May 18, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The FORTIS K-SRD supports warfighters’ legs and boosts knee capacity, enabling them to travel longer distances while carrying heavy equipment.

A new computer-controlled exoskeleton is now available to help warfighters carry heavy equipment in physically challenging environments. The FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD) features military-specification batteries approved for infantry use, improved control box ergonomics and faster actuators that generate more torque.

Using Dermoskeleton bionic augmentation technology developed by B-Temia Incorporated, the device increases leg capacity for tasks that require repetitive or continuous kneeling, squatting, lifting, dragging, carrying or climbing with heavy loads.

May 17, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Amanda Kohler and Ken Sale study the bacteria they used to produce LigM. Photo by Dino Vournas

There is good waste and there is bad waste. Sandia National Laboratories found some very good waste.

Recently, scientists discovered the potential of biofuel waste and the competition it could bring for petroleum.

While fuel made from plants can cost more than petroleum-based fuel, using a product called lignin offers a cost-saving benefit. Lignin is plant waste left over from biofuel production. While it can be burned to produce electricity, often it is left unused due to lack of knowledge on how to convert it into useful products, such as renewable plastics, fabrics, nylon and adhesives.

May 16, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
A screenshot shows the launch Monday of an Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellite aboard the SpaceX Falcon rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The fourth Inmarsat Global Xpress satellite successfully boosted into space Monday evening on a SpaceX Falcon rocket, adding broadband capabilities to a network of high frequency satellites.

May 15, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
New technologies selected by the DHS will be introduced to cybersecurity professionals through a series of Demonstration Day events taking place around the country.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transition to Practice (TTP) program tomorrow unveils to investors, developers and integrators eight cybersecurity technologies with commercial potential. The budding future capabilities, developed with federal funding, range from helping cyber analysts deal with data overload when filtering social media content to protecting power transmission infrastructure by detecting sensor failures or identifying cyber attacks in real time.

May 11, 2017
By Chris Collura
Photo by Justin Main

In spite of an outcry from the federal work force for heightened access to wireless networks, U.S. government spending that would extend the service into offices reached a five-year low of $820.2 million in fiscal year 2015, a decline of 21 percent from its peak three years earlier, according to market research firm Govini.

May 12, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
SIGNAL's Editor in Chief Robert K. Ackerman sits down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate as a service.

Cloud computing is fast becoming the new normal. It can increase efficiency and improve cash flow, making it an attractive and necessary service for both industry and government.

As part of SIGNAL’s executive video series, Editor-in-Chief Robert K. Ackerman sat down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate (ATO) as a service. The company’s main focus is providing customers risk management framework compliance when they are looking to move to the cloud.

May 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
The various components of the so-called electronic backpack are designed to stimulate the dragonfly’s flight control neurons.

Researchers are planning the inaugural test flight of a cyborg dragonfly, a brand-new type of micro aerial vehicle. Harnessing the power of nature, the hybrid system is smaller, lighter and stealthier than most man-made systems and could prove valuable for military reconnaissance and a variety of other missions. 

Scientists with The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Ashburn, Virginia, are partnering on a Draper-funded project known as DragonflEye

May 9, 2017
By David E. Meadows

I wrote about STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—being a critical element of national security (CENS) in July 2015. At the time, 8.5 million STEM jobs already were on the market, with the number growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 9 million additional STEM graduates will be needed by 2022.

So, how is the nation going to meet this CENS need that crosses nominal disciplines such as the economy, power, water, transportation and defense?

May 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

State-of-the-art encryption continues to defy all but the most elite codebreakers, but even exponential improvements may never catch up with rapid advances in computing. In some cases, the very technologies that enable innovative encryption solutions also could provide the key to breaking the most complex codes applied to datasets.

April 27, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's chemistry division have developed a patent-pending, zinc-based 3-D sponge electrode that allows for rechargeability and performance on par with lithium, improving safety, size, weight and availability.

Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Chemistry Division developed a 3-D zinc “sponge” architecture that will extend the life of the cells in today's single-use batteries and provide a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, officials announced Thursday.

April 20, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paula Austin, a Sandia systems engineer within International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction group, stands outside an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone. (Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories)

Nearly 60 employees of Sandia National Laboratories have been recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) for their work during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Dmitri Kusnezov, chief scientist and senior adviser to the secretary of energy, visited Sandia earlier this month to honor the lifesaving efforts of the Sandians and the work of the Technology Convergence Working Group.

The working group was established in 2015 to provide technical insight and assess the nation’s emerging biological technologies. It is made up of representatives from DOE headquarters and Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

April 20, 2017

Organizations today must deal with an avalanche of big data and the advanced computing requirements that are driven by so much data. To cover the accelerated speeds and throughput needs they increasingly face, their information systems require increased network speeds and upgrades as well as improved security and monitoring tools.

April 17, 2017
The Defense Advanced Research Projects is seeking information on advanced war gaming and modeling and simulation concepts.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office is requesting information on scalable, interactive gaming or war gaming approaches simultaneously spanning a large number of space and time scales with the goal of assessing a wide range of possible competitive outcomes and strategies using a range of human decision-making strategies.

April 18, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) will hold a two-day virtual proposers event May 3 and 4 to provide detailed information to vendors about an array of plans and projects for the year.

April 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
The U.S. Defense Department lacked sufficient satellite resources for many missions during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, propelling the department to rely heavily on commercial services for its satellite needs.

As the U.S. Defense Department goes full force into managing its terrestrial digital infrastructure of interconnected systems, it faces an additional challenge: connecting the moving dots involving space-based networks. Military satellite users want commercial service providers to develop more resilient and flexible communication networks based on open architectures to streamline shifts between military and commercial resources. 

April 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines conduct operations in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The NATO Secret-level network in Afghanistan, outsourced to private industry, serves as an example of how future NATO information technology might be acquired through outsourcing.

The global onslaught of new information technology is forcing NATO members to find ways of helping the alliance build a supporting infostructure comprising innovative technologies and capabilities. But acquisition constraints, which can be serious barriers in individual countries, are even more complicated for a security alliance composed of 28 governments.

Partnering with industry has been a go-to method for NATO, but now it is heavily emphasizing this approach. Leaders of active member nations say it is the best hope for speeding up the acquisition of information technologies that serve both alliance and member needs.

April 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Society’s insatiable appetite for connecting objects in the physical world to the Internet has industry’s wheels turning to fuel the materializing disruptive ecosystem called the Internet of Things, or IoT. But the good of convenience goes hand in hand with the bad of cyber risks, experts warn, spurring the U.S. government’s search for the self-healing networks of the future based on the automation tools of today.

March 27, 2017
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Vanishing Programmable Resources program is developing electronics that disappear.

Troy Olsson, a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, says providing technologies to support warfighters is the most satisfying part of his job.

Olsson's connection to warfighters comes in part from his relationship with his grandfather, a former Navy man who taught him right from wrong, valued hard work and never forgot how to navigate by the stars.

March 24, 2017
By James Poole

Much anticipation surrounds the U.S. Defense Department's transition to Windows 10, primarily because of the promise that the software update is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, and perhaps Microsoft's best operating system yet.

Nevertheless, a software overhaul can be intimidating. For agencies facing the Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration, the challenge often lies in the preparation—or the lack thereof. With Windows 7 nearing the end of its extended support timeline, it is crucial to have the proper training and migration plan in place to eliminate unexpected roadblocks and ensure a smooth deployment.

March 16, 2017
By James Christophersen
Soldiers with the 4th Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the Alabama Army National Guard assemble a VSAT, similar to the one Army Medical Command personnel rely upon for telemedicine support when forward-deployed.

During the final days of November, managers for the Joint Telemedicine Network (JTMN) powered down the central teleport facility in Landstuhl, Germany, officially closing the network that had provided a dedicated worldwide satellite communication (SATCOM) network to U.S. Army medical personnel treating wounded soldiers at field hospitals and forward operating bases in combat zones.