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June 2010

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.

Reporting Data Loss: Tough Choices, One Answer

June 18, 2010

When military data is lost, stolen or compromised, the potential dangers are obvious. Lost personal data can lead to identity theft, lost operational data can lead to mission cancellation or failure and lost technical data can lead to other compromised systems and even further damage. While loss of data is bad enough, sometimes the loss is not mitigated in a timely fashion. When this happens, it is often not because of a stealthy hacker or a missing hardware audit. It is because somebody did not report the incident out a fear of potential personal consequences. We need to change that mindset. Not accepting responsibility and warning others of a network or data breach can put missions and lives at risk.

Federal File Sharing Practices Need Some Work

June 15, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

U.S. government agencies fail to employ the policies that have been put into place to protect sensitive data when it is in transit, according to a recent survey of 200 government information technology (IT) and information security officials.

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).

Information Security Specialists Learn to Handle Hackers

June 15, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

The Art of Exploitation University and Cyber Center of Excellence will instruct government information assurance personnel about adversaries’ tricks of the trade using hands-on training and real-life threats.

Homefront Help

June 15, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available.

America's Heroes at Work

New Products

June 15, 2010
By Helen Mosher, SIGNAL Connections

Low-Light Security Camera

Digital and infrared imaging solutions help provide situational awareness and long-range observation capabilities in security systems. FLIR Systems has developed the ChromaNox cameras, which use electron-multiplying charge-coupled device technology. With near-infrared response and on-chip gain amplification, the cameras provide high image quality in a wide range of lighting and environmental conditions. Two models are available in 640×480 and 1280×1024 resolution, respectively.

GPS Receiver

Symmetricom has released the the RoHS-certified XL-GPS Time and Frequency Receiver, a network-managed Global Positioning System (GPS) instrument that generates precise time and frequency signals referenced to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). It is suited for applications in test and measurement, central timing systems, process automation, test range timing and the power industry. The XL-GPS conforms to the European Union RoHS Directive as well. More information is available here.

Wall Plate Transmitter

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.

Senior Officers Tout Digital Development

June 2010
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr., SIGNAL Magazine

The Signal Regiment faces daunting challenges in providing and maintaining an always-on network for widely scattered U.S. Army forces. Commercial Internet protocol for voice, data, video and network operations is essential to both combat prowess and the Army’s transformation into an expeditionary force.


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