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SIGNAL Online Exclusives

DHS Cancels BioWatch Gen-3 Acquisition

June 11, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Homeland Security has canceled the new generation of autonomous biodetection program after a Congressional oversight committee criticized the department’s acquisition process.

DARPA Modifies Military Equipment to be Used by Firefighters

June 11, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Tracking technology developed for the U.S. military might help in saving the lives of firefighters battling wildfires.

Catching Criminal Behavior on Cutting-Edge Devices

June 11, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has revised its "Guidelines on Mobile Device Forensics." Released seven years after the original guidance came out, the changes recognize the advances in technology during that time frame.

U.S. Army Researchers Beam Up Data

June 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Scientists at the U.S. Army's Research Laboratory have successfully demonstrated information teleportation capabilities in the laboratory using entangled photons.

Gecko-Inspired DARPA Technology Helps Humans Scale Walls

June 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Spider-Man goes green, and we don’t mean environmentally friendly. How a DARPA project involving gecko-inspired paddles could help humans scale walls.

Teams to Vie for $2 Million Prize in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge

June 3, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

In the two-year Cyber Grand Challenge, 35 teams will vie for a $2 million grand prize and the honor of trying to devise a fully automated system to defend against cyber attacks.

Army Researchers Plotting Upgrades to 3-D Mapping Technology

May 29, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Army researchers improved on the service’s 3-D terrain mapping system by reducing the system’s weight by 250 pounds and making the BuckEye operational from drones. Now they are developing a capability allowing the system to collect data from higher altitudes, covering a larger swath of land and considerably improving the technology’s efficacy, Michael A. Harper, director of the Warfighter Support Directorate at the U.S. Army Geospatial Center, says.

The High Resolution 3-D Terrain Data system is a multipurpose platform supporting requirements for collection of unclassified geospatial data for terrain mapping. BuckEye operates on manned and unmanned aircraft and consists of a 60-megapixel color camera working in conjunction with the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system to provide the high-resolution data.

“We spent some research and development dollars on trying to reduce the size and weight … Traditionally, it’s 350 pounds, but we significantly reduced it to a 100-pound payload to go into an unmanned aerial system,” Harper says, adding that troops operate two BuckEye unmanned aerial systems now in Afghanistan.

Army engineers too are working with industry to improve the capability tenfold. Currently, the BuckEye system scans and collects data from about 100 square kilometers per four-hour mission. “With BuckEye 2, which is what we refer to the prototype as, we’ll collect about 1,000 square kilometers in that same time period. By increasing the power of the laser, you can fly from a higher altitude, and when you go to a higher altitude, it improves your swath of the ground,” says Harper, who declined to name the company collaborating with Army researchers until the prototype and testing are complete sometime this fall.

Senate Defense Bill Calls for Better Incentives For Cyber Warriors

May 28, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber warfare garnered attention and funding earmarks in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2015 Defense Department spending bill as lawmakers want to see federal civilian jobs pay more competitive salaries to keep up with the industry work force.

Resiliency and Recovery Offset Cybersecurity Detection Limits

May 27, 2014
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

Not only is the cost of cyber intrusion severe, the likelihood of it occurring is assured. Cybersecurity defenses must be flexible, innovative and persistent to address an ever-changing threat.

DARPA Unveils Hack-Proof Drone, Bomb Bot

May 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled a drone and a mini bomb-detecting bot that operate on secure software that officials say make them hack-proof.

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