News Briefs

August 30, 2017
Defense Collaboration Services will offer training sessions this fall for DOD superusers.

Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) will offer superuser training several times over the next few months, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced on August 30. The training is designed to help frequent DCS users to improve their collaboration expertise across the Department of Defense. 

The training is available to anyone in the DOD, including contractors. The class will be offered four different times: September 5 at 3 p.m.; October 3 at 9 a.m.; November 7 at 11 a.m.; or December 5 at 3 p.m. (Eastern time).  

Upon completion of the training, DCS will issue a certificate designating the employee as a DCS superuser. 

August 17, 2017
The Homeland Security Department is testing a new contact-free fingerprinting technology at select airports.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate new identity verification technology that can reduce the time it takes for travelers to pass through security. Proof-of-concept testing is taking place in select TSA Precheck lanes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport.

August 16, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory in Orlando are creating a virtual grenade launcher training platform that will allow for repeated virtual rounds before going out to the real firing range.

The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is creating a virtual MK-19 trainer that will help shorten training set-up time and decrease ammunition costs, according to the Army. Researchers at the ARL in Orlando, Florida, are merging the weapon with existing hardware and software algorithms to create a training experience that blends real-time vision with virtual reality.

Once it is ready for full use in the field, the training platform will help soldiers expedite training on the weapon.

The concepts proven by the MK-19 trainer represent “the future of training for soldiers,” said Dean Reed, software developer and team lead at the ARL in Orlando.

August 10, 2017

Cybersecurity solutions company Comodo has launched a new research service called Comodemia for university, government and nonprofit educators and researchers. It gives users access to the Comodo Threat Intelligence Laboratory's cybersecurity data repository, one of the largest in the world.

Comodo's threat data comes from millions of endpoints in more than 220 countries. In the first quarter of this year, the lab detected and cataloged more than 25 million malware incidents. By the second quarter, the total grew to 97 million incidents as the company expanded its research program.

August 3, 2017
A U.S. Marine trains at Range 10 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii. Next year, the Defense Information Systems Agency will upgrade telecommunications for military forces in Hawaii.

U.S. Defense Department personnel stationed in Hawaii will experience less latency and more communication features with the implementation of the Pacific Enterprise Services–Hawaii (PES-HI) Program in 2018.

PES-HI, which will be managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), will upgrade legacy analog communications to an almost-Everything over Internet Protocol (IP) technology base, according to a DISA announcement. Improvements include enterprise services, such as Voice and Video over Internet Protocol and web conferencing as well as collaboration services, including chat and presence.

July 24, 2017
SwellPro's waterproof drones shoot video both above and below the water. In an effort to keep airspace safe, NASA is funding research into UAV system detection and tracking.

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) are launching a project to find new ways to detect and track unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. The project seeks to research and develop high-performance communications, networking and air traffic management (ATM) systems, including navigation and surveillance for both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The work is supported by a three-year, $1.33 million grant from NASA’s University Leadership Initiative.

July 24, 2017
Army researcher Anthony J. Roberts powers a radio-controlled toy tank with hydrogen harvested from a unique chemical reaction. U.S. Army photo by David McNally

U.S. Army scientists and engineers recently designed an aluminum nanomaterial that produces high amounts of energy when it comes in contact with water, or any liquid containing water. Since the nanomaterial powder has the potential to be 3-D printed, researchers envision future air and ground robots that can feed off of their very structures and self-destruct after mission completion. Another possible application of the discovery that may help future soldiers is the potential to recharge mobile devices for recon teams.

July 20, 2017

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) opened the Army Cyber-research Analytics Laboratory (ACAL) on July 19, a facility that unlike any other lab, provides industrial and federally-funded partners—including universities—access to highly-sensitive live cyber-security data, the service has announced.

The new research space was developed as a result of a partnership with Army Cyber Command and represents an extension of ongoing collaborative efforts with the Defense Department’s science and technology community, said Philip Perconti, ARL director.

July 17, 2017
IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the Functional Map of the World (fMoW) challenge, which officially kicks off in August.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the functional Map of the World (fMoW) Challenge, which officially kicks off in August. The challenge invites experts to develop deep learning and automation technologies to classify points of interest from satellite imagery. The goal is to promote research in object identification and classification to automatically identify facility, building and land use.

July 13, 2017
In late October, companies will have the opportunity to present cyber solutions to the U.S. Defense Department's Rapid Reaction Technology Office.

The U.S. Defense Department’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) will conduct a solutions meeting in late October in McLean, Virginia, according to a recent announcement posted on the FedBizOpps website. Companies will provide short technical presentations to government representatives about their technologies and products with the potential to be selected for pilot projects or experimentation if the technology appears to match the department's cyber needs.

The RRTO is interested in:

July 10, 2017

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host two proposers’ day conferences later this month in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in anticipation of new solicitations. 

The first, for the Homomorphic Encryption Computing Techniques with Overhead Reduction (HECTOR) program, will be held on July 26. The second, for the Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program, will be held the next day. Both will begin at 9:00 a.m.

June 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Diverse sciences ranging from forensics to nanoscale chemical sampling and storage are among the research opportunities being targeted by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to support future U.S. intelligence community activities. Some of these research areas are offered in a series of proposers’ days in advance of broad agency announcements, while others have passed that step and are in the request for information stage.

May 31, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

As the Defense Department and other government agencies begin to recognize the benefits of working with smaller, innovative technology companies, the potential for insider threats and cyber attacks grows. And now, all federal contractors face a deadline to implement a step to protect against these outside cybersecurity risks and threats from the inside.

Beginning today, all cleared government contractors must complete insider threat employee awareness training prior to being granted access to classified information and every year thereafter. The mandate is part of NISPOM Change 2, a U.S. government regulation that requires insider threat programs for cleared federal contractors.

May 25, 2017
The Internet of Things poses some risks to military forces, a draft report from NATO's Parliamentary Assembly points out. The report will be discussed at the assembly's spring session and will be updated over the summer.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has published a draft report titled "The Internet of Things: Promises and Perils of a Disruptive Technology." The report urges governments to take a more proactive role in defining the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).

"Policy makers, including national parliamentarians, need to start to proactively shape an IoT environment that remains open, innovative and secure. We have to find the right balance," the document states.

May 9, 2017

The Department of Defense released today the revised Military Intelligence Program top line budget request for fiscal 2017 that was disclosed to the public on February 9, 2016. The $16.8 billion is now updated to include additional funding above the initial president's budget request. The total, which includes both the base budget and overseas contingency operations funding, is $18.5 billion.  

May 4, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has submitted a report to Congress that shows some good and bad news about the security of the government’s mobile device environment. "Threats to the mobile device ecosystem are growing, but also ... the security of mobile computing is improving,” said Dr. Robert Griffin, DHS acting undersecretary for science and technology, in a written announcement.

May 2, 2017

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) now delivers unclassified geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) to verified government users via an application for tablets and mobile devices. Tearline, available though the Apple App Store and Google Play, is open to the intelligence community, U.S. Defense Department, allies, and academic and private sector partners sponsored into the system.

NGA’s GEOINT Pathfinder project developed the app. The shell is delivered from the app stores, but from that point, users need credentials to access secure servers.

May 2, 2017

The U.S. Defense Department has initiated a market research effort to identify potential industry sources under a potential five-year, $325 million acquisition program for technical support services. The market research effort could potentially lead to a contract award this fiscal year.

April 28, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the transition of Hyperion, a malware detection technology, to the commercial marketplace.

April 28, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Lt. Col. Matthew Castillo, USAF, commander, 35th Intelligence Squadron, speaks about the Cyberspace Threat Intelligence Center during the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Airmen and contractors with the 35th IS will conduct operations from the new facility.

A new defensive cyberspace operations facility at Joint Base San Antonio will boost the 35th Intelligence Squadron’s ability to meet growing demands for analysis of intelligence coming from multiple sources. Although located in Texas, personnel at the Cyberspace Threat Intelligence Center (CTIC) will support operations worldwide.

In 2015, the squadron’s support to the defensive cyberspace operations community increased by more than 300 percent, which led to the need for a new facility, says Lt. Col. Matthew Castillo, USAF, commander, 35th Intelligence Squadron.

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