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SIGNAL Online Exclusives

Tanglefoot Protects Troops From Explosives

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.

New Document Provides Framework for Interagency Data Sharing

Friday, March 19, 2010
by Henry S. Kenyon, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

International Force Tracking Due for Upgrade in Southwest Asia

March 11, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Multinational operational commands in Afghanistan and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) are shaping their requirements to upgrade the International Force Tracking System (IFTS). Although not finalized, one new requirement calls for a system capacity increase of at least 500 percent. Accomplishing this task will involve configuration and software changes and will likely include replacing certain components to facilitate capacity growth.

According to André Regtien, principal scientist, NATO NC3A, currently the priority is both to boost capacity and improve responsiveness, for example through reduced and distance-sensitive refresh rates and reduced latency. After the requirements have been approved, the IFTS upgrade should be able to deliver these enhancements in the near future, he says.

The IFTS serves as an interoperability hub for the multinational coalition systems in place in Afghanistan. It receives and distributes tracking information to and from other national force tracking systems and boosts the effectiveness of Afghanistan’s systems.

Army Looks for a Few Good Apps

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

A Plan With a Purpose

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor

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.

Military Facilitates Help in Haiti

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor

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.

Defense Department Wants You to Get Scienced

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Katie Packard

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.

Defense Contractor Revamps Its Structure

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Rita Boland

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.

Cybersecurity Expert: Less Talk, More Action

Deember 2009
by Maryann Lawlor

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.

Ocean Research Fleet Will Be Adrift Without New Technologies

December 2009
By Jim Sweeney

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.

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