The Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) allows robots to perceive and follow paths and other vehicles. The system recently completed its critical design review and is now moving on to the prototype fabrication stage.
SIGNAL Online Exclusives
While they await the U.S. Senate’s decision about assigning Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, USA, as commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), military members of the new sub-unified command are poising their fingers above computer keyboards ready to begin their mission. Decisions already have been made about which joint commands to disestablish and merge and where the command’s headquarters will be: Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, some 1,177 miles away from U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), its host unified command. While the date of initial operational capability is nebulous, full operational capability (FOC) is scheduled to occur on October 1, 2010. If confirmed, Gen. Alexander will serve as both the director of the National Security Agency and CYBERCOM’s commander.
Even as government 2.0 advocates hailed the U.S. Defense Department's newly framed social media policy upon its announcement, questions persisted over the value of such a policy in the wake of cybersecurity threats. But Sumit Agarwal, who was named deputy assistant secretary of defense (public affairs) for outreach and social media in January, says that with so many people using social media on their own, enforcing a closed posture on these tools may be as ill-advised as not doing so.
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.
A recently released publication is designed to help facilitate information sharing across civilian and military organizations in the U.S. Government. Produced as a joint effort by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Defense Department and the U.S. intelligence community, the document creates a common information security framework for the federal government and the contractors who support it.
The U.S. Army has announced the Apps for the Army (A4A) challenge, a three-month outreach to the service’s active duty, National Guard and civilian employees that will award as much as $2,000 to the top entries.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has released its 2010 Campaign Plan. Although designated as this year’s plan, the document actually lays the groundwork for DISA activities that will take place during the next two to five years. While it may appear ambitious, the agency’s officials believe that it is absolutely necessary to reach beyond DISA’s grasp as it heads into the future.
Generosity has been pouring from every direction to the tiny Caribbean nation of Haiti since the earthquake hit on January 12. But problems arise when coordination falls short. However, an Internet-based network scheduled to be tested this summer was put to the test during the real-life crisis and has performed like a charm.
The U.S. Defense Department’s weekly podcast series, “Armed With Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military,” emphasizes the important roles science and technology play in military operations by interviewing scientists, engineers, policymakers and other personnel. Not only does the series highlight cutting-edge technologies and capabilities, it also encourages information sharing and collaboration across the government and the military.
ITT Corporation realigned its former Defense Electronics and Services segment into ITT Defense and Information Solutions on January 5. The move consolidates the business' seven divisions into three in an effort to streamline efficiencies and to respond better to its anticipation of future customer needs.
When it comes to cybersecurity, the time for talk is over and the time for action is way overdue, according to one cybersecurity expert. Policies and procedures have been talked to death through books, symposia and even movies. Technical solutions are available, but each is sitting in its own silo where it isn’t likely to be the most effective. And as for information sharing about cyber incidents and threats, not only does it not occur, but the environment isn’t conducive to it.
Bandwidth demands and the increased use of autonomous aerial and underwater vehicles are among the challenges for the nation’s aging fleet of ocean research ships. A new report predicts that the fleet will face even more demands on its time in the future.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is examining an existing biofeedback technology to help first responders work better on long, round-the-clock disaster relief efforts.
Members of the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Enabling Capabilities (JEC) Command arrived home from Afghanistan and the first major operational use of the Ready JEC Package (RJP) just in time to join their families for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Some of the digital world’s most bitter rivals have joined forces with government and public-sector organizations to develop solutions for disaster relief. An inaugural meeting November 12-14 in Mountain View, California, already has generated some products, and the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has lauded the effort and has pledged support.
Actually, there are only 10. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is holding the DARPA Network Challenge on December 5 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Internet. Participants must locate the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of 10 red weather balloons that will be posted at undisclosed locations across the continental United States.
The NC3A installed communications in a new headquarters in record time.
Energy as a weapon and an enabler could dominate future battlefields, according to a recent war game that focused on military energy requirements. Participants in the 2009 war game, which had the theme “Future Energy Requirement on the Battlefield,” examined energy produced, packaged and used in novel ways to enable persistence.
Cloud computing can solve many problems that state and federal governments are experiencing with traditional network-based systems. Through its cost-effective, flexible options, cloud computing enables organizations to move the burden of network management from their own staff to a host environment.