November 2011

November 30, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

NASA's final space shuttle mission did not mark the end of U.S. space travel. Instead, scientists and engineers now have their sights set on exploring deeper into the solar system with plans to enable trips to Mars and asteroids. A plethora of projects are testing how to supply the food, liquids and fuel necessary for such journeys.

November 17, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. intelligence community faces the possibility of devastating budget cuts if the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction does not reach an agreement by November 23, 2011. The community is not ready for the massive reductions that would be imposed if that congressional committee fails to reach agreement, says a senior defense official.

November 28, 2011

Here’s an interesting look into the inner workings of international cyber criminals by virtue of covertly recorded conversation snippets. The characteristics of similar processes in Western governments, particularly here in the United States, are well known because they are described in detail in the media. Our processes exist to provide accountability, budget constraint, quality assurance and fair competition. The bad guys have a slightly different take on how to go about things.

November 15, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Connections

Leadership, mentoring, networking and fundraising—just a handful of the skills that helped Colleen Dilly achieve success both in her career and in her position with the Central Maryland Chapter.

November 15, 2011
By Jordan Garegnani, SIGNAL Connections

Chapter participation helps individuals and organizations interact with the entire AFCEA International network.

November 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

Every meeting should have a specific objective: make a decision, plan a strategy or brainstorm ideas.

November 14, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Coast Guard 1st District is making plans to extend its network of disparate yet connected radio frequencies down to its front lines. If all goes according to plan, the smaller, lighter technology could make its way into the vests of boarding-team leaders, giving them the ability to connect with higher headquarters via not only voice, but also full-motion video and videoteleconferencing.

November 10, 2011
George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

U.S. Army officials are planning improvements to the Army’s mobile cloud computing platform commonly used in Afghanistan. The next version of the Battle Command Common Services (BCCS) system will mark the Army’s first attempt to align the cloud platform with the Common Operating Environment. It will improve interoperability between the operations and intelligence communities, ultimately improving situational awareness for warfighters.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

It may take a village of computer experts to build the next generation of networks as access, identification, applications and security concerns weigh heavily on planners and managers alike.

November 2, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Air Force have created a coordinated strategy for certifying commercial launch vehicles to send their payloads into space, including Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle missions.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The future is in the East, and the United States must adapt to ensure that it can meet the challenges of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century.

November 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The future of computing is being shaped by breakthroughs in many facets of the industry, but no matter the devices or the Internet services they access, all will be influenced by the computer chip. Innovations in this area will help drive advancements in others, and big names in the field are hard at work to enable emerging capabilities.

November 2011
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

Government information technology is an area rife with issues for discussion. These include enterprise initiatives, mobile computing, the cloud in all its forms, cybersecurity and many more. However, one activity is the key to making all government information technology useful and secure: the common operating environment.

November 2011
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

The tight coupling that currently binds Defense Department architecture—the infrastructure, communications, databases, applications, security and desktops into more than 2,200 unique silos—must be separated. Right now, each silo is the consequence of contracts in which all software is assembled into a one-of-a-kind collection of codes. The resulting software is costly to maintain; applications are not interoperable; and lack of compatibility complicates the exchange of data.

November 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Defense Department may become its own cellular provider. This move, which would involve centralizing control of mobile devices, would improve security and potentially save money.

November 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

Commanders in Afghanistan are experiencing a reduced decision cycle through use of a radio that extends the network down to—and provides situational awareness at—the lowest levels while allowing warfighters to access the network while on the move.

November 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

The increasing complexity of government networks is compelling managers to turn to solutions for monitoring that are as diverse as the networks they operate. Their needs are varied, but their goal is the same. In this era of electronic government, departments and agencies continually search for ways to improve network performance and ensure that the networks remain healthy and robust.

November 2011
By Cdre. Robert Howell, RN (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

New security concerns are vying with the global financial crisis as NATO’s Allied Command Transformation attempts to keep abreast of the dynamic field of global security. Gen. Stéphane Abrial, FRAF, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, opened the eighth ACT Industry Day held in London in September by emphasizing that affordability is today’s important word.

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

The word transparency is used in many different places but with different results. Transparency is what we want in Congress, friendships, relationships and processes, as well as in city council meetings, school board decisions, neighborhood association rules and acquisition strategies. However, in today’s world, very few things are opaque—particularly when it comes to the process of government procurement. What should be an extremely transparent process remains one of the most coveted havens of secrecy, power and waste, and we all pay the price.

November 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

A MARKET FOR THE NEW GENERATION of information technology tools is growing in the Czech Republic despite economic challenges taking place around the globe. Spending on security products is one area of growth, as the nation has followed the path of other countries worldwide to become more security conscious.

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