The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is seeking comments on a request for proposals partial draft in preparation for contracting a company to operate a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that will focus solely on securing U.S. information systems. The plan is to award a single indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with firm fixed price, labor hour or cost reimbursement task orders. Currently, the proposed base period for the maximum $400 million contract is five years.
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) sites available for conducting operations research and testing. Test site operators will perform their research at the University of Alaska; Griffiss International Airport, New York; Texas A&M University; and Virginia Tech, as well as in the states of Nevada and North Dakota. Investigations will include system safety and data gathering; aircraft certification; command and control link issues; control station layout and certification; ground and airborne sense and avoid capabilities; and environmental impacts.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has joined the UN and the White House in establishing a Thunderclap account. The agency’s goal is to encourage citizens to be prepared for emergencies. Thunderclap syncs social media accounts to release an automatic Facebook post, tweet or both. By signing up and using #Prepared2014 throughout 2014, friends and followers will be reminded to be ready for natural disasters and man-made emergencies throughout the year.
The U.S. Army announced today that the Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) headquarters will be located at Fort Gordon, Georgia, consolidating and coordinating Army cyber and network operations under one commander for the first time in its history.
The U.S. Coast Guard will release its 2013 Top 10 videos on December 22, highlighting its achievements and asking members of the public to vote for their favorites. The Coast Guard Compass will publish one of the 10 videos each day beginning Sunday. Each video will include commentary from a service member who participated in the mission. The public will vote by liking their favorites on the Coast Guard’s Facebook page or on the Coast Guard’s YouTube channel. Voting will be open through January 13, 2014.
NASA has selected 10 education organizations to share approximately $7.7 million in grants with the hope of attracting more students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The money will go toward interactive exhibits, virtual worlds, professional development activities and community-based programs.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) demonstrated the launch of an all-electric, fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial system (UAS) from a submerged submarine. Operating under support of the USS Providence and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport Division, the NRL developed the eXperimental Fuel Cell (XFC) UAS, which was fired from the submarine’s torpedo tube using a Sea Robin launch vehicle system. The Sea Robin launch system was designed to fit within an empty Tomahawk launch canister (TLC). Once deployed from the TLC, the Sea Robin launch vehicle with an integrated XFC rose to the ocean surface.
Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories have created “Tinker Toys for chemists” by devising a new way to realize electrical conductivity in metal-organic framework (MOF) materials. The technique increases the property in one MOF by more than six orders of magnitude. While Tinker Toys connect by using sticks to link wood pieces, the MOFs employ metal ions and organic molecules to create the same effect. By filling the empty space with guest molecules, scientists achieved the greater electrical conduction.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently joined with a coalition of private-sector partners from the telecommunications industry to expand the Warriors 4 Wireless pilot program, a new nonprofit effort aimed at connecting veterans and returning service members to jobs in the rapidly growing wireless telecommunications industry. The program is designed to help address the shortage of skilled jobs for returning veterans while satisfying the wireless industry’s immediate need for skilled employees.
Eight emerging cybersecurity technologies developed by the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories will be featured at the Transition-to-Practice Technology Demonstration Day for Investors, Integrators and IT Companies East event on December 18 in Washington, D.C. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate will unveil new capabilities for intrusion detection, removable media protection, software assurance and malware forensics.
Members of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology have found that cybersecurity for government and industry organizations requires a set of processes that continuously couple information about an evolving threat to defensive reactions and responses. In a report to the president, the council shared its six findings and correlating recommendations for remedies to better security information technology in both the public and private sectors.
Researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created a new class of photonic waveguides with signal losses approaching that of optical fiber, resulting in a smaller, more precise component. Optical fiber has a low signal loss, enabling it as the backbone of the Internet. But connecting fiber optics with microchip-scale photonic systems traditionally has required sensitive, labor-intensive assembly with a large number of connections, resulting in signal loss.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expanding its Young Faculty Award (YFA) program research topics to 18 and is now allowing FYA researchers to work with subcontractors. The 2014 FYA solicitation includes technical topic areas in the physical sciences, engineering, materials, mathematics, biology, computing, informatics and manufacturing disciplines. The research must be of interest to DARPA’s Defense Sciences and Microsystems Technology offices. Eligible applicants must be employed in U.S. institutions of higher learning and withing five years of appointment to a tenure-track position.
The third Abu Dhabi Science Festival runs this year from November 14 to 23, with more than 25,000 students expected to attend. The children will participate in workshops, shows and interactive exhibits that will expose them to various scientific disciplines. Approximately 900 science communicators will work to make the education possible, focusing on delivering programs in ways that engage and excite the next generation of scientists. Private companies also will take part.
Lt. Cmdr. Damon Loveless, USN, communicates with the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington to coordinate airlift operations from Tacloban airfield to nearby villages in support of operation Damayan. In coordination with Joint Task Force 505, the George Washington Strike Group is assisting the Philippine government in ongoing efforts in response to super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Republic of the Philippines.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced that the U.S. Army has committed to a multivendor, multiaward acquisition process—set to be finalized by the end of this month—that will allow multiple companies to compete for the Joint Tactical Radio System Manpack and Handheld Rifleman Radio contracts. The new acquisition approach also will allow the Army to select multiple contractors to each make a percentage of the radios. Prior to this decision, the Army was pursuing a single-vendor process for each of its next-generation radio contracts.
To ensure the integrity of its mission to protect the nation’s information technology infrastructure, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has initiated a review of its development process for cryptographic standards and guidelines amid reports of leaked classified documents.
A team led by Sandia National Laboratories scientists has created a tunable plasmonic crystal that could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communication networks and enhance high-speed electronics. The researchers accomplished the effect by making the plasma-containing crystal agile in transmitting terahertz light at varying frequencies. “Usually, electromagnetically induced transparencies in more widely known systems like atomic gases, photonic crystals and metamaterials require tuning a laser’s frequencies to match a physical system,” the scientists explain. “Here, we tune our system to match the radiation source. It’s inverting the problem, in a sense.”
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) closed data center operations in Dayton, Ohio, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and transferred the functions of these centers to other Defense Enterprise Computing centers (DECCs) on October 1. The reallocation of operations from Dayton and Chambersburg enables the agency to consolidate and converge existing information technology infrastructures to gain financial and operational efficiencies across the enterprise, according to an agency announcement. It also supports the adoption of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), a major U.S.
One of the U.S. Army’s top priorities is ensuring the right information is available in any environment down to the lowest tactical level on the battlefield. Oshkosh Defense, recently demonstrated its command, control, communications and computers (C4) and systems integration capabilities to connect soldiers to the network on its MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). Oshkosh integrates C4 equipment and a full range of weapons and other systems in the initial vehicle design process to reduce potential system conflicts or interference.