News Briefs

January 9, 2013
By Rita Boland

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.

December 27, 2012
SIGNAL

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.

December 21, 2012
by Max Cacas

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.

 

December 13, 2012

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.

December 6, 2012
By Max Cacas

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.

December 5, 2012

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.

November 21 ,2012
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

November 8, 2012
By Rita Boland

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.

October 30, 2012

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.

October 29, 2012
By George I. Seffers

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.

October 12, 2012

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.

September 30, 2012

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.

September 5, 2012

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.

August 23, 2012
By George Seffers

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.

August 21, 2012

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.

August 17, 2012

A new robotic hand, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, mimics the capabilities of a human hand and could help disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Sandia Hand project aimed to create a cost-effective product for wide distribution to the troops with the flexibility and durability necessary to save lives in the field.

August 13, 2012

The U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory trained Marines-for the first time ever-using multiple unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in a convoy. Seven Marines were trained on the Oshkosh Corporation's UGV, which uses the company's TerraMax technology to operate autonomously. TerraMax integrates high-power computers, intelligence, drive-by-wire technology and distributed sensing systems. One operator supervised the control of two vehicles, even in black-out mode during night operations.

July 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate has unveiled an open source cybersecurity tool for information sharing across the Internet. Open Secure Socket Layer (OpenSSL) version 2.0 is a free, publicly available security application that meets all federal security guidelines and is now available for government agencies. All agencies using cryptographic software validated for Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 can now use the new version, which applies to cryptography that protect sensitive or valuable data within the federal government.

July 23, 2012

The U.S. Army's System of Systems Integration Directorate (SoSI) is seeking participants for the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 13.2 event, which is scheduled to take place at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range in May 2013. Only mature solutions that focus on SoSI-identified network gaps will be considered.

July 18, 2012

Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen who think they represent the best-of-the-best of military communicators have an unusual opportunity to prove it. The Joint Communications Unit (JCU)-comprising elite military signaleers who support special operations forces-is looking to take on 100 new members over the next few years. Applicants will have to pass mental, physical and skills tests, but selection will result in intense, advanced technical certifications. Unit members also receive special pay benefits. The lowest rank in the JCU is an E-5. Most positions are for enlisted members, with some mid-grade officer billets.

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