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June 2012

Security on the Seven Seas

June 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The shifting winds of geopolitical change are forcing government and industry alike to take a new tack in ensuring safe passage through the Earth’s oceans. From criminals plying their trade on the high seas, to nation-states seeking to deny access to other countries, the challenges are growing. To counter the problems, militaries and businesses are engaged in overcoming both new and resurgent dangers that threaten navigation over waterways.

It Is All About Integration and Synergy

June 2012
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

At the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference in Tampa, Florida, last month, the discussion focused on the enterprise and jointness and coalition. If it did not cause attendees to have an epiphany, it certainly should have triggered a re-awareness.

Air Arms Around Intelligence

June 2012
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A flood of new sensors has the U.S. Air Force awash in data, so now one of its priorities is to determine how to best process, exploit and disseminate information both today and in future operations. Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, USAF, the service’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, says his organization needs the tools to fuse and format data using technology to facilitate data sharing even in hostile physical or cyber environments.

Coast Guard Prepares As Arctic Heats Up

June 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Coast Guard is taking steps to lead the nation's response to changes occurring within the Arctic Circle. Accelerated melting of the polar ice cap, expanded exploration for oil in the Arctic region and the competing territorial imperatives of nations that also are U.S. allies underscore the urgency of Coast Guard officials trying to make their case at a time of diminishing resources.

Wonder Material Brings New Light to Night-Vision Gear

June 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

Night-vision capability embedded in a smartphone could be in the future equipment pack of every military service member if the Army Research Laboratory and Northeastern University successfully tap into the promise of graphene—carbon atoms so tightly packed that they resemble a honeycomb. The laboratory has embarked on a three-year collaboration with the Boston-based school to develop a new generation of low-cost infrared imaging devices using the material.

A Global Effort Combats Small Ship Nuke Threat

June 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP of maritime security experts is working to knit together the latest communications technology to identify small ships bearing nuclear weapons. The goal is to give first responders patrolling the world’s harbors and coastlines instantaneous access to experts to quickly size up possible threats in port or on the high seas.

How Efficient Is the Management of Defense Enterprise Systems?

June 2012
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) delivered to the House Armed Services Committee a report on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These ERPs would be replacing legacy systems costing $890 million per year. Replacing such systems would take anywhere from seven to 14 years. However, when the ERPs finally are installed, they would cost up to $207,561 per user and have a payback time frame as high as 168 years.

Military and Industry Seek Cyber Solutions

June 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

U.S. military land forces increasingly rely on networks, data and a secure cyberspace to accomplish virtually every mission, including combat, humanitarian and peacetime duties. That reliance, however, comes with a wide array of challenges, changes and adjustments as forces continually transition to the next new technology. Military and industry experts gathered at the TechNet Land Forces conference in Tucson, Arizona, in late March to search for solutions that make the transitions smoother.

When Warfighter Networks Go Dark

June 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

The military network that broke new ground serving U.S. units in Iraq also generated lessons in how to take down a network at the end of operations. For some U.S. Army network experts, those lessons include how not to transition a network during a theater exit.

Coast Guard Calls on Underwater Imager in Crises

June 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

In a few months, the U.S. Coast Guard will complete its evaluation of an underwater 3-D imaging system that will then be transferred from the service’s Research and Development Center to operators. But even as the technology is being assessed, the system is deploying to hot spots around the world, most recently in the search for bodies following the late February crash of a Coast Guard helicopter off the coast of Alabama.

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