Despite continued budget crunching, U.S. Defense Department officials are continuing to implement a three-phase plan to equip the department’s 600,000 mobile-device users with secure classified and protected unclassified mobile solutions that leverage commercial products. In conjunction with the Defense Information Systems Agency, the department’s chief information officer is establishing a basic multivendor mobility capability with the Defense Department for assessment. This first phase, which continues through April, deploys voice and data services over a commercial wireless network, and a contract will be awarded for the department’s initial enterprise mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application store (MAS).
The Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council has launched the 2013 Information Technology (IT) Job Shadow Day program. For more than a decade, the program has enabled high school students from all across the country to shadow federal IT professionals in their communities for a day. Job shadow events will take place between now and May 1. Federal employees who would like to volunteer can register on the Office of Personnel Management’s MAX.gov website.
The U.S. Navy now plans to award the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract(s) for transport and enterprise services in May rather than on February 12, as originally planned, service officials announced The delay is due to the complexities of the NGEN requirements and the need to complete a thorough review of the bids, Navy officials say.
The Air Force Space Command expects to be directed to add 1,000 new people, mainly civilians, to its base of about 6,000 cyber professionals for the 2014 fiscal year. According to the U.S. Defense Department blog “Armed With Science,” Gen. William L. Shelton, USAF, who leads Air Force Space Command, said direction for the hires would come from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, fueled by the U.S. Cyber Command.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $120 million over the next five years in an energy innovation hub. Called the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) and led by the Ames Laboratory, the hub will accommodate collaboration among scientists exploring advances in the development and commercialization of innovative clean energy technology. The CMI will bring together researchers from academia, the private sector and four DOE national laboratories to find solutions that can be applied to a material’s life cycle, including new ways to access sources of materials and innovative recycling and reuse ideas.
Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University have discovered methods to control folding pathways and enable sequential folding on a millimeter scale using a low-intensity laser beam. Lasers at a low intensity worked as a trigger for tagging applications. Developers are fabricating sheets of millimeter-size structures that serve as battery-free wireless actuators that fold when exposed to a laser operating at eye-safe infrared wavelengths. The metallic structures may respond even to high-powered LED lighting.
The U.S. Army recently announced that it is seeking mature solutions supporting the Vehicle Tactical Router gap to participate in the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.1 event, scheduled to take place in October - November 2013 at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. This marks the first request for proposal (RFP) to support the NIE events. The Army will use the RFP method to seek capability for targeted capability gaps, while also relying on Sources Sought notifications to target vendor solutions for broad capability gaps. The RFP will result in an NIE support contract award.
The U.S. Navy has given the go ahead for the first shipboard installation of a new tactical communications network designed to replace multiple networks now found on warships. The Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services (CANES) combines five legacy networks into one integrated network. The first CANES installation will take place onboard the San Diego-based destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69), and the Milestone C acquisition memorandum calls for an initial fielding of 29 CANES units within 23 installations. The system underwent operational tests last September. Eventually, CANES is expected to be deployed on the Navy's fleet of 190 ships and submarines as well as Maritime Operations Centers by 2020.
A vision-driven robotic arm will enable the precise long-range delivery of a payload weighing up to one pound into difficult-to-reach environments. The capability is being made possible through a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project that adds depth perception to the range of unmanned aerial hover vehicles’ features. Using stereo vision, the unmanned aerial vehicle can estimate a target’s position relative to the hovering aircraft in real time, and then the system tracks where the payload must be placed and the motion of a robotic arm. Control logic maneuvers the vehicle and directs the robotic arm to engage a designated target and to place the payload.
To monitor the possible effects of radiation on Americans who were in Japan during the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the U.S. Army Public Health Command has launched the Operation Tomodachi Registry website. The site provides location-based radiation dose estimates for the approximately 70,000 department-affiliated adults and children who were in one of 13 mainland Japan locations at the time of the disaster, which included the release of radiation into the environment. It will serve as a public clearinghouse for information on the U.S. Defense Department's response to the crisis in which U.S.
Sandia National Laboratories has created a hiring program that helps wounded warriors get into the work force and develop career-based skills and experience. Under the Wounded Warrior Working Group, Sandia hires qualified applicants for one to three years, which could lead to permanent employment. Executive, technical and veteran mentors are a key component of the program. Applicants can be separated from the service for any length of time. While a college degree is not required, Sandia expects those chosen to participate in the program to pursue higher education while working at the laboratories.
The (ISC)2 Foundation’s information security 2013 scholarship program application process will open on January 1, 2013, and it offers a total of $120,000 in awards to women, graduate students, young professionals and faculty. The foundation will award up to two scholarships totaling $40,000 to women pursuing an education in information security. In addition, it will give seed funding for up to eight grants of $3,000 each to assist graduate students conducting special research. One of the foundation’s other undergraduate scholarship winners will receive the Harold F.
The U.S. Department of State is hosting its first-ever Youth TechCamp in the Pacific region later this month. Coordinated in conjunction with Pasifika Nexus and the University of the South Pacific, Youth TechCamp Fiji will offer six days of training to as many as 300 youths from various Pacific islands. Local and international technology experts from the fields of digital content creation, mobile applications and social activism will participate as well. Organizers aim to enable future leaders from the region to contribute to policy development, encourage local content creation and leverage connection technologies in positive ways.
Following the lead set by NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and several other federal agencies, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has posted a solicitation for an enterprisewide Mobile Device Management system and Mobile Application Store (MDM-MAS). As many as 260,000 devices could reach authorized security resources and data initially through the DISA app store, which could eventually expand to support the needs of the entire Defense Department.
By mid-November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are scheduled to complete development of an interactive, digital training module to teach commercial airline employees to assist in the fight against human trafficking. The BLI training course is an interactive, self-paced training module that details human trafficking indicators aviation personnel are most likely to observe in the air environment. Furthermore, the course provides information on how to report human trafficking to U.S. law enforcement effectively.
With the close of the fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Defense has officially shuttered the Joint Program Executive Office for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS). In its place, the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC), which opened on October 1, will now oversee the development of the Software Defined Radio (SDR) program, including waveforms and network management.
The U.S. Army’s Project Manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM UAS) is partnering with academic institutions to build on lessons learned in combat. Officials aim to advance the operational understanding of UAS technologies and explore a range of rapidly expanding uses for them, including within U.S. airspace. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles could be used in disaster response and humanitarian relief efforts as well as environmental and law enforcement initiatives. For some projects, the agreements will enable students to visit U.S.
Lockheed Martin Corporation is sponsoring a competition designed to encourage new ideas about enhancing global security. Titled "Innovate the Future," the competition is asking for ideas on a range of topics, including sustainable energy, cybersecurity and health care. A total of $50,000 will be awarded: one $25,000 grand prize, one $10,000 second place prize and three $5,000 third place prizes. In addition, the grand prize winner will receive an incubation contract with the Maryland Technology Institute at the University of Maryland to further validate and develop the idea. Contest entrants must submit a brief description of their idea online; a committee will select the winners.
Aerofex Corporation, Manhattan Beach, California, recently released video of a proof-of-concept, motorcycle-like hovercraft that requires no flight control software and is touted as being intuitive to ride. The design pushes dust, snow or debris away from the pilot to avoid the brownout or whiteout conditions helicopter pilots often face in sandy or snowy terrain. The hover bike could be used for personal entertainment, border patrol in areas without roads or in a fleet of first-responder craft. Company officials envision an unmanned version in the future.
The U.S. Defense Department is creating a department-wide system to track and manage human subjects in studies funded by the federal government. A Web-based application developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), called the Protections in Research, Oversight Management Information System (PROMIS), will form the basis for the new system. PROMIS enables researchers to submit human research protocols and other documention for review by U.S. Marine Corps and Navy compliance specialists. Since the decision to create a larger tracking system, the ONR personnel have been creating enhancements to PROMIS so it can function as a unified platform to serve needs across the U.S.