While cybersecurity is getting big play in the news these days—as it well should—three topics require just as much attention but have not yet hit the big time. Acquisition, spectrum and interoperability may not have the headline-grabbing charm of the hack into the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter account, but they are issues that need the same serious attention.
Alion Science and Technology, McLean, Va., was awarded a $1.5 million contract by the Spectrum Policy and Programs office, within the Defense Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, to study the impact of potentially reallocating or sharing the radio frequency bands between the military and commercial sector. Alion will assist in developing a long-term spectrum strategy that will anticipate, guide and respond to changes in technology, policy and regulation and ensure spectrum access for all current and future military systems.
Radio technology being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency uses electromagnetic spectrum so effectively that it has gained White House attention and is being touted by government officials for possible commercial use both domestically and internationally.
Work on the Soldier Radio Waveform is focusing on increasing the number of nodes—currently up to 36 radios—that can stay connected in a chaotic environment. Recent testing indicates that it shows great promise for keeping warfighters at the platoon level connected to their squad leader with both data and voice even when communications among the entire squad are lost. The waveform searches for other available radios from the same squad, then hops back through the nodes to create a path for data and voice communications.
Alion Science and Technology Corporation, Chicago, Illinois, has been awarded a nearly $9 million contract to provide the U.S. Army research and development on identifying and securing access to radio frequencies, spectrum supportability and efficiency risk assessment, electromagnetic analysis, and equipment spectrum certifications. The U.S. Air Force 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the contracting activity.
Spectrum, Newport News, Virginia, has appointed Ralph Wade as chief strategy officer and vice president, National Capital Region.
Pentagon officials are aggressively tackling the spectrum supportability problems that plague the U.S. military both in the United States and abroad. In response to discussions at the Defense Spectrum Summit in December, personnel in the offices of the Joint Staff and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration hammered out details and approved a long-awaited update to the department’s official instruction on management and use of electromagnetic spectrum. A number of new initiatives have been put into motion, and military leaders agree that if the momentum of the summit continues, severe problems with spectrum management could be a thing of the past.