News Briefs

January 10, 2014
By Helen Mosher

Florida State University (FSU) has received more than $14 million in grants to create a program that will provide focused training, resources and support to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers.

January 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. intelligence community has taken some flak lately for infiltrating online games, such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. A just-released report commissioned by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, however, posits that the technology could be abused by extremists.

January 7, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected eight teams eligible to receive up to $1 million to continue their work following the conclusion of the agency’s Robotics Challenge trials. These top teams will now prepare for the finals, which will occur at some point in the next 12-18 months. The robots performed a series of eight simple tasks, such as walking a short distance or cutting a hole in a wall, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida. DARPA designed the tasks to simulate what a future robot might have to do to safely enter and effectively work inside a disaster zone.

January 2, 2014

Students interested in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) need to mark their calendars to apply to attend the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2014 summer STEM program. Participants will learn what it takes to become an engineer through exploration, problem solving and discovery. The application process opens online on January 6 and closes on April 15. The session for students who will enter 8th and 9th grades in the 2014-2015 school year takes place June 2-7. Rising 10th graders will attend sessions June 9-14. The rising 11th graders session takes place June 16-20.

December 31, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

NASA could send a team of astronauts into space to explore an asteroid located close to the Earth's orbit, according to Harvard University. The NASA Asteroid Robotic Retrieval Mission would involve capturing a near Earth object called NEO 2009BD, dragging it onto a new trajectory that traps it in the Earth-moon system and investigating it. A near Earth object is an asteroid whose orbit brings it close to the Earth's orbit.

This particular asteroid was discovered in January 2009. Its orbit pattern puts the object close to the Earth-moon system again in late 2022, when the proposed mission would take place.

January 3, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

December 30, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

December 27, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

December 20, 2013
By George Seffers

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.

December 18, 2013

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.

December 19, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

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.

December 11, 2013

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.

December 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

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.

December 9, 2013

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.

December 3, 2013

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.

December 2, 2013

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.

December 3, 2013
By Cyndy Hogan

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.

November 22, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

November 18, 2013
By Rita Boland

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.

November 21, 2013

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.

Pages