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SIGNAL Online Exclusives

Breaking Barriers to Enhance Afghan Air Power

July 20, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the development of the Afghan Air Force six to nine months behind schedule, the commander of the Combined Air Power Transition Force pushes for more technology, teaching tools and NATO support.

Mining Social Networks for Clues

July 9, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

An ultra-fast search algorithm that finds patterns in social networks could impact national security, businesses and individuals. A team of University of Maryland researchers developed the computer program, which can be used to uncover covert agents and terrorist groups communicating via social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

Open Network Aids Haiti Response

July 1, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Government agencies and other organizations responding to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January were able to coordinate efforts better thanks to the deployment of new information-sharing technology.

An Eye on Deepwater

June 24, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A new website has launched to help keep the public current with the latest information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of New Hampshire's Coastal Response Research Center were developing an open-source, Web-based, geographical information system (GIS) platform as an internal site so stakeholder organizations could see a common operational picture of an oil spill in near real-time when the recent event occurred.

Government Lags in Reaping Telework Benefits

June 18, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A factor as simple as purchasing desktop computers instead of laptop units may be a key clog holding back the flow of telework among U.S. federal government employees. A recent study has determined that only 23 percent of federal employees telework regularly or exclusively, compared to 64 percent of private-sector employees. And, 93 percent of federal employees state that being able to telework would make working for an organization more desirable.

Fount of Hidden Assessment Knowledge Flows

June 10, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Rarely does a week go by that doesn't include a military-sponsored exercise, experiment or demonstration. As participants ready for the event, excitement mounts. During the event, there don’t seem to be enough hours in a day to accomplish tasks as troops immerse themselves in the job at hand and the days fly by all too quickly. Enter the Joint Systems Integration Center (JSIC). Rather than sponsor its own exercises, experiments or demonstrations, JSIC members become flies on the walls of event sites around the world and create Joint Systems Baseline Assessments (JSBAs).

Coalition Network Reports for Duty

June 2, 2010
By Lt. Col. Patricia S. Collins, USA, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

One of the most significant challenges the U.S. commander in Afghanistan has faced is the technical capabilities needed for command and control. The commander has not been able to obtain the most current information at the right time to make the most timely, effective decisions. This has been largely because of the lack of a single, classified network that facilitates information sharing across all coalition partners.

To solve this problem and support NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, the Afghanistan Mission Network (AMN) has been implemented, which consolidated and fully integrated the information domain. Initial operational capability occurred on October 23, 2009; full operational capability is scheduled to take place on July 10, 2010.

Security Treasure Hunt Closer to Its Gems

May 26, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Cyber Challenge's (USCC's) Security Treasure Hunt wrapped up last week after more than a month of participation by students in three states. The event aimed to identify potential cybersecurity professionals through an online competition that presented players with a target system containing security vulnerabilities to assess and fix. Now, event coordinators are assessing results to determine who will win free trips to cyber camps this summer to advance and prove their skills further.

Charting the Way to Defense Information Assurance

Friday, May 21, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Defense Department has developed an information assurance policy chart in an attempt to pull together the department’s diverse information assurance policies under a single umbrella document. The web-based chart provides hyperlinks directly to policies so that a user can identify and trace their origins as well as track changes that occur.

Robot Navigation System Readies for Prime Time

May 17, 2010
by Henry Kenyon, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

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