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May 2011

Military Treats Outbreak of Chat Rooms in Afghanistan

May 31, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

As chat capabilities threaten to overtake voice radio as the preferred means of communication on the battlefield, military officials in Afghanistan are countering the proliferation of chat rooms available on the coalition network. Chat capabilities offer several advantages over voice communications, according to military officials in Afghanistan. But thousands of chat rooms available to warfighters have proven to be too much of a good thing.

Don't Wear the Hat!

May 26, 2011

A series of raids, both CONUS and OCONUS, on the hideouts of known cyber criminals has resulted in the discovery of a number of information documents. These documents indicated that the cyber crime and terrorism communities have ceased global operations involving the exploitation of unsecured wireless networks. But don't let that fool you.

NASA Goes Deep With Orion

May 25, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The proposed Orion spacecraft, nearly left for dead in the wake of NASA’s decision to rely on commercial vehicles for manned orbital access now is at the heart of the space agency’s plans to send humans to deep space. NASA has tabbed a version of Orion to serve as the basis for a new spaceship known as the multipurpose crew vehicle, or MPCV. This spacecraft would be designed to carry humans beyond Earth orbit, potentially on missions to Mars or the asteroids.

Competition Launches Interest in STEM

May 18, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

One hundred teams from around the country gathered in Virginia last week to compete in the ninth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) finals. The event gives students in seventh through 12th grades the chance to experience math and science in action with the hope that practical application will encourage them to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their higher education and careers.

Sand and Dust Simulators in One Device

May 16, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

The battle against damage to equipment from sand and dust has gained ground with the unveiling of the first device that simulates exposure to both in a single chamber.

NATO and United States Set to Test Missile Defense Link

May 16, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections

For the first time, the United States and NATO plan to test an operational link between the NATO missile defense system and the U.S. system, which is in the early stages of deployment to Europe.

New Products

May 16, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections

Firebird Spycraft

The Firebird intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, which can be either manned or unmanned, will attempt to prove spy-in-the-sky power, during Joint Forces Command’s May 23 to June 3 Empire Challenge 2011 military exercise. Firebird, developed by Northrop Grumman, is designed to gather real-time, high-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and listen in on communications signals simultaneously through a universal interface. The universal interface is similar to plugging a jump drive into a personal computer that is automatically recognized with no need for additional software, according to Northrop Grumman officials.

Enhanced Mobile Alerts

Homefront Help

May 16, 2011
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. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation

France Joins Afghan Mission Network

May 13, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

On Sunday, France became the fifth nation to officially join the Afghan Mission Network, the system used by NATO nations and coalition forces to conduct warfighting operations in Afghanistan. France now will be able to fully share information with other nations, including such data as human intelligence and full-motion video.

Can a New Sub Chaser Learn From the 'Crowd'?

May 2, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Anti-submarine warfare tactics developed by anonymous gamers today could be part of the “brains” of an unmanned, autonomous enemy sub tracker now under development for the U.S. Navy.


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