June 2011

June 29, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Malware threats for mobile and messaging environments are increasing quickly, evolving in sophistication and functionality at a pace that eclipses PC-based malware, according to a report by McAfee Labs. Malicious programs for Android have become especially prevalent; historically, only two other operating systems have more malware.

June 20, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Integrating the network and defending it against cyberattacks are among the top priorities in the new Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) 2011-2012 Campaign Plan. The plan, released this morning, focuses on requirements and opportunities facing the information agency.

June 15, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections

Wearable Tactical System

June 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

June 15, 2011
By Jordan Garegnani, SIGNAL Connections

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is asking companies not only to create better keyboard-tethered 3-D imaging platforms but also to bring analysts into the 3-D world through kinesthetic interaction with imagery taken from above areas of interest.

June 15, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Connections

The Office of Naval Research is turning to a community of more than 1,000 cyber wargame players in a three-week effort to “crowdsource” new ideas on how to combat Somali pirates.

June 14, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Digital-data investigators have a new tool in their arsenals as they try to capture bad guys' information before they can harm others. The device enables immediate, on-scene triage of devices, eliminating the need to send equipment back to a laboratory while saving precious time and resources.

June 9, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Army is introducing its first fully immersive virtual simulation program for dismounted soldiers and small tactical units. The Dismounted Soldier Training System will provide virtual environments for soldiers to increase combat preparedness and reduce traditional training expenses. And the system’s advanced graphics and tools utilize video game elements and skills already familiar to young soldiers.

June 6, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

At a time when almost all of government is being squeezed by efforts to lower spending, a new report from a congressional watchdog agency strongly suggests that the Defense Department needs to do a better job of managing its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems. "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance: Actions Are Needed to Increase Integration and Efficiencies of DOD's ISR Enterprise," (GAO 11-465) warns that the department must improve its control over disparate ISR efforts if it is to provide effective ISR support to the force.

June 2011
By Capt. Joseph A. Grace Jr., USN (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

A week ago, I spent three nights in the hospital with my 17-year-old son, who was suffering from severe headaches and uncontrolled nausea. One test after another revealed nothing, and we ended up with a diagnosis of, “Get him some rest, keep something down and hydrate him with IVs [intravenous fluids], and we’ll see.” Needless to say, his dad—a trained submarine nuclear officer and former chief information officer of Navy Medicine—was ready to stand the watch in the hospital. “Get him some rest and fluids…”—a simple assignment—or so it seemed.

June 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Scientists working for the U.S. Navy are exploring a raft of new energy technologies designed both to wean the sea service off its reliance on traditional fossil fuels and to provide new sources of power for ships that will require ever greater amounts of electricity.

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Members of the U.S. military community are ensuring that some good comes out of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 by creating a response package that will improve rescue efforts during similar future events. Rather than assembling capabilities that troops can take with them when leaving for humanitarian assistance missions, the new offering will be predeployed and ready for action sooner. In the end, aid should be available more quickly, and U.S. partners should be better equipped to take care of themselves or lend a hand.

June 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

Today’s dismounted infantry soldier often packs more than 140 pounds and still has incomplete ballistic protection, insufficient defense against chemical and biological weapons, and too many pieces of equipment that do not work well together, according to officials at the U.S. Army Research Office’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. Reducing the cumbersome weight that soldiers lug around on the battlefield is a major priority for the Army, which is intent on transforming itself into a lighter, more flexible 21st century force. Research being conducted at the institute one day could help transform current combat fatigues and bulky equipment into a do-it-all battle uniform that not only is lightweight but also provides many other benefits.

June 2011
By Petr Jirásek, SIGNAL Magazine

A new approach to electronic security access employs an authentication framework designed to provide automatic identity without many of the drawbacks of traditional approaches. Instead of compromising between ease of use and effective access protection, this system aims to adopt the best of both worlds. Developed in the Czech Republic, the new approach already is in use in national and regional government organizations.

June 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Army is leveraging the latest advances in computing power and digital hardware to expand and improve training using virtual reality technology. Whether it is teaching soldiers how to exit an overturned vehicle safely; reinforcing lessons learned in ground patrol training; or even helping returning warriors cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, virtual reality simulations are enabling the Army to train more effectively and economically.

June 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

Autonomous robots soon could be equipped with electronic noses that perceive the chemical signatures of explosives, chemical and biological weapons, and even humans. A portable micro gas chromatograph system is being designed to fit on a dime-size chip so it can be incorporated into unmanned systems without adding significant weight or increasing space or energy requirements. Work is underway on several fronts, including perfecting the sensor itself and experimenting with it on robotic platforms that could be in the field later this decade.

June 2011
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The global security community has never had a greater need for training and education—or needed more help.

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Coalition forces have a new resource in the battle against improvised explosive devices, and it should enhance efforts well into the future. This training initiative offers both immediate skills for the war in Afghanistan as well as train-the-trainer options for participants to bring back to their home countries. Success will mean fewer deaths and injuries for all warfighters, but the work also has another goal—to prepare foreign troops to take more active roles in conflict, thereby reducing the number of U.S. service members who have to fight on the front lines.

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The export laws imposed by the U.S. government on defense-related goods and information have been a source of aggravation for U.S. companies and foreign customers for years. Private-sector firms continue to push for changes, and both the enforcement agencies and the current presidential administration are responding. However, interested parties sitting outside the border see several issues that might not be at the forefront for those making the adjustments.

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

During a year spent in the harsh environs of Helmand Province, communications Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) engaged in a range of projects that helped protect their fellow warfighters and changed the face of technology in the area. From enlarging existing networks to introducing capabilities new to the Corps, systems in that territory will never be the same. And neither will the lives of the local residents, who are taking advantage of the increased stability in the region.

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