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SIGNAL Online Exclusives

Defense Efficiencies to Fund ISR, UAVs

January 7, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The Defense Department budget efficiencies announced on January 6 by Secretary Robert Gates will generate program activity in electronic warfare (EW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), tactical communications and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a department statement. These efficiencies, which would total more than $150 billion over the next five years, would be accomplished through personnel reductions, program extensions, consolidations and improved business practices.

U.S. Marine Corps Modernization Outpaces Navy

December 22, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The conventional wisdom—and common joke—is that the U.S. Marine Corps receives used-up, hand-me-down equipment passed along from the Navy and Army. But that proved not to be the case during the recently completed Navy-Marine Corps exercise Bold Alligator 2011. In fact, the Marine Corps brought to the exercise more modern information technology systems than the Navy, which created interoperability problems and delays in providing critical information to commanders.

One Tiny Satellite, One Big Change for Space

December 16, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The first satellite built by the U.S. Army in more than five decades launched last week, ushering in a new phase of space use for the military branch.

Strategy Boosts Combat Decision-Making Capability

December 9, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The Air Combat Command is offering an information-sharing approach and visualization tool to facilitate decision making based on knowledge rather than available technology. As this strategy moves out, it will affect not only the U.S. Air Force but also the U.S. Defense Department and industry.

Military Releases Early C2 Data Standards

December 2, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

U.S. military command and control (C2) systems developers are closer to enhanced interoperability after the release of C2 Core Version 1.0 in October. The core is an open, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based data exchange standard developed by the C2 community for capability implementation. These data standards change the current approach to military-systems design that results in unique interfaces, often with multiple standards for similar data, for each information exchange.

NIST Releases Better Bug Catcher

November 29, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers recently released a new and improved bug catching system designed to more efficiently find software glitches during the development process. The Advanced Combinatorial Testing System (ACTS) generates plans for efficiently testing every combination of six or fewer interacting variables rather than the more commonly used “pairwise” approach to testing software, which checks combinations of only two variables.

Computer Viruses Hit Milestone; Cure Remains Elusive

November 18, 2010
By Beverly Cooper, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The silver anniversary of the first PC virus is approaching in January, but even after 25 years, no victory celebration is on the horizon. Today, some experts contend we are moving from cyber mayhem to cyber missiles, as multifaceted software attacks are being used to target specific industries. The original computer worm that surfaced in 1979 was designed to scour a network for idle processors to enable more efficient computer use. Stuxnet, a worm discovered in July 2010, infects, spies on and modifies the control systems of industrial utilities, including nuclear systems. It is the most important malware yet seen, says Hypponen.

International Doctrine Development Thrives

November 10, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Multinational Experiment 6 sends one concrete solution directly into Afghanistan and creates inroads into coalition collaboration concepts that are being integrated into individual nations' military and political doctrine.

Federal Teleconference Centers to Open Nationwide

November 3, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The General Services Administration (GSA) is establishing 15 virtual meeting centers across the United States for use by government personnel. Scheduled to open in 2011, the centers will be available to representatives from all federal agencies, military and civilian, and should help reduce greenhouse emissions and travel.

Shedding Human Resources Systems

October 21, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Air Force Personnel Center is transferring virtually all human resources-related information technology responsibilities to the Defense Information Systems Agency, becoming a customer rather than a human resources systems owner. The service is migrating its Total Force Service Center to the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA’s) Defense Enterprise Computing Center, a fee-for-service organization providing processing capability, systems management, communications and data storage in a reliable and secure cloud-computing environment.


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