SIGNAL Blogs

December 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, has selected its winners from its crowd-sourced Multi-View Stereo 3-D Mapping Challenge—a contest to see who could best convert satellite photos into 3-D models to create more accurate maps.

 

November 29, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a portable measurement system to monitor the amount of electricity used by individual household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, with support from the Office of Naval Research, have developed a portable measurement system to precisely and inexpensively monitor the amount the electricity used by individual household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel of U.S. military communications officers discuss their technology wish lists at AFCEA Technet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

At AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific, a panel of U.S. military communications officers stationed in the Asia-Pacific region told the defense technology industry what they most need to accomplish the mission. The list included capabilities ranging from next-generation authentication tools to airborne command and control network modeling.

November 29, 2016

The Kill Chain Integration Branch at Hanscom Air Force Base has begun an experimentation campaign, known as Data-to-Decisions, to look at ways to provide warfighters data in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

November 29, 2016

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has kicked off the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) to tackle the lack of clear, widely accepted technical and safety standards for responsible performance of on-orbit activities involving commercial satellites.

November 29, 2016
By Joe Kim

While it’s clear the cloud is the future of government IT, concerns surrounding cloud security continue to abound. Some agency IT personnel remain skittish about handing over data to cloud service providers and skeptical that the data will remain out of the hands of bad actors. As a result, they’re more comfortable housing information in legacy IT systems, even if those systems are, in some cases, decades old and prone to security vulnerabilities, writes SolarWinds blogger Joe Kim.

November 28, 2016
By David Young

When we think about critical infrastructure, specifically the sectors the Department of Homeland Security has deemed essential to the well being of the country, rarely does the idea center on public networking assets to support critical infrastructure. But a rapid transformation of network technology and security improved processes so that agencies now can take advantage of combined public and private networking to accomplish information technology goals.

November 16, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel discusses challenges in cyber domain at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Hawaii. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Col. Joseph Matos, USMC, Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (r) discusses the challenges of cyber during a panel at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Military cyber officials worry that weapon systems, such as the F-35, may be vulnerable to cyber attack.

Operating in a relatively new operations domain, cyber fighters are coping with a wide range of challenges, including lack of training and still-to-be-defined policies, doctrines and authorities. Speaking at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific, a panel of cyber experts agreed that the authorities to conduct cyber operations—along with policies, doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures—still need to be defined even as technology advances rapidly.

November 22, 2016
By Ben Sharfi
A soldier from 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division demonstrates Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 2 and Mission Command on the move applications during Network Integration Evaluation 12.1. , The Point of Presence (PoP) node acts as a mobile satellite communications link as well as a “healing” node for on-the-ground communications that become disrupted., The Soldier Network Extension (SNE) is a lower level network “healing” node that also passes messages and data up the chain of command.

It seems like a simple choice. You need to upgrade a platform’s computing capabilities but some of the existing hardware still is salvageable. Rather than do a complete upgrade from scratch, it is possible to retain much of the existing technology in the retrofit. But a closer inspection might reveal a different answer. Let’s peel back a few layers and see why—and when—it might make sense to throw away existing equipment and start over.

Hackers, take your mark. Building on the successes of the U.S. Defense Department’s “Hack the Pentagon” bug bounty program launched earlier this year, the Army now launches its own challenge. it’s now the Army’s turn.

November 18, 2016
By Rachel Lilly
Kevin Kless and his students accept a Gravely STEM Teaching Tool Grant, which will support their physics and chemistry program known as PACE., Graduates from Yale engage young students in chemistry experiments at last year's Make-Her Fair., Chemistry in action at Heart Pine School.

This Giving Tuesday, AFCEA’s Educational Foundation will join the movement in support of teachers and students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

November 18, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
The Small Business Committee gathers for a presentation on teaming agreements by Marques Peterson and Kelly Buroker of Vedder Price.

AFCEA’s Small Business Committee welcomed Marques Peterson and Kelly Buroker of Vedder Price to its November meeting to present on government contracts, with a focus on teaming agreements and bid protests.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, addresses the crowd at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, told the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific audience he is concerned about the cyber threat posed by insiders, but he also warned against limiting employees’ sense of freedom.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Cindy Moran, former director for network services at DISA, talks about network performance and security at TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Cindy Moran, former director for network services at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), told the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu that it is time to build networks for maximum performance and to find other ways to build in security.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Experts debate whether a cyber attack against common information systems or industrial control systems would be more lethal. Photo by Bob Goodwin

U.S. military and civilian experts on protecting critical infrastructure control systems debated whether a cyber attack on common information systems or on industrial control systems would be more deadly in response to an audience question at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at TechNet Asia-Paciifc 2016 discuss the need for trust in the cyber domain. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Randy Cieslak, chief information officer for the U.S. Pacific Command (l) and Brig. Rory Copinger-Symes, United Kingdom Royal Marines, deputy director for security cooperation, PACOM, speak on a panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Trust—or a lack thereof—is one of the biggest impediments to information sharing among coalitions and partner nations, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet conference in Honolulu. Randy Cieslak, chief information officer for the U.S. Pacific Command, led the panel. He described cyber as a two-edged sword available to both good guys and bad.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, addresses attendees at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016. Photo by Bob Goodwin

To obtain mission success, the U.S. military must maintain an emphasis on distributed operations that rely heavily on technological capabilities offered through cyberspace, said Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, summarizes the state actor threats to the United States during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu. Photo by Bob Goodwin

The good news, according to Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, is there is little likelihood the U.S. will go to war with China, Russia, North Korea or Iran, the country’s top four nation-state adversaries. Furthermore, ISIL will not be able to hold onto its territories. On the other hand, North Korea is utterly unpredictable and ISIL will probably rebuild somewhere else.

November 14, 2016
By David Young

Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience month serves as a reminder to not only understand, but appreciate, the various critical infrastructure sectors that play vital roles in the national and economic security of the United States. How can networking capabilities within these sectors improve? How can innovation continue? One key approach is to address the vast complexities of the networks, guest blogger David Young writes.

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