July 2011

July 19, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Troops soon will have access to an upgrade that allows them to counter one of their most complex foes—Mother Nature. A project at the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center incorporates weather information with flight maps so crews can more quickly understand what the environment plans to throw their way and when.

July 15, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The revelation that an unnamed defense contractor suffered a large-scale data breach emphasized the urgency and importance of a Defense Department strategy for operating in cyberspace.

July 15, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The revelation that an unnamed defense contractor suffered a large-scale data breach emphasized the urgency and importance of a Defense Department strategy for operating in cyberspace.

July 15, 2011
By Rear Adm. Hamlin Tallent, USN (Ret.), and Capt. Thomas H. Lang, USN (Ret.)

The U.S. Navy may be setting itself up for strategic mismatches of historic proportions in the near future. While its perception of victory may be tainted by the vision of several aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Fleet listing heavily, on fire and dead in the water during the Battle of Midway, today’s mismatch could likely center on the expectation of data flow in the face of an adversary’s ability to deny it.

July 11, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

First-ever systems integration testing approach proves painful but beneficial.

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

Squad Car Command Center

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

Squad Car Command Center

July 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

July 15, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Connections

A new training system featuring armored autonomous robots could help the U.S. Marine Corps prepare snipers to face human enemies in battle. The smart mobile targets use Segway platforms to mimic human motion and behavior—even running for cover when a fellow robot gets hit.

July 15, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

The recent attack by Lulz Security on the CIA's networks and other breaches of major organizations have brought hacking and hacktivism to the public's attention, but these violations are only a small part of the larger landscape. Different assaults damaged networks worldwide earlier this year, and experts predict that what could happen in the future is even more frightening.

July 6, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Even as he was saying his farewells, now-former Defense Secretary Robert Gates apparently had a change of heart about moving responsibility for the Pentagon’s computer networks from the Defense Department Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) into the newly established U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

July 2011
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

The majority of the 2.5 million military, civilian or reserve personnel in the U.S. Defense Department do not care much about the technical details of computing. Users only wish to receive answers reliably and quickly. Requested information needs to be available regardless of the computing device they use. Responses must be secure. No restrictions should hamper access by certified users communicating from remote locations. Information has to be available for people authorized to make use of what they receive.

July 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Special operations forces are looking to the commercial communications marketplace for their next generation of information systems and solutions. However, the U.S. Special Operations Command’s ability to tap commercial off-the-shelf systems is proving more difficult as its needs become more complex.

July 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, Beverly Mowery Cooper and Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Magazine

The severity of the global financial crisis has permeated budgeting within the defense sector, and indications are that the cuts will go far deeper than many of the experts believe is practical. As a result, the task at hand is to shape the future in a very different budget environment than ever before, with leaders being challenged to make decisions without the benefit of historical models. The fiscal crisis in the United States is its primary security threat today, according to Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, USA, former commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Gen. Odierno joined other high-ranking military and civilian officials offering nontraditional glimpses of the future at Joint Warfighting 2011, held May 10-12 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

July 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

When it comes to the transition from command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems to cloud computing architectures, both the challenge—and the promise—boil down to “getting the right information to the right individual at the right time and doing it securely.”

July 2011
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

Combining alpine skiing with avionics may not be a standard formula for business success except to Brad Lawrence. The 64-year-old avionics executive is pursuing an aggressive business model that fits with his personal recreational philosophy as he takes his high-technology company forward in an era of tighter defense budgets. Based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Lawrence’s Esterline Technologies Corporation is at the forefront of broad new economic imperatives reshaping defense contractors in this time of shifting Pentagon funding priorities.

July 2011
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The world may be on the cusp of Web 3.0. Some of us digital immigrants still are trying to get our arms around Web 2.0. We have been told that Web 2.0 is all about information sharing. Applications, storage and data are Web-enabled. Virtualization has made information easier to use and share. Social networking has created whole new environments for information sharing.

July 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

As commercial carriers around the globe begin to offer 4G networks to customers, the U.S. government is looking for similar capabilities in its organizations. A pioneering project is scheduled to move onto the battlefield soon to provide disadvantaged users with 3G capabilities for intelligence dissemination, but even as that moves forward, the next-generation wireless capability will become available.

July 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Military use of unmanned systems has increased substantially during the years of war in the Middle East, and even the service branch usually at home on the water is taking to the skies to support ground operations. The U.S. Navy is using ScanEagle platforms to support special operations forces in battle, helping to save lives as well as to complete missions successfully.

July 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The J-6 and chief information officer of the U.S. Special Operations Command may not be an international man of mystery, but he does have multiple roles that aid sensitive operations. Unlike similar positions at other U.S. combatant commands, the leader in charge of communications for special forces manages his own network and a discretionary budget. The result is a unique situation that enables quick responses to warfighters’ needs.

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